AMA Offers Guidance to Retired Physicians During COVID-19  

Mar 30, 2020 at 10:57 am by pj



“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many physicians over the age of 65 will provide care to patients. Whether ‘senior’ physicians should be on the front line of patient care at this time is a complex issue that must balance several factors against the benefit these physicians can provide. As with all people in high-risk age groups, careful consideration must be given to the health and safety of retired physicians and their immediate family members, especially those with chronic medical conditions. The availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the opportunity to provide non-direct patient care are also special considerations. 

“These physicians can play a critical role at this time. For example, many health centers are training their senior physicians to provide remote care through telemedicine programs, to take a greater role in teaching online, and to provide administrative leadership to allow physicians at lower risk to provide direct patient care.

“If a physician has already retired, and is considering returning to help during the pandemic, additional considerations are needed. For example, what are the state licensing requirements to allow them to return to practice, will they be able to protect themselves and their families with PPE to avoid becoming ill and an additional burden on the health care system? Physicians will need to also know if additional training is needed for their return, and how that is being provided. Again, a number of local institutions have been actively addressing these issues. The AMA has developed a resource guide to assist senior physicians as they consider these important issues.”

Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A.
President, American Medical Association


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