Older Physicians Reluctant To Retire According To New Study

Lots of late-career physicians are reluctant to retire, a new survey found.

Brings new perspective to the expression that age is only a number.

The national survey by healthcare staffing company CompHealth found that many older physicians are hesitant to retire and many still want to continue working when they do retire. That’s good news in the face of a predicted nationwide physician shortage.

The company commissioned a survey that included more than 400 physicians age 50 and older in various specialties, including primary care, psychiatry, emergency medicine, OB/GYN and surgery, and asked them about retirement. With the average physician age increasing—38% of doctors are reaching retirement age—the study found the following:

  • Many physicians want to work in retirement
  • Slightly more than half of respondents (51%) said working occasionally or part-time would be part of their ideal retirement plans.
  • Surgical specialists are most reluctant to retire.
  • They are the least excited about the idea of retirement (32%) and the least emotionally prepared (40%).
  • The biggest reason doctors don’t want to retire is that they enjoy the practice of medicine (58%). Other reasons to prolong their time in the workforce included a loss of the social interaction from working (56%) and the desire to maintain their existing lifestyle (50%). Some 91% of respondents said they still feel they can provide a useful service to patients.

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