AMA moves to create guidelines to assess ability of older doctors

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C.

June 19, 2015

When someone undergoes a surgical procedure there is the assumption that the person performing it will provide a certain level of care to the patient. When a surgeon fails to do so the result can be devastating and leave the patient seriously hurt or even in the worst cases, dead.

There are many things that a good surgeon must have, including:

  • Solid mental and physical capabilities
  • Fine motor skills
  • Endurance
  • Quick reaction times

It is likely not a surprise to readers to hear that age could have an impact on a surgeon’s ability to do the things listed above.

While there is no question that there is more that goes into being a good surgeon than one’s age, the American Medical Association recently turned its focus to late-career doctors. Specifically it made a move to create guidelines that could be used to assess the abilities and skills of individuals in that demographic. Interestingly, certain hospitals throughout the nation have already created programs of this nature.

Most would agree that this is a good idea. According to an estimate from the AMA, a quarter of licensed doctors are over the age of 65. Of those doctors, two-fifths are still practicing.

When a patient is harmed due to the negligence of a doctor–whether it is related to the age of the doctor or not–it is possible that individual will decide to take legal action against the care provider. Those who are considering this approach should contact a medical malpractice lawyer to determine what steps should be taken.