THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The Society of Surgical Chairs is offering transition planning guidance for senior surgeons, according to a special communication published online May 15 in JAMA Surgery.

Todd K. Rosengart, M.D., from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues conducted a survey of members of the Society of Surgical Chairs in 2018 to develop recommendations for the transitioning of the senior surgeon.

Based on the survey results, the researchers recommend mandatory cognitive and psychomotor testing of surgeons by at least age 65 years, potentially as a component of ongoing professional practice evaluation. Additionally, recommendations include career transition discussions with surgeons beginning early in their careers; respectful consideration of the potential financial needs, long-standing work commitments, and work-life concerns of retiring surgeons; and creation of teaching, mentoring or coaching, and/or administrative opportunities for senior surgeons in modified clinical or nonclinical roles.

“Ideally, these initiatives will catalyze a thoughtful and comprehensive new vista in supporting an aging workforce while ensuring the safety of patients, the efficient management of health care organizations, and the avoidance of unnecessary depletions to a sufficiently sized cadre of physicians with case-specific competencies,” the authors write.

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