Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

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me112964
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:12 am

Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by me112964 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 am

looking to find out what retirement looks like for retired/retiring doctors today. Currently 53 and looking at options for the immediate and distant future. Locum tenen stories, early retirement, part time, consulting. Any stories appreciated.

Emilyjane
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:39 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by Emilyjane » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:04 am

I can answer in a few months. I’m 61 yo, retiring in one month. Just finished my last night of call!! I’m not planning any kind of medical work after retirement.
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance", Confucius

me112964
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:12 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by me112964 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:09 am

Emilyjane wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:04 am
I can answer in a few months. I’m 61 yo, retiring in one month. Just finished my last night of call!! I’m not planning any kind of medical work after retirement.
What do you want to do with the time? Bucket lists?

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zzcooper123
Posts: 529
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:55 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by zzcooper123 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:18 am

About your age I started looking for opportunities to work one day a week or from home. Actively went out to seek new positions and challenges. Consider a short sabbatical to get your head screwed on straight. Be prompt and cheerful in your new jobs. Never a prima donna. Become a small business. Don't think of it as "retirement" which is an outmoded concept. You are a "financially independent"physician who chooses to work where and when you want.

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PhysicianOnFIRE
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:46 pm
Location: Up North

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:54 am

I'm semi-retired, working a 0.6 FTE position now. I worked locums full time for two years to start my career, but it would be more difficult now with two boys in elementary school. We enjoy traveling with them, but we can now afford to do so without having to work.

We're currently south of the border for a three-week Spanish immersion trip and we're loving it. This slower style of travel would not be possible if I were still working full time.

I've written dozens of articles on early retirement and related topics. You may find some inspiration there. If you're looking for specific information, ask away or feel free to PM me.

:beer
-PoF

me112964
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:12 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by me112964 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:03 am

PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:54 am
I'm semi-retired, working a 0.6 FTE position now. I worked locums full time for two years to start my career, but it would be more difficult now with two boys in elementary school. We enjoy traveling with them, but we can now afford to do so without having to work.

We're currently south of the border for a three-week Spanish immersion trip and we're loving it. This slower style of travel would not be possible if I were still working full time.

I've written dozens of articles on early retirement and related topics. You may find some inspiration there. If you're looking for specific information, ask away or feel free to PM me.

:beer
-PoF
Thanks so much for your insight. I have bookmarked your site. Very interesting so far.

I am 53 and can definitively state that I am burning out fast. Family practice has become inundated with beaurocratic distraction from he doctor patient relationship. But that is not all, I feel devalued by the general public. Not monetarily. I feel financially secure, but just insignificant. I have been in practice for 22 years and need to change something fast or I will increase my regret (not a typo) value units (the real RVU measurement in my opinion)

TheNightsToCome
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:34 am

me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 am
looking to find out what retirement looks like for retired/retiring doctors today. Currently 53 and looking at options for the immediate and distant future. Locum tenen stories, early retirement, part time, consulting. Any stories appreciated.
At 34 I sold my critical care staffing business and took a year off prior to starting cardiology fellowship. During that year I learned to surf (Waikiki and Surfers Paradise), scuba dive (Grand Cayman and Oahu), and ski (Snowmass and Vail). I tried tandem hang gliding at Torrey Pines, and then chickened out of bungee jumping in New Zealand when I looked over the edge of the platform.

I went to London, Paris, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Capri, Santorini, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Melbourne and Sydney. I bought my first desktop and learned how to use it. I tried to write a novel (never completed). I didn't cut my hair for 15 months. I worked out for about 2 hours per day, six days per week and enjoyed all the uninterrupted sleep that I needed. I spent a lot of time visiting family. It was a very good year, and with adequate funds, it could have been a very good life.

***
At 41 I left medicine because I was so burned out that I couldn't stand the thought of working one more day. I had no plan.

As before, I enjoyed the uninterrupted sleep and the markedly improved workouts. I started to feel like a human being again.

I played a lot of fetch with my German Shepherd, Bart, who was very happy with our new arrangement. He and I were best friends.

I spent long, leisurely days reading accounting and finance books at Barnes and Noble. (My idea of fun. :happy )

I got to know the other retired guys who also passed the time at the bookstore. One guy my age sold his chain of Papa John’s stores. Another older fellow had been a Division I basketball coach. We all grabbed Barron’s on Saturday mornings, me with a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. Life was good.

At first I jumped and became instantly tense every time a nearby beeper or phone alarmed (post-traumatic beeper syndrome), but that disorder gradually melted away.

I loved investing so I eventually decided to study for the CFA exams. About that time I began corresponding with an investor who wrote a regular column on his company’s website. He told me that I was his most astute reader and I noticed that his firm had openings for equity analysts and encouraged non-traditional applicants. I told the investor that I would apply and he invited me for an interview.

It was exciting to become an equity analyst. My colleagues were very bright and well-educated and they all loved investing. We had endless discussion/arguments conducted over the water-cooler, or more often, a group email chain (still have many of them recorded somewhere).

My supervisors encouraged me to take some vacation, but I had to laugh inside. The whole “job” was a vacation. Maybe it’s different for derm or path, but once you’ve been a busy solo practice cardiologist, “working” as an equity analyst is like lounging on a beach. I was doing essentially the same thing that I had been doing in the bookstore–but now a company paid me! I sat in a peaceful cubicle all day reading 10-Ks or working with spreadsheets with no interruptions, no beeper, no crashers, no codes, no nothing but glorious peace.

When Eliot Spitzer settled with the big banks he required independent analyst coverage for their clients. Our coverage universe tripled immediately and we were often working 7:30 am to 9:00 pm for about 6-9 months. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among my colleagues, but these were such easy hours, nothing like the constant push of clinical work. I was stunned that anyone complained. As physicians we become numb to expanding workloads.

I probably should have stayed, but I was already through the CFA curriculum, so I enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on the company dime and it was taking too long. I became more interested in school than work so I bolted and just paid full-freight on my own.

I had been managing accounts for friends and family for several years, so after graduation I moved back to my home town and opened a Registered Investment Advisor (but I didn't charge family members or solicit new business).

I was fit and happy and life was good. I thought things would continue that way for decades, but then I was struck with a serious illness.

I was misdiagnosed by a cardiologist and I knew he was less than stellar (although a very nice guy) simply by discussing a couple of clinical problems with him. I knew how to find a better cardiologist once I was out of hospital, and I knew how to direct my subsequent work-up. I think it’s likely that I would be dead now if not for my medical training.

I was suddenly worried about access to good health insurance and good healthcare going forward. I wanted to be back on the inside, and I had a renewed interest in everything medical. I earned over 800 hours of CME and scored in the top decile on my board re-certification exam. I obtained licenses in two states where I had practiced previously and returned to the practice of cardiology at 54, after 13 years away. I've been back for almost 4 years now.

Things are much better than before, but I still work about 60-65 hours per week with one weekend and 10 nights of call per month. Because we have hospitalists now, the call is not as heavy as it was. (Thank you, dear hospitalists.) Also, I'm an employee now, so I don't have to run the business. That helps, too.

My contract is up in two years and I intend to negotiate less call and/or more PDO and/or fewer patients per day in clinic. I don't hate the practice of medicine, I just hate the life. I really enjoy the subject matter. I'd rather read the Journal of the American College of Cardiology than a 10-K, and I enjoy the work if the pace is such that I can take a breath between patients.

I burned out because of the push of racing to keep up all day every day, and then being called all night. If I can arrange a more humane schedule with my employer, I plan to continue indefinitely.

mhalley
Posts: 6010
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by mhalley » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:37 pm

I burned out completely and retired from EM at sixty. No desire to do anything medical ever again, so I cant help you there. WCI just reviewed a book about alternative careers.
. Overall, it’s a great book for the doctor who is less than satisfied with his current career. It’s not so much a how to deal with burnout book, so much as it is a practical discussion of what your options are if staying with your career isn’t an option for you. I highly recommend it.


The Doctors Guide to Smart Career Alternatives and Retirement reviewed here:

https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/revie ... de-series/

jayk238
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:02 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by jayk238 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm

me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:03 am
PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:54 am
I'm semi-retired, working a 0.6 FTE position now. I worked locums full time for two years to start my career, but it would be more difficult now with two boys in elementary school. We enjoy traveling with them, but we can now afford to do so without having to work.

We're currently south of the border for a three-week Spanish immersion trip and we're loving it. This slower style of travel would not be possible if I were still working full time.

I've written dozens of articles on early retirement and related topics. You may find some inspiration there. If you're looking for specific information, ask away or feel free to PM me.

:beer
-PoF
Thanks so much for your insight. I have bookmarked your site. Very interesting so far.

