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1 in 3 Physicians Plans to Quit Within 10 Years

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 27, 2012

Of those physicians who said they plan to retire or leave medicine this year, 56% cited economic factors and 51% cited health reform as among the major factors. Of those physicians who said they are strongly considering leaving medicine in 2012, 55% or 97 physicians, were under age 55.

"That's what we were most surprised about; that the majority of the folks that were considering leaving medicine or planning to leave medicine this year were under 55 years old. The key takeaway is that they're not retiring; they're quitting," Sorrell says.

The online survey was conducted between April 19-27, before the U.S. Supreme Court's affirmation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While most physicians in the survey panned the ACA, they often did so for different reasons.

"They are upset on both ends of the political spectrum," Sorrell says. "There is a certain amount of doctors who feel like the ACA went way too far with the government stepping in between them and their patients. And the other group says we didn't go far enough. We need a single-payer system in this country if we are going to address the challenges of medicine. You see both contingents and they are equally displeased. It's implement and improve versus repeal and replace."

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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!!