With the alarming impact that COVID-19 has had on the healthcare system, we’re seeing a growing need for physicians as the number of patients continues to rise. It’s no secret that the healthcare system has often been strained. However, with the emergence of the Coronavirus, we’re seeing the shortage of health professionals grow larger and larger. This has led many former physicians to contemplate coming out of retirement in order to help combat the pandemic. Whether they retired to pursue another career or simply could afford to hang up the stethoscope and enjoy the rest of their years on other adventures, we’ve got an entire group of skilled health professionals that could be the solution to the shortage. Below, we’re going to look at physician reentry programs and how retired doctors can return to work.
Physician Reentry Programs
A More Organized Program
After the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, many former physicians felt like there was a “call to arms” when it came to healthcare. With growing anxiety and tension, especially in areas that were directly impacted by the attacks, retired physicians were clamoring to help the country. While the intention was great, the execution was less than stellar. The truth was, we simply didn’t have the procedures and organization in place for retired physicians looking to return to the workforce. Many skilled workers were turned away simply because we couldn’t place them efficiently.
It’s 2020 now and things are a lot different. In fact, physician reentry programs have never been better! It’s becoming more and more normal for retired physicians to come out of retirement. Now that the COVID-19 virus has put a strain on the healthcare industry, now more than ever, we’re seeing retired physicians once again putting on the white coat.
What to Consider Before Reentry
While many retired physicians are ready and waiting to enter the physician reentry programs, there are a few things they need to consider. Just like any profession, you need to ask yourself if you’re physically and mentally able to still do the job. Age can certainly change how our bodies work. It’s important to decide whether or not you’re physically able to perform your job. Also, now more than ever, physicians are dealing with burnout and depression at an alarming rate. The job doesn’t just wear on you physically, but emotionally as well. You need to be sure that you’re able to job efficiently.
You will also want to consider your skill set. The healthcare industry is looking for professionals with a specific set of skills. You probably wouldn’t want to go through all the work of unretiring, just to be told that your skillset isn’t needed.
Actually, the process of using physician reentry programs has become pretty easy. According to Statista, there were about 160,000 inactive physicians in the United States in 2015. Data on the number of physicians who return to medicine after leaving for nondisciplinary reasons are scarce, but the AMA estimates 10,000 physicians are eligible to reenter practice each year.
The price for reentry can be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. This cost comes from travel, retraining, and a handful of other things. These retraining programs typically last about three months. You’ll also most likely be asked to pass an exam before you can return to duty. Once you complete these, you are well on your way to finishing the physician reentry programs. There are numerous physician reentry programs so make sure to do your research!
Do you have any experience with physician reentry programs? Comment and tell us what the process was like!