I am 53 and can definitively state that I am burning out fast. Family practice has become inundated with beaurocratic distraction from he doctor patient relationship. But that is not all, I feel devalued by the general public. Not monetarily. I feel financially secure, but just insignificant. I have been in practice for 22 years and need to change something fast or I will increase my regret (not a typo) value units (the real RVU measurement in my opinion)
can you describe this in detail? What do you mean by devalued by public- thats my concern too. I'm starting out as an internist shortly - the pay is good and probaby will be for the next 10 years. JW if your concern is about how np and pas are supposed to equal what we do or if its something else- ie doctors should be paid less like in europe without considering that they're the highest paid for their respsective countries where engineers make 30k anyway.

hmw
Posts: 521
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by hmw » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:43 pm

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:34 am
me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 am
looking to find out what retirement looks like for retired/retiring doctors today. Currently 53 and looking at options for the immediate and distant future. Locum tenen stories, early retirement, part time, consulting. Any stories appreciated.
At 34 I sold my critical care staffing business and took a year off prior to starting cardiology fellowship. During that year I learned to surf (Waikiki and Surfers Paradise), scuba dive (Grand Cayman and Oahu), and ski (Snowmass and Vail). I tried tandem hang gliding at Torrey Pines, and then chickened out of bungee jumping in New Zealand when I looked over the edge of the platform.

I went to London, Paris, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Capri, Santorini, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Melbourne and Sydney. I bought my first desktop and learned how to use it. I tried to write a novel (never completed). I didn't cut my hair for 15 months. I worked out for about 2 hours per day, six days per week and enjoyed all the uninterrupted sleep that I needed. I spent a lot of time visiting family. It was a very good year, and with adequate funds, it could have been a very good life.

***
At 41 I left medicine because I was so burned out that I couldn't stand the thought of working one more day. I had no plan.

As before, I enjoyed the uninterrupted sleep and the markedly improved workouts. I started to feel like a human being again.

I played a lot of fetch with my German Shepherd, Bart, who was very happy with our new arrangement. He and I were best friends.

I spent long, leisurely days reading accounting and finance books at Barnes and Noble. (My idea of fun. :happy )

I got to know the other retired guys who also passed the time at the bookstore. One guy my age sold his chain of Papa John’s stores. Another older fellow had been a Division I basketball coach. We all grabbed Barron’s on Saturday mornings, me with a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. Life was good.

At first I jumped and became instantly tense every time a nearby beeper or phone alarmed (post-traumatic beeper syndrome), but that disorder gradually melted away.

I loved investing so I eventually decided to study for the CFA exams. About that time I began corresponding with an investor who wrote a regular column on his company’s website. He told me that I was his most astute reader and I noticed that his firm had openings for equity analysts and encouraged non-traditional applicants. I told the investor that I would apply and he invited me for an interview.

It was exciting to become an equity analyst. My colleagues were very bright and well-educated and they all loved investing. We had endless discussion/arguments conducted over the water-cooler, or more often, a group email chain (still have many of them recorded somewhere).

My supervisors encouraged me to take some vacation, but I had to laugh inside. The whole “job” was a vacation. Maybe it’s different for derm or path, but once you’ve been a busy solo practice cardiologist, “working” as an equity analyst is like lounging on a beach. I was doing essentially the same thing that I had been doing in the bookstore–but now a company paid me! I sat in a peaceful cubicle all day reading 10-Ks or working with spreadsheets with no interruptions, no beeper, no crashers, no codes, no nothing but glorious peace.

When Eliot Spitzer settled with the big banks he required independent analyst coverage for their clients. Our coverage universe tripled immediately and we were often working 7:30 am to 9:00 pm for about 6-9 months. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among my colleagues, but these were such easy hours, nothing like the constant push of clinical work. I was stunned that anyone complained. As physicians we become numb to expanding workloads.

I probably should have stayed, but I was already through the CFA curriculum, so I enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on the company dime and it was taking too long. I became more interested in school than work so I bolted and just paid full-freight on my own.

I had been managing accounts for friends and family for several years, so after graduation I moved back to my home town and opened a Registered Investment Advisor (but I didn't charge family members or solicit new business).

I was fit and happy and life was good. I thought things would continue that way for decades, but then I was struck with a serious illness.

I was misdiagnosed by a cardiologist and I knew he was less than stellar (although a very nice guy) simply by discussing a couple of clinical problems with him. I knew how to find a better cardiologist once I was out of hospital, and I knew how to direct my subsequent work-up. I think it’s likely that I would be dead now if not for my medical training.

I was suddenly worried about access to good health insurance and good healthcare going forward. I wanted to be back on the inside, and I had a renewed interest in everything medical. I earned over 800 hours of CME and scored in the top decile on my board re-certification exam. I obtained licenses in two states where I had practiced previously and returned to the practice of cardiology at 54, after 13 years away. I've been back for almost 4 years now.
Wow! You have such an interesting life story.

Was it easy to come back to Medicine from a regulatory point of view? Did you have to get a provisional license first? Or be supervised by another MD for a while?

TheNightsToCome
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:54 pm

hmw wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:43 pm
TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:34 am
me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 am
looking to find out what retirement looks like for retired/retiring doctors today. Currently 53 and looking at options for the immediate and distant future. Locum tenen stories, early retirement, part time, consulting. Any stories appreciated.
At 34 I sold my critical care staffing business and took a year off prior to starting cardiology fellowship. During that year I learned to surf (Waikiki and Surfers Paradise), scuba dive (Grand Cayman and Oahu), and ski (Snowmass and Vail). I tried tandem hang gliding at Torrey Pines, and then chickened out of bungee jumping in New Zealand when I looked over the edge of the platform.

I went to London, Paris, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Capri, Santorini, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Melbourne and Sydney. I bought my first desktop and learned how to use it. I tried to write a novel (never completed). I didn't cut my hair for 15 months. I worked out for about 2 hours per day, six days per week and enjoyed all the uninterrupted sleep that I needed. I spent a lot of time visiting family. It was a very good year, and with adequate funds, it could have been a very good life.

***
At 41 I left medicine because I was so burned out that I couldn't stand the thought of working one more day. I had no plan.

As before, I enjoyed the uninterrupted sleep and the markedly improved workouts. I started to feel like a human being again.

I played a lot of fetch with my German Shepherd, Bart, who was very happy with our new arrangement. He and I were best friends.

I spent long, leisurely days reading accounting and finance books at Barnes and Noble. (My idea of fun. :happy )

I got to know the other retired guys who also passed the time at the bookstore. One guy my age sold his chain of Papa John’s stores. Another older fellow had been a Division I basketball coach. We all grabbed Barron’s on Saturday mornings, me with a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. Life was good.

At first I jumped and became instantly tense every time a nearby beeper or phone alarmed (post-traumatic beeper syndrome), but that disorder gradually melted away.

I loved investing so I eventually decided to study for the CFA exams. About that time I began corresponding with an investor who wrote a regular column on his company’s website. He told me that I was his most astute reader and I noticed that his firm had openings for equity analysts and encouraged non-traditional applicants. I told the investor that I would apply and he invited me for an interview.

It was exciting to become an equity analyst. My colleagues were very bright and well-educated and they all loved investing. We had endless discussion/arguments conducted over the water-cooler, or more often, a group email chain (still have many of them recorded somewhere).

My supervisors encouraged me to take some vacation, but I had to laugh inside. The whole “job” was a vacation. Maybe it’s different for derm or path, but once you’ve been a busy solo practice cardiologist, “working” as an equity analyst is like lounging on a beach. I was doing essentially the same thing that I had been doing in the bookstore–but now a company paid me! I sat in a peaceful cubicle all day reading 10-Ks or working with spreadsheets with no interruptions, no beeper, no crashers, no codes, no nothing but glorious peace.

When Eliot Spitzer settled with the big banks he required independent analyst coverage for their clients. Our coverage universe tripled immediately and we were often working 7:30 am to 9:00 pm for about 6-9 months. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among my colleagues, but these were such easy hours, nothing like the constant push of clinical work. I was stunned that anyone complained. As physicians we become numb to expanding workloads.

I probably should have stayed, but I was already through the CFA curriculum, so I enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on the company dime and it was taking too long. I became more interested in school than work so I bolted and just paid full-freight on my own.

I had been managing accounts for friends and family for several years, so after graduation I moved back to my home town and opened a Registered Investment Advisor (but I didn't charge family members or solicit new business).

I was fit and happy and life was good. I thought things would continue that way for decades, but then I was struck with a serious illness.

I was misdiagnosed by a cardiologist and I knew he was less than stellar (although a very nice guy) simply by discussing a couple of clinical problems with him. I knew how to find a better cardiologist once I was out of hospital, and I knew how to direct my subsequent work-up. I think it’s likely that I would be dead now if not for my medical training.

I was suddenly worried about access to good health insurance and good healthcare going forward. I wanted to be back on the inside, and I had a renewed interest in everything medical. I earned over 800 hours of CME and scored in the top decile on my board re-certification exam. I obtained licenses in two states where I had practiced previously and returned to the practice of cardiology at 54, after 13 years away. I've been back for almost 4 years now.
Wow! You have such an interesting life story.

Was it easy to come back to Medicine from a regulatory point of view? Did you have to get a provisional license first? Or be supervised by another MD for a while?
I learned that most state boards don't have a policy for physicians returning to practice after a prolonged time away; they make it up on a case-by-case basis. In my case, both states where I applied granted an unrestricted license without any problems. The board members probably believed that if I did > 800 hours CME and scored highly on my board re-certification, then I was competent to return to practice.

