When should doctors retire? Depends on the doctor.
“There are many older physicians who have a wealth of experience and who are practicing very well, and the last thing on earth we want to do is discourage those physicians from continuing to practice,” Dr Dellinger said. Among the consequences of that, he added, would be worsening the physician shortage.
“On the other hand, the data are unequivocal that there is, on average, a reduction in cognitive and physical abilities with age…and we need to kindly encourage those who should be reducing their practice to do so,” he said.
According to the review, published online July 19 in JAMA Surgery, research shows that between ages 40 and 75 years, mean cognitive ability drops by more than 20%, but there is large variability individually. Dr Dellinger notes that although the journal is for surgeons, the review is meant for all physicians.