Physician turnover rates appear to track with conditions in the economy and housing markets, according to the 6th annual Physician Retention Survey from the American Medical Group Association and Cejka Search. Is it as simple case of physician supply and demand?

It appears that a worsening economy and drop in home sales may cause physicians to delay retirement and relocation.

This may be cause for concern in 2011 as improvements in the marketplace may mean medical groups should prepare for greater turnover. Medical groups are now encouraged to offer flexible work options to retain physicians at all stages of their careers.  The consensus from the medical groups responding to the 2010 survey indicates:

51% said they do not encourage physicians to delay their retirement.

90.6% provide flexible hour incentives.

62.5% offer no call incentives.

65.6% offer reduced call incentives.

Medical groups that provide flexible practice models supporting physicians’ lifestyle choices throughout their careers seem to be successfully hiring and retaining physicians. In the 2010 survey, 13% of male physicians practiced part-time and 36% of females practiced part-time, compared with 7% and 29%, respectively, in 2005.

What other motivational factors might medical groups consider to retain some of their top physicians as the economy improves?