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The Economy Plus Flexibility Keep Physicians in Practice

Medical Groups Are Favorably Managing Turnover According to Cejka Search and AMGA Survey

ST LOUIS, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- One silver lining to the current economic crisis is that physicians appear to be putting off retirement, for now. However, with the physician shortage intensifying and an eye toward the future, medical groups are sharpening their competitive edge in finding and keeping physicians through flexibility, incentives and retention initiatives.

These and other findings as reported in the 2008 Physician Retention Survey from the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) and Cejka Search, demonstrate that medical groups across America are getting better at anticipating their turnover rates and actively addressing the causes of turnover.

Top findings include:

  • Survey respondents reported a 6.1% turnover rate in 2008, compared to 6.7% from the 2006 Retention Survey
  • Turnover was 5.9% among full-time male physicians and 6.6% among female physicians
  • Fit and family were top reasons for turnover: 50% cited "poor cultural fit with the practice" and 32% indicated "relocation to be closer to family" as the most frequently mentioned reasons for leaving the practice voluntarily
  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) believed physicians are delaying retirement due to the economy

Flexibility can keep physicians working

  • Nearly half (48%) agreed that part-time options encourage physicians to stay while meeting family or personal needs, and 49% found that part-time options enable physicians to delay retirement
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents offer pre-retirement physicians reduced hours, 56% allow for no call responsibility and 20% allow for specialization with certain patient groups

Incentives aid physician retention in the critical, early years of practice

  • Of those physicians leaving the practice, 46% of physicians separate within the first three years. However, incentives such as educational loan forgiveness and retention bonuses can reduce that to 33% and 29%, respectively

Medical Groups are better at anticipating turnover...

  • 67% of respondents found the rate of turnover in their practice was "close to expected" and 73% found their turnover rate was "acceptable," as compared with 2006 Retention Survey results where 58% said it was "acceptable"

...And actively addressing the causes of turnover

  • Two-thirds (66%) of respondents conduct regular physician job satisfaction surveys and use the data to: monitor trend information (67%), create action plans (58%) and provide feedback for departmental use (52%)
  • Almost as many (65%) assign a mentor to new physicians, and of these, nearly all (96%) were likely to continue
  • Nearly half (48%) of respondents employ a defined retention program, and of these, 61% have a formalized program with written plans, goals and strategies

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants (advanced practitioners) have a significant role

  • The majority of primary care physicians (85%), surgical specialists (84%) and medical specialists (80%) are receptive to working with advanced practitioners
  • When it comes to sharing call with physicians, 43% of respondents reported physician assistants share call and 33% cited nurse practitioners share call
  • Nearly all (96%) respondents said their medical group will either maintain (50%) or increase (46%) the proportion of advanced practitioners to physicians in their organizations

The 2008 survey is available to non-survey-participating AMGA members for $150 for the electronic version and $175 for the printed edition. The non-member cost is $300 and $350, respectively.

For more information and to purchase a copy of the survey in print or electronic format, visit:


The Cejka Search and AMGA 2008 Physician Retention Survey was distributed electronically via email to the entire 342 medical group membership of the AMGA from October to December 2008. All 50 survey responses were compiled, representing a 14.6% survey response rate. These responding groups collectively represent a population of 9,985 physicians.

About American Medical Group Association (AMGA)

The AMGA represents medical groups and organized systems of care, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious integrated healthcare delivery systems. More than 95,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for approximately 95 million patients (more than one in four Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.

For more information, visit

About Cejka Search

Cejka Search,, 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.

For more information visit, contact Melanie Bernds (Black Twig Communications), 314-255-2340, or Nancy Burns (Cejka Search), 314-236-4461.

SOURCE Cejka Search
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