AMGA chief sees ‘major demographic shift’

The average turnover rate among physicians employed by medical groups increased slightly to 6.7% in 2006, while turnover among the growing population of female doctors dropped by nearly 1%, according to an annual survey by Cejka Search, a St. Louis-based search firm.

Turnover rates among males increased to 6.8% from 5.9% in 2005, while the percentage among women fell from 7.5% in 2005 to 6.6% last year, the survey said. Now in its third year, the survey included respondents from 92 groups associated with the Alexandria, Va.-based American Medical Group Association.

This year’s survey included nearly 17,000 physicians and showed a sizable increase in the number of female respondents, which jumped to 35% last year from 28% in the previous year. The total turnover rate of 6.7% for all doctors was slightly higher than the 6.4% rate cited in the 2005 retention survey.

“A major demographic shift is taking place in medicine,” said Don Fisher, AMGA’s president and chief executive officer. “The current physician workforce is still dominated by male physicians age 42 and older. But this is changing. Women comprise half of the new medical school graduates for the first time in history. These trends will influence the way that medical groups recruit and retain physicians throughout their career cycles.”

The results of the survey, released in advance to Modern Healthcare, are being announced at the AMGA’s annual conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. The report will be available March 5 at -- by Michael Romano of Modern Healthcare's Daily Dose (

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