A record number of physicians are nearing retirement age. According to a 2022 report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), nearly half (46.7%) of practicing physicians were already over the age of 55 in 2021. This means more than two of every five active physicians will reach age 65 within the next ten years. Combine this data with what we know about increasing physician burnout, and it’s not overreacting to see the impending wave of retirements as a serious threat to an industry already stretched thin.
The question is not if but when the healthcare industry will feel the full force of the wave. So, just as cities under threat of a hurricane have an emergency plan in place, so too, must healthcare administrators have plans to protect their organizations (and the patients they serve) from a potential tidal wave of retirements… but do they have such a plan?
In an effort to investigate the current plans of both physicians and healthcare administrators, Jackson Physician Search launched a Physician Retirement Survey in November/December 2022. We wanted to find out not only when physicians plan to retire, but also why they will retire and how they hope to make the transition. We asked administrators similar questions with respect to the physicians in their organizations.
The results show a disconnect between what physicians are planning and what administrators expect.
- Physicians think notice of six months is more than enough time, while administrators would prefer 1-3 years.
- Most physicians don’t want to fully retire but plan to work part-time or contract somewhere else. Administrators are more likely to believe that when retiring physicians leave, they are leaving medicine for good.
- Physicians rank burnout as the top reason driving their retirement plans, but administrators believe it’s age.
- Economic concerns have caused four in 10 physicians to delay retirement.
Much of what we learned confirmed our expectations about how and why physicians retire; the when, of course, remains hypothetical for many and is therefore more difficult to ascertain. However, there is evidence to suggest that, regardless of age, many physicians will retire as soon as they are financially able, so healthcare organizations must have a plan in place.
In this report, we’ll first determine if indeed the volume of physician retirements is already increasing. We will then explore the when, why, and how of physician retirement as well as what organizations can do to ease the impact of what is sure to come.
Download the White Paper to Get More Insight Into Physician Retirements as well as Strategies to Prepare Your Organization for the Upcoming Wave of Retirements.
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 across the nation.
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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