"It's Not Me, It's You?" Organizational Goals for Addressing Faculty Retention

The Great Resignation since the start of the pandemic has impacted medicine as much as other disciplines. As recently published in JAMA, one in five physicians intends to leave practice in the next two years. Academic medicine is not protected from this impending challenge. Furthermore, faculty turnover causes a heavy financial burden, with studies noting an approximate $500,000 price tag to replace a faculty physician. More concerning is the human cost associated with physician departures which include decreased productivity and effort, increased burnout rates, and decreased quality of patient care. It is these human costs that emphasize the importance of proactive organizational strategies for addressing this problem.

Detailed attention to faculty departure demographics may help identify groups at-risk for leaving. Reasons for departure may include lack of growth opportunities and mentorship rather than issues with compensation or management. Clinical workload and work-life integration are major contributors; these conditions are pervasive across institutions and challenging to solve. However, inequities in promotion and compensation, difficult organizational culture, and absence of community can be more easily remediated by both division and department leadership.

In this workshop, we will review national assessments of contributors to the retention challenge along with concepts from our own institutional analysis. We will highlight organizational interventions for addressing retention rates and promoting faculty engagement. During the session, participants will spend time developing and sharing solutions that will be individually applicable and can be shared with their own institutional leaders.