Aging Physicians Leading to More Medical Errors?

by Staff Blogger | December 27th, 2012

Dec. 27, 2012

Older doctors may have years of experience, but recent research has shown a doctor’s age may inhibit the ability to properly care for patients. Medpage Today highlighted this growing problem and what some facilities are doing to remedy it.

There have been several cases where a doctor’s age has led to cases of Medical Malpractice and negligence. One doctor, who was in his 80’s, performed surgery on a patient, then forgot about them before going on vacation. The patient had no one overseeing their care which ultimately led to their death. As the number of elderly doctors who are still practicing increases, experts say the number of medical errors has also risen.

A total of 63 percent of the nation’s one million doctors are said to be over the age of 55-years-old. Less than one-third has a personal physician keeping check on mental and physical deterioration. Experts believe there may be as many as 8,000 practicing doctors suffering from dementia.

To combat the problem, some facilities, such as the University of Virginia, have adopted policies mandating retirement at a certain age. Policies like these are common in other industries, such as aviation and law enforcement.

The Roanoke Personal Injury Lawyers with Skolrood Law Firm recognize the dangers this problem could pose, and are here to help if you’ve been harmed under the care of a physician.