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Bigger role seen for physician assistants, nurse practitioners
According to the 2011 Physician Retention Survey by the American Medical Group Association and Cejka Search, more than two-thirds (67%) of respondents reported the involvement of advanced practitioners in their groups has grown "somewhat" or "significantly" in the past five years. This response increases to 75% when looking ahead toward the next five years.

The respondents also indicated that they identified 21% and 13% growth in new positions, respectively, for physician assistants and nurse practitioners in their groups in the past twelve months.

Hiring primary care physicians and advanced practice providers is a priority for most of the responding groups. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the responding groups reported that they would hire more or significantly more primary care physicians in the next 12 months, than they did in the prior year.

Other Key Findings:
  • Survey respondents reported AMGA Groups average turnover of 5.9% in 2011 compared with 6.1% in 2010 and average turnover by non-AMGA members was reported at 6.3%.

  • In 2011, turnover in the first two years after a physician joins a practice was 14%, followed by 11% for the next two years, and more than 8% between years three and five. Once a physician has stayed at a practice for five years, the physician is more likely to stay.

  • The 2010 survey identified that turnover can cost as much as $1 million per physician when all recruitment, start-up and lost revenue cost are totaled. The 2011 survey took it one step further, finding the average interview cost per vacancy is $31,090.

  • Flexible work options are key to physician retention: 75% of groups offer a four-day full-time work week.

  • According to the survey, male physicians approaching retirement and female physicians entering the workforce are the most likely groups to look for part-time and flexible scheduling options, as they are the two fastest growing populations in the physician workforce.