My hospital employer required me to work under the supervision of an unaffiliated cardiologist (at a different hospital) for several weeks, but then granted me full privileges. I should note that I was invasive, non-interventional before, but am non-invasive now.

me112964
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:12 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by me112964 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:44 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 pm
me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:03 am
PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:54 am
I'm semi-retired, working a 0.6 FTE position now. I worked locums full time for two years to start my career, but it would be more difficult now with two boys in elementary school. We enjoy traveling with them, but we can now afford to do so without having to work.

We're currently south of the border for a three-week Spanish immersion trip and we're loving it. This slower style of travel would not be possible if I were still working full time.

I've written dozens of articles on early retirement and related topics. You may find some inspiration there. If you're looking for specific information, ask away or feel free to PM me.

:beer
-PoF
Thanks so much for your insight. I have bookmarked your site. Very interesting so far.

I am 53 and can definitively state that I am burning out fast. Family practice has become inundated with beaurocratic distraction from he doctor patient relationship. But that is not all, I feel devalued by the general public. Not monetarily. I feel financially secure, but just insignificant. I have been in practice for 22 years and need to change something fast or I will increase my regret (not a typo) value units (the real RVU measurement in my opinion)
can you describe this in detail? What do you mean by devalued by public- thats my concern too. I'm starting out as an internist shortly - the pay is good and probaby will be for the next 10 years. JW if your concern is about how np and pas are supposed to equal what we do or if its something else- ie doctors should be paid less like in europe without considering that they're the highest paid for their respsective countries where engineers make 30k anyway.
I have no animosity towards PA’s and CRNP’s. Actually, I have had several that I supervise and see their value to the system though not as a replacement for me. A few years ago I have a young patient who was disabled and chronically ill and in pain. While I was treating him I grew to learn from him and felt a kinship with him. As my practice grew and the beaurocracy compounded, I could spend less time with him. Visits were rushed, less interactive. Eventually, in his late forties he was diagnosed with and died of esophageal cancer. Devastated but grateful for the privilege of having known him I attended his funeral. I felt partially responsible for not catching his illness earlier. Months went by and I received a letter that he wanted sent to me after his death. It was a scathing criticism of my care despite the fact that he stayed with me until the very end. To this day I feel hurt, regretful and as if despite my efforts, you are only a good physician when there is a happy ending. But they do not always com.

HIinvestor
Posts: 1614
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:23 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:28 pm

It is very frustrating for patients AND caregivers in the current environment, where the pace of medicine seems very hurried/rushed for everyone. I know I have caught some errors that I attribute to my providers being too rushed and having my case blended with so many other patients. I feel that as a patient I have to be my own advocate and check and re-check because the system is otherwise not designed to catch errors that could have some serious consequences for patients.
I am concerned that as I get older and possibly acquire additional medical conditions, plus natural cognitive decline from aging I will be a less effective advocate for myself and am concerned about who will take my place in advocating for me.
It is a pity that medical care has become as fragmented as it has and less fulfilling for patients AND providers.
Our state has one of the highest %s of aging physicians and few young doctors to fill the gaps that will be left as the doctors retire. This is a huge concern statewide, but especially in the more rural communities who have difficulty attracting and retaining physicians and healthcare providers in the first place. I don't have answers but perhaps retiring while working part-time might be a good thing for patients AND providers, when it's feasible.

jayk238
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:02 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by jayk238 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:47 pm

I'm hoping that the job I have will offer me the opportunities to avoid these situations. My job will allow me to spend 25 min per patient and 40-50 for a new. I hope this is a good outcome for provider and patient !

Arkad
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:56 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by Arkad » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:05 pm

I'm 53 also and pulling the plug in a few months. Never thought about retirement until I had to take on more administrative issues and cut back on clinical care. That is when I started thinking about retirement and realized I could do it financially. The administrative burden got greater and I feel burned out by all the non patient care stuff we are forced to do. I have been doing this long enough to remember what it was like to just take care of patients. It is too bad. I have no idea what I will do. I have a number of opportunities but the reality is that just doing some slow travel probably tops them all.

me112964
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:12 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by me112964 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:37 pm

I think part of the reason for my burnout is that I have always “left it on the field” with my work but sometimes that is not good enough and when I think it is, patients demand more. It can be consuming. I have always had a good family life but in the process of trying my best, I had to make sacrifices that I thought were for the betterment of my community. I am left wondering. I don’t think my patients always understand that when we show them we care that it takes an enormous amount of energy that does not leave when the office closes.
Last edited by me112964 on Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheNightsToCome
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:59 pm

me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:37 pm
I think part of the reason for my burnout is that I have always “left it out the field” with my work but sometimes that is not good enough and when I think it is, patients demand more. It can be consuming. I have always had a good family life but in the process of trying my best, I had to make sacrifices that I thought were for the betterment of my community. I am left wondering. I don’t think my patients always understand that when we show them we care that it takes an enormous amount of energy that does not leave when the office closes.
You could use a long break, long enough to decompress and clear your head.

In retrospect, I could have continued my career at 41 yo if I just sold the practice (which I did), took some time to exhale (long enough to feel like a human being again), and then looked for a position where I could practice in some limited fashion with some control over my hours and my sleep.

Those sorts of situations are more plentiful now than then, and primary care is in great demand. You would be able to find a position with more control over your life if you looked for that.

When I have some PDO and/or a couple of days with enough patient no-shows to allow a more reasonable pace to my day, then I become more relaxed, less irritable, and happier. I start to enjoy my job and the people I work with, and I don't mind when a patient goes off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the problem at hand. I sometimes even smile and make a joke.

You'll be able to handle the inevitable stress of the job better if you have more space to take a breath.

notsobright
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:07 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by notsobright » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:09 am

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:34 am
me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 am
looking to find out what retirement looks like for retired/retiring doctors today. Currently 53 and looking at options for the immediate and distant future. Locum tenen stories, early retirement, part time, consulting. Any stories appreciated.
At 34 I sold my critical care staffing business and took a year off prior to starting cardiology fellowship. During that year I learned to surf (Waikiki and Surfers Paradise), scuba dive (Grand Cayman and Oahu), and ski (Snowmass and Vail). I tried tandem hang gliding at Torrey Pines, and then chickened out of bungee jumping in New Zealand when I looked over the edge of the platform.

I went to London, Paris, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Capri, Santorini, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Melbourne and Sydney. I bought my first desktop and learned how to use it. I tried to write a novel (never completed). I didn't cut my hair for 15 months. I worked out for about 2 hours per day, six days per week and enjoyed all the uninterrupted sleep that I needed. I spent a lot of time visiting family. It was a very good year, and with adequate funds, it could have been a very good life.

***
At 41 I left medicine because I was so burned out that I couldn't stand the thought of working one more day. I had no plan.

As before, I enjoyed the uninterrupted sleep and the markedly improved workouts. I started to feel like a human being again.

I played a lot of fetch with my German Shepherd, Bart, who was very happy with our new arrangement. He and I were best friends.

I spent long, leisurely days reading accounting and finance books at Barnes and Noble. (My idea of fun. :happy )

I got to know the other retired guys who also passed the time at the bookstore. One guy my age sold his chain of Papa John’s stores. Another older fellow had been a Division I basketball coach. We all grabbed Barron’s on Saturday mornings, me with a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. Life was good.

At first I jumped and became instantly tense every time a nearby beeper or phone alarmed (post-traumatic beeper syndrome), but that disorder gradually melted away.

I loved investing so I eventually decided to study for the CFA exams. About that time I began corresponding with an investor who wrote a regular column on his company’s website. He told me that I was his most astute reader and I noticed that his firm had openings for equity analysts and encouraged non-traditional applicants. I told the investor that I would apply and he invited me for an interview.

It was exciting to become an equity analyst. My colleagues were very bright and well-educated and they all loved investing. We had endless discussion/arguments conducted over the water-cooler, or more often, a group email chain (still have many of them recorded somewhere).

My supervisors encouraged me to take some vacation, but I had to laugh inside. The whole “job” was a vacation. Maybe it’s different for derm or path, but once you’ve been a busy solo practice cardiologist, “working” as an equity analyst is like lounging on a beach. I was doing essentially the same thing that I had been doing in the bookstore–but now a company paid me! I sat in a peaceful cubicle all day reading 10-Ks or working with spreadsheets with no interruptions, no beeper, no crashers, no codes, no nothing but glorious peace.

When Eliot Spitzer settled with the big banks he required independent analyst coverage for their clients. Our coverage universe tripled immediately and we were often working 7:30 am to 9:00 pm for about 6-9 months. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among my colleagues, but these were such easy hours, nothing like the constant push of clinical work. I was stunned that anyone complained. As physicians we become numb to expanding workloads.

I probably should have stayed, but I was already through the CFA curriculum, so I enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on the company dime and it was taking too long. I became more interested in school than work so I bolted and just paid full-freight on my own.

I had been managing accounts for friends and family for several years, so after graduation I moved back to my home town and opened a Registered Investment Advisor (but I didn't charge family members or solicit new business).

I was fit and happy and life was good. I thought things would continue that way for decades, but then I was struck with a serious illness.

I was misdiagnosed by a cardiologist and I knew he was less than stellar (although a very nice guy) simply by discussing a couple of clinical problems with him. I knew how to find a better cardiologist once I was out of hospital, and I knew how to direct my subsequent work-up. I think it’s likely that I would be dead now if not for my medical training.

