Recently, a colleague of mine shared the story of a physician he has worked with for a few years, to help him prepare for retirement.
The physician is now 65 and the head of a hospital department. A few weeks ago, he was furloughed. This past week he was informed that the hospital was terminating him. Turns out the hospital has decided that they will no longer allow physicians over the age of 65 to see patients because of the potential liability issues.
My colleague and I discussed possible next steps for this physician. While the colleague was able to help this doctor move closer to the potentially maintaining his current lifestyle during retirement, he’s still a few years away.
I have heard a few stories of hospitals who are deciding to revoke the admitting privileges of physicians over 65.
Will hospitals place age and health restrictions on physicians? If they do, is this a violation of a physician’s civil liberties? Would it be considered restraint of trade? I will gladly defer to the legal experts on these questions. However, cases like these take a while to wind their ways through the courts.
In the meanwhile, mature physicians like the one in this story are left with the question, “How do I maintain my lifestyle in the weeks, months, and years to come?”