Healthcare Resignations Accelerated During COVID Pandemic

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According to Dr. Paul DeChant (Vital-Work Life, 2023) the healthcare industry is no stranger to the phenomenon of The Great Resignation. Since 2020 alone, 18 percent of healthcare workers have quit their jobs, with many surveys indicating 20-50 percent of physicians and nurses stating they’re ready to quit in the next year.

Several reasons accounted for the exodus of many physicians. The COVID pandemic was a major force behind many physicians and other healthcare providers leaving their positions. Burnout, lack of support by the administration, extremely sick patients, many of which suffered from moribund health conditions to name a few.

Data published in 2020 by the Association of American Colleges estimates that the U.S. could see a “a shortage of 54,100 to 139, 000 physicians by 2033 (Time USA, LLC, 2023).”

Physician shortages in rural American where one in five persons live are becoming “Medical Deserts.” According to Rural Health Information Hub, approximately “46,082,000 citizens lived in rural America, or 13.9% (Rural Health Information Hub, 2021).”

Medical facilities are often far apart, sometimes as far as 60 to 80 miles. In most rural areas, the facilities provide basic services. Medical conditions that require extensive surgeries or trauma are life flighted to a larger more comprehensive Medical facility.

Fixing the physician shortage requires a multi-pronged approach which includes: increasing funding for residency programs, increasing the use of physician extenders to maximize a physician’s reach, and embracing new and innovative technologies to increase medical coverage, especially in rural and underserved areas.

Dr. Keith D. Brady

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