I was suddenly worried about access to good health insurance and good healthcare going forward. I wanted to be back on the inside, and I had a renewed interest in everything medical. I earned over 800 hours of CME and scored in the top decile on my board re-certification exam. I obtained licenses in two states where I had practiced previously and returned to the practice of cardiology at 54, after 13 years away. I've been back for almost 4 years now.

Things are much better than before, but I still work about 60-65 hours per week with one weekend and 10 nights of call per month. Because we have hospitalists now, the call is not as heavy as it was. (Thank you, dear hospitalists.) Also, I'm an employee now, so I don't have to run the business. That helps, too.

My contract is up in two years and I intend to negotiate less call and/or more PDO and/or fewer patients per day in clinic. I don't hate the practice of medicine, I just hate the life. I really enjoy the subject matter. I'd rather read the Journal of the American College of Cardiology than a 10-K, and I enjoy the work if the pace is such that I can take a breath between patients.

I burned out because of the push of racing to keep up all day every day, and then being called all night. If I can arrange a more humane schedule with my employer, I plan to continue indefinitely.
What an incredible story and fun read thanks for sharing! Were you able to start a family during any of that?

IMO
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by IMO » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:51 am

HIinvestor wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:28 pm
It is very frustrating for patients AND caregivers in the current environment, where the pace of medicine seems very hurried/rushed for everyone. I know I have caught some errors that I attribute to my providers being too rushed and having my case blended with so many other patients. I feel that as a patient I have to be my own advocate and check and re-check because the system is otherwise not designed to catch errors that could have some serious consequences for patients.
I am concerned that as I get older and possibly acquire additional medical conditions, plus natural cognitive decline from aging I will be a less effective advocate for myself and am concerned about who will take my place in advocating for me.
It is a pity that medical care has become as fragmented as it has and less fulfilling for patients AND providers.
Our state has one of the highest %s of aging physicians and few young doctors to fill the gaps that will be left as the doctors retire. This is a huge concern statewide, but especially in the more rural communities who have difficulty attracting and retaining physicians and healthcare providers in the first place. I don't have answers but perhaps retiring while working part-time might be a good thing for patients AND providers, when it's feasible.
While not mentioned directly, I suspect the OP has to do with burnout, especially as the OP age is mentioned as 53 yrs/old. Burnout is pervasive at all levels in healthcare, from the technicians, nurses, mid-level providers, and physicians. If you're seeing a provider who's above age 45, there's probably a good likelihood there is some level of burnout, maybe even a significant level. Some hide it better than others.

What's the answer? I don't know. However, what seems to be a reasonable option to help the pervasive problem would be for more job sharing of positions. So for physicians who've been in practice long enough to have paid off student loans, been able to save significant funds for retirement, etc, it seems like a very reasonable option to still make much more than the average person, have additional time off for self/family, be able to provide additional coverage when needed, and as a better means to help prevent burnout. Is the problem the unwillingness to make less money?

TheNightsToCome
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:26 am

notsobright wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:09 am
TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:34 am
me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 am
looking to find out what retirement looks like for retired/retiring doctors today. Currently 53 and looking at options for the immediate and distant future. Locum tenen stories, early retirement, part time, consulting. Any stories appreciated.
At 34 I sold my critical care staffing business and took a year off prior to starting cardiology fellowship. During that year I learned to surf (Waikiki and Surfers Paradise), scuba dive (Grand Cayman and Oahu), and ski (Snowmass and Vail). I tried tandem hang gliding at Torrey Pines, and then chickened out of bungee jumping in New Zealand when I looked over the edge of the platform.

I went to London, Paris, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Capri, Santorini, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Melbourne and Sydney. I bought my first desktop and learned how to use it. I tried to write a novel (never completed). I didn't cut my hair for 15 months. I worked out for about 2 hours per day, six days per week and enjoyed all the uninterrupted sleep that I needed. I spent a lot of time visiting family. It was a very good year, and with adequate funds, it could have been a very good life.

***
At 41 I left medicine because I was so burned out that I couldn't stand the thought of working one more day. I had no plan.

As before, I enjoyed the uninterrupted sleep and the markedly improved workouts. I started to feel like a human being again.

I played a lot of fetch with my German Shepherd, Bart, who was very happy with our new arrangement. He and I were best friends.

I spent long, leisurely days reading accounting and finance books at Barnes and Noble. (My idea of fun. :happy )

I got to know the other retired guys who also passed the time at the bookstore. One guy my age sold his chain of Papa John’s stores. Another older fellow had been a Division I basketball coach. We all grabbed Barron’s on Saturday mornings, me with a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. Life was good.

At first I jumped and became instantly tense every time a nearby beeper or phone alarmed (post-traumatic beeper syndrome), but that disorder gradually melted away.

I loved investing so I eventually decided to study for the CFA exams. About that time I began corresponding with an investor who wrote a regular column on his company’s website. He told me that I was his most astute reader and I noticed that his firm had openings for equity analysts and encouraged non-traditional applicants. I told the investor that I would apply and he invited me for an interview.

It was exciting to become an equity analyst. My colleagues were very bright and well-educated and they all loved investing. We had endless discussion/arguments conducted over the water-cooler, or more often, a group email chain (still have many of them recorded somewhere).

My supervisors encouraged me to take some vacation, but I had to laugh inside. The whole “job” was a vacation. Maybe it’s different for derm or path, but once you’ve been a busy solo practice cardiologist, “working” as an equity analyst is like lounging on a beach. I was doing essentially the same thing that I had been doing in the bookstore–but now a company paid me! I sat in a peaceful cubicle all day reading 10-Ks or working with spreadsheets with no interruptions, no beeper, no crashers, no codes, no nothing but glorious peace.

When Eliot Spitzer settled with the big banks he required independent analyst coverage for their clients. Our coverage universe tripled immediately and we were often working 7:30 am to 9:00 pm for about 6-9 months. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among my colleagues, but these were such easy hours, nothing like the constant push of clinical work. I was stunned that anyone complained. As physicians we become numb to expanding workloads.

I probably should have stayed, but I was already through the CFA curriculum, so I enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on the company dime and it was taking too long. I became more interested in school than work so I bolted and just paid full-freight on my own.

I had been managing accounts for friends and family for several years, so after graduation I moved back to my home town and opened a Registered Investment Advisor (but I didn't charge family members or solicit new business).

I was fit and happy and life was good. I thought things would continue that way for decades, but then I was struck with a serious illness.

I was misdiagnosed by a cardiologist and I knew he was less than stellar (although a very nice guy) simply by discussing a couple of clinical problems with him. I knew how to find a better cardiologist once I was out of hospital, and I knew how to direct my subsequent work-up. I think it’s likely that I would be dead now if not for my medical training.

I was suddenly worried about access to good health insurance and good healthcare going forward. I wanted to be back on the inside, and I had a renewed interest in everything medical. I earned over 800 hours of CME and scored in the top decile on my board re-certification exam. I obtained licenses in two states where I had practiced previously and returned to the practice of cardiology at 54, after 13 years away. I've been back for almost 4 years now.

Things are much better than before, but I still work about 60-65 hours per week with one weekend and 10 nights of call per month. Because we have hospitalists now, the call is not as heavy as it was. (Thank you, dear hospitalists.) Also, I'm an employee now, so I don't have to run the business. That helps, too.

My contract is up in two years and I intend to negotiate less call and/or more PDO and/or fewer patients per day in clinic. I don't hate the practice of medicine, I just hate the life. I really enjoy the subject matter. I'd rather read the Journal of the American College of Cardiology than a 10-K, and I enjoy the work if the pace is such that I can take a breath between patients.

I burned out because of the push of racing to keep up all day every day, and then being called all night. If I can arrange a more humane schedule with my employer, I plan to continue indefinitely.
What an incredible story and fun read thanks for sharing! Were you able to start a family during any of that?
:happy I married late. No kids.

me112964
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:12 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by me112964 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:22 am

my Retirement plan is to get my kids through college, four more years, and scale back considerably. We live a pretty frugal lifestyle so I believe we can easily transition to a lower income then. I went to school a little later than most, had kids in my 30’s and am a little behind most physicians with retirement as a result of my field and fewer years in practice. In spite of it all I still love my work but I would like to do it differently.

loveyourheart
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:03 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by loveyourheart » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:28 am

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:26 am
notsobright wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:09 am
TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:34 am
me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 am
looking to find out what retirement looks like for retired/retiring doctors today. Currently 53 and looking at options for the immediate and distant future. Locum tenen stories, early retirement, part time, consulting. Any stories appreciated.
At 34 I sold my critical care staffing business and took a year off prior to starting cardiology fellowship. During that year I learned to surf (Waikiki and Surfers Paradise), scuba dive (Grand Cayman and Oahu), and ski (Snowmass and Vail). I tried tandem hang gliding at Torrey Pines, and then chickened out of bungee jumping in New Zealand when I looked over the edge of the platform.

I went to London, Paris, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Capri, Santorini, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Melbourne and Sydney. I bought my first desktop and learned how to use it. I tried to write a novel (never completed). I didn't cut my hair for 15 months. I worked out for about 2 hours per day, six days per week and enjoyed all the uninterrupted sleep that I needed. I spent a lot of time visiting family. It was a very good year, and with adequate funds, it could have been a very good life.

