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Does your doctor’s age matter?

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Does your doctor’s age matter?

"If I had $100 for every time I walked into a patient’s room, introduced myself as the doctor, and was immediately asked, 'Hey, how old are you?' I might be…
December 21, 2020

Does your doctor’s age matter?

“If I had $100 for every time I walked into a patient’s room, introduced myself as the doctor, and was immediately asked, ‘Hey, how old are you?’ I might be able to retire right now — at the age of 28. Of course, I am exaggerating, and yet this question echoes for my baby-faced colleagues and me constantly.

Whether it’s simple curiosity or blatant reverse-ageism, I find this question erodes trust before it is built. I haven’t yet found an agreeable way to bypass it. I usually just state my age before quickly moving on. Rarely, some congratulate me on my accomplishments given ‘such a young age.’ But these felicitations are like writing in the sand, which quickly wash away in the waves of emotions I begin to feel the moment they ask me that question.”

Sneha Shah is an internal medicine chief resident who blogs at Insights on Residency Training, a part of NEJM Journal Watch.

She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “Does your doctor’s age matter?” (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/does-your-doctors-age-matter.html)

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