[White Paper] On the Verge of a Physician Turnover Epidemic: Physician Retention Survey Results


President of Jackson Physician Search, Tony Stajduhar, reviews the results of our recent Physician Retention Survey, which also provides insight into physician engagement, physician burnout, as well as how COVID-19 is affecting physicians’ career plans now and into the future.

The great challenge for healthcare administrators is to develop an effective physician retention program that not only reduces physician turnover, but also increases physician engagement, mitigates burnout, and contributes to a positive workplace culture.

The results of the Physician Retention Survey commissioned by Jackson Physician Search suggest that healthcare administrators are attempting to address these dimensions, but a large percentage of physicians have deemed their efforts as mostly ineffective or poorly communicated.

Additionally, COVID-19’s impact on front-line healthcare staff will unfold for years to come, but it appears to have already had an effect on physicians’ career plans. Responses from 400 practicing physicians indicate that a surprisingly large percentage are considering leaving the practice of medicine entirely, planning to retire early, or leaving to work for another employer.



Jackson Physician Search surveyed physicians and administrators to understand their views on physician retention. We set out to learn which programs were currently in place, physicians’ opinions about those programs, and how they influence physician turnover, long-term physician retention, physician engagement, and physician burnout.

We also wanted to learn the impact COVID-19 is having on physicians as it relates to their career decisions now and into the future.

Physician Retention

  • Do physicians acknowledge a physician retention program exists? How do they rate its effectiveness?
  • Are there formal orientation programs to help physicians transition into new positions?
  • How prevalent are physician recognition programs?

Physician Engagement

  • How engaged are physicians with their current employer?
  • Is two-way communication between physicians and administrators effective?
  • Do physicians have access to leadership training to advance their careers?

Physician Burnout

  • Are administrators pioneering programs to dial back physician burnout?
  • Will physicians stay with their current employer much longer?

The survey was fielded between October 2020 and November 2020. Physicians and administrators were invited to complete a brief 10 question survey. We received completed surveys from more than 485 healthcare professionals, including 400 actively practicing physicians and 86 administrators.

It comes as no surprise that COVID-19 has taken an extreme toll on physicians who were already reporting symptoms of burnout at alarming rates. After interpreting the results of the survey, a primary theme that emerged is physicians are prepared to make important decisions about their future as they seek a better quality of life and a more fulfilling career. With vaccines now being rolled out, mitigating physician burnout is critical to the long-term health and well-being of physicians, their patients, and the healthcare organizations for which they work.

As you review this white paper, you’ll find the specific questions asked, the responses received, and practical takeaways to guide you in developing or improving your physician retention program. You’ll also uncover where physicians and administrators are well-aligned, as well as key areas where improvement could prove beneficial.

Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Physician Retention, Physician Engagement, and Physician Burnout, as well as How COVID-19 is Affecting Their Future Career Plans. 


For more information about how your healthcare organization can use the results of this survey to improve your physician 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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