Physician Reentry After a Period of Inactivity

In 2012, the ACOG Committee on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement developed a Committee Opinion on Re-entering the Practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which was reaffirmed in 2014. The document noted that re-entering the practice of obstetrics and gynecology after a period of inactivity can pose a number of obstacles, and emphasized that preparing for the leave of absence may help reduce the difficulties physicians may face upon re-entering practice.

The ACOG publication Quality and Safety in Women’s Health Care, 2nd edition, also includes a section on reentry after a period of inactivity, noting the American Medical Association definition of physician reentry as “a return to clinical practice in the discipline in which one has been trained and certified following an extended period of inactivity.”

The ACOG resources for obstetrician-gynecologists and women’s health practitioners can be accessed through the following links:

Re-entering the Practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Committee Opinion No. 523. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2012;119:1066–9 (reaffirmed 2014).

Quality and Safety in Women’s Health Care, 2nd edition (members only), pages 48–9.

Another excellent resource on the topic of reentry is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Physician Reentry into the Workforce Project (Reentry Project), “a collaborative endeavor of organizations and individuals both within and external to pediatrics that aims to examine the diverse issues encompassed under the rubric of ‘reentry.’ The Reentry Project aims to develop resources and strategies to assist organizations as well as individual physicians who are seeking physician reentry information.” Visitors to this website can also subscribe to receive news and information from the Reentry Project. The Reentry Project webpage includes the following key documents:

A Physician Reentry into the Workforce Inventory, a comprehensive document that addresses (1) what to consider before leaving; (2) what to do while out of the workforce; and (3) what to do upon return.

Physician Reentry: What Employers Need to Know. This paper is intended to be used as a guide to aid the employer who is considering hiring a reentering physician, or to assist the employer in the advance planning and preparation for such an event.

Finally, for those clinicians who need hands-on retraining, the website provides a list of reentry programs that are currently available. These programs are extremely limited in number and involve cost and travel. The list is provided for informational purposes only and does not indicate endorsement by The Physician Reentry into the Workforce Project. The listing can be accessed here.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998