How and Why Do Doctors and Nurses Leave the Profession? - Transition and Retirement Patterns for Health Professionals in the Nordic Region

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Karsten VRANGBAEK, university of copenhagen, Denmark
Regulating health professionals in a globalized context with rapidly developing technology is a challenge. While the traditional picture is of a fairly stable health professional workforce it appears that the current situation is characterized by more diversified career patterns. Many health care professionals transition to other types of jobs, retire early or move across national boundaries. – Recent surveys in Denmark and Norway show that a high number of doctors are considering to leave their jobs before retirement age. Even stronger transition trends can be found among nurses in the two countries.

This indicates a change in the perception of professional roles, and also a perception of growing dissatisfaction with the working conditions in contemporary health care settings combined with relatively good job opportunities elsewhere. This problematic for users of health care and for planners of future health professional work force needs as it leads to shortages in some areas and perhaps also a skewness in the skilset of remaining health professionals. A particularly important issue is how the large cohorts of aging health care professionals choose to transition or retire from their jobs. This paper will use registry and work force data to analyse trends in regards to transitions and retirement of doctors and nurses in the Nordic region. We will combine the registry analysis with survey and qualitative data to seek explanations for the observed trends. – Finally we will discuss potential consequences at the societal and professional level.