Why physicians are leaving the field

Physicians continue to exit the field despite the looming physician shortage.

The shortage of physicians in the U.S. could reach 124,000 by 2034, according to Physician Thrive's 2023 compensation report. This could have detrimental effects on healthcare as a lack of providers could translate to a strain on healthcare organizations trying to provide care to patients. 

One reason physicians are leaving the field is because they are retiring. According to Medscape's "Physicians Eye Retirement 2023 Report," of the physicians considering retirement, 28% plan to retire in their mid to late 60s.

Burnout is a key factor in why physicians are retiring. According to the Medscape report, 74% of physicians want to retire at the age they've targeted due to burnout from medicine.

Some physicians plan to transition out of medicine completely and enter into nonclinical careers. According to Medscape's "Physicians and Nonclinical Careers Report 2023," 26% of physicians are considering leaving their primary roles as physicians to pivot to nonclinical careers.

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