***
At 41 I left medicine because I was so burned out that I couldn't stand the thought of working one more day. I had no plan.

As before, I enjoyed the uninterrupted sleep and the markedly improved workouts. I started to feel like a human being again.

I played a lot of fetch with my German Shepherd, Bart, who was very happy with our new arrangement. He and I were best friends.

I spent long, leisurely days reading accounting and finance books at Barnes and Noble. (My idea of fun. :happy )

I got to know the other retired guys who also passed the time at the bookstore. One guy my age sold his chain of Papa John’s stores. Another older fellow had been a Division I basketball coach. We all grabbed Barron’s on Saturday mornings, me with a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. Life was good.

At first I jumped and became instantly tense every time a nearby beeper or phone alarmed (post-traumatic beeper syndrome), but that disorder gradually melted away.

I loved investing so I eventually decided to study for the CFA exams. About that time I began corresponding with an investor who wrote a regular column on his company’s website. He told me that I was his most astute reader and I noticed that his firm had openings for equity analysts and encouraged non-traditional applicants. I told the investor that I would apply and he invited me for an interview.

It was exciting to become an equity analyst. My colleagues were very bright and well-educated and they all loved investing. We had endless discussion/arguments conducted over the water-cooler, or more often, a group email chain (still have many of them recorded somewhere).

My supervisors encouraged me to take some vacation, but I had to laugh inside. The whole “job” was a vacation. Maybe it’s different for derm or path, but once you’ve been a busy solo practice cardiologist, “working” as an equity analyst is like lounging on a beach. I was doing essentially the same thing that I had been doing in the bookstore–but now a company paid me! I sat in a peaceful cubicle all day reading 10-Ks or working with spreadsheets with no interruptions, no beeper, no crashers, no codes, no nothing but glorious peace.

When Eliot Spitzer settled with the big banks he required independent analyst coverage for their clients. Our coverage universe tripled immediately and we were often working 7:30 am to 9:00 pm for about 6-9 months. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among my colleagues, but these were such easy hours, nothing like the constant push of clinical work. I was stunned that anyone complained. As physicians we become numb to expanding workloads.

I probably should have stayed, but I was already through the CFA curriculum, so I enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on the company dime and it was taking too long. I became more interested in school than work so I bolted and just paid full-freight on my own.

I had been managing accounts for friends and family for several years, so after graduation I moved back to my home town and opened a Registered Investment Advisor (but I didn't charge family members or solicit new business).

I was fit and happy and life was good. I thought things would continue that way for decades, but then I was struck with a serious illness.

I was misdiagnosed by a cardiologist and I knew he was less than stellar (although a very nice guy) simply by discussing a couple of clinical problems with him. I knew how to find a better cardiologist once I was out of hospital, and I knew how to direct my subsequent work-up. I think it’s likely that I would be dead now if not for my medical training.

I was suddenly worried about access to good health insurance and good healthcare going forward. I wanted to be back on the inside, and I had a renewed interest in everything medical. I earned over 800 hours of CME and scored in the top decile on my board re-certification exam. I obtained licenses in two states where I had practiced previously and returned to the practice of cardiology at 54, after 13 years away. I've been back for almost 4 years now.

Things are much better than before, but I still work about 60-65 hours per week with one weekend and 10 nights of call per month. Because we have hospitalists now, the call is not as heavy as it was. (Thank you, dear hospitalists.) Also, I'm an employee now, so I don't have to run the business. That helps, too.

My contract is up in two years and I intend to negotiate less call and/or more PDO and/or fewer patients per day in clinic. I don't hate the practice of medicine, I just hate the life. I really enjoy the subject matter. I'd rather read the Journal of the American College of Cardiology than a 10-K, and I enjoy the work if the pace is such that I can take a breath between patients.

I burned out because of the push of racing to keep up all day every day, and then being called all night. If I can arrange a more humane schedule with my employer, I plan to continue indefinitely.
What an incredible story and fun read thanks for sharing! Were you able to start a family during any of that?
:happy I married late. No kids.
Also a Cardiologist. Thanks for sharing your story. You must be a very confident, intelligent and interesting fellow.

bigskyguy
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:59 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by bigskyguy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:23 am

Well, let me give you a somewhat different perspective. I'm 68, in my 36th year of practicing (very, very, very part-time) in small town western Montana. Practiced full-time thru age 64. Now work 8-16 hours per week, only doing things I choose to do or things my former partners ask me to do that I am willing to do. Was independent (self-employed) as part of a group for the first 25 of practice, then with the group employed by our local hospital since.
Living in semi-rural Montana, provider competition is non-existent. Survival (those of you who are practitioners know what I mean) is the challenge. Since we are rural in a state that ranks in the lowest decile for income, our position as physicians (in my case cardiology) puts us well into the highest income/economic brackets. Like my younger colleagues, I too worried about lots of things early in my career. Over the last 10 years, I find that my concerns no longer focus upon personal finances (not wealthy but certainly comfortable) or practice management issues, but more so upon the vital importance of "mission" and physician "collegiality." There is no question that healthcare has been corporatized, even here, and it is a shame.
I have been fortunate to spend 36 years caring for terrific people in a beautiful part of the country.

As to how to transition to retirement, I think our profession has done a poor job of developing systems that allow aging physicians to remain engaged and able to contribute. I feel fortunate in that I work in a group of 17 physicians (cardiologists and cardiac surgeons) with 12 or so mid-levels, many of whom are early in their careers, who seem to value the presence of a grey-hair around to weigh in here and there and now and then. They are very well trained and honestly brighter than I have ever been. Yet there is an extraordinary value that comes with experience -- I believe it's called wisdom.

So I encourage you to consider remaining engaged if at all possible. The value of your experience and perspective to those who will follow in your footsteps is truly priceless. They will learn the lessons on their own, even without you. It will be a vastly smoother journey for them with your guidance.

One person's perspective.

Joe

darrvao777
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:34 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by darrvao777 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:31 am

Not even close to retired (I'm aiming for another 30+ years of practice, health-willing)

But I've already opted to go part-time

I love what I do and I'm already in a lifestyle-friendly specialty. But I find going part-time further improves my quality of life. Hoping to stay healthy and happy enough to continue working

User avatar
PhysicianOnFIRE
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:46 pm
Location: Up North

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:42 pm

me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:03 am
PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:54 am
I'm semi-retired, working a 0.6 FTE position now. I worked locums full time for two years to start my career, but it would be more difficult now with two boys in elementary school. We enjoy traveling with them, but we can now afford to do so without having to work.

We're currently south of the border for a three-week Spanish immersion trip and we're loving it. This slower style of travel would not be possible if I were still working full time.

I've written dozens of articles on early retirement and related topics. You may find some inspiration there. If you're looking for specific information, ask away or feel free to PM me.

:beer
-PoF
Thanks so much for your insight. I have bookmarked your site. Very interesting so far.

I am 53 and can definitively state that I am burning out fast. Family practice has become inundated with beaurocratic distraction from he doctor patient relationship. But that is not all, I feel devalued by the general public. Not monetarily. I feel financially secure, but just insignificant. I have been in practice for 22 years and need to change something fast or I will increase my regret (not a typo) value units (the real RVU measurement in my opinion)
Sometimes a change in environment or scenery can improve your work-life. I think a lot of us are experiencing this mid-career lull. It's not as exciting or redeeming as it was when we first started, and there are numerous aspects to the job that we didn't sign up for.

I'm trying to find the right balance in regret. I might regret retiring early; I might regret working more years than necessary (I'm also financially independent / secure). Minimizing the likelihood or size of the regret is a key factor in my decision making, as well.

:beer
-PoF

drjazz
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:45 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by drjazz » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:32 pm

I'm now 65 yo; was an interventional cardiologist for 32 years, stopped doing procedures/taking call/cut back to 3 days/week 2 years ago. I recognized signs of burnout well before then but was unable to persuade my group to let me cut back my workload by a smaller amount until then. My initial part time agreement was for 2 years (they refused to give me a longer one) and now year to year (they made a lowball offer which I think they hoped I would turn down; I surprised them by taking it because I didn't need the money and wanted to keep working); fortunately an old friend offered me the opportunity to take on some additional work in one of my niche areas (prison) which does not take much extra time, pays the group well, and which no one else wanted to do; so I am now valuable to them again. The bottom line is that most private practice groups are not set up to accomodate physicians who want to work less than full time and don't want to take call, even if they are content to work for significantly less pay. Perhaps hosptial based groups are more flexible but I doubt it. I was instrumental in the creation of this group (I put together the mergers of several smaller groups that led to the formation of the current group and managed one of the predecessor groups for 7 years) but that didn't carry any weight when it came to going part time. This is going to be a major problem as physicians age and want to keep working (either because they enjoy it or can't afford to stop) but don't want to or are physically unable to work full time take call,etc. One solution that I have proposed is job sharing; my group wasn't interested.
Utimately I was fortunate that I was able to work out a compromise with my group that allowed me to continue seeing my longstanding patients with a work schedule that allows me to do other things that I enjoy (tennis, music, cycling, gym). If your group is not willing to be flexible, you might have to consider looking for work in places where your services are more in demand, consider locum tenens, etc.

