While the world saw tremendous gains in the fight against COVID-19 in the past year, challenges faced by the physician workforce — amid continuing staffing shortages — remain just as intense, pushing their levels of stress and burnout to new highs and worsening a turnover epidemic.
Before the pandemic and its myriad changes to healthcare, it was commonplace to see 6% to 7% of the physician workforce — approximately 50,000 doctors — change jobs or location. But with the rising toll of stress during the pandemic and staffing shortages, burnout is fueling physician turnover. MGMA Stat polling from August 2022 finds that four in 10 medical practices (40%) had a physician resign or retire early in the past year due to burnout.
To continue the connections we’ve forged with patients and communities, healthcare administrators must recognize the extent of this crisis, its sources, and proven strategies for remediation. “In this new normal, the demand for a shrinking supply of physicians will persist, making it crucial for practices to limit the damage via concerted efforts to reduce burnout and to strive for a positive work-life balance,” said Tony Stajduhar, president of Jackson Physician Search.
The results of the Physician Burnout, Engagement, and Retention Survey, commissioned by Jackson Physician Search in partnership with Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), point to an immediate need for healthcare leaders to redouble their efforts to address physician burnout after nearly three years of pandemic pressure compounded by staffing shortages and other challenges.
Jackson Physician Search and MGMA surveyed physicians and administrators to understand their unique views on physician issues following the COVID-19 pandemic and recent staffing challenges. This survey sought to understand how healthcare organizations are trying to influence better physician recruitment, engagement, retention and mitigation of burnout, and how the clinical and administrative sides perceive these efforts.
This survey follows the 2021 Jackson Physician Search whitepaper, Getting Ahead of Physician Turnover in Medical Practices, with questions for physicians and administrators, such as:
- What is the current level of physician burnout?
- What is causing physician burnout?
- What is the current level of physician engagement?
- What is the current level of physician satisfaction with employers?
- What matters most in physician retention?
- What drives physician satisfaction with employers?
The survey was fielded in August 2022. Physicians and healthcare administrators were invited to complete an approximately five-minute survey. After qualitative interviews with administrators and physicians, key themes emerged:
- Administrators acknowledge worsening levels of burnout in physicians, but physicians often don’t perceive enough is being done to mitigate that burnout or engage them.
- Genuine, two-way communication between management/administration and physicians remains a top desire among physicians.
- Administrators vary their approaches to retention and engagement, often with informal efforts rather than structured, strategic programs.
- Organizations with physician retention programs found them effective in engaging doctors and preventing turnover.
This report presents the full findings from hundreds of healthcare leaders, shared in the hopes of amplifying the understanding between physicians and administrative leaders of the burnout crisis, the need for better engagement, and effective retention strategies that resuscitate the spirit and energy that brought so many hardworking clinicians into the field of healthcare.
Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Physician Burnout, Engagement, and Retention
For more information about how your healthcare organization can use the results of this survey to improve your physician recruitment and retention strategy, contact Jackson Physician Search today. Our team is made up of healthcare industry professionals who have spent decades recruiting physicians, physician leaders, and advanced practice providers for healthcare organizations coast-to-coast.
About Jackson Physician Search
Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician leaders and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies.
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