Physician retirement outlook: 10 things to know

A new report on physician retirement from Jackson Physician Search outlines data from the hundreds of administrators and physicians across the country who participated in their Physician Retirement Survey.

The report, titled Preparing for the Wave of Physician Retirements, includes data from 387 physicians and 60 administrators collected during the months of November and December 2022. 

Here are 10 things to note from the report:

  1. Physicians rank burnout as the number one reason driving retirement plans; administrators believe it is age.
  1. Nearly 60 percent of Generation X physicians plan to retire by age 60.
  1. Only 12 percent of physicians intend to set a retirement date and commit to full retirement. However, administrators are more likely to believe that most physicians will slow work within their later years, and ultimately choose to retire from medicine permanently.
  1. Administrators and physicians disagree on retirement notice; physicians indicate four to six months as ideal, while administrators prefer one to three years to allow for more recruitment time.
  1. Economic concerns have driven delays in retirement plans among four in 10 physicians.
  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused nearly a quarter of physicians to plan for early retirement, but 40 percent of those no longer intend to do so.
  1. Approximately one in five administrators report an increase in physician retirement from pre-COVID-19 projections.
  1. Of physicians aged 51-60, 12 percent currently work part-time.
  1. Part-time options were cited as a reason to delay retirement by 58 percent of participants. Flexible schedules were cited by 52 percent, and reducing or eliminating on-call requirements by 42 percent.
  1. Only 26 percent of respondents reported their organization having a formal, written succession plan for physician retirements.

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