As the physician workforce ages, physician leaders and healthcare organizations are increasingly encountering difficult questions about the best way to assess and manage doctors whose skill may have deteriorated with age. The current paradigm of professional self-regulation may not effectively serve the interests of patients, as some physicians may not recognize or respond when their care becomes unsafe. However, more assertive testing or retirement policies could infringe on physicians’ rights to fulfillment and autonomy. Debates about this problem lack a clear understanding of the attitudes of key stakeholders coupled with insight into the ethical principles and norms that should govern oversight of aging physicians. We propose a project to identify the principles that drive current thinking about this issue through key informant interviews and focus group research. After analyzing our results, we would develop guidelines regarding the aging physician and work with stakeholders to identify strategies for implementing these guidelines.
Challenges and Opportunities Around the Oversight of the Aging Physician
University of Washington
Andrew A. White et al., Patient safety and the ageing physician: a qualitative study of key stakeholder attitudes and experiences, BMJ Quality & Safety, June 2019.Read more