A new, nationwide survey of U.S. physicians shows that 42% of urologists say they will retire by 2022.
Overall, 34% of physicians say they will leave the practice of medicine in the next decade. In 2012 alone, 16% percent of physicians are going part-time, retiring, or leaving medicine, or considering retiring or leaving medicine, according to the survey conducted by Jackson Healthcare, a health care staffing company in Atlanta.
“Physicians are retiring in large numbers just as baby boomers are starting to turn 65,” said Richard L. Jackson, of Jackson Healthcare. “That creates a real health care access problem. Many are demoralized and weighing their options.”
The primary reason physicians cite are economic and political: medical malpractice and overhead costs closely followed by not wanting to practice medicine in the era of health care reform. Fifty-six percent cited economic factors for retiring or leaving medicine in 2012, while 51% cited health reform. The survey was conducted prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
Not all of the physicians who were considering leaving medicine this year were older. Of those who said they would leave the practice or are strongly considering so by the end of 2012, 55% were under the age of 55 years. Those physicians 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.
Fifty-seven percent of oncologists and hematologists and 49% of general surgeons said they would retire by 2022.