Career and Life Planning Guidebook for Medical Residents

R E A D : Transition Plan Research shows that most physicians will not stay with the first practice they join out of training. As you read this, I’m fairly certain that you are thinking “what? NO. That will not be me!” Logic has it that since you are planning and prepared to spend considerable time and effort into finding that “perfect” job, you can’t fathom why you would not settle into your happily- ever- after practice. But like many things in medicine, there is data that often laughs in the face of the best laid plans. A physician retention study conducted by Cejka Searchand theAmericanMedicalGroupAssociation reported that 46% of those physicians who leave a practice are most likely to do so within the FIRST THREE YEARS of employment. For trainees who seek employment after fellowship without much planning, a similar outcome is inevitable. How, you think, is this possible? According to the survey results, a lack of cultural fit with the practice and/or the communitywas adriving force in turnover. This data is consistent with past reports, stating a “poor cultural fit with the practice” is the single most frequently mentioned reason for voluntary separation (51%). An additional factor that influenced turnover was “relocated to find a better community fit,” which was mentioned 20% of the time. Family reasons that required the physician to relocate were also strong contributors to turnover, with “relocating to be closer to own or spouse’s family” in 42% of respondents and “spouse’s job required relocation” given by 22% of those polled. This reveals that moving for family reasons is a significant cause for physicians leaving a practice. As discussed above, creating a transition timeline that allows for the vetting of all of these often-intangible factors, such as cultural fit of the practice, the adequacy of the community to serve the needs of the family, and access to the family’s social support, is instrumental. Therewill be elements that are often outside of one’s control; however, investing the time to learn about those components will be time well spent. For example, if a spouse’s job is the reason for a relocation, the information gathered from this process will readily identify the next community where the family’s needs can be met. Designing Your Life and Career in Medicine 19 WWW.PHYSICIANCAREERPLANNING.COM