Did you know that one-third of the country’s physicians are over the age of 65? That’s right, there’s a good chance that your doctor is on Medicare. That’s a concern, because physicians aren’t immune to the ails of aging, and are just as prone as patients to succumb to the effects of Parkinson’s or various types of dementias.
Not comforting if you’re about to undergo an operation, for instance. And absolutely frightening when you consider baby boomers and newly-insured patients will flood our health system in the coming years.
An eye-opening piece from the New York Times highlights the trend. It’s up to doctors and medical societies to report doctors who aren’t able to proficiently perform, but few do. According to the data, the rate of disciplinary action for physicians out of school 40 years was 6.6 percent.
Various tactics to ensure competency have been slow to take off. Requiring all doctors to re-certify, for instance, isn’t working, since the vast majority of doctors practicing are “grandfathered” into not being required to take the test. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*