Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

Trend: With 25% of US physicians aged 65+, hospitals test older doctors on mental and physical acuity

When Are Doc­tors Too Old to Prac­tice? (The Wall Street Jour­nal):

In Feb­ru­ary, Robert Brown received an email that left him trou­bled. The New Jer­sey hos­pi­tal where the 71-year-old pedi­a­tri­cian was prac­tic­ing informed him that doc­tors age 72 and old­er would have to take a test to assess their phys­i­cal and men­tal health—or risk los­ing their priv­i­leges…Con­cern over old­er physi­cians’ men­tal states—and whether it is safe for them to care for patients—has prompt­ed a num­ber of insti­tu­tions, from Stan­ford Health Care in Palo Alto, Calif., to Driscoll Children’s Hos­pi­tal in Cor­pus Christi, Texas, to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia Health Sys­tem, to adopt age-relat­ed physi­cian poli­cies in recent years. The goal is to spot prob­lems, in par­tic­u­lar signs of cog­ni­tive decline or demen­tia.

Now, as more insti­tu­tions like Coop­er embrace the mea­sures, they are roil­ing some old­er doc­tors and rais­ing ques­tions of fair­ness, sci­en­tif­ic validity—and ageism…Hospitals say they are try­ing to be sensitive…At Coop­er Uni­ver­si­ty Health Care, Antho­ny Maz­zarel­li, a physi­cian and senior exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent, said the new pol­i­cy requir­ing the men­tal and phys­i­cal exams “wasn’t meant to tar­get physi­cians to not prac­tice. It was to help them prac­tice longer” by reas­sur­ing both the hos­pi­tal and the doc­tor.”

Relevant Study:

Physi­cian age and out­comes in elder­ly patients in hos­pi­tal in the US: obser­va­tion­al study (British Med­ical Jour­nal)

  • Objec­tives: To inves­ti­gate whether out­comes of patients who were admit­ted to hos­pi­tal dif­fer between those treat­ed by younger and old­er physi­cians.
  • Set­ting: US acute care hos­pi­tals.
  • Main out­come mea­sures: 30 day mor­tal­i­ty and read­mis­sions and costs of care.
  • Results: After adjust­ment for char­ac­ter­is­tics of patients and physi­cians and hos­pi­tal fixed effects (effec­tive­ly com­par­ing physi­cians with­in the same hos­pi­tal), patients’ adjust­ed 30 day mor­tal­i­ty rates were 10.8% for physi­cians aged <40…, 11.1% for physi­cians aged 40–49…, 11.3% for physi­cians aged 50–59…, and 12.1% for physi­cians aged ?60… Among physi­cians with a high vol­ume of patients, how­ev­er, there was no asso­ci­a­tion between physi­cian age and patient mor­tal­i­ty. Read­mis­sions did not vary with physi­cian age, while costs of care were slight­ly high­er among old­er physi­cians.
  • Con­clu­sions With­in the same hos­pi­tal, patients treat­ed by old­er physi­cians had high­er mor­tal­i­ty than patients cared for by younger physi­cians, except those physi­cians treat­ing high vol­umes of patients.

To learn more:

Leave a Reply...

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness, Professional Development

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

Search in our archives

Follow us and Engage via…

twitter_logo_header
RSS Feed

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)