When a medical group practice partner retires

March 21, 2008

A senior partner has announced his plan to retire from our single-specialty group practice. We have a buy-out in place and expect his departure will be amicable. However, we have no experience with managing the details of a doctor's departure. For example, when should he tell his patients and referring doctors that he's leaving? What else do we need to do?

A senior partner has announced his plan to retire from our single-specialty group practice. We have a buy-out in place and expect his departure will be amicable. However, we have no experience with managing the details of a doctor's departure. For example, when should he tell his patients and referring doctors that he's leaving? What else do we need to do?

At least four weeks before your partner's last day, the practice should notify his patients, and let them know which group members are available to assume their care. For the rest of the community, it's customary to run a notice of the retirement in the newspaper. This is your opportunity to honor your colleague's years of service and to announce his successor, if there is one.

Your partner should contact your state medical society for a checklist of what to do. To avoid problems down the road, both for him and your practice, it's important that he leave with his affairs in order. Here are a few things he should do:

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