Physician Perspectives: Addressing the Concern of Incompetence in Medicine

4 Feb 2023 • Published on the 3rd of February, 2023 In their day-to-day work, doctors utilise sophisticated cognitive skills and — depending on the specialty — fine-tuned manual dexterity. But these skills sometimes decline with age, leading to the conundrum of whether doctors can safely continue to practise medicine into their late sixties and beyond. A recent Medscape commentary by bioethicist Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, tackled this question. In his commentary, which was inspired by an opinion piece in The New York Times entitled, ""How Would You Feel About a 100-Year-Old Doctor?,"" Caplan notes that, unlike airline pilots, who are subject to mandatory retirement at age 65 because of the possibility of cognitive or health decline, there is no mandatory retirement age for physicians. Caplan recommends a ""basic competency"" recertification process, consisting of ""a memory test, some sort of dexterity test, or a simple 20- or 30-minute examination annually or every other year"" to ""make sure that once you are older than 65, your skills have not slipped in a way that would harm patients or cause the risk of malpractice to increase."" What are your thoughts on this? Should there be a competency exam as physicians age or should the testing be applicable to all physicians of all ages? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion below. Source: Medscape | Read full story

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