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Physicians Leaving Practice Early Find New Avenues for Professional Fulfillment

The increasing trend of physicians retiring early or leaving due to burnout has opened up a discussion on alternative career paths. A recent poll by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) indicates that 40% of medical groups noted a physician retired early or left due to burnout in 2022, up from 33% in 2021. Although some of the reasons behind this trend may be concerning, the silver lining is that there are numerous alternative career paths available for these physicians to continue making meaningful contributions.

HCN Medical Memo
For physicians who are considering early retirement or have already stepped back from traditional clinical practice, the professional landscape is rich with opportunities. Whether it’s a role in state government, investigative work, entrepreneurial ventures, chart reviewing, or even writing, there are multiple avenues to continue leveraging your medical expertise. Organizations like the AMA offer valuable resources to help you navigate this next chapter, ensuring that your skills continue to contribute to the healthcare landscape.

Key Points:
  • 40% of medical groups reported a physician retiring early or leaving due to burnout in 2022, a rise from 33% in 2021, according to an MGMA poll.
  • Frustration with the poor usability of Electronic Health Records (EHR) is cited as a contributing factor to early retirement.
  • State Government Roles: Retired physicians can find opportunities in various state departments, such as the California Correctional Health Care Services and the State Athletic Commission.
  • Investigative Careers: Medical investigation offers a new avenue, with roles supported by the Health Quality Investigation Unit (HQIU) in California.
  • Entrepreneurial Endeavors: The AMA’s Physician Innovation Network (PIN) connects physicians with entrepreneurs to improve public health and healthcare solutions.
  • Physician Chart Reviewer: This role involves reviewing patient charts and medical records, offering flexibility and remote work options.
  • Author: Retirement could be an opportunity to explore literary pursuits, following in the footsteps of Anton Chekhov and William Somerset Maugham.

“Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other.”
– Anton Chekhov

Additional Points:
  • Comprehensive benefits are often part of state government roles, making them attractive options for retired physicians.
  • The HQIU was created in 2014 and is responsible for investigations for the Medical Board of California and related healing arts boards.
  • The AMA emphasizes that connections made through PIN can lead to enhancements in public health and foster healthcare equity.

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