You’re looking for a new doctor, but you’re not really sure what qualities to seek out. Certainly, you want someone who makes you feel comfortable, who has the right qualifications and who is relatively close to home.
But what about other factors? For instance, does the age of the doctor influence the type of care that you get?
What the studies have found about doctors and age
You may assume, as many people do, that older doctors are more experienced and therefore offer better services than younger doctors. If someone has been working in the field for 20 years, they can draw on that experience in a way that even a well-trained young doctor simply cannot do.
However, what studies have actually found is that many older doctors struggle when compared to their younger counterparts. Areas of struggle include:
- Having accurate clinical knowledge, especially if things have changed significantly since they went to school
- Making the right diagnosis on a consistent basis
- Providing the screening and preventative care that patients need, rather than just reacting to the negative health events they experience
There are plenty of anecdotes that run counter to this study, and some offices spoke up to say how a specific older doctor was much better than the younger physicians on staff. Certainly, it’s clear that not every single older doctor will do a worse job. But the overall trend is something that you may want to consider as you decide who to see for your care.
If your doctor makes a mistake, seek help
No matter who you choose as your doctor, the opportunity for a serious mistake exists. If your doctor makes such a mistake, you need to know what legal options you have.