Most US Physicians Not Keen on Retirement, Study Shows

Old Doctor on annual physical examinationA majority of doctors in the U.S. still want to work even when they reach beyond 60 years old, as the average age for physicians becomes higher, according to a CompHealth study.

The common retirement age in the country is 63 years old, yet the study’s respondents plan to leave the workforce permanently by 68 years old. The respondents comprised several doctors working in different fields, including pediatrics, internal medicine and surgery.

Doctor’s Orders

The 2016 United States Census showed that 30% of doctors between 60 years old and above still work in the industry, compared to 26% in 2010. The statistics aligned with the findings from CompHealth’s study, which listed the reasons for doctors not particularly keen on retirement.

According to the survey, the top reason for not wanting to retire soon involves enjoyment in practicing medicine for 58% of respondents. The social aspects of their profession ranked next with 56% of participants, while half of the respondents cited a desire to maintain their existing lifestyle as a reason.

Retirement Reservations

While most doctors intend to work until the age of 68, they also have concerns about doing so. Being competitive topped the list of their reservations for staying in the healthcare sector. Their declining state of personal health also served as one factor.

Still, even as most doctors remain hesitant on retirement, several hospitals in the country find it hard to find qualified specialists. In other fields of practice such as psychiatry, locums staffing such as Interim Physicians served as a solution for those that need interim professionals, either because of short staffing or higher demand.

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It is quite understandable that doctors do not look forward to leaving their careers, since they spent a huge part of their lives in caring for other people. The idea of suddenly having more free time may come as a shock.