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5 Reasons Physicians Are Leaving Their Jobs

If your healthcare facility is experiencing losses from the ranks of your clinical teams, you are not alone. While the rest of the nation has been experiencing historically low unemployment, highly skilled workers in healthcare are even more in demand than almost any other job category. This leaves healthcare organizations vulnerable as they seek to retain their top clinical leaders. Today, physicians understand they have options, and this is particularly true as a provider shortage becomes more pronounced.

But it’s not just a competitive job market attracting your physicians into a job jump. Healthcare is experiencing a tremendous wave of change that is forcing some physicians to retire early or even seek less stressful careers. This article will help you understand the current job market and the top five reasons why physicians are leaving their jobs.

1. Increasing Burnout

This year’s national poll by Medscape shows that 42% of physicians say they are burning or burnt out. Other studies put the number higher at about one-half of all American doctors reporting burnout symptoms.

To increase the bad news, healthcare organizations can do little to counteract some of the systemic issues plaguing the field of medicine today. Clinicians site an exorbitant amount of time spent on paperwork and computer inputting as part of the reason for the decision to walk away from the job or perhaps the field entirely. Last year The Washington Post reported that 50% of doctors say they log in to the facility EHR after hours to complete patient documentation.

2. Higher Income and Better Benefits

Community health organizations are aware of the inherent difficulties in attracting top clinical talent. These entities compete with national health systems and even small independent hospitals to attract providers. But attracting physicians and advanced practitioners is one issue; retaining top clinical providers in the face of increasing competition, is perhaps even more challenging. Investing Doc reports that most new doctors leave their first job within the first few years. But with hungry recruiters clamoring for new talent, and willing to sweeten deals with better pay or other perks, this trend is not expected to go away any time soon.

3. Uncomfortable Work Environment

Culture matters at any job and healthcare providers are affected just like anyone else. If a physician doesn’t feel as if they are a fit within the organization, they may look around for other opportunities. Doctors are people, and when people feel as if their needs aren’t being met, they are more likely to look for another job opportunity. Physicians that feel they don’t fit in or that their voices aren’t being heard by executives are a potential flight risk now or in the future.

4. Work/Life Balance

With doctors already struggling with burnout, a failure to achieve work/life balance is just fuel to that fire. While clinicians are heavily invested in their careers, every doctor needs a balance between their clinical demands and the simple joy of living their lives. If your clinical teams are overly stressed and working long hours, it makes sense that some may consider a role less tasking that will provide them with work/life balance.

5. Lack of Challenges

Doctors may also leave your organization for the exact opposite reason; they simply may not be challenged in their current role. While too much excitement, stress, and pressure can burn out your physicians, a lack of stimulation can leave them feeling bored, unengaged, underutilized and restless. If a doctor has started their career in a rural setting, they may long for some of the amenities in more urban locations. While some physicians may enjoy a quieter lifestyle, others may find it too slow a pace.

If your organization is experiencing a clinical staffing shortage, talk to UHC Solutions. We can help you find, attract, and retain the best in clinical talent.


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Unlock the Latest Salary Trends in Community Healthcare

Download UHC Solutions’ Salary Guide eBook for 2024 salary ranges, key data, insights, and more.