Many people, when they go in to see a doctor and find out that the person is younger than they thought, will make some remark about hoping that they’re qualified or that they can do a good job. They may say it in jest, but this is a real concern. People sometimes have the feeling that older doctors are going to provide better treatment due to their decades of experience, whereas even the best medical student simply hasn’t had as much time on the job after they become a doctor.
But does this concern actually make sense? Are older doctors better and are younger doctors more likely to make mistakes, or is this just an inaccurate perception from the public?
Older doctors may actually put patients at risk
Interestingly, some studies have suggested that exactly the opposite is true, that it is older doctors who put patients at risk. For instance, those who see older doctors have a higher mortality rate after going in for treatment, compared to those who see younger doctors. This suggests that you would actually be better off with someone who recently graduated from medical school, rather than someone who has been practicing medicine for decades.
There are many reasons for this, one of which is simply that medical technology is always evolving. If someone has been working in the field for the last 40 years, they may not be quite as current on this new technology and new procedures. But more studies will be needed to determine the exact reason for these concerning statistics.
Regardless, if you suffer an injury or lose a loved one due to a mistake made by a doctor of any age, you absolutely need to know what legal options you have.