Sarah Simkin

Master's Students
  • Programme:
    Master's of Science in Health Systems
  • Email Address:
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  • Project Title:
    End-of-career practice patterns of primary care physicians in Ontario, Canada
  • Where you are now:
    :I continue to work as a family practice anaesthetist and am contributing my skills and experience to various other research projects
Founder & Personal Trainer

Project Description/Research Interests:

Incomplete understanding of attrition from the physician workforce has hampered policy-makers’ efforts to achieve optimal alignment of the supply of physicians with population demand for medical services.  This longitudinal study of Ontario primary care physicians used health administrative data to characterize changes in physicians’ practice patterns over time.  We examined the workload and scopes of practice of 21,240 physicians between 1992 and 2013.  We found that physicians reduce their workloads gradually as they age, retiring from clinical practice at an average age of 70.5.  Furthermore, we found that 60% of family physicians who stop providing comprehensive primary care continue to provide clinical services for an average of three years, with reduced workloads, before retiring fully.  Our findings clarify the process of physician attrition from the workforce and will help to improve estimates of attrition and make physician workforce planning more accurate and effective.

Publications & Presentations:

Simkin S, Bourgeault I, and Dahrouge S.  “End-of-career practice patterns of primary care physicians in Ontario.”  Free-standing paper presentation at the Family Medicine Forum, Vancouver, BC, November 9, 2016.

Simkin S, Bourgeault I, and Dahrouge S.  “End-of-career practice patterns of primary care physicians in Ontario.” Poster presentation at the 16th International Health Workforce Collaborative, Washington, DC, October 26, 2016.

Simkin S, Bourgeault I, and Dahrouge S.  “Did retirement behaviours of primary care physicians change after the global financial crisis of 2008?”  Poster presentation at the Canadian Health Workforce Conference, Ottawa, ON, October 5, 2016.

Simkin S, Bourgeault I, and Dahrouge S.  “Measuring retirement: Impact of the definition of retirement on restimated retirement age.“  Poster presentation at the Canadian Health Workforce Conference, Ottawa, ON, October 4, 2016.

Simkin S, Bourgeault I, and Dahrouge S.  “End-of-career practice patterns of primary care physicians in Ontario.”  Oral research presentation at the Canadian Health Workforce Conference, Ottawa, ON, October 4, 2016.

Simkin S, Bourgeault I, and Dahrouge S.  “Approaches to measuring retirement in a population of primary care physicians.”  Poster presentation at the Trillium Primary Health Care Research Day, Toronto, ON, June 1, 2016.

Simkin S, Bourgeault I, and Dahrouge S.  “Measuring retirement: A workforce planning challenge.”  Poster presentation at the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research Conference, Toronto, ON, May 10, 2016.

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