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    Urologist work force retirement study sounds alarm

    More than one-quarter of the U.S. urologist work force plans to retire in next 5 years, according to a new study looking at the near-term impact of retirement on the specialty.

    Related: Work force shortage projections climb

    The authors, who published their findings online in Urology (May 25, 2016), also uncovered a troubling statistic potentially impacting rural America. They found that nearly double the proportion of nearing retirement urologists (5 years or less) are found in rural areas, compared to non-retiring urologists.

    Benjamin N. Breyer, MD, MASDr. Breyer“The other interesting finding is that 68% of the nearing retirement urologists are still performing inpatient operations, so it describes them as a cohort. They are still very clinically active, they’re still engaged in their practices, and, in many respects, operating at 100% or equal to those much younger than they are,” said senior author Benjamin N. Breyer MD, MAS, of the University of California, San Francisco.

    Dr. Breyer and colleagues analyzed data from the AUA’s 2014 census, which asked urologists about their retirement plans and about their practices. A total of 2,204 census responses were weighted to represent 11,703 urologists practicing in the U.S. that year.

    Letter to the editor: Consider foreign urologists as solution to shortage

    They found 3,181 of the 11,703 practicing urologists in this country are nearing planned retirement. The average age of those who plan to retire in the next 5 years is 69 years, versus an average 48 years for non-retiring urologists. And urologists nearing retirement are more likely to practice general urology than their non-retiring peers.

    Next: "We need more governmental support to train more residents."

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...

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