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Comment & Response
May 19, 2020

Cognitive Screening of Older Practitioners

Author Affiliations
  • 1Sydney School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia, Darlinghurst
JAMA. 2020;323(19):1973-1974. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4257

To the Editor A JAMA Performance Improvement article1 reported the use of a cognitive screening battery as the primary basis of recredentialing older practitioners by Yale New Haven Hospital. Some modifications and caveats would enhance this program and those at other centers for testing the cognition of physicians.

The age of 70 years may not be optimal to initiate cognitive testing. The advantage of starting at the age of 60 or 65 years (when the onset of cognitive impairment is less likely) is that an appropriate baseline may be established. An individual practitioner can then be monitored for decline on a longitudinal basis. The establishment of a physician-specific, nationwide bank of test results would ensure adequate control data for all centers.