For many physicians, age isn’t the most important factor in deciding when to retire. Instead, they often feel a strong motivation to continue caring for patients as long as they’re willing and able, often by providing essential services at community hospitals. Furthermore, some physicians aren’t financially ready to retire when they reach retirement age, even though they may want to reduce their work hours. NexGen offers a solution to this dilemma with a more gradual transition from full-time practice to complete retirement.
Trends In Surgeon Retirement
The average age of physicians is rising, with 38 percent of physicians close to retirement age. According to a survey by CompHealth, they are increasingly reluctant to retire, or they want to continue working after their retirement. These results are based on responses from over 400 physicians within various specialties at least 50 years of age.
What Causes Physicians to Postpone Retirement?
Reasons for extending their careers include patient obligations and long-term financial stability.
A review on retirement published in Human Resources for Health shows that concern for their patients is one of the primary reasons physicians delay retirement. They may also feel obligated to provide care in specific communities, often due to a physician shortage. As a result, physicians may work past retirement age or come out of retirement.
Financial security is an important factor when considering retirement. One may question if they have saved enough and if they will be able to maintain their current lifestyle after retirement. Often, these questions determine whether retirement is possible and drive physicians to continue working past retirement age.
Questions To Consider Before Retiring
You should consider the following questions when contemplating retirement.
Is Burnout Driving Your Physician Retirement Timeline?
A 2020 Medscape survey shows that 42 percent of physicians feel burned out, leading to a lack of professional fulfillment, exhaustion and a reduced sense of accomplishment. Fifty-five percent of respondents also said they were overwhelmed by non-medical tasks. Consider asking your healthcare administration about working fewer hours if burnout makes you think about early retirement.
What Will You Do With All Your Newfound Free Time?
Before the pandemic, doctors worked an average of 50 hours per week. Since then, physicians have been working hours that bring their residency to mind, which can make the thought of having extra time a bit unsettling. Developing new interests and networking with other physicians on the verge of retirement can help you when deciding what to do with your time off.
Will You Maintain Your License To Practice Medicine?
Some physicians chose to come out of retirement during the early days of the pandemic. Physicians should consider maintaining their medical license after retirement, even if they never plan to practice medicine again. Renewing a lapsed medical license can take six months or more, depending on the state.
Consider Transitioning to a Community Hospital
Practicing in rural areas provides a lifeline to underserved communities and gives surgeons a sense of fulfillment. With an increased patient demand and a smaller physician pool, practicing in rural communities can also provide a steady income. Additionally, it allows for a better work/life balance by giving physicians greater control over their schedules.
NexGen Can Help You Slow Down
Surgeons often find they want to continue serving their communities when they are near retirement age. NexGen specializes in helping them make a gradual transition to retirement without diving in all at once. Our model provides surgeons with a healthier work/life balance by giving them a reduced schedule with no call during their time off and eliminating the burden of administrative duties. Our current surgical needs include experienced, high-performing orthopedic surgeons, ENT surgeons, urologists and general surgeons.
Contact us online or call 844-592-0802 to learn more about your options for finding balance while extending your surgical career.