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As Doctors Age, Worries About Their Ability Grow

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 4:38am
Laurie Tarkan

As Doctors Age, Worries About Their Ability Grow

About eight years ago, at the age of 78, a vascular surgeon in California operated on a woman who then developed a pulmonary embolism. The surgeon did not respond to urgent calls from the nurses, and the woman died.

Even after the hospital reported the doctor to the Medical Board of California, he continued to perform operations for four years until the board finally referred him for a competency assessment at the University of California, San Diego.

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