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How to Close the Physician Age Gap

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, February 4, 2011

“[Physicians] are forced out of a job if they don’t adapt to medical changes or they head into retirement,” he says. “We’re left with only the older physicians who are flexible enough to handle emerging changes in the industry.”

He suggests that older physicians should know their limits both physically and mentally. Though he no longer trusts himself to perform 12-hour surgeries, Veith keeps his head in the game by attending conferences and performing shorter procedures.

"[For] surgery you need good vision and stamina and I was lucky because I still have [them]," he says. He also suggests that they be open to learning techniques from younger physicians.

Here are three examples of how to help older physicians adapt to new technology and foster collaboration among physicians of all ages.

1. Establish social media guidelines for your practice.

Even though there are Medicare incentives for EHRs, adoption is not mandatory. The same goes for social media. Veith, 78, admits that he does not have a Facebook page. At the same time, he cannot live without his Blackberry and he’s not opposed to texting, he says. By establishing clear guidelines on how to use social media in your practice, such as those recently released by the American Medical Association, practices can help alleviate physician fears about social media and ensure that patient privacy is protected, as well as physicians' personal and professional reputations.

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2 comments on "How to Close the Physician Age Gap"


JKT (4/1/2011 at 10:54 AM)
Radiologists unlike many other physicians are over compensated. Physicians should be rewarded not for doing excess procedures (aka "churning the mill") but for taking responsibility (direct patient responsibility) especially at "off" hours (nights/weekends etc.). THis is certainly NOT the case of most radiology types. JKT,MD

James (2/6/2011 at 11:33 PM)
It's no surprise radiologists make more money since they spend twice as long in tailing programs. 6 years vs. 3 years. They should be rewarded for there added services, plus it's arguably more stressful with lover hours. Deffinetlg NOT a lifestyle specialty.