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Part-Time Practice Trends Intensify Physician Shortage According to AMGA and Cejka Search 2007 Physician Retention Survey

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 General News J E 4
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ST. LOUIS, March 10 The imbalance in the supply and demandfor physicians will continue to intensify as the U.S. population continues togrow faster than the physician workforce. Added pressure will come with theincreasing number of physicians practicing medicine on a part-time basis, asreported the 2007 Retention Survey from the American Medical Group Association(AMGA) and Cejka Search, a nationally recognized physician and healthcareexecutive search organization.

In the recently released AMGA/Cejka Search survey, responding groupsreported an increase in the percentage of physicians practicing part-time from13 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2007. Males increased from 5 percent to 7percent; females increased from 8 percent to 12 percent. The age group withthe greatest number of physicians practicing part-time is between 35 and 39;the gender split among part-time physicians in that age group is 15 percentmale and 85 percent female.

"Retirement and graduation rates tell only part of the story. Our surveytook a closer look inside medical groups, and the result appears to be a risein the number of physicians, among both genders, practicing part-time," saidCarol Westfall, president of Cejka Search. "When recruiting to retain youngphysicians, organizations need to be aware that these candidates placesignificant weight on their ability to balance time in practice with otherinterests and commitments. As physicians approach retirement, they also arelooking for ways to achieve balance."

"The trends reported by AMGA members are accompanied by their insightsabout how they are implementing retention strategies," said Donald W. Fisher,Ph.D., AMGA's president and chief executive officer. "They also reportclinical models that utilize hospitalists, physician assistants and nursepractitioners to continue to improve access and quality care for theirpatients in a time of shortage."

"It is important to attract and keep physicians by fostering a culturewhere communication is open, expectations are clear and mentoring isprovided," said Joseph Scopelliti, M.D., president of The Guthrie Clinic inSayre, Penn., who jointly presented the survey findings with Westfall at theAMGA annual conference.

Since 1980, the US population has increased more than 33 percent, whilethe number of new doctors graduating from medical school has stayed constant,creating shortages in primary care and other specialties. The changing profileof the typical American medical group will be influenced to a great extent bythe retirement of predominantly male, Baby Boomer physicians and the emergenceof the Millennial generation workforce, which is equally comprised of male andfemale physicians.

"This survey brings the experience and insights of leading medical groupsthroughout the country together," said Westfall. "Using these industry trendsand proven strategies, healthcare leaders can make informed decisions thatwill prepare their organizations to overcome the challenges ahead."

Methodology

The Cejka Search and AMGA 2006 Physician Retention Survey was distributedin December 2007 to 300 AMGA member medical groups. All survey responses (43)were compiled for this survey (a 15 percent response rate). These 43responding groups collectively represent a population comprised of 14,705physicians of whom 2,604 (19 percent) were practicing part-time, as defined bythe responding group.

To obtain a copy of the Cejka Search and AMGA 2007 Physician RetentionSurvey, please visit http://www.cejkasearch.com.

About American Medical Group Association

AMGA advocates for multispecialty medical groups and other organizedsystems of care and for the patients served by these systems by continuouslystriving to improve patient care through innovation, information sharing,benchmarking, the creation of sound public policy, and leadership development.AM
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