Table of Contents:
More Groups Tackling Physician Turnover and Focusing on
Recent survey results indicate that physician turnover is a growing
concern among U.S. medical groups and that targeted retention
initiatives are on the rise. In comparing its 2005 membership
survey results to those from 2004, the American Medical Group
Association, along with Cejka Search, highlighted the following
- Nearly half (47%) of respondents reported being highly
concerned about physician turnover, with more than a third (36%)
placing it among the top 3 critical issues facing their group
- The number of respondents indicating they track physiccian
turnover increased by 23% (from 67% in 2004 to 90% in 2005).
- The number of respondents reporting they have designated
retention initiatives increased by 10% (from 48% in 2004 to 58% in
Current Retention Plans Inadequate
While research among medical group managers highlights increased
focus on physician retention, new LocumTenens.com survey results
indicate physicians aren't recognizing it.
Asked how important they thought a physician retention plan was
to physician satisfaction, 84% of more than 2,500 responding
physicians said it was "very important" (51%) or "important" (33%).
However, when asked whether retention plans specifically for
physicians were in place in their organizations, only 10% said
"yes." Forty percent said "no" and 24% said they didn't know.
Of the physicians who reported their organizations had retention
plans in place, more than half (56%) said their current plans did
not meet their needs adequately. When asked to identify current
versus desired retention plan benefits from a 21-item list,
relatively small percentages of physicians identified any one
Physicians Insights on Retention
More than 800 of these physicians took the time to include
comments with their survey responses. The qualitative survey
results indicate that what many physicians want, and feel they are
missing, is a greater sense of connection-to their patients, to
hospital decision-makers, to co-workers and to the greater
community. The large categories of responses were:
- Feeling a sense of control in their practices
- Feeling respected by administration and valued as people,
employees and contributors
- Enjoying better work-life balance.
Main themes emerging from the comments included desires for
greater involvement in decision-making about how their practices
are run, greater control over work hours, increased flexibility to
help them better manage work with other parts of their lives, and
compensation plans that better recognize individual contributions
to improved patient care and profitability.
Does Your Employer's Physician Retention Plan Meet Your
According to survey results from the American Medical Group
Association and Cejka Search, roughly 58% of U.S. medical groups
have targeted physician retention initiatives in place. However,
LocumTenens.com survey results indicate that only 10% of physicians
perceive that such plans exist. Among that 10% of respondents, more
than half (56%) said existing physician retention plans did not
meet their needs adequately.
Consider comments like these:
- "Physician retention would be most positively affected by
inclusion of physicians in administrative decisions that affect
their practice and patients and by provision of resources that
enable them to perform their activities in clinical care, research
and teaching more effectively…"
- "Physician retention for me refers to opportunities for career
growth and development, not simply financial incentives. That means
opportunities to participate in program planning, management,
outcomes initiatives, research and advocacy (to name a few)."
- "I think more and more physicians feel 'apart from' rather than
'a part of' medical practices."
- "Flexibility in work hours, profit sharing and feedback would
all help. Currently I receive no feedback and have no more stake in
the company than an hourly employee. Motivation to perform well is
enhanced by having a stake in the operation. Proper performance
- "When I worked for [ommitted], nobody ever came around to say,
'Hello. How are things going?' Nobody told us when to come to work
and nobody told us when to go home. We could work 24 hours a day, 7
days a week and no one would ever know the difference. Employees
like to know they are appreciated."
- "With the increasing pressure in the medical field to focus on
numbers and productivity, it is very important to try to remember
the person behind the job…"
- "It basically boils down to how you treat people."
-2006 LocumTenens.com physician survey respondents