Oct. 24, 2022 — The Great Resignation hit the healthcare industry, too, according to a new report.
An estimated 333,942 healthcare providers left their jobs in 2021, many for pandemic-related causes such as burnout, long hours, heavy patient loads, and personal health concerns, said the report published by the commercial intelligence company Definitive Healthcare. Also, many workers retired.
An estimated 117,000 physicians left their jobs, including 15,000 in internal medicine, 13,015 in family practice, and 10,874 in clinical psychology. Also leaving their jobs were 53,295 nurse practitioners and 22,704 physician assistants.
“Since 2020, one in five healthcare workers have quit their jobs, and surveys suggest that up to 47% of healthcare workers plan to leave their positions by 2025,” the report said. “The U.S. is suffering from a significant healthcare worker shortage, and early data shows that this is going to have near-term and long-term effects on both patient care and hospital and physician performance.”
Age is also a factor, the report said. 
The average age in chiropractic is 61, nursing and nurse practitioner 57, surgery 55, internal medicine 52, and psychiatry 52. Citing the Association of American Medical College, the report said about 45% of doctors are over 55 and more than 40% of active physicians will be 64 or older in the next 10 years. 
“A wave of retirement can be especially detrimental to the workers left behind,” the report said.
The loss of talented workers is a danger for the healthcare industry, Todd Bellemare, Definitive Healthcare senior vice president of strategic solutions, told Modern Healthcare.
“There is the current worry of being able to backfill as physicians retire or move out of the workforce,” he said. “The ability for people to get into the healthcare profession, how do we make that easier?”
Many hospitals faced staffing shortages because workers are leaving the field. The report said critical staffing shortages were reported in 28.99% of South Carolina hospitals, 20.26% of Georgia hospitals, 20% of Vermont and Delaware hospitals, and 19.44% of Michigan hospitals.
The report was based on an analysis of data from Definitive Healthcare’s ClaimsMx and PhysicianView products, including numbers of providers billing each year.
Definitive Healthcare. “Addressing the healthcare staffing shortage”
Modern Healthcare: “Physicians left their jobs by the hundreds of thousands in 2021: report”
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