The high turnover was not unexpected. It was stated in the news release announcing last year's survey's results that “medical groups do not expect relief in turnover in the coming year.”
It was also noted that the 2012 rate tracked with improved housing and stock prices. Previously depressed home and investment values had kept doctors from either moving or retiring. The recession had led to only a 5.9% turnover rate in 2009. It was more than 6.4% in 2005, the first year the AMGA and Cejka began collecting retention data, and 6.5% in 2011.
While the turnover rate for physician assistants and nurse practitioners was higher than the rate for doctors, it also was lower than the previous two years. The survey found that advanced practice clinicians had a turnover rate of 9.4% in 2013 compared to 2012 and 2011 when the rate was roughly 11.6%.
Donald Fisher, AMGA's president since 1980, noted in the release that the surveys “provide evidence that recruitment and retention continue to be major challenges for health systems.”
The improving economy may present a different challenge for Fisher, however. He may need to find a new response when people ask him about retirement plans.
Since 2009, Fisher, 68, who was No. 59 on Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list, has joked that he can't retire, because his 401(k) was now a 101(k). He may need to update that line.
Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks