SOURCE: Ericksson Physician Search
ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - July 30, 2012) - An Atlanta-based physician search firm has seen a new trend emerge concerning why doctors choose to relocate. Ericksson Physician Search teamed with the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) earlier this year to conduct their inaugural study of "Top Motivators for Physician Relocation."
Ericksson's study may be able to help hospitals and healthcare systems understand why doctors move. The study asked relocating doctors to indicate the main contributing factors in their decision to move from 4 primary categories and 34 subcategories. "For years, we've seen physicians move for reasons that fall within a core group of categories including geographic preference, personal life balance, quality of practice setting, and income," states Rod Arnold, CEO of Ericksson Physician Search. Physicians appeared to follow relatively predictable patterns, moving to be closer to their family or to reside in a more desirable climate.
The newer trend revealed by the study shows that physicians are increasingly citing financial security as the primary motivator in their relocation. A full 57 percent of survey respondents listed income as one of the number one factors in considering new employment opportunities. "In an uncertain economic climate, physicians are seeking the same thing you or I would: stability," says Arnold.
Another prominent category driving relocation is "Significant Personal Life Changes," influencing 42 percent of respondents. This category includes spousal job loss, divorce, and personal or family hardship. "Many physicians have told us that these situations have been direct results of the economic downturn," states Arnold.
The study's findings indicate the slow economy may actually be easing America's physician shortage, if only temporarily. With one-third of America's physicians being age 55 and over, there is a need to keep these experienced doctors practicing as long as possible. "Many physicians we speak with who are nearing retirement age claim they're only still practicing because their retirement plans suffered during the recession," says Arnold. "They intend to embrace retirement once they rebuild their financial reserves."
Ericksson's findings are able to give insight into what drives a physician's search for a new job. Healthcare providers and hospitals may be able to use this to make physician jobs more appealing and keep their current staff satisfied.
The "Top Motivators for Physician Relocation" survey and results can be found on the Ericksson Physician Search Website.