Between 2000 and 2014, the mobility rate of younger primary care physicians was approximately double that of older physicians. According to a study of rural primary care physicians' geographic mobility patterns, biennial turnover of younger physicians was around 17 percent, compared to 9 percent for older physicians, with little difference between rural and metropolitan physicians. Non-retention of physicians was significantly worse in rural counties without a hospital (6 percent), counties with a smaller population, and those with decreased physician supply (7 percent, per provider-to-population ratio/1000 step). The study, based on AMA Masterfile data, found no association with county-level economic or demographic measures. Female physicians of urban origin were more likely to leave rural practice. The study authors call on rural health workforce planners and policymakers to be cognizant of these key factors in guiding retention policies and support for vulnerable rural communities.
Mobility of Us Rural Primary Care Physicians During 2000-2014
Matthew R. McGrail, PhD, et al, Monash University, School of Rural Health, Churchill, VIC Australia