User avatar
gasdoc
Posts: 1515
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:26 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:49 am

I am an anesthesiologist (shocked, I know). I would like to retire by age 62 (will be 57 soon), but found it beneficial in the meantime to increase my vacation time to 6 weeks per year and I have also started "selling" my weekend call to hungrier, younger partners. You know what- I'll be damned if I am not just a little happier at work and longing for retirement just a little less. The income is about $35K / year less, but I am learning that time away is precious. Having the weekends to decompress from the work week has been good for me.

gasdoc

me112964
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:12 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by me112964 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:27 am

PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:42 pm
me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:03 am
PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:54 am
I'm semi-retired, working a 0.6 FTE position now. I worked locums full time for two years to start my career, but it would be more difficult now with two boys in elementary school. We enjoy traveling with them, but we can now afford to do so without having to work.

We're currently south of the border for a three-week Spanish immersion trip and we're loving it. This slower style of travel would not be possible if I were still working full time.

I've written dozens of articles on early retirement and related topics. You may find some inspiration there. If you're looking for specific information, ask away or feel free to PM me.

:beer
-PoF
Thanks so much for your insight. I have bookmarked your site. Very interesting so far.

I am 53 and can definitively state that I am burning out fast. Family practice has become inundated with beaurocratic distraction from he doctor patient relationship. But that is not all, I feel devalued by the general public. Not monetarily. I feel financially secure, but just insignificant. I have been in practice for 22 years and need to change something fast or I will increase my regret (not a typo) value units (the real RVU measurement in my opinion)
Sometimes a change in environment or scenery can improve your work-life. I think a lot of us are experiencing this mid-career lull. It's not as exciting or redeeming as it was when we first started, and there are numerous aspects to the job that we didn't sign up for.

I'm trying to find the right balance in regret. I might regret retiring early; I might regret working more years than necessary (I'm also financially independent / secure). Minimizing the likelihood or size of the regret is a key factor in my decision making, as well.

:beer
-PoF

I really appreciate the feedback. Today our profession suffers from less collegial/social relationships. I think that compounds burnout. I know that I am not alone in my frustrations but so often doctors are taught to suck it up and pocket our emotions. Not good in the long run.

User avatar
JDCarpenter
Posts: 1389
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:42 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by JDCarpenter » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:51 am

me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 am
looking to find out what retirement looks like for retired/retiring doctors today. Currently 53 and looking at options for the immediate and distant future. Locum tenen stories, early retirement, part time, consulting. Any stories appreciated.
Too soon for DW to really be substantive on this, but we quit at end of July at her age 56. She was private practice OBG (2-3 partners) for 27 years. Loved the OB until the end, despite the hours and sleep interruption, but we'd been planning somewhat early retirement since her residency and before our children came along (jobs didn't play well singly, and much less combined).

She loves being on the other side (so far). Reading for pleasure, time to both lift weights and run, long slow travel (just one such trip so far though), more elaborate meals at home, going out more than once or twice a month, and just generally much more time together.
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Emilyjane
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:39 am

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by Emilyjane » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:40 pm

me112964 wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:09 am
Emilyjane wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:04 am
I can answer in a few months. I’m 61 yo, retiring in one month. Just finished my last night of call!! I’m not planning any kind of medical work after retirement.
What do you want to do with the time? Bucket lists?
Combination of laid back country life (long walks with the dog, skiing in winter, gardening in the summer, more time to cook and read real books) and some travel, both in our little van camper and some international travel. We are doing a road trip out to Utah National Parks in April, and a trip to Scandinavia later in the year. We have done road trips in the camper before, but are looking forward to not having a certain date we need to be back by (other than my husband will want to be back by whichever week he gets his turkey hunting permit).

I have an idea to grow flowers to sell at the farmer's market locally. Not sure if I'll pull it together to be that organized, but at least the imaginary version of it sounds fun. So, something I will do if I feel like it, or not if I don't.

I am a family doc also, and leaving 9 years earlier than planned due to the changes in medicine. Greatly enjoy 90+% of my patients, but discouraged enough by the administrative hassles that since I think I have "enough", why not leave. I will miss the cognitive challenges of medicine, but not getting up in the middle of the night to do hospital admissions. Won't miss having an administrator tell me my paycheck will be reduced because only 73.4% of my eligible patients are up to date on their colon cancer screening, rather than the required 73.6%. It will also be nice not to have the heavy responsibilities that go with our chosen career... that did weigh on me. I think that is the attraction of the farmer's market. If the flowers do well, great. If not, oh well.

I was fortunate to be able to work part time for the past 30 years, since I became a mom. Liked it so much I never went back to full time.

Good luck with your decision making.
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance", Confucius

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by Artsdoctor » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:47 pm

me112964 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:22 am
my Retirement plan is to get my kids through college, four more years, and scale back considerably. We live a pretty frugal lifestyle so I believe we can easily transition to a lower income then. I went to school a little later than most, had kids in my 30’s and am a little behind most physicians with retirement as a result of my field and fewer years in practice. In spite of it all I still love my work but I would like to do it differently.
Yes, the last sentance is key.

I'm nearing 60 and cut back to 2/3-time about 4 years ago. It's the best of all worlds, really, since I always have a 4-day weekend, I love my job, I love my free time, and I'm spending far more time with people that had been neglected for years because of work.

I would strongly recommend that you cut back first, and not stop altogether. For me, I found that it took some time to develop my likes outside of work. It took time to recalibrate.

I don't think you'll regret it. I had thought that retiring altogether would be the goal, but I'm enjoying my work so much that I don't think I actually want to quit.

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by 1210sda » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:42 pm

.....

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by hmw » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 am

I am a subspecialty surgeon and in my early 40’s. I work pretty hard, and takes a lot of call. Plan to retire at 55. I don’t want to work at the current pace for the next 10 years. But I will have a hard time finding a position that will let me work part time. I have never met a surgeon who worked part time, or had a job share arrangement with another surgeon. I have never seen any job advertising looking for a part time surgeon either. So I will keep working full time, more or less and stop completely at age 55.

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by Luckywon » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:23 am

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:34 am

At 34 I sold my critical care staffing business and took a year off prior to starting cardiology fellowship. During that year I learned to surf (Waikiki and Surfers Paradise), scuba dive (Grand Cayman and Oahu), and ski (Snowmass and Vail). I tried tandem hang gliding at Torrey Pines, and then chickened out of bungee jumping in New Zealand when I looked over the edge of the platform.

I went to London, Paris, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Capri, Santorini, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Melbourne and Sydney. I bought my first desktop and learned how to use it. I tried to write a novel (never completed). I didn't cut my hair for 15 months. I worked out for about 2 hours per day, six days per week and enjoyed all the uninterrupted sleep that I needed. I spent a lot of time visiting family. It was a very good year, and with adequate funds, it could have been a very good life.

***
At 41 I left medicine because I was so burned out that I couldn't stand the thought of working one more day. I had no plan.

As before, I enjoyed the uninterrupted sleep and the markedly improved workouts. I started to feel like a human being again.

I played a lot of fetch with my German Shepherd, Bart, who was very happy with our new arrangement. He and I were best friends.

I spent long, leisurely days reading accounting and finance books at Barnes and Noble. (My idea of fun. :happy )

I got to know the other retired guys who also passed the time at the bookstore. One guy my age sold his chain of Papa John’s stores. Another older fellow had been a Division I basketball coach. We all grabbed Barron’s on Saturday mornings, me with a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. Life was good.

At first I jumped and became instantly tense every time a nearby beeper or phone alarmed (post-traumatic beeper syndrome), but that disorder gradually melted away.

I loved investing so I eventually decided to study for the CFA exams. About that time I began corresponding with an investor who wrote a regular column on his company’s website. He told me that I was his most astute reader and I noticed that his firm had openings for equity analysts and encouraged non-traditional applicants. I told the investor that I would apply and he invited me for an interview.

It was exciting to become an equity analyst. My colleagues were very bright and well-educated and they all loved investing. We had endless discussion/arguments conducted over the water-cooler, or more often, a group email chain (still have many of them recorded somewhere).

My supervisors encouraged me to take some vacation, but I had to laugh inside. The whole “job” was a vacation. Maybe it’s different for derm or path, but once you’ve been a busy solo practice cardiologist, “working” as an equity analyst is like lounging on a beach. I was doing essentially the same thing that I had been doing in the bookstore–but now a company paid me! I sat in a peaceful cubicle all day reading 10-Ks or working with spreadsheets with no interruptions, no beeper, no crashers, no codes, no nothing but glorious peace.

When Eliot Spitzer settled with the big banks he required independent analyst coverage for their clients. Our coverage universe tripled immediately and we were often working 7:30 am to 9:00 pm for about 6-9 months. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among my colleagues, but these were such easy hours, nothing like the constant push of clinical work. I was stunned that anyone complained. As physicians we become numb to expanding workloads.

I probably should have stayed, but I was already through the CFA curriculum, so I enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on the company dime and it was taking too long. I became more interested in school than work so I bolted and just paid full-freight on my own.

I had been managing accounts for friends and family for several years, so after graduation I moved back to my home town and opened a Registered Investment Advisor (but I didn't charge family members or solicit new business).

