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Surgical errors: a matter of trust?

Doctors handle some of life's most crucial moments, which means they also stand as knowledgeable and experienced professionals that a community can trust. While a large majority of physicians and surgeouns are successful and loyal health professionals, some, unfortunately, are not as reliable. Studies and reports point toward various reasons why some Washington medical professionals simply cannot be trusted.

One factor leading to surgical errors in the area could be due to a lack of experience. The Washington Post highlights the ongoing debate around surgeons with minimal expertise performing high-risk procedures. Many of these cases arise from hospitals that lack experience caring for a significant number of patients. The news article also delves into studies showing that patients were more likely to have successful surgeries from surgeons who performed the surgery 25 times or more a day, as opposed to doctors who were less familiar with the procedure. While practice does not necessarily make perfect, such studies show that surgeons became more efficient at a particular procedure the more they performed that procedure.

Med Page Today, an online source for clinical and policy coverage, points toward the general aging of a large majority of doctors, and how the "graying" of America's doctors could be another reason for the overwhelming number of ineffective surgeries in the area. According to Med Page, 23 percent of all practicing physicians in the United States are 65 or older. The topic of weighing the virtue of experience against the risks associated with age are of high concern, as surgeons must be in top form to complete a successful surgery. Some potential solutions could be the implementation of age-based testing of physicians for wellness and competence.         

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