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  • Second careers

    I’d be curious as to everyone’s thoughts on good “second careers” after medicine.

    I have a hunch that after I’m well past FI and probably in my 50s I’ll either decide to keep working for awhile and give more money away than I do now, or transition to another career.

    The thought of a retirement full of TV and other leisurely activities (ie golf) sounds boring and purposeless to me. Don’t get me wrong, I do plan on slowing down at some point and traveling a bit more (a few weeks per year), but I do like the idea of having a job/purpose as long as my mind is functional, hopefully into my 90s😀

    I practice in a field of medicine that is physically easy, but can be mentally challenging and I’m not sure I can do this forever. Also as long as one is practicing, the fear of a lawsuit due to a mistake is stress that I would one day like to be done with.

    if I did ever switch careers it would probably involve going back to college and getting another degree, which itself sounds intriguing. If I had to speculate on my second career now, it might be some kind of a high school teacher.

    anyone else’s thoughts?


  • #2
    I'm sure many of this same thought.

    Most physicians are better off doing what they're doing till they retire. It is the easiest path. When you have a medial degree after your name, you've made it. You don't have to fight that hard to get a job paying 6 figures and the respect that comes with it. Switching to a second career while sounds fun, probably isn't easy. You're no longer young and able to compete with the youth. The only caveat is that if you are FI, then you can simply offer your services (what ever that is, be it a teacher or bar tender) for less and out compete the others.

    I often look at retired doctors think to myself, 'that's all they did their entire career - medicine'. And I often think, I don't want to be that. Maybe do 15 years of medicine and walk away and do something else. There are so many interesting jobs out there besides medicine - why limit yourself?


    Comment


    • #3
      I think going into teaching is more complicated than you’d think, namely because of unions. Unless you’re talking about private school. As for other jobs, there was a post a year or so ago that linked to a site where doctors could literally do what you are interested in - looking into alternative careers. Curious if anyone remembers what that was.

      Comment


      • #4
        Actually this is my plan (HS teacher), which I've been planning for 4 years now and expecting to make the switch in the next 2-3 years while early 40s. I'm not a doctor but I have a PhD and my undergrad major is in history so I plan to be a HS history teacher. I'm quite excited while at the same time trying to be aware of how challenging it is going to be, especially those first few years. You really just need to be honest with yourself and make sure you're up for the challenge, as I'm sure teaching isn't 100% great. Also, as someone who did a ton of post-college education just like doctors, I'm against going back to school. Sounds like you think that will be intriguing, but don't assume it's a requirement for you to go back to school. I will not be....I've been in school for long enough! As a doctor I would imagine you don't need to go back and get a degree if you are teaching HS science (especially biology/anatomy/chemistry).

        Here are steps I've taken/what I plan to do from the past and into the future:

        1) targeted 5-10 HS I would want to teach at, a mix of private and public schools. I monitor their employment pages and note that a history job pops up just about every year.
        2) for public schools, I've located the union contract so I know exactly what the pay is going to be along with the benefits. Just so I can plan and see how much my salary is going to fall. This is most likely public information. Found using google.
        3) I use some vacation days from my regular job and substitute teach at these schools on those vacation days. I've only done a handful right now because this was pre-COVID. Granted when you substitute teach at first it's really just babysitting. More importantly, I use this time on breaks to network and talk to fellow history teachers to see their perspectives and make sure this is still something I want to do. After gaining some of their trust and mentioning my own qualifications to teach (with a PhD I've taught at the college level before) they now have a heads up and leave lesson plans rather than a video for me to carry out with their class if I'm subbing. That's super helpful.
        4) I've looked into all of the requirements to get licensed. During the pandemic I took one of two exams I'd need to take to get a teaching license. I passed, which made me happy in knowing I still knew this stuff although I haven't taught anything formally or been in history as far as a career for over 15 years. I now know what I need to do to get a license too. This is all state specific and you need to look up your state requirements.
        5) This summer I'm planning to specifically reach out to the principals at these 5-10 target schools and ask to meet with them for a chat. This is a way to understand their way of thinking, get my name on their radar, and again confirm this is something I want to do knowing the challenges ahead. These are the people who are going to hire you.
        6) not sure why unions would make teaching more complicated. Haven't really agreed with all of their positions during the pandemic but they are looking out for their workforce, even if a bit extreme. But they don't make getting into teaching more complicated. Again though this is going to vary by state so you need to look into state requirements for teaching.

