Senior Physician Evaluation

The Senior Physician Evaluation is intended to be a screening done on physicians who are getting older (e.g. 65 to 70+ years of age) and either want or need to demonstrate that they are still fit to practice medicine.  If concerns have already been raised about a physician’s health or ability to care for patients, KSTAR recommends more in-depth evaluations, such as our Fitness for Duty Evaluation and/or a Physician Assessment.  

Senior Physician Evaluation Components

  1. Physical examination – a complete physical done by an independent, board-certified physician, and including vision and hearing testing
  2. Cognitive screening – several brief tools are used to see whether or not further testing is needed
  3.  Review of recent patient care – Chart Stimulated Recall on Five Charts done by a same-specialty board certified physician
  4.   Multi-source feedback from co-workers and colleagues

If there are concerns raised by the initial evaluation, additional testing and screening can be done (additional fees apply).  Examples:

A physical exam reveals a tremor in a surgeon – a detailed occupational medicine evaluation, or direct observation of skills in a simulation center can be performed.

Cognitive screening reveals possible impairment – a full neuropsychological evaluation is done.

Review of recent patient care – if errors or omissions are found, or if there are significant concerns about fund of knowledge, hypothesis testing, or patient safety, a more comprehensive physician assessment could be done.

If testing confirms that a physician has limitations that pose a threat to patient safety, KSTAR will work with the physician to help find the best path for the physician to mitigate that risk.  In some cases, this could mean adjusting scope of practice, working less, having supervision or monitoring, or in some cases, retirement.  When a physician is found to have an impairment that endangers patient safety, the physician will have to self-report this to their medical board or physician health program.

Process of the Evaluation

  1. This evaluation takes approximately 1 day to perform. Evaluation teams are located at the Round Rock and College Station, Texas.
  2. The physical examination is comprehensive, takes about one hour, and does not include labs, imaging, or other studies. If these are determined to be needed, KSTAR will work with the physician to help identify and facilitate follow-up in a manner that is sensitive to his or her needs.
  3. The cognitive screening is administered by computer.
  4. The Chart Stimulated Recall portion of the examination involves having the physician submit five charts of patient care. A same-specialty physician will review the charts ahead of time and discuss them with the physician. The reviewing physician will then rate the physician’s performance and write a brief synopsis.
  5. Multi-source feedback is obtained using confidential questionnaires that are completed by co-workers and colleagues and returned directly to KSTAR.
  6. The data generated from the evaluation components will be submitted to an evaluation committee at KSTAR. A final report with recommendations will then be given to the physician. If the evaluation was required by a facility or other third party, a copy can also be sent there.
  7. The report will be released within three weeks of the evaluation and would include any recommendations.

If you would like additional information regarding this type of evaluation, please contact us at www.rchitexas.org or by calling us at (979) 436-0390.