The surgical workforce is aging. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges Physician Specialty Data Report, in 2017, 44.1% of 103 032 active surgeons in the United States were 55 years or older. The percentage of surgeons 55 years or older varies by surgical specialty, ranging from a low of 40.9% in vascular surgery to a high of 58.1% in thoracic surgery.1 This is an important issue because older surgeons have more experience caring for patients, which needs to be balanced with the potential impairment in their ability to provide high-quality surgical care because of age-related functional limitations.
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Katlic MR, Coleman J, Russell MM. Assessing the Performance of Aging Surgeons. JAMA. 2019;321(5):449–450. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.22216
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