Of those physicians who said they plan to retire or leave medicine this year, 56% cited economic factors and 51% cited health reform as among the major factors. Of those physicians who said they are strongly considering leaving medicine in 2012, 55% or 97 physicians, were under age 55.
"That's what we were most surprised about; that the majority of the folks that were considering leaving medicine or planning to leave medicine this year were under 55 years old. The key takeaway is that they're not retiring; they're quitting," Sorrell says.
The online survey was conducted between April 19-27, before the U.S. Supreme Court's affirmation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While most physicians in the survey panned the ACA, they often did so for different reasons.
"They are upset on both ends of the political spectrum," Sorrell says. "There is a certain amount of doctors who feel like the ACA went way too far with the government stepping in between them and their patients. And the other group says we didn't go far enough. We need a single-payer system in this country if we are going to address the challenges of medicine. You see both contingents and they are equally displeased. It's implement and improve versus repeal and replace."