Saturday, June 6, 2009

Could Your Doctor Need To Retire?

In the US it is mandatory ( at least in 2007 ) for an airline pilot to retire at age 60! But a Doctor? No such need. I know of some Doctors past 65 who are very competent, just like I know citizens who are way past 65 who are very competent, but there are some who have mentally slowed down, some who have gotten shaky at times, who get forgetful, and lets face it, some who are showing the start of dementia or Alzheimer's.
Our health, in fact our lives and the lives of loved ones are too important to not ask the question, when is it time for the surgeon, the eye doctor, etc to hang up his practice?

Who looks after these cases? Pretty much nobody. We have the state medical license board, made up of doctors, but from what I can tell, they collect their $100 or so dollars a year, and if a complaint is filed, shuffle paper work. Often by the time a complaint is filed, it is way too late, too many have been harmed.
Should the US look into a competency exam mandatory if a certain number of complaints are filed, or after a certain number of lawsuits are filed, maybe yearly after age 65?
However, questions of incompetence, drug
abuse, or unethical behavior among licensed
practicing physicians were dealt with in camera
by peer-review committees within the
profession’s own organizations—if they were addressed at all.

Look closely at the top of your doctor's head the next time you get a chance. Do those odd gray hairs worry you at all? Do they speak to you of wisdom and experience? Or do they remind you it may be time to leave the old fool for a source of more up-to-date care?
In Britain, the National Health Service imposes draconian limitations on physicians wishing to work after age 65, and essentially forbids work after 70. The policy is clearly intended to guard the population from doddering idiots.

If you believe that your eye doctor is incompetent due to age dementia and have seen signs of this, report him to the medical board of your state, here in KY it is the Kentucky Medical Licensing Board

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