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How to Close the Physician Age Gap

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, February 4, 2011

2. Encourage refresher courses and additional training.

Typically, most physicians do not receive refresher training, unless referred to do so by their state’s medical board. But these types of courses can help physicians adopt new practice techniques and return to medicine after a sabbatical.

Not all healthcare fields require mandatory training; in fact, many experienced physicians think refreshers are sometimes a tedious waste of time. But, regardless of age, refresher courses can identify and address the strengths and weaknesses of an individual physician.

Likewise, encouraging all of your physicians to be trained on emerging techniques is critical to keeping your practice current and older docs sharp. For example, Adhir Shroff, MD, cardiologist from the University of Illinois Chicago has noticed an age trend on the slow adoption of transradial catheterization. The catheterization technique used for coronary intervention procedures is performed through the wrist rather than the groin has been shown to cause less bleeding and decreased discomfort for patients. Many younger physicians attend training courses on the procedure, while older physicians have been keeping to the status quo, says Shroff.

" 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' I hear it over and over. If it makes sense you should just do it," Shroff says, adding that older physicians may miss out and wait until the data is so overwhelming that they are forced to switch methods.

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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.