3 tips to buck troubling physician turnover trends

Now that the economy and housing market are beginning to recover, more physicians than ever are feeling comfortable to move on from positions in which they're unhappy, suggest results released yesterday from the 2012 Physician Retention Survey from physician recruiting organization Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

In 2012, surveyed medical groups reported a turnover rate of 6.8 percent--the highest in the survey's history, beating out even pre-recession turnover rates, according to a statement from Cejka.

For practices, this trend not only makes for an uphill battle in preparing for the increased demands brought on by health reform but also threatens office finances at a time when many medical practices are still struggling to survive, according to Physicians Practice.

The loss of just one full-time physician and then recruiting a new one over a one-year time period adds up to approximately $1.2 million, Cejka estimates.

However, Physicians Practice offered the following steps practices can take to avert these threats:

  • Remember physicians who are new to a practice are your biggest flight risk, statistically, so put extra effort to ensure physicians are comfortable and get the resources they need during those critical early weeks and months.
  • Develop a clear and thorough orientation and practice development plan for the new physician before he or she begins work at the practice. Also keep in mind that, according to the survey, groups that provide a year-long orientation process experienced lower turnover rates for new physicians between two and three years with the practice than other groups.
  • Pair new physicians with more established physician mentors. Survey respondents who said their group assigned a mentor reported a lower overall turnover rate than other groups.

To learn more:
- read the article from Physicians Practice
- see the statement from Cejka Search

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