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Comment & Response
May 19, 2020

Cognitive Screening of Older Practitioners

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of the Legal Adviser, US Department of State, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2020;323(19):1974-1975. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4260

To the Editor Drs Cooney and Balcezak1 described an innovative and well-intentioned effort at Yale New Haven Hospital to assess the cognitive ability and professional competency of aging clinicians. However, the understandably benevolent procedure of allowing older physicians whose safety to treat patients has been called into question to subsequently retire or limit their practice voluntarily raises real questions of compliance with federal law.2 It is important that physicians who sit on hospital peer review committees be apprised of this issue because failure on the part of the hospital to make mandatory reports may compromise the liability protections afforded to participants in the professional review process.