Healthcare News & Insights

Patients with more experienced docs have worse outcomes

Patients whose doctors are the most experienced are 70% more likely to die while in the hospital — and 50% more likely to die in the 30 days after leaving.

That’s the finding of a recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine. The study looked at 6,500 patients seen by doctors at Montefiore Medical Center in New York between 2002 and 2004. Doctors in the study had a range of experience that varied from less than five years in practice to as more than 20 years.

The study found that the increased likelihood of dying was limited to patients with the most complicated medical problems.

More experienced doctors also tended to keep patients about a half a day longer than their less-seasoned peers did when the doctors were handling a large number of patients.

Reviewers of the study said that the results don’t indicate a problem with veteran doctors’ ability to do their job so much as their relative unfamiliarity with current medical guidelines and the need for them to focus on continual professional education after certification.

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