Doctors Age and Mortality Rate

Doctors Age and Mortality RateVisiting a doctor for your scheduled checkup or having some type of surgery can be a daunting thing to do. Whether it's an annual appointment just to see how healthy you are or if a procedure is the next step, having a doctor you can rely on is piece of mind we all want.

As time goes by and we age, so does our doctor. This may not seem like much, especially if you have a long standing relationship with your physician. However, a recent study from Harvard University has shown that mortality rates among patients increase as your doctor gets older.

This latest research followed more than 70,000 elderly patient admissions to the hospital for various surgeries or general procedures. This included more than 19,000 doctors in hospitals and surgery centers. Those patients with doctors that were under the age of 30 had a mortality rate of 10.8 percent. The death rate for doctors who are between the ages of 40-49 increased to 11.1 percent.

The physicians between the ages of 50-59 had a patient mortality rate of 11.3 percent and if your doctor is over the age of 60, the death rate increased to 12.1 percent. While this isn't a huge increase, it is still a bit eye opening. Although mortality went up as doctors ages increased, this only stands a correlation between the two, not a specific cause.

The suggested reason for the increase could be a decrease in the doctor’s skills or methods used are just outdated (It may possible new techniques like transdermal patches, latest laser techniques etc. are not preferred by these old). Newer and younger doctors have more efficient cutting edge knowledge. The hospital medicine practice is one of the fastest evolving specialties in the medical practice.

Even though the data only shows a slight increase in mortality, it is still something to think about. However, this doesn't mean that your doctor is not qualified, it just shows that the training older doctors had is outdated.

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