Could Retiring Physicians Solve the Primary Care Shortage?

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media , September 9, 2013

A program to retrain retiring specialists for part-time careers in adult primary care could bolster care teams in established physicians practices, community health centers, and retail health clinics.

Is there such a thing as too much golf?

The majority (60%) of physicians say they would retire today if they could, [PDF] according to The Physicians Foundation.

But more than half have more realistic plans to cut back on patients, work part-time, switch to concierge medicine, or retire.

The survey found that primary care physicians are generally more positive about their profession than specialists, even though they are facing some of the same stressors, and are paid on average 30% less.

See Also: How the Medical Home May Save Primary Care

What if retiring specialists could make a small leap and instead of leaving medicine completely, take on the challenge of primary care?

That's the question that stood out to Leonard Glass, MD, a retired plastic surgeon in his late seventies, when he was reading about the primary care physician shortage in the newspaper one day. Glass wondered if someone like him could go back to primary care to be a part of the solution.

"Why can't we dip into the tens of thousands of retired physicians out there who are still capable to do productive work and utilize the Internet and software to retrain them for work in primary care?" says Glass.

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2 comments on "Could Retiring Physicians Solve the Primary Care Shortage?"

Sasha (9/13/2013 at 6:51 AM)
Thanks for sharing.

Neha Marfatia (9/11/2013 at 9:49 PM)
I am a 39 yo mother and physician. I stopped working approximately 7 years ago to raise my young children. My youngest is now school age and I would like to work part time as a primary care physician. (I trained as an internist and did one year of family medicine before that). Do you think I should and could do this program? It sounds very intriguing to me. I live in San Francisco.




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