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Part-Time Practice Trends Intensify Physician Shortage According to AMGA and Cejka Search 2007 Physician Retention Survey
Date:3/10/2008

ST. LOUIS, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The imbalance in the supply and demand for physicians will continue to intensify as the U.S. population continues to grow faster than the physician workforce. Added pressure will come with the increasing number of physicians practicing medicine on a part-time basis, as reported the 2007 Retention Survey from the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) and Cejka Search, a nationally recognized physician and healthcare executive search organization.

In the recently released AMGA/Cejka Search survey, responding groups reported an increase in the percentage of physicians practicing part-time from 13 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2007. Males increased from 5 percent to 7 percent; females increased from 8 percent to 12 percent. The age group with the 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 percent male and 85 percent female.

"Retirement and graduation rates tell only part of the story. Our survey took a closer look inside medical groups, and the result appears to be a rise in the number of physicians, among both genders, practicing part-time," said Carol Westfall, president of Cejka Search. "When recruiting to retain young physicians, organizations need to be aware that these candidates place significant weight on their ability to balance time in practice with other interests and commitments. As physicians approach retirement, they also are looking for ways to achieve balance."

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

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

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

Key Findings

-- Of the physicians practicing part-time, 83 percent practice more than

half of a workweek and 45 percent practice at least three-quarters of

a workweek.

-- "Family responsibilities" was the reason given by 69 percent of female

physicians and 11 percent of male physicians who practiced part-time.

The predominant reasons given by males were "unrelated professional

or personal pursuits" (31 percent) and "preparing for retirement"

(29 percent).

-- Of respondents, 86 percent reported that they hired hospitalists or

engaged with a hospitalist organization in the past year. The

likelihood of the group doing so increased with the size of the group

and if it was owned by a hospital or an integrated delivery system.

-- The use of physician assistants and nurse practitioners was reported

by 79 percent of respondents and was most predominant among

medium-sized groups and those owned by integrated delivery systems.

-- Ninety-five percent of respondents believe that mentoring increases

retention and 56 percent assign a mentor to newly recruited

physicians.

-- Groups who assign mentors are strongly committed to mentoring as a

retention strategy, with 83 percent somewhat or very likely to

continue the mentor program and 79 percent somewhat or very likely to

expand it.

-- The use of mentors is expected to become more widespread, with 62

percent of respondents who reported that they do not assign mentors

reporting that they are somewhat or very likely to start.

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

Methodology

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

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

About American Medical Group Association

AMGA advocates for multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care and for the patients served by these systems by continuously striving to improve patient care through innovation, information sharing, benchmarking, the creation of sound public policy, and leadership development. AMGA's vision is to make multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care the preferred delivery system for coordinated, patient-centered, efficient, quality medical care in America. Members of AMGA partner with an organization comprised of the best and brightest in health care, the most innovative leaders from the premier integrated systems dedicated to delivering the highest quality care to their patients. The medical group members of AMGA deliver health care to more than 50 million patients in the United States and play active roles in raising the standard of care in their communities and nationwide. AMGA members are on the vanguard of treatment and disease management and offer coordinated care that enhances the quality of life for their patient populations and advances health care and medical science. AMGA is a conduit to information, networking, education, and operational tools and a champion for medical groups in the national arena.

For more information, visit http://www.amga.org.

About Cejka Search

Cejka Search, http://www.cejkasearch.com, is a nationally recognized executive and physician search organization providing services exclusively to the healthcare industry for more than 25 years. Partnering with organizations in pursuit of the nation's best healthcare talent, Cejka Search completes assignments across all levels of the healthcare continuum. Cejka Search is a Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. (Nasdaq: CCRN) company, a leading provider of healthcare staffing services in the United States.


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SOURCE Cejka Search
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