I was fit and happy and life was good. I thought things would continue that way for decades, but then I was struck with a serious illness.

I was misdiagnosed by a cardiologist and I knew he was less than stellar (although a very nice guy) simply by discussing a couple of clinical problems with him. I knew how to find a better cardiologist once I was out of hospital, and I knew how to direct my subsequent work-up. I think it’s likely that I would be dead now if not for my medical training.

I was suddenly worried about access to good health insurance and good healthcare going forward. I wanted to be back on the inside, and I had a renewed interest in everything medical. I earned over 800 hours of CME and scored in the top decile on my board re-certification exam. I obtained licenses in two states where I had practiced previously and returned to the practice of cardiology at 54, after 13 years away. I've been back for almost 4 years now.

Things are much better than before, but I still work about 60-65 hours per week with one weekend and 10 nights of call per month. Because we have hospitalists now, the call is not as heavy as it was. (Thank you, dear hospitalists.) Also, I'm an employee now, so I don't have to run the business. That helps, too.

My contract is up in two years and I intend to negotiate less call and/or more PDO and/or fewer patients per day in clinic. I don't hate the practice of medicine, I just hate the life. I really enjoy the subject matter. I'd rather read the Journal of the American College of Cardiology than a 10-K, and I enjoy the work if the pace is such that I can take a breath between patients.

I burned out because of the push of racing to keep up all day every day, and then being called all night. If I can arrange a more humane schedule with my employer, I plan to continue indefinitely.
Such a riveting life story. I admire your courage to change course and take the road less traveled. Best wishes to you and thank you so much for sharing!

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by gasdoc » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:19 am

hmw wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 am
I am a subspecialty surgeon and in my early 40’s. I work pretty hard, and takes a lot of call. Plan to retire at 55. I don’t want to work at the current pace for the next 10 years. But I will have a hard time finding a position that will let me work part time. I have never met a surgeon who worked part time, or had a job share arrangement with another surgeon. I have never seen any job advertising looking for a part time surgeon either. So I will keep working full time, more or less and stop completely at age 55.
Perhaps as you get into your 50's, and the call becomes truly onerous, you could sell some of it to any junior partners. There is always a price that can be negotiated. At some point, the money might entice a younger surgeon. Having just recently given up my call weekends for the price of $X,000 per weekend call day, I can tell you that just having the weekends off makes a big difference in both burnout relief and prevention, and in finding the time to get to know your spouse again.

gasdoc

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PhysicianOnFIRE
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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:59 pm

hmw wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 am
I am a subspecialty surgeon and in my early 40’s. I work pretty hard, and takes a lot of call. Plan to retire at 55. I don’t want to work at the current pace for the next 10 years. But I will have a hard time finding a position that will let me work part time. I have never met a surgeon who worked part time, or had a job share arrangement with another surgeon. I have never seen any job advertising looking for a part time surgeon either. So I will keep working full time, more or less and stop completely at age 55.
Check out Cory S. Fawcett. He retired as a general surgeon this year in his mid-fifties, but had been working part-time as a locums doc for a while beforehand. During his career, he took a fair amount of time off and made a schedule that suited him. It's becoming more and more difficult to do as fewer of us own our practices, but it may be possible. Never say never.

Dr. Fawcett has written three books and I've read and enjoyed each of them. His most recent book on retirement and career transitions would probably speak to you the most. If you love the job you've got, keep at it, but there are usually ways to work less in almost any field.

:beer
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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:47 am

darrvao777 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:31 am
Not even close to retired (I'm aiming for another 30+ years of practice, health-willing)

But I've already opted to go part-time

I love what I do and I'm already in a lifestyle-friendly specialty. But I find going part-time further improves my quality of life. Hoping to stay healthy and happy enough to continue working
I have yet to meet a doc who regretted going part-time. In fact, most docs would be dramatically happier if they would just cut back to full-time.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:51 am

One if my in-laws chose her specialty (derm) on the ability to go part time. She’s worked part time most of her career, MWF and starts early and ends early (7-2 most days). She enjoys work but loves her time off as well and has a nice work-life balance.

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by slowjog » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:10 pm

Sold my dental practice at 53 and started working in free community clinic. We were FI and I had an asset to turn "cash in" with our family practice and we just went for it. Loved the patients/staff but was done with the business side of solo practice. Best thing we have done so far.

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by hmw » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:00 am

gasdoc wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:19 am
hmw wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 am
I am a subspecialty surgeon and in my early 40’s. I work pretty hard, and takes a lot of call. Plan to retire at 55. I don’t want to work at the current pace for the next 10 years. But I will have a hard time finding a position that will let me work part time. I have never met a surgeon who worked part time, or had a job share arrangement with another surgeon. I have never seen any job advertising looking for a part time surgeon either. So I will keep working full time, more or less and stop completely at age 55.
Perhaps as you get into your 50's, and the call becomes truly onerous, you could sell some of it to any junior partners. There is always a price that can be negotiated. At some point, the money might entice a younger surgeon. Having just recently given up my call weekends for the price of $X,000 per weekend call day, I can tell you that just having the weekends off makes a big difference in both burnout relief and prevention, and in finding the time to get to know your spouse again.

gasdoc
I currently do about 15 ED calls a month but don’t get called in much. I will be happy if I can go down to 1 in 4 calls in the future but will require a job change. I actually spend lots of time with my wife and my son. I have dinner at home every night and always takes Friday pm off. I probably work 40 to 50 hours a week on average. I used to be in a larger group of 6 surgeons. Selling calls to junior partners didn’t happen in my old group. Seems to be more common among anesthesiologists, and ER docs.

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by kenoryan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:25 am

gasdoc wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:19 am
hmw wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 am
I am a subspecialty surgeon and in my early 40’s. I work pretty hard, and takes a lot of call. Plan to retire at 55. I don’t want to work at the current pace for the next 10 years. But I will have a hard time finding a position that will let me work part time. I have never met a surgeon who worked part time, or had a job share arrangement with another surgeon. I have never seen any job advertising looking for a part time surgeon either. So I will keep working full time, more or less and stop completely at age 55.
Perhaps as you get into your 50's, and the call becomes truly onerous, you could sell some of it to any junior partners. There is always a price that can be negotiated. At some point, the money might entice a younger surgeon. Having just recently given up my call weekends for the price of $X,000 per weekend call day, I can tell you that just having the weekends off makes a big difference in both burnout relief and prevention, and in finding the time to get to know your spouse again.

gasdoc
What do you mean by ‘selling’ call? Do you get paid by the partner that takes your call? Or do you pay them to take your call? In my group, the hungry young guys love to pick up extra call and since it is ‘eat what you kill’ there’s no money transaction for the call. I just give away my call whenever I please. At 58 I have no burnout. I take 8 weeks of vacation a year and I have lots of leisure activities like golf swimming fishing hunting and gardening that I will be doing full time in a few years.

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by goodenyou » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:40 am

The ability to retire early as well as the propensity to burnout appears to be dependent on the age and number of dependents in the household. Physicians usually start families later thus have college age children well into their late 50s and 60s. Would have retired years ago if not for dependent (expensive) children. The cash burn in late teens and early adulthood is tremendous.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by staythecourse » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:00 am

hmw wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:00 am
gasdoc wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:19 am
hmw wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 am
I am a subspecialty surgeon and in my early 40’s. I work pretty hard, and takes a lot of call. Plan to retire at 55. I don’t want to work at the current pace for the next 10 years. But I will have a hard time finding a position that will let me work part time. I have never met a surgeon who worked part time, or had a job share arrangement with another surgeon. I have never seen any job advertising looking for a part time surgeon either. So I will keep working full time, more or less and stop completely at age 55.
Perhaps as you get into your 50's, and the call becomes truly onerous, you could sell some of it to any junior partners. There is always a price that can be negotiated. At some point, the money might entice a younger surgeon. Having just recently given up my call weekends for the price of $X,000 per weekend call day, I can tell you that just having the weekends off makes a big difference in both burnout relief and prevention, and in finding the time to get to know your spouse again.

gasdoc
I currently do about 15 ED calls a month but don’t get called in much. I will be happy if I can go down to 1 in 4 calls in the future but will require a job change. I actually spend lots of time with my wife and my son. I have dinner at home every night and always takes Friday pm off. I probably work 40 to 50 hours a week on average. I used to be in a larger group of 6 surgeons. Selling calls to junior partners didn’t happen in my old group. Seems to be more common among anesthesiologists, and ER docs.
The big question is where are you financially? Why not think about going to 50 then stop and do some insurance work? You could just do it from home via computer. Locums, as adviced above, is also a good option. That way you work when you want and don't when you don't want. Heck, maybe even ask you current group when the time comes.

