Physician reentry into clinical practice

Have you taken a hiatus from clinical practice - or are you planning one? Do you know how to re-enter?

Physician reentry has been a frequent topic of discussion on the MomMD physician forum; for example see the thread Is it possible to return after being a SAHM for years? that starts with the question:

Has anyone returned to medicine or successful non clinical career after break of 5 or more years? How did you do it? What options did you look at?

There are a growing number of physicians, particularly women physicians, who have taken time away from clinical medicine and are looking for a way to start again. We've compiled a few resources to help.

The Cedars-Sinai Reentry Program

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is attempting to address this problem directly. Their reentry webpage explains their rationale for starting the program:
Credentials committees have the obligation to assure the public that physicians who are granted staff privileges have evidence of current clinical competence. Because of extended absences from practice or changes in practice patterns, a physician may be denied staff privileges because of failure to demonstrate such current activity.

The [Cedars-Sinai] Medical Center, recently confronted with an increasing need for a reentry program for its own staff applicants, has developed an academically rigorous physician reentry program.

And they outline a ten-step process that includes having a reentry supervisor, clinical observation, and regular clinical presentations.

More information on their program is available at:

Cedars-Sinai Physician Reentry Program
8700 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 423-5262
Fax: (310) 652-9369

The Drexel Reentry Program

Drexel University College of Medicine has also developed a reentry program. They offer several educational options, some tailored to already licensed physicians who want to return to clinical practice, others tailored to international medical graduates who want to enter into the US graduate medical education system.

Of the programs we have looked at, the Drexel program seems the most comprehensive and available to the widest audience.

For more on the Drexel program:

Drexel Medicine® Physician Refresher/Re-Entry Course

Office of Continuing Medical Education

1427 Vine Street, Room 405

Philadelphia, PA 19102


Director: Nielufar Varjavand, MD
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 215-991-8535 
Fax: 215-843-5495

CPEP’s Reentry to Clinical Practice (RCP) Program

CPEP’s Reentry to Clinical Practice (RCP) Program is a non-profit resource for physicians, podiatrists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Designed for those returning to practice after a voluntary extended absence, the RCP program provides a focused skills evaluation and a personalized reentry plan that helps professionals return to practice safely.

For more information, visit You may e-mail CPEP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 303-577-3232 or 919-238-6436.

Additionally, you may wish to download a copy of The Roadmap to Reentry at This resource was a collaborative effort between CPEP and (supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics). .

Additional resources

The Physician Reentry in the Workforce Project

Saralyn Mark, MD; Jhumka Gupta, MPH Reentry Into Clinical Practice: Challenges and Strategies. JAMA. 2002;288:1091-1096.

To add resources to this topic, please append to the forum thread: Is it possible to return after being a SAHM for years?

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