Cognitive Skills Assessment for the Aging Orthopaedic Surgeon: AOA Critical Issues

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Physician leaders are increasingly confronted with the challenge of evaluating the performance of surgical colleagues during the last phase of their careers. Identification of physicians with declining cognitive and clinical skills must be balanced against awareness of laws protecting colleagues from discrimination. Responding successfully to this challenge requires appropriate policies, reliable data, standardized evaluation tools, consistent documentation, and the development of compassionate and effective solutions that avoid discriminatory practices. Surgical champions are essential for promoting self-regulation. Performance evaluations should comply with medical staff bylaws and institutional wellness policies.

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