Life is TOO SHORT to just keep the blinders on and slug through it. If I was in your situation I would continue to do what you are doing and at the same time start thinking more seriously about a good exit strategy at 50. Personally, I would rather work off and on on my terms from 50-60 then slug through the grind at mid 40's to 55.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by sleepysurf » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:10 am

Emilyjane wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:04 am
I can answer in a few months. I’m 61 yo, retiring in one month. Just finished my last night of call!! I’m not planning any kind of medical work after retirement.
Ditto here! Retiring end of year at 63, but still have six 24 hr calls to go! Unfortunately, my group never implemented a "slowdown track" or "job-sharing" plan, so full retirement was my only option for physical and mental well-being! Likewise, not planning any kind of future medical work, but will keep my license active for a while, just in case. Fortunately, I have many hobbies, and a long bucket list of places to see and things to do. My wife still works, and by my calculations, we'll be fine with a 3% SWR, and delaying SS until age 70.
Retired 2017 | ~50/45/5 (partially sliced and diced) | Current WR 2.8%

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by JDCarpenter » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:22 am

goodenyou wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:40 am
The ability to retire early as well as the propensity to burnout appears to be dependent on the age and number of dependents in the household. Physicians usually start families later thus have college age children well into their late 50s and 60s. Would have retired years ago if not for dependent (expensive) children. The cash burn in late teens and early adulthood is tremendous.
Very true. You have to pick your poison--and it will definitely involve big tradeoffs. We had two during last two years of DW's OB residency, then one in second year of private practice. In hindsight, we/SHE were/was insane; luckily, it worked out as we hoped .... ("biglaw" salary helped immensely with cost of nanny; couldn't have gone that route if I had been in a normal job)

Most of our physician friends understandably went the other way.
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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:27 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:47 am
darrvao777 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:31 am
Not even close to retired (I'm aiming for another 30+ years of practice, health-willing)

But I've already opted to go part-time

I love what I do and I'm already in a lifestyle-friendly specialty. But I find going part-time further improves my quality of life. Hoping to stay healthy and happy enough to continue working
I have yet to meet a doc who regretted going part-time. In fact, most docs would be dramatically happier if they would just cut back to full-time.
"In fact, most docs would be dramatically happier if they would just cut back to full-time."

+1

Many don't have the option.

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by hmw » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:10 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:00 am
hmw wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:00 am
gasdoc wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:19 am
hmw wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 am
I am a subspecialty surgeon and in my early 40’s. I work pretty hard, and takes a lot of call. Plan to retire at 55. I don’t want to work at the current pace for the next 10 years. But I will have a hard time finding a position that will let me work part time. I have never met a surgeon who worked part time, or had a job share arrangement with another surgeon. I have never seen any job advertising looking for a part time surgeon either. So I will keep working full time, more or less and stop completely at age 55.
Perhaps as you get into your 50's, and the call becomes truly onerous, you could sell some of it to any junior partners. There is always a price that can be negotiated. At some point, the money might entice a younger surgeon. Having just recently given up my call weekends for the price of $X,000 per weekend call day, I can tell you that just having the weekends off makes a big difference in both burnout relief and prevention, and in finding the time to get to know your spouse again.

gasdoc
I currently do about 15 ED calls a month but don’t get called in much. I will be happy if I can go down to 1 in 4 calls in the future but will require a job change. I actually spend lots of time with my wife and my son. I have dinner at home every night and always takes Friday pm off. I probably work 40 to 50 hours a week on average. I used to be in a larger group of 6 surgeons. Selling calls to junior partners didn’t happen in my old group. Seems to be more common among anesthesiologists, and ER docs.
The big question is where are you financially? Why not think about going to 50 then stop and do some insurance work? You could just do it from home via computer. Locums, as adviced above, is also a good option. That way you work when you want and don't when you don't want. Heck, maybe even ask you current group when the time comes.

Life is TOO SHORT to just keep the blinders on and slug through it. If I was in your situation I would continue to do what you are doing and at the same time start thinking more seriously about a good exit strategy at 50. Personally, I would rather work off and on on my terms from 50-60 then slug through the grind at mid 40's to 55.

Good luck.
We are doing fine financially thanks to high income, high saving rate and the current bull market. I am sure we will have more money than we need before I hit 55. I enjoy my work for the most part,and I don’t think I suffer from burn out. I don’t think I will like doing insurance work. Never done it but I am reasonably sure that I like operating more, and surgery probably pays better too. I have done a little locum work after my fellowship. But with young kid at home, I don’t want to be away for any extended period.

I know there are quite a few physician BHs on this board. Does anyone know any part time surgeon who is not working as a locum?

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by White Coat Investor » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:58 pm

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:27 pm
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:47 am
darrvao777 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:31 am
Not even close to retired (I'm aiming for another 30+ years of practice, health-willing)

But I've already opted to go part-time

I love what I do and I'm already in a lifestyle-friendly specialty. But I find going part-time further improves my quality of life. Hoping to stay healthy and happy enough to continue working
I have yet to meet a doc who regretted going part-time. In fact, most docs would be dramatically happier if they would just cut back to full-time.
"In fact, most docs would be dramatically happier if they would just cut back to full-time."

+1

Many don't have the option.
I disagree. Where there's a will, there's a way. You might not be able to work in your desired city or hospital or make what you want or need (based on your chosen lifestyle or debt burden) to make, you can work for 40 hours a week somewhere.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by staythecourse » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:25 pm

hmw wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:10 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:00 am
hmw wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:00 am
gasdoc wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:19 am
hmw wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 am
I am a subspecialty surgeon and in my early 40’s. I work pretty hard, and takes a lot of call. Plan to retire at 55. I don’t want to work at the current pace for the next 10 years. But I will have a hard time finding a position that will let me work part time. I have never met a surgeon who worked part time, or had a job share arrangement with another surgeon. I have never seen any job advertising looking for a part time surgeon either. So I will keep working full time, more or less and stop completely at age 55.
Perhaps as you get into your 50's, and the call becomes truly onerous, you could sell some of it to any junior partners. There is always a price that can be negotiated. At some point, the money might entice a younger surgeon. Having just recently given up my call weekends for the price of $X,000 per weekend call day, I can tell you that just having the weekends off makes a big difference in both burnout relief and prevention, and in finding the time to get to know your spouse again.

gasdoc
I currently do about 15 ED calls a month but don’t get called in much. I will be happy if I can go down to 1 in 4 calls in the future but will require a job change. I actually spend lots of time with my wife and my son. I have dinner at home every night and always takes Friday pm off. I probably work 40 to 50 hours a week on average. I used to be in a larger group of 6 surgeons. Selling calls to junior partners didn’t happen in my old group. Seems to be more common among anesthesiologists, and ER docs.
The big question is where are you financially? Why not think about going to 50 then stop and do some insurance work? You could just do it from home via computer. Locums, as adviced above, is also a good option. That way you work when you want and don't when you don't want. Heck, maybe even ask you current group when the time comes.

Life is TOO SHORT to just keep the blinders on and slug through it. If I was in your situation I would continue to do what you are doing and at the same time start thinking more seriously about a good exit strategy at 50. Personally, I would rather work off and on on my terms from 50-60 then slug through the grind at mid 40's to 55.

Good luck.
We are doing fine financially thanks to high income, high saving rate and the current bull market. I am sure we will have more money than we need before I hit 55. I enjoy my work for the most part,and I don’t think I suffer from burn out. I don’t think I will like doing insurance work. Never done it but I am reasonably sure that I like operating more, and surgery probably pays better too. I have done a little locum work after my fellowship. But with young kid at home, I don’t want to be away for any extended period.

I know there are quite a few physician BHs on this board. Does anyone know any part time surgeon who is not working as a locum?
Nothing is going to be as well paid as just doing the clinical work otherwise everyone would just quit clinical work. :D

Personally, the only surgery folks I have seen doing part time are those really old guys who just do the clinic stuff for the other surgeons which frees them up to be in the OR. I know a couple of orthopods like that. Of course, they were senior partners/ founders in their group so they could basically do whatever they wanted so not sure if other folks in the same group would be able to do the same when they get to that point.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

TheNightsToCome
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Any retired boglehead doctors out there?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:43 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:58 pm
TheNightsToCome wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:27 pm
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:47 am
darrvao777 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:31 am
Not even close to retired (I'm aiming for another 30+ years of practice, health-willing)

But I've already opted to go part-time

I love what I do and I'm already in a lifestyle-friendly specialty. But I find going part-time further improves my quality of life. Hoping to stay healthy and happy enough to continue working
I have yet to meet a doc who regretted going part-time. In fact, most docs would be dramatically happier if they would just cut back to full-time.
"In fact, most docs would be dramatically happier if they would just cut back to full-time."

+1

Many don't have the option.
I disagree. Where there's a will, there's a way. You might not be able to work in your desired city or hospital or make what you want or need (based on your chosen lifestyle or debt burden) to make, you can work for 40 hours a week somewhere.
Maybe, but if you're a sub-specialist in private practice, then you have to be available to your referring physicians and patients or they will go elsewhere and you will be left covering overhead with no revenue.

If you're an employee, then you have to find an employer willing to hire you for 40 hours per week. That means a limited clinic and no call, but of course, an employer will always prefer to hire someone who will take call and a full clinic load--and there is always someone willing to do that because it is just the normal, expected workload.

It's possible for many specialties. I'm sure plenty of derm, Psy, and path physicians manage this. Any shift-based specialty can manage this (e.g., ER). But I don't know any cardiologists who have an arrangement like this, except for the occasional senior partner who works part-time for a limited period at the end of a career. Such opportunities are rare. They're just not available to anyone who wants the arrangement.

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