Retirement patterns of Australian doctors aged 65 years and older

Aust Health Rev. 2015 Nov;39(5):582-587. doi: 10.1071/AH14176.


Objective: To investigate retirements over a 4-year period among Australian general practitioners (UPs) and specialists aged 65 years and over, and factors influencing retirement.

Methods: Data from Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) for the years 2009-12 were analysed for 435 GPs and 643 specialists aged 65 years and over at the time of entry to the MABEL survey. Discrete time survival analysis was used.

Results: The retirement rates were 4.1% (2009), 5.1% (2010), 4.2% (2011) and 10.4% (2012). Retirement was associated with: (1) the intention to leave medical work in 2009 and 2010; (2) working fewer hours in private consulting rooms in 2010 and 2012; (3) having lower job satisfaction in 2009 and 2011; (4) being older in 2009; (5) working fewer hours in a public hospital in 2012; and (6) working fewer hours in a private hospital in 2010. Doctors who intended to reduce their working hours were less likely to retire in 2009.

Conclusions: Strategies to support doctors at the late career stage to provide their valued contributions to the medical workforce for as long as possible may include increasing job satisfaction and addressing barriers to reducing work hours.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Databases, Factual
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • General Practitioners*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retirement / trends*
  • Specialization*