Blog Post

The Physician Succession Imperative

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In Brief: With nearly a third of the nation’s physicians approaching retirement age, healthcare organizations need to be proactive about succession planning.

With an expected physician shortage looming, healthcare organizations need to make succession planning a top priority. Often considered a dreaded exercise because of the sensitivity of broaching the subject with older physicians, too many organizations wait until physicians approach retirement age to begin talking about succession.

But succession planning involves more than just finding a replacement for a physician who’s ready to retire. It entails a comprehensive, long-term view that accounts for gradual changes in physicians’ practice style, the needs of the medical community, and evolving payment models.

Alleviating the physician deficit will require an industry-wide effort to train the right number of practitioners in right specialties, while making it attractive for physicians to practice in the areas where there’s need. In other words, there’s no quick or easy remedy.

But even if organizations can’t sidestep the physician shortage, they can prepare for it. And medical communities that make succession planning a regular part of their labor cycle will be better positioned to implement healthcare changes and avoid the jarring effects of unanticipated gaps in coverage.

This infographic examines the facts and figures behind the physician shortage and offers organizations a roadmap for addressing their succession planning needs.

Jennifer Moody shares her thoughts on the physician shortage and strategies for succession planning in these interviews. To learn more about medical staff planning, click here.