If you are one of the more than 30% of physicians who will be 65 years of age or older by 2020, you have probably already thought a lot about retirement. If you have some years ahead of you before retirement age, it is still a good time to think about what your retirement might look like.
Jackson Physician Search surveyed both practicing physicians and healthcare administrators to gain an understanding of how physicians can prepare for the transition to retirement and how healthcare organizations can plan for the potential vacancies.
According to the almost 600 physician respondents, the drivers for retirement included lifestyle issues (44%), financial stability (23%), with nearly 20% citing burnout and frustration with increased administrative responsibilities detracting from a focus on patient care. Let’s look at other factors to consider when retirement is a part of your conversation.
Is full-retirement your plan?
While more than 40% of administrators responded that when one of their physicians was planning to retire, it was going to be a full retirement. In contrast, only 17% of physician respondents planned to fully retire, with 28% planning to work full- or part-time somewhere else. Physicians have options available to them, with many organizations happy to provide flexible work schedules, telehealth opportunities, and other unique job opportunities for physicians who still want to practice medicine, but on their own terms.
Do you have a planned retirement location?
For the physician who wants to spend a portion of their retirement years fishing, hunting, or hiking, or maybe sailing and spending time on the water, retiring to a favorite location doesn’t mean you have to be fully retired. Most rural and less-populated communities will jump at the chance to have an experienced physician working a few hours a week at the local critical care hospital or FQHC.
Who should initiate the retirement conversation?
According to the Jackson Physician Search survey, the majority of physician respondents acknowledged a responsibility to initiate the retirement conversation with administration, but almost 52% expressed their discomfort with discussing retirement. An important fact to know for those physicians who are uncomfortable initiating the retirement conversation is that 74% of administrators are open to the discussion.
What is a fair lead-time for retirement notification?
Your retirement is a personal matter that should obviously be discussed and decided by yourself and your loved ones. However, with the current physician shortage and the lengthy time needed to fill physician vacancies, the matter of retirement notification lead time has become a critical topic. Almost 50% of administrators cited an ideal advance notification of one to three years, while 40% of physicians felt six months was adequate. Ideally, a retirement notification should be somewhere in between those two extremes. In today’s high-demand climate, physician vacancies can take from six months to more than a year to fill. The key is for there to be an open dialogue between the physician and administration to allow for adequate planning and recruitment time.
Physicians who are beginning to reach that stage in their career where retirement is closer to reality should plan their conversation with administration. No organization wants to be caught off guard with an unexpected vacancy. And, administrator survey respondents clearly stated that they welcome the opportunity to discuss retirement options with their physician staff.
If you are finding yourself nearing that retirement discussion, it may be time to consider speaking with the industry professionals at Jackson Physician Search. Our team has decades of healthcare industry experience, and we can assist you with whatever your retirement plans may include. From helping you plan the retirement discussion with your current organization to finding you the perfect part-time opportunity in your retirement locality. Jackson Physician Search wants to help you transition to your perfect retirement.
For more information, contact Jackson Physician Search today.