Ageing medical workforce in Australia - where will the medical educators come from?

Schofield, Deborah J., Fletcher, Susan L., and Callander, Emily J. (2009) Ageing medical workforce in Australia - where will the medical educators come from? Human Resources for Health, 7 (82). pp. 1-6.

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Background: As the general practitioner and specialist medical workforce ages there is likely to be a large number of retirees in the near future. However, few Australian studies have specifically examined medical practitioner retirement and projected retirement patterns, and the subsequent impact this may have on training future health care professionals.

Methods: Extracts from the Australian Medicare database and Medical Labour Force Surveys are used to examine trends in attrition of general medical practitioners and specialists over the age of 45 years from the workforce and to predict their rate of retirement to 2025.

Results: The general medical practitioner workforce has aged significantly (p<0.05). Between the years 2000 and 2025, it was projected that 43% of the year 2000 general practitioner workforce and 56% of the specialist workforce would have retired.

Conclusion: The ageing of the baby boomer and older cohorts of the general practitioner and specialist workforce will lead to a significant number of retirements over the next 20 years. Increasing the numbers of students and new medical schools has been heralded as a means of alleviating service shortages from about 2015 onwards; however, the retirement of a large proportion of experienced health care professionals may lead to shortages of educators for these students.

Item ID: 41404
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1478-4491
Keywords: health economics; living standards
Additional Information:

© 2009 Schofield et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2015 03:22
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 50%
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