Physician turnover rate increased 43% in 8 years

The annual physician turnover rate increased by 43 percent between 2010 and 2018, according to recent data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Physician turnover was defined as physicians moving to a new practice or leaving the practice of medicine and experienced the greatest increase from 2010 to 2014 when it rose from 5.3 to 7.2 percent.

The report also found that younger physicians were more likely to move to a new practice, with 5.6 percent of physicians between 35 and 44 years old moving in a given year. Meanwhile, only 2.6 percent of physicians 65 years old or older did the same.

Physicians in rural areas were also more likely to move practices, with a 5.1 percent turnover rate compared to a 3.9 percent rate from their urban counterparts. They were also more likely to leave medicine all together at a 3.3 percent rate, compared to 2.7 percent of urban physicians.

Among specialties, hospitalists had the highest annual moving and leaving rate at 5.4 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, obstetrician-gynecologists had the lowest moving rate at 3.5 percent, and medical specialists had the lowest leaving rate at 2 percent.

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