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Take extra care to make a colleague's patients feel welcome

As discussed in the January PPS, baby boomer physicians are increasingly cutting back their workloads as they approach retirement. Although part-time physicians still offer your practice tremendous value, it's often up to the remaining physicians to pick up the slack. Redistributing a retired or semiretired doctor's patients can be challenging for all parties involved. For starters, physicians seldom give the practice enough notice of their slowdown or departure to plan for a smooth transition, says Neil Baum, MD, a urologist in New Orleans. "It is usually done by the seat of the pants, and then they stamp out forest fires and crises as they occur. As a result, instead of getting 100% of the existing patients staying within the practice, there's a loss sometimes of 50%-60%."

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