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1 in 3 Physicians Plans to Quit Within 10 Years

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 27, 2012

Blaming low compensation and the hassles of healthcare reform, 34% of physicians say they plan to leave the practice of medicine over the next decade, according to a new national survey.

The online survey of 2,218 physicians by Atlanta-based healthcare staffing recruiters Jackson Healthcare also found that 16% of the respondents said they will, or are strongly considering , retiring, leaving medicine, or going part-time in 2012.

Sheri Sorrell, market research manager for Jackson Healthcare, says many of the essay responses from responding physicians were quite lengthy and emotional, especially as they related their reactions to the sweeping changes in medicine that will be brought on by healthcare reform and market demands.

"Some doctors wrote books for us in here. A lot of them are very concerned about the depersonalization and corporatization of medicine," Sorrell says. "It used to be the family doctor treated your family for years basing the decisions on what is best for you and your family. Whereas an employed doctor not only has to take into account not only what is best for you and your family but also what the organization will allow him to do and what the organization's guidelines for treating you are."

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28 comments on "1 in 3 Physicians Plans to Quit Within 10 Years"


Chris (3/7/2013 at 11:49 AM)
to Mike 21 : Mike, can I ask you how much school and training have you completed to get a job at the health care company ? How much have you studied and paid in tuition fees, compared to a doctor ? How exactly would your company increase profits, so that you can get a raise ? The only way for a health company to increase profits is by cutting reimbursement to doctors and limiting coverage to patients. Am I wrong ?

Elissa G (8/22/2012 at 1:16 AM)
We also can see patient burnout when patients are spending hours waiting to see a referred doctor and getting an intern. Then getting referrals to specialists, then referred for physical therapy where you are in a factory learning to pull a rubberband and squat twice and repeat. Getting better can be frustrating for clients who have multiple medical issues and limited financial means and ambulatory difficulty. Multiple requests for repeated mri's and more tests that patients don't even understand and then we have the medications. The long list of pills that have side effects and then more tests. When do the physicians have the time to coordinate treatment call the specialists and read reports? Getting to treat the whole person is what doctors go into medicine for and what about the psychosocial component. Do they have the time to assess the stressors the fear of having a chronic illness? painkillers are like tic tacs these days and sometimes the moments that a healer can give to explain all options and patients choices are good medicine as well as a smile and a calm bedside manner and common sense. How about the clients who have side effects from antidepressants that trigger tardive dyskinesia who then go for Parkinson's disease treatment. The patients who take fibromyalgia meds or antipsychotics and then gain weight and swell ger referred for breast reduction or gastric bypass surgery? Physicians that are not concierge physicians have a hard time and managing symptoms and complete assessments need time. I salute the physician who cares and can maintain balance in their lives and continue to provide well rounded care and follow up to sick people who can be really difficult due to fear and pain.

Mike21 (8/6/2012 at 4:11 PM)
Where are these physicians going to work? The USA has the highest paid physicians in the world. There are only so many positions in research or working for a health plan. So if they are going to retire early, then they must be paid enough! I work for a healthcare company and we have not had a raise in three years. They should quit complaining and do what the rest of us do. Be happy you have a fulfilling job!!