[White Paper] Getting Ahead of Physician Turnover in Medical Practices Survey Results


Jackson Physician Search and MGMA recently surveyed physicians and administrators to gain insight into physician recruitment, engagement, retention, and succession planning within medical practices.

A physician workforce pushed like never before in 2020 is still feeling intense strain as the COVID-19 pandemic continues through 2021, and the effects in turnover can be severe for healthcare organizations still on the road to recovery.

The results of the Physician Recruitment, Engagement, Retention and Succession Planning Survey, commissioned by Jackson Physician Search in partnership with Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), point to a need for a healthy relationship between administrative leaders and physicians to strengthen their bonds within the organization to survive pandemic pressures, burnout and other evolving challenges.

Sustainable, high-quality care delivery requires the clinical commitment to excellence that physicians strive for each day, as well as the business savvy of healthcare administrators to ensure financial resilience in pursuit of those clinical goals. The current epidemic of physician turnover largely can be attributed to a growing chasm between these two sides of the equation, but the quantitative and qualitative research done earlier this year points to key areas in which clinical and administrative leaders in healthcare can share a common vision and foster long-lasting professional relationships in service of patients and the community.



Jackson Physician Search surveyed physicians and administrators to understand their unique views on physician issues. This survey sought to understand what efforts exist within healthcare organizations to influence better physician recruitment, engagement, retention and succession planning, and how the clinical and administrative sides perceive these efforts.

This survey follows an earlier Jackson Physician Search whitepaper, On the Verge of a Physician Turnover Epidemic: Physician Retention Survey Results.

Physician Engagement and Retention

  • 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?

Succession Planning

  • What is the current approach to physician succession planning?
  • What matters most in physician succession planning?

Physician Recruitment

  • How do physicians and administrators rate physician recruitment efforts?
  • Where do organizations excel and/or struggle in physician recruitment?

The survey was fielded in June and July 2021. Physicians and healthcare administrators were invited to complete an approximately six-minute survey. Of more than 600 administrators and 220 physicians who participated, 430 administrators and 181 physicians completed the survey, respectively.

After qualitative interviews with several administrators and physicians, key themes emerged from the quantitative data and interviews:

  • Physicians highly value two-way communication with management/administration.
  • Administrators acknowledge high levels of burnout in physicians, but physicians often don’t perceive enough being done to mitigate that burnout or engage them.
  • Administrators vary their approaches to succession planning, from informal and infrequent talks with physicians all the way to structured strategic planning for the coming years.
  • Programs to mentor younger physicians and contingency plans for sudden physician departures are less likely to be part of a practice’s succession planning.

This whitepaper presents the full findings from hundreds of frontline healthcare leaders and clear takeaways about how administrators can work with physicians to build healthy working relationships that keep physicians engaged and communicative of their professional plans, allowing administrators to have proper time to implement effective succession plans that lead to recruiting the right physicians to sustain their practices for long-term success.

Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Physician Recruitment, Engagement, Retention and Succession Planning. 


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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