How to survive the imminent wave of physician retirement heading your way

How do you plan to ride the “massive” wave of physician retirement that is coming soon, according to industry analysts and experts?

Are you going to retire along with the departing physicians, work to replace them, or have you even figured out a plan yet?

MedScape published a report this month exploring the numerous factors contributing to the anticipated exodus of physicians who are ready to hang up their stethoscopes and enjoy retirement.

Did you know that plastic surgery is among the medical specialties with the highest percentage of 55+ physicians (54%)?

Additionally, other outlets have been predicting the retirement wave long before now, such as this report published in 2022 from The Advisory Board. And the AAMC has been projecting substantial physician shortages for many years across a variety of US regions and specialties.

Some of the contributing factors include:

  • Aging physician workforce
  • Younger doctors fast-tracking retirement for a better quality of life – retiring in their 50s or early 60s instead of mid- to late 60s, for example.
  • Increased burnout due to the pandemic and other industry factors requiring more administrative tasks than patient care.

The Advisory Board provides 3 tactics for preparing for the wave, one of which is to “double down on physician recruitment,” particularly in specialties that are more challenging to recruit, and/or those with a higher percentage of older physicians, such as plastic surgery.

Additionally, you may have to anticipate openings sooner (talk to physicians about their retirement plans) and begin recruiting processes earlier as well. If you find that you have one or more physicians retiring soon (within 1-3 years) it may also be advantageous to engage the assistance of an outside resource that can assist with the challenges created by physician retirement.

“As specialists in surgical recruitment, PSG can provide guidance and expertise to help practices plan strategically for physician retirement and assist with succession planning or backfilling physician openings,” said Steve Look, CEO of Paradigm Search Group. 

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