Physician Turnover Increases; Competition, Pace of Turnover and Retirements Expected to Increasee

Medical groups reported an average turnover rate of 6.8 percent in 2012, according to the 8th annual Physician Retention Survey.

Likewise, there was turnover of 11.5 percent among advanced practice clinicians (APCs), which includes physician assistants and nurse practitioners, found the survey by Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

The physician turnover rate in 2012 is up from 6.5 percent in 2011. It was significantly higher than the lowest rate of 5.9 percent reported in 2009 at the depth of the recession, the survey found.

“The survey findings provide evidence that recruitment and retention continue to be major challenges for health systems,” Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA president and chief executive officer said.

The increased turnover “tracks with improvements in the housing market and recovery in stock prices and marks a shift from physicians delaying relocation and retirement due to depressed home and investment portfolio values,” survey researchers said.

A concern is that medical groups do not expect relief in turnover in the coming year.  Competition to hire and retain top performing physicians “will intensify as retirement accelerates among an aging physician workforce and health reform increases the demand for primary care,” according to a report on the survey findings.

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