Medical journals have a long history of publishing stories that suggest a doctor is either too old or too stupid to practice medicine.
Now, a new study shows that doctors who are both old and stupid are more likely to be followed than doctors who aren’t.
The research is based on a study of nearly 10,000 medical journals and the Social Security Administration’s own website.
“A lot of people don’t realize how important it is for doctors to be engaging with patients,” said study author Stephen Zandi, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert on medical ethics.
The study was published online today in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
It is the first study to look at how old or stupid doctors are and whether they’re more likely than doctors with good medical records to be the subject of follow-up visits, said Zandi.
“Doctors should be asking patients about their health status, and we should be looking at the number of follow up visits, how many people are being followed,” he said.
A recent study found that the number and type of follow ups a doctor makes is related to whether he or she receives a follow-back visit, but this study was different, Zandi said.
“It’s very interesting to find that older physicians are more susceptible to follow-ups, but we don’t know why,” he added.
The researchers looked at doctors’ demographics, including race, gender, and the presence of a medical specialty.
They also looked at whether the doctors had received a diagnosis of a mental illness or depression.
The most common diagnoses for older doctors were heart disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“In general, older physicians were more likely in general to be in an area of specialty with high rates of mental illness and depression, and to have higher rates of diabetes and hypertension,” Zandi told Shots.
“I think this indicates that it’s not just that older doctors have worse health, it’s that they have a higher propensity to have poor health outcomes.”
The study also showed that the types of doctors who were followed differed significantly from each other.
The doctors with more mental illnesses were more than twice as likely to have been followed than the doctors with less mental illnesses.
And they were also more likely for some mental health conditions to be reported.
“They were more prone to have a mental health condition and more prone than other doctors to have an underlying medical condition,” Zanda said.
The scientists were able to track the patients that doctors visited and whether or not the doctors followed up.
This included the type of health condition that the doctor was treated for and whether the doctor had received other medical care.
The more time a doctor spent following a patient, the more likely that person was to be diagnosed with a mental disorder.
The finding suggests that the longer a doctor spends following a person, the greater their risk of having a mental condition, said study co-author Eric Jaffe, a doctoral student in psychiatry at Yale University.
“The longer the doctor is in a mental hospital, the less likely they are to be able to follow up,” he told Shots in an email.
“This suggests that more of the time a physician is in the hospital is an opportunity for a mental person to be exposed to the care they would receive outside of the hospital.”
The findings are consistent with previous research showing that older adults are more prone, at least in part, to mental health disorders, Jaffe said.
This is consistent with the idea that the elderly are less likely to seek care outside of hospital.
But older adults also tend to be less likely than younger adults to have access to mental healthcare, the researchers found.
They looked at the patients’ demographics and the number, type, and location of mental health care facilities in each state.
The findings suggest that older Americans are less exposed to mental care in general, and that the more time they spend in the community, the higher their mental health status and the greater the chance that they may be exposed, Jaffa said.
But the researchers didn’t look at whether or how much the care provided by the doctors was linked to mental disorders or other health conditions.
“We need to understand what factors are driving this relationship,” he concluded.
“If we don, we can make more informed decisions.”
The researchers were also interested in how doctors’ health status changed over time.
The data revealed that older people were more inclined to be monitored for health conditions, including hypertension and diabetes, and more likely at one point in their lives to be admitted to a mental institution.
The younger the doctor, the fewer of these health conditions were observed.
The older the doctor’s age, the risk of being admitted to an institution increased.
The risk of this being the case for younger doctors also decreased as the doctor got older.
“These findings are important because it suggests that older age may be more important than younger age as a determinant of mental healthcare,” Zanna said.
Doctors who are older and stupid aren’t getting their follow-backs, the study found.