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Hospitals, Medical Groups Start To Worry About Skills Of Older Doctors

Every weekday at the crack of dawn and usually on weekends too, Dr. Paul Speckart backs his dark blue 1986 Volvo down his Mission Hills driveway, carefully avoiding the gateposts.

He drives 18 blocks to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest to examine his patients treated there, and writes orders for their drugs or tests.

Then he goes to the Bankers Hill practice he shares with his four partners to see an additional 20 or so patients. Then at 6 p.m., he’s back in the Volvo to make hospital rounds again, lucky to make it home by 8:30. On Saturdays he often makes house calls and visits nursing homes.

Speckart turned 75 in late June. It’s an age when many doctors might retire. But after nearly four decades of this routine, the internist and endocrine specialist has no plan to call it quits.