With reports of burnout and forced retirement mandated for U.S. pilots, and military personnel, the question is whether forced retirement should be mandated for physicians as well.
The AMA’s Council on Medical Education wrote a report that says “physicians should be allowed to remain in practice as long as patient safety is not endangered.” But physicians should develop guidelines and standards for monitoring and assessing both their own and their colleagues’ competency. Doing so “may head off a call for mandatory retirement ages or imposition of guidelines by others,” the council’s report says.But there are no national mandates or guidelines on how to make sure older physicians can still do their jobs safely. It’s time to change that, the report suggests, noting that the number of U.S. physicians aged 65 and older has quadrupled since 1975 and now numbers 240,000
The report asks the AMA to spearhead a doctor-led effort to develop national guidelines and screening methods.