One-Third of Doctors to Leave Medicine Within Next Decade

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Even Young Physicians Turning In White Coats, According to Survey by Jackson Healthcare

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A new, nationwide survey of U.S. physicians shows that 34 percent say they will leave the practice of medicine in the next decade.

In 2012 alone, sixteen percent of physicians are going part-time, retiring or leaving medicine or considering retiring or leaving medicine in 2012, according to the survey conducted by Jackson Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest healthcare staffing companies.

“Physicians are retiring in large numbers just as baby boomers are starting to turn 65,” said Richard L. Jackson, chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare. “That creates a real healthcare access problem. Many are demoralized and weighing their options.”

The primary reason doctors cite are economic and political: medical malpractice and overhead costs closely followed by not wanting to practice medicine in the era of health reform. Fifty-six percent cited economic factors for retiring or leaving medicine in 2012, while 51 percent cited health reform.

The survey was conducted prior to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding much of the Affordable Care Act.

“For doctors, there is little reward in this era of high costs, high regulation,” Jackson said.

Younger doctors also said they were considering leaving medicine this year. Of those who said they would leave the practice or are strongly considering so by the end of 2012, 55 percent were under the age of 55. Those doctors also reported that the cost of running a practice was too high and that they didn’t want to practice medicine in the era of health reform.

“The future of medicine is not what it used to be,” Jackson said.

Specialists showing the greatest propensity to leave the profession in the next decade, according to the survey:

  • Oncologists and hematologists – 57 percent of these specialists said they would retire by 2022
  • Otolaryngologists – 49 percent of these ear, nose and throat specialists said they would retire in the next decade
  • General Surgeons – 49 percent of these physicians said they would retire by 2022
  • Cardiologists – 45 percent of these doctors said they would retire in the next decade
  • Urologists – 42 percent of these physicians said they would retire by 2022

This survey was conducted online from April 19 to April 27, 2012. Invitations for the survey were emailed to physicians who have been placed by Jackson Healthcare staffing companies and those who have not. Respondents were self-selected with 2,218 respondents completing the survey. The error range for this survey at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 2.1 percent.

To download the full report of this survey, visit:

For more information, contact Keith Jennings at kjennings(at)jacksonhealthcare(dot)com or 678-690-7942

Jackson Healthcare is the fourth largest healthcare staffing company in the U.S. and serves more than 4 million patients in over 1,300 hospitals. The company also provides technology solutions that enable total hospital efficiency.     Jackson Healthcare has earned national media coverage by providing innovative solutions to healthcare problems, in addition to championing local, national and international charitable work. It has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for five consecutive years.

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Keith Jennings
Jackson Healthcare LLC
(678) 690-7942
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