What is the extent of physician turnover within the field of otolaryngology?
Explore This IssueFebruary 2023
The annual turnover rate of otolaryngology practice positions between 2014 and 2021 ranged between 6% and 10%, with higher rates among early-stage otolaryngologists and solo practitioners.
BACKGROUND: Physician turnover can create care interruptions and result in lowered patient satisfaction, decreased quality of care, and worse outcomes. Currently, little is known about the extent of physician turnover within otolaryngology.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional analysis.
SETTING: Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Mass.
SYNOPSIS: Researchers mined Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data to identify 7,772 otolaryngologists affiliated with 3,760 practices between 2014 and 2021. Information was extracted on gender, location, graduation year, practice name and size, and national provider identifier. Physicians were classified by practice setting and type. Findings showed that otolaryngologists were affiliated with a mean of 1.13 practices per year; 694 (8.9%) otolaryngologists were affiliated with >1 practice in any year; 36% of otolaryngology practice positions turned over; and annual turnover rates ranged from 6.2% to 10.2%. Authors note that this is markedly lower than turnover rates in dermatology (15–18%) and radiology (14%–19%). Early-stage (practicing 0–5 years) otolaryngologists were more likely to leave their positions, suggesting that trainees may benefit from further guidance when considering initial employment offers, and practice leadership may consider implementing stronger retention measures. Solo practitioners were more likely to close their practices and physicians in large practices were less likely to turn over. Study limitations included a lack of generalizability to otolaryngologists that provide limited care to Medicare beneficiaries.
CITATION: Sheth AH, Rathi VK, Scangas GA, et al. Physician turnover among otolaryngologists in the United States, 2014–2021. Laryngoscope. 2023;133:235–236.