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Putting Away the Stethoscope for Good? Toward a New Perspective on Physician Retirement Core

This study is an attempt to understand how aging affects physicians' work, including staying in or leaving clinical practice. It also examines both retirement intentions and behaviours, without assuming that they are the same phenomenon.

Canadian physicians tend to quit work later than average workers. Instead of dropping out of the medical workforce abruptly and completely at age 65, many older physicians choose to remain in clinical practice, though they do not necessarily maintain the same activity level or do the same kind of work as when they were younger.

Depending on what "older physicians" refers to and where the full-time equivalent (FTE) threshold is set, different proportions of older physicians could be considered minimally active. For 2007, if the FTE threshold was set at 33% or less of previous workload, the proportion of physicians considered minimally active would range from 7.3% of physicians age 55 and older to 11.9% of physicians 65 and older. If the FTE threshold was set at 15% or less of previous workload, the range of those considered minimally active would be 3.3% to 4.9% for physicians age 55 and older and those age 65 and older, respectively.

The study includes:

  • A review of pertinent literature concerning physician retirement in general; and
  • Three interrelated sets of empirical analysis: estimating the extent of physician retirement; estimating the number of older physicians who are minimally active and could, therefore, be considered retired from a health workforce planning perspective; and exploring an alternative approach to understanding how aging affects physicians' clinical practice.

Available Reports

Putting Away the Stethoscope for Good? Toward a New Perspective on Physician Retirement
Language Media Type Price A/B Details Action
English Electronic Free View Download
French Electronic Free View Download

Contact

physicians@cihi.ca

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