Opinion EDITORIAL Jeffrey L. Saver, MD The unprecedented number and proportion of aging physi- served with care provided by older physicians with low- cians in the workforce in both the United States and the world volume practices. is a unique challenge of the current medical era. Fully 43% of Because of this increase in the aging physician popula- all US physicians are aged 55 years or older, including 61% of tion, along with concerns regarding potential decrements in psychiatrists, 52% of radiolo- physician capabilities, development of testing methods and gists, 46% of general sur- regulatory frameworks to assess late-career practitioners for Editorial page 125 geons, and 44% of internists. fitness to practice is an important policy priority confronting Moreover, approximately 15% medical organizations at all levels: individual practices, hos- Related article page 179 of practicing US physicians pital medical staffs, integrated health systems, medical soci- are older than 65 years, tri- eties, state medical boards, and national policy makers. Re- pling from 23 000 in 1980 to 73 000 in 2012-2016. Every year, cent years have seen substantial progress but also controversy 20 000 more US physicians turn 65 years of age, and, even and setbacks. For instance, MicroCog,
JAMA – American Medical Association
Published: Jan 14, 2020
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