Doctors' age tied to performance concerns

Doctors at the end of their careers are nearly six times more likely to be referred to authorities for concerns over poor performance compared with their younger colleagues, a major UK study has found.

The findings published in BMJ Quality and Safety are likely to influence the current Australian debate on whether doctors should be subject to regular competency checks - with some suggesting that older doctors, nearing retirement, could be targeted if there is robust evidence they are a higher risk to patients.

The UK study examined the profile of 6,179