Education to return nonpracticing physicians to clinical activity: A case study in physician reentry

Elizabeth A. Bower, Clea English, Dongseok Choi, Andrea S. Cedfeldt, Donald Girard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: Physician shortages in the United States are estimated to reach as high as 85 000 by 2020. One strategy for addressing the shortage is to encourage physicians who left clinical practice to return to work, but few programs exist to prepare physicians to reenter practice. The Divisions of Continuing Medical Education and Graduate Medical Education (GME), Oregon Health & Science University, collaborated with clinical departments to establish a physician reentry program. Methods: A case-study of education designed to return nonpracticing physicians to clinical activity was undertaken. Results: Fourteen candidates were accepted into the program. Accepted candidates were appointed special fellows at the university and provided with restricted institutional license and liability coverage. Based on retraining assessment and planned scope of practice, applicants and program directors designed individualized curricula. As trainees demonstrated clinical proficiency, their level of independence increased in a condensed version of the residency training model. Of the 14 accepted candidates, 13 successfully completed the program and are actively engaged in clinical practice. One trainee did not successfully complete the program. Discussion: This reentry program reintroduced clinically inactive physicians into supervised direct patient care. Use of the GME model allowed acceptance of special fellows and provided institutional malpractice coverage for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Case study
  • Clinical practice
  • Continuing
  • Education
  • Medical
  • Physician
  • Reentry
  • Retraining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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