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Are You Safer With an Older MD or a Younger One? You Might be Surprised

It appears that a Harvard University study has recently discovered that medical patients of younger doctors are less likely to die than those under care of their more experienced counterparts.

Now there's a speedbump for the brain.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, examined the medical records of 700,000 patients, who were treated by 19,000 physicians, over a 3-year period that began in 2011. Investigators discovered a steady and undeniable rise in the mortality rates of patients, as their doctors grew older.

Researchers selected patients for the study who were on Medicare and at least 65 years old. Here is what they determined:

  • Patients with doctors 40 and younger had a mortality rate of 10.8%*

  • Patients of physicians from 41-49 had a mortality rate of 11.1%.

  • Patients of doctors between 50-59 had a death rate of 11.3%.

  • And for doctors older than 60? Well, their patients' death rates rose to 12.1%.

Statistical allowances were factored for the ages and genders; the ranges and severity of illnesses; the amounts of money they earned and how long they had been in the hospital.

The research team gave no explanations as to why the older physicians have the worse patient survival rates.

* Over comparable, 30-day periods

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