While the U.S. government sets mandatory retirement ages for high-risk industries such as aviation and federal law enforcement, 73% of respondents to a Modern Healthcare online poll said such measures are not needed for aging physicians.
However, respondents overwhelmingly backed mandatory assessment programs, and many felt stricter age-related policies are needed for certain clinical specialties like surgeons.
A total of 799 people took the poll from May 2-20. More than 300 offered comments on the topic.
“Mandatory retirement assumes cognitive decline is universal, which it is not,” said one. “Frankly the health system cannot afford to lose the manpower,” stated another.
Respondents did worry about the ability of aging physicians to stay abreast of new regulations, treatments and technologies. “It becomes impossible to keep up,” one said.