Voluntary departure of family physicians from their workplace: A reflective outlook

Yuval Shorer, Aya Biderman, Stanley Rabin, Aharon Karni, Ayelet Levi, Andre Matalon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objectives: The objective of this study was to highlight and assess the important topic of the voluntary departure of the physician from his/her clinic. We used the topic of the voluntary departure of a family physician from the clinic as an example. The physician’s leaving challenges the personal credo regarding the continuity of care, which is a basic concept in Family Medicine, and other professions, too: Psychiatrists are also devoted to long-term doctor-patient care. Leaving a place of work is a significant life event that can be accompanied by stress and even a crisis for the doctor, patients, and staff. Methods: In this article, we will present four stories, of four family physicians who voluntarily left their practices, written from a reflective point of view, either before or after the actual departure. The stories will be analyzed in a qualitative way, and the central themes and narratives will be defined. Results: The personal departure stories revealed important personal and systemic themes that emerge from and influence the departure process. Among the themes were: practical and emotional work circumstances; leaving as a grief process; and reactions of patients, staff, and management. Conclusion: Qualitative analysis revealed that the voluntary departure of the family physician has complex personal and systemic implications. Practical implications: The combination of Balint group discussions and written reflections can help the physician better cope with the departure and also help patients and staff deal with the separation process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-144
    Number of pages8
    JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 11 Aug 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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