1 in 5 surgeons plans to retire early due to physical toll, survey finds

by Joanne Finnegan | Sep 19, 2019

At the same time that the country faces a predicted shortage of physicians, one in five surgeons plan to retire early because of the physical toll of their work, a new survey reveals.

Nearly 20% of surgeons in the U.S. think they may need to retire early due to the physical problems that result from performing laparoscopic surgery, a survey commissioned by CMR Surgical finds. CMR Surgical, a British medical device company, has developed a robotic system for laparoscopic or minimal access surgery.

That’s the same percentage as surgeons in the U.K. and similar to the 15% of surgeons surveyed in Germany contemplating early retirement from their chosen profession.

Surgeons say they may retire early because of back and other work-related injuries, news that is not good as the country already faces a physician shortage. Fewer surgeons could lead to a shortage of experienced physicians and longer wait times for patients.

The survey polled more than 450 general, gynecological and colorectal surgeons in Europe and the U.S. who regularly perform laparoscopic surgery. Turns out while laparoscopic surgery is good for patients, letting them recover more quickly and with less pain, it is taking a toll on doctors.


Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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