Despite a long-held line of thinking that part-time and flexible physician work options posed too many cultural and logistical challenges for practices, growing numbers of groups are finding ways to accommodate requests, according to the American Medical Group Association's (AMGA) and Cejka Search 2011 Physician Retention Survey.
With costly physician turnover around 6 percent, large groups in particular have responded more proactively to physicians' demand for part-time work, sought most often by early career females and males nearing or postponing retirement. According to the Cejka/AMGA survey, 20 percent of male and 23 percent of female physicians in practices of 500 or more doctors worked part time in 2011, compared to 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively, in practices with three to 50 physicians.
While smaller groups have been slower to embrace the trend, recruiters say that practices of all sizes are feeling the pressure to be more flexible, American Medical News reported. As a result, 75 percent of groups in 2011 offered a full-time four-day workweek, and 30 percent allowed job-sharing.
"Practices need to keep an open mind if they have a good candidate interested," Steve Marsh, managing partner of The Medicus Firm, a physician search firm with offices in Dallas and Atlanta, told amednews. "Try to find a way to make it work."
The 2011 survey also revealed a shift in the type of physician requesting part-time work, noted Medscape Medical News, as the percentage of part-time male physicians more than tripled--from 7 percent to 22 percent--from 2005 to 2011. Meanwhile, the part-time rate for women rose more slowly, from 29 percent to 44 percent.