Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

The Great Clinician Resignation

Photo by Markus Frieauff

The great resignation has taken a grip of the nation with the pandemic having changed our priorities in life. About 5 million US workers have quit their jobs. In healthcare, it is estimated that about 20% left.

There was a recent study related to COVID-related stress and work intentions in a sample of US healthcare workers which surveyed clinical and nonclinical workers in about 30 states in both rural and urban settings starting April 2020 and found that 1/3 of workers planned to reduce work hours in the next 12 monthsa and about 1 of 5 physicians and 2 of 5 nurses were likley to leave their current practice within the next 2 years.

So, why are healthcare providers quitting such a noble profession? There are alot of factors that are fueling this “Great Clinician Resgination”. Overall, there is a decrease in reimbursement, rent is up, gas prices are up, staff wages are up(that is if you are lucky enough to find someone with the staff shortage and lucritive nursing traveling jobs out there) and physicians are burned out! Physicican satisfaction and burn out were already issues before the start of the pandemic but the pandemic pushed things to the brink.

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to the situation. A supportive environment, improved work load, along with some recognition and respect for the work healthcare workers do on a daily basis would be nice but likely not enough. On an individual level, working on preventing burnout and stress by other outlets besides work such as music, exercise, cooking, and actually getting some time off would go a long way….