Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Physicians who work their entire lives

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • MPMD
    replied






    I’m a 58 yo boomer, and I have never met these noble individuals.




    Everything was on paper when I left medicine around the turn of the century, and everything was electronic when I returned. It’s a great benefit. Multiple physicians can use the chart at the same time (no waiting), and we can access everything from home. I don’t have to go down to radiology to see a film now. There are a few minor annoyances with order entry, but overall e-records beat paper records from my point of view. I don’t understand why electronic systems are so unpopular (except that it would be a great hassle and expense to install in a small private practice).
    Click to expand...


    Agree with both of these.

    As I've said in other forums the EMR-bashing among older docs is a bunch of hogwash. We do everything else in our lives online, it's 2017, medicine is going to be computerized. I know several older docs who complain incessantly about the clunky, difficult EMR and then spend hours a day playing on their iPhones. The rare times we have to use paper charts now (e.g. computer downtimes) it's amazing that people didn't revolt against this system well before it went away. I do a medicolegal case discussion for my residents involving a torsion case on paper charts and it's absolutely incredible how little of the chart is even legible.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zaphod
    replied
    Maybe those guys are just different. Something was probably not bad in choosing people so laser focused on only one thing. I mean look at this group, we all have tons of interests and cant imagine being bored not doing clinical work. I know of several kinds of things I'd love to learn more in depth, just for myself. Places to go, people to visit, and all kinds of interesting things.

    This is medical schools fault for starting to go after 'well-rounded' individuals with hobbies, etc...you get what you asked for sometimes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kamban
    replied




    I’ve always been partly amused/partly saddened by the retired surgeons who still frequent the surgeons’ lounge to read the paper or eat lunch, or seemingly just hang out.
    Click to expand...


    I have seen this at one of my hospitals. Two retired general surgeons and an urologist have continued to come to the Doctor's dining room 5+ years post retirement. All they do is eat lunch and banter with the current surgeons. Usually it is politics or college football. I have not seen internists or medical sub specialists there. Perhaps their life was not tied so much to the hospital like a surgeon.

    One former vascular surgeon was so bored in retirement that he came out of it to become almost like an internist, doing H/P and office follow up for neurosurgeons. Why did he choose that is a mystery to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Antares
    replied
    I have observed this issue keenly in my father. He is 83 and was a doctor who became a lawyer in his late forties. He cultivated few interests outside of his professional life. He retired at age 67, for reasons that are hard to fathom, but basically amount to “that seemed like around the time people tended to retire.”

    The result was unfortunate. He was bored and unhappy for the next decade, remembering fondly the active and productive years of his career. It took him until around 80 to have developed a new life that he enjoyed, although honestly I believe he was far happier when he was working. Interestingly, even though he practiced exclusively law for the last 15 years of his career, it is his identity as a physician that he retains most strongly.

    I am very different. I have a million things I love to do, interests I pursue, and clear ideas about how I want to spend my time when I am no longer working. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to feel comfortable financially retiring until I’m in my mid-sixties or even 67 (I’m 59). But it seems clear to me that a happy retirement begins long before work stops. If you don’t have a sense of what you enjoy, how you will maintain social contacts, what your life will be about, you may want to work on that ahead of time...

    Leave a comment:


  • Lithium
    replied
    Thanks all for the wide range of responses; they provide plenty of food for thought.

    I do wonder how gratified I would feel from work if I could go to part time, get out of taking call, and never work another weekend.  I don't have that option right now in my current position, so I fantasize achieving infinite leisure through financial independence as a "reward" and the ultimate delayed gratification for putting up with it for another three years or so.  Missing out on social events and trips out of town because I have to go to the hospital has really gotten old.  I also no longer trust health care employers but also don't want the headache of running a business, which doesn't leave many clinical options.

    I'm hoping I can figure out the "retire to" part in the meantime.  Unfortunately most of us work so much that we lack time to discover what our other passions are.  Besides the fear of running out of time, one thing that makes it harder for me to relate to the 70+ year olds who continue to work is that most of them have their own families they can make a lot more time for without the stress of parenting, and most people they know are retired as well.  I'd hope that it's easier to replace the social stimulation one gets from coworker interactions at that point, but I know I could be mistaken.  I think good health, moderate intellectual stimulation, and a satisfactory social life are about all I really need.

    Leave a comment:


  • MaxPower
    replied
    I’ve always been partly amused/partly saddened by the retired surgeons who still frequent the surgeons’ lounge to read the paper or eat lunch, or seemingly just hang out. My last day of work will be the last day in the hospital, except as a patient.

    I remember in some dumb humanities class I had to take in medical school how the instructor was almost appalled when we were taking about the “calling of being a physician,” and she asked me what I thought. I told her that being a physician was what I was doing with my life but not who I was as a person.

    My current plan is to work another 15-20 years (I am 39 now and 3.5 years out of fellowship). At that time my youngest child will be 21 to 26 and my kids should be launched by then, hopefully with at least undergrad completely paid for. If I want extra money for something it should be pretty easy to obtain locums work somewhere, but I imagine I would be pretty picky about the options.

