Doctors’ perspective on retiring has aligned with the rest of North America in recent years; a Sun Life survey reported that one in five working Americans says that they will never retire! Many doctors find that, upon nearing retirement age, they just can’t stop being a doctor – many feel, and rightly so, that medicine is a calling. Their career starts later than most, due to the degree of training involved, and they often must work longer to pay off educational loans. And since medicine is a field where one tends to be highly engaged with their community, many baby-boomer doctors are simply not ready to hang up the stethoscope and stop giving back to their community. Many doctors who are no longer classified as working full-time still carried, on average, 40 per cent of a full workload.
If you’re a doctor who is looking to retire from your practice, but not ready to give up medicine entirely, what options are available? And how can you stay current in your profession if you choose to continue practicing? Golf and relaxing may not be fulfilling enough, or perhaps that’s exactly what you’re looking for, but just not on a full-time basis. If you have a real sense of adventure, perhaps you’d like to relocate to an exotic locale? A quick review of the Doctor Jobs Portal on Linkedin reveals that there are many opportunities for doctors to work as hospital or specialty consultants in private health care groups in (warmer) climes.
But if your interest lies in continuing to work in your community, one of the biggest post-career opportunities lies in home health care and palliative care. If part-time is the way to go, consider that many larger companies hire doctors on a part-time basis in occupational health positions – check out Apple Tree Medical Group or Jack Nathan Health. Retirement communities need continual care for seniors and other vulnerable populations. Or you could elect to work with one of several firms that supply locum tenens services to other clinics.
If you’ve no intention returning to any kind of “grind” (yes – 6 AM IS overrated!) why not start to write a blog on medical conditions – perhaps in your career you specialized in treating certain disorders, special diets, or diseases. Why not participate in the writing of a protocol, evaluation tool, or toolkit that can be used by other professionals. If you’ve got that classic “bedside manner,” consider mentoring or tutoring medical students.
People are living longer, and living healthier – 75 is the new 65. Whatever you choose to do in your post-work “career,” remember that in retirement, every day is Boss Day and every day is Employee Appreciation Day! Call us to help you close your office – 1-888-563-3732.