November 22nd, 2017

Study asks neurosurgeons: How old is too old to perform brain surgery?

By Karl W Oestreich

Science Daily

People sometimes joke that easy tasks are "not brain surgery." But what happens when it actually is brain surgery? How old is too old to be a neurosurgeon? In a new Mayo Clinic Proceedings study, most neurosurgeons disagreed with an absolute age cutoff, but half favored additional Science Daily Logotesting for neurosurgeons 65 and older. Some professions, including commercial pilots, FBI agents and air traffic controllers, have mandatory retirement ages. This study is the first to survey neurosurgeons on their attitudes toward ceasing practice and testing in late career. "With an aging physician workforce nationwide, this study's intriguing responses deserve reflection by the neurosurgical community," says senior author Fredric Meyer, M.D., executive dean of education, Mayo Clinic, who is executive director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

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Context: People sometimes joke that easy tasks are “not brain surgery.” But what happens when it actually isbrain surgery? How old is too old to be a neurosurgeon? In a new Mayo Clinic Proceedings study, most neurosurgeons disagreed with an absolute age cutoff, but half favored additional testing for neurosurgeons 65 and older.

Some professions, including commercial pilots, FBI agents and air traffic controllers, have mandatory retirement ages. This study is the first to survey neurosurgeons on their attitudes toward ceasing practice and testing in late career.

“With an aging physician workforce nationwide, this study’s intriguing responses deserve reflection by the neurosurgical community,” says senior author Fredric Meyer, M.D., executive dean of education, Mayo Clinic, who is executive director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Meyer is the Juanita Kious Waugh Executive Dean of Education and the Alfred Uihlein Family Professor of Neurologic Surgery. You can learn more on Mayo Clinic News Network.

Contact: Susan Barber Lindquist

Tags: brain surgery, Dr. Fredric Meyer, neurosurgery, ScienceDaily, Uncategorized

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