    I remember in residency seeing an old general surgeon. His kids were vascular and general surgeons who did approaches for one of our spine surgeon’s ALIFs. They’d let their dad come in and close, and I had to stand there and watch him put vicryl through the skin on his subcutaneous layer over and over because he couldn’t see. Not for me, thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dreamgiver
    replied
    I think it really depends on whether you experience what you do for a living as a job or as a passion. I love what I do, most of the time spent at work does not feel like work. We are planning on FI in our late 50s, but I will keep working way past that, I will just quit doing nights, weekends, holidays, and work 2-3 days/week.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tpeters2010
    replied
    When looking at fellow pediatricians, including the obits in the AAP news, there are so many who remain active past 70. That probably won't be me. My plan is traditional retire in 60s. Spouse loves job too and has tenure, so that's a big personal plus. So unless unexpected illness, it'll be a good life including work.

    I don't regret the 10 year detour in my 20s to be a physician. Before the career change, I learned what corporate life is like. That was awful, like living inside the Office Space movie. I need meaningful work. It would be nice to have something else I really love, but nothing else has compared to peds for me (7 years practicing).

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied




    When I talk to senior colleagues, being a physician was a calling. They have a sense of social obligation to work until the end.
    Click to expand...


    .




    It is literally who they are.
    Click to expand...


    .




    However the aches and pains of Emr appear to be more troubling to middle aged physicians than to kill rials who have never handwritten a note or a prescription.
    Click to expand...


    .

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied




    It is absolutely better to retire early (even from medicine), then it is to work until 50 or 60. If you disagree, you haven’t traveled enough, read enough, met enough people to know what is out there. Soo much more richness and beauty out there, most of it you won’t have the time to experience if you keep working.
    Click to expand...


    .




    I also think it’s a little, I don’t know, naive or something, to think life is going to be SO MUCH BETTER once you are retired. If you die at 50 while still working and think you were cheated, I submit that maybe you weren’t doing life right.
    Click to expand...


    .




    I know a huge portion of us have a FIRE mentality and probably can’t relate to it either, but do any of you know docs like this, or even plan to keep practicing full-time until your health makes you quit?
    Click to expand...


    .

    Leave a comment:


  • VagabondMD
    replied
    I have gone back and forth on this issue. When I was acutely suffering from burnout, I wanted to get out ASAP and I could not help but think about my two fellow fellows who were dead by the age of 50 and what a pity it was.

    Now that I have crafted my job and career more to my liking, particularly as I approach part time in January, I feel that I might want do this for quite a bit longer. Maybe. (Warning, guest blog on PoF site coming soon.)

    One thing I have observed, American professionals beat themselves up in their careers quite a bit more than they do elsewhere. Last week I was in Spain and talking to people of all kinds, there was a great sense that life was much more than working and piling up dough. I have found that Europeans seem to live much better than we do, appear healthier, and seem happier. Or maybe that is just the rose colored glasses of vacation.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Kamban
    replied




    OP, your hunch is correct. It is absolutely better to retire early (even from medicine), then it is to work until 50 or 60.

    If you disagree, you haven’t traveled enough, read enough, met enough people to know what is out there. Soo much more richness and beauty out there, most of it you won’t have the time to experience if you keep working.

    I plan on retiring in my mid to late thirties. I absolutely love my job and my specialty, but I have traveled enough, immersed myself into enough cultures and languages, hiked enough mountains and seen enough sunsets, to know that there is just too much to see in life...


    Retiring in my thirties is something I did not even contemplate since I did not make my first $1M till I was just 40. My most productive life academically, monetarily and private practice growth was in my forties and fifties.

    But one thing I did do was travel in my twenties and thirties and forties and fifties. I have worked in three continents. I take vacation twice a year, often abroad. I read quite a few books, mostly non fiction. I have met enough people but some of the most interesting people are not those in Cambodia or Australia but my very own patients. I work four 6-hour days a week. I think this is a good balance in keeping my mental faculties sharp while at the same time not getting burned out. If my mental abilities are still up to par, I plan to work at least 2 months a year even at age 70.

    Off to Central America in three days time. Adios.

    Leave a comment:


  • hightower
    replied
    If I truly enjoyed my career I wouldnt mind doing it until I die. Unfortunately I do not. I hope to find more meaningful work after I stop being a doctor. I wish it were a career I loved but I really dont like it.
    I truly envy those who have found work that they love and are good at. That would be better to me than being ultra wealthy.

    Leave a comment:


  • DMFA
    replied
    I love what I do.  It's awesome.  But I want to do it when I feel like it and not *have* to do it.  If I work a few days a month when I'm in my 60s, I don't want it to be because I jerked my portfolio around or need to pay some bills.

    If I decide I want another luxury/sports car or add to my guitar collection, or want a first class transoceanic flight instead of flying coach, meh, whatever, I'll consider doing a bit more than what I otherwise would.  And I hope to have a purpose well beyond my profession, especially with my family, and to have a good amount of passive income to help get me there...but I don't anticipate walking out of a clinic/hospital (as a practicing physician) for the last time until I'm simply physically incapable of doing so.  I mean, even then, I could probably read PFTs from home, if they're still having humans do it by then.

    Leave a comment:


  • wideopenspaces
    replied
    I personally choose to work. I grew up in a culture that puts the stay at home mom on a bit of a pedestal so it certainly would have been easy to choose that route, but I knew that was never the right path for me. So I guess I have a different perspective. Not saying I want to work until I die but I do understand the value in meaningful work and why some would choose that. I also think it's a little, I don't know, naive or something, to think life is going to be SO MUCH BETTER once you are retired. If you die at 50 while still working and think you were cheated, I submit that maybe you weren't doing life right. I just mean that life is a journey and you should strive to find happiness along the way, not at the end, as some sort of reward. If I die at 50 I'll be sad for the future I missed out on but not because I didn't have enough joy and happiness in those 50 years. Hope that makes some sense.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X