Time to Reevaluate How We Evaluate Physicians, Regardless of Age

February 19, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​In response to the American Medical Association's (AMA) announcement that it plans to test the competency of late-career physicians, a commentary in the January 26, 2016,Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) called for a revamping of the entire physician evaluation process. With an estimated 26% of active licensed physicians in 2012 older than 60, AMA said it would conduct periodic evaluations of older physicians' physical and mental health. The JAMA article stated that, while numerous reports have suggested a link between clinical performance and age—potentially due to the reluctance of veteran physicians to shift from established patterns of care, or simply because of the biological effects of aging—the methodology was often flawed. The studies AMA based its conclusions on were limited by sample size and by the lack of a well-defined control group, the authors note.

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