Have You Experienced Ageism During Your Career?

October 17, 2018

Medscape recently published a letter from a 52-year-old registered nurse who had just passed her board examination after graduating with honors, yet was unable to find a job. Despite her experience with administrative duties and a stellar record as a unit secretary in a hospital for more than 5 years, she was not even getting calls to interview for a nursing position.

"I believe the problem is ageism because they hired some of my much younger classmates who have had no medical experience at all," she wrote to Medscape's "Ask the Expert."

Medical clinicians may be judged unfairly on the basis of their age alone, especially as many of them continue working well into older age. In 2020, nearly 20% of practicing physicians will be over 65, James Ellison, MD, MPH, the Swank Foundation Endowed Chair in Memory Care and Geriatrics with the Christiana Care Health System, in Wilmington, Delaware, noted to Medscape Medical News.

Some experts have called for mandatory age-based assessments to address competency. The American Medical Association weighed in on the issue in 2015 with a call for guidelines on competency assessment testing. It currently has a task force working on possible solutions.

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