Atlas is About to Shrug

Six in 10 physicians (62 percent) said it is likely many of their colleagues will retire earlier than planned in the next 1 to 3 years, a survey from Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found. That perception is uniform across age, gender, and specialty, it said.

Another 55 percent of surveyed doctors believe others will scale back hours because of the way medicine is changing, but the survey didn’t elaborate greatly on how it was changing. Three-quarters think the best and brightest may not consider a career in medicine, although that is an increase from the 2011 survey result of 69 percent.

Hat tip goes to David Pittman.

Comments (12)

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  1. Benedict Popplewell says:

    Scary post. Especially “That perception is uniform across age, gender, and specialty, it said.” That does not bode well for the future of medicine. Deloitte is a respected firm but I would still like to see the survey replicated.

  2. Desai says:

    Why are doctors so unhappy? Aren’t they in this profession to help people, well beyond the appeal of money. And doesn’t the ACA allow more patients to have access to health care.

  3. Patel says:

    I doubt they will retire unless they really have to. I think the only ones who will retire are the ones who are nearing the retirement age, and the ACA is just another motivation, this could be because ACA changes the health care sector so much that many probably can’t keep pace with the changes.

  4. CJ says:

    The way medicine is changing is only driving our best and most competent professionals away. I will openly blame this on all these crazy regulations that are driving everyone insane…At some point people will start giving up and simply take the easy way out, which is retire early.

  5. AaronFields says:

    “but the survey didn’t elaborate greatly on how it was changing”…do they really to ellaborate on it? How about insurance companies are not reimbursing physicians the entirety of the fees they have earned? physicians are struggling to see patients just because they don’t fit their requirements regarding health insurance, and health regulations won’t let them see it and earn some sort of compensation from it. This government is limiting the opportunities for growth in the medical field, if it’s not obvious yet.

  6. Jason says:

    This is not surprising at all. if I worked in the medical field, and saw how much the current health policies are limiting physicians from performing their jobs in an effective manner that allows patients to receive a good quality of care, and pays doctors for their time and effort…then I wouldn’t want to be part of it much longer either.

  7. Ceasar Rahns says:


    Regardless of whether you are working to help people, and are not interested in the reward that you get from your performance, you still need some sort of incentive to get up every morning and go do your job. Physicians these days don’t have that anymore. Policies have made it almost impossible for doctors to do their jobs without fighting with their patient’s insurance providers when it comes to getting reimbursed.
    Realistically speaking, would you enjoy working under those conditions? I applaude you if you would. But most people in their right mind would want out of that situation.

  8. Sandeep says:

    I think they need to do a similar survey in the next 3 years and see if any of this hold true, and how many of these individual actually retired or have changed the way they provide their services.

  9. Jack says:

    Welcome to the world of uncertainty. The study cites growing concerns amongst doctors. They think their incomes will continue to decline and nearly 40 percent blame ACA.

    This sorta stuff happens to markets too. GG congress.

  10. Harley says:

    I love the normative debate for labor supply elasticity. People seem to have this weighted view of altruism.

    The barriers to entry for doctors are outrageous. If all they see is uncertainty and pay reductions, they’ll choose another profession.

  11. John Fembup says:

    I think the Deloitte survey was not designed to address some larger questions that arise from the new burdens ACA is placing on medical professionals.

    ‘frinstance, in the future, will fewer of our top-talent young people choose medicine as a career? In the future, will those who do choose medicine be less motivated than their predecessors?

    It may take years for the full impact of today’s changes in the profession and practice of medicine, to materialize. Meanwhile, there will be no shortage of experts saying “see, it all worked!”

    In the end, those experts better be right.

    Unfortunately, there has been little evidence so far to give confidence that they are.

  12. Floccina says:

    Weren’t they saying the same things 10/20/30 years ago?