Doc Vader wants to know… how old is TOO old to practice medicine?

Recently, a pediatrician named Robert Brown received an email that left him troubled. The New Jersey hospital where the 71-year-old 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. We did a live show on this a while back.

What was physician competence, Dr. Brown wondered, and how could it be measured?

Testing older physicians for mental and physical ability is growing more common. Nearly a fourth of physicians in America are 65 or older, and 40% of these are actively involved in patient care, according to the American Medical Association. ZDadd and ZMomm weighed in on this issue as well (both physicians over 70 years old).

Dr. Saul Rosenberg, a now 89-year-old oncologist, along with a Stanford radiologist, developed the cure for Hodgkin lymphoma. He still practices, but states,

“I am quite elderly, and I know what I know and I know what I don’t know,” said Dr. Rosenberg, who still sees patients. “It is very upsetting that they make it difficult for me to get my hospital privileges.”

Z-Pac, let Doc Vader know what you think. Check out the original video on Doc Vader’s Facebook. Is Doc Vader too old to practice? Is ageism in medicine a real thing and how do we address our aging physicians?

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