Monday, June 17, 2013

Needs of Senior Physicians Focus of New AMA Group

The “golden years” can be a time of opportunity and challenge for physicians. To address key issues in this area, three psychiatrists participated in a special educational session on “The Aging Physician: Opportunities and Challenges” this weekend at the AMA House of Delegates meeting in Chicago. It was sponsored by the AMA’s Senior Physician Section, the newest AMA section. There are 57,000 AMA members over age 65.

Sheila LoboPrabhu M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine; Luis Sanchez M.D., director of Physician Health Services Inc., a Massachusetts Medical Society corporation; and Paul Schyve, M.D., senior advisor for health care improvement at the Joint Commission, discussed the physiology of aging with an emphasis on sensory and cognitive changes, maintenance of certification for seniors, and strategies to retain physicians in the workforce while practicing in a safe manner.

Psychiatrist Paul Wick, M.D., (pictured above), chair-elect of the Senior Physician Section, told Psychiatric News that nationally one-third of practicing physicians will turn 65 in the next eight years. “There are more physicians in this age group than there are in the 40 and younger category,” Wick said. And he said a goal of the section is to develop guidelines for assessing competency in senior physicians so they can continue practicing for as long as possible, while maintaining competence and quality care. “Aging physicians will leave the future supply of physicians in a critical condition,” Wick emphasized.

For more information on this topic, see Psychiatric News here.

(photo: Mark Moran)


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