        Feel free to PM me if you have more questions/comments.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you think teaching doesn't have all the bad stuff that medicine has (meetings, BS guidelines, customer satisfaction, bureaucracy, tenured teachers gaming the system for better classes, stress, if non union cutting you after you become too expensive etc) you're dead wrong. Unions dont help outside the box teachers- everyone needs the same boxes checked off and only time is rewarded in unions. Especially as a first time teacher, you will not be getting the best behaved classes. And the good schools wont be hiring someone who has never taught before. And you will still have to take the classes necessary to teach, although some can be done in 1-2 weeks online. I hear this from a few doctors in the lounge and their vision does not match reality. Private schools may offer more lenient standards to start teaching. HS teaching is NOT like teaching college, especially with the changes in the past 2 decades (no child left behind, teachers rated based on students passing standardized tests, etc).

          - speaking as a formerly tenured teacher, previously held license (now given up), passed all the teacher exams (which are easy if you take one day to study- if you can pass the boards you can pass a teaching exam with no difficulty), etc etc. If I ever go back to it its because I only need 3 more years in the system to get healthcare for life, and to pad my pension.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am early in my second career, working as a medical director at a large healthcare company. I had a trial of (forced) retirement when I was furloughed from my two part-time radiology jobs last spring, and I did not like it very much. Admittedly, March/April/May of year one of COVID was probably not the best time to be a retiree!

            That said, I enjoy the current job so far quite a bit. It is interesting, I am learning a lot about medicine and the insurance business, my colleagues are mostly intelligent and pleasant, and I work from my home. I take an hour for lunch everyday. Time goes by quickly, and I am hardly ever bored. The workload has ramped up and can be busy, but never stressful in the way that making tough medical decisions can be or dealing with complications from your procedures.

            Of course, there is no fear of lawsuits. Some people worry about blowback from their superiors or the regulatory agencies, but from my perspective, the absolute worst thing they can do is fire me. When you are FI and doing the job just to have something productive to do, it is of little concern. I never thought that I could take to such a job, but I have, and it seems like the perfect Career 2.0 for me.

            Comment


            • #7
              It seems to me that teaching at the community college level, rather than at high school, would be the much easier gig. No unions to worry about, you don’t have to worry as much about the students’ mental health and home problems, nor are the students as likely to put a thumbtack in your seat if you give them a C on their essay. Plus the students actually want to be there.

              I could see myself being a part time instructor for a continuing education course at the local college. Granted, that’s not really a career, but the objective wouldn’t be to replace a physician income as much as it is to do something productive and get paid for it.

              Comment


              • #8
                There are few things that sound worse than going back to college for another degree after becoming a physician...and teaching high school is one of those. I'd look more into volunteering. If I were going for a second career after medicine it would be one that minimizes interactions with other people.

                Comment


                • #9
                  To each their own, but I can’t imagine after I retire and stop working to again start.....working. There’s too many things I’d love to do that don’t involve trading my time for more money that I don’t need.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Two things I've always thought would be a fun second career:

                    -Referee (think college level or higher)
                    -Caddie
                    Each offers significant health benefits while scratching my itch for competition. Travel necessary, so likely best after kids have launched.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      “HS teaching is NOT like teaching college, especially with the changes in the past 2 decades (no child left behind, teachers rated based on students passing standardized tests, etc). ”

                      Teach to the test, the approved curriculum and how teach and control the class. On top of that, placating the department head, Principal, school district administration ALL can put in meetings, reporting requirements and goals. The point is, subject matter and teaching is secondary to the power structure and duties of an educator in secondary education.
                      Back to the goal of the second career. Being an instructor in a subject matter at the high school level is probably 50% of the job satisfaction at the high school level. Hope the other 50% is tolerable. Consider “instructor” at community and local college positions. Much more focused on the subject matter and education. Poor pay, but so what?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Taryn Rose - Ortho surgeon’s second career.
                        https://www.enricocuini.com/about

                        https://www.google.com/amp/s/footwea...202694909/amp/

                        Pricey! Some FB female Ortho groups love it. Custom shoes . Niche market. But there is a market.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JBME View Post
                          Actually this is my plan (HS teacher), which I've been planning for 4 years now and expecting to make the switch in the next 2-3 years while early 40s. I'm not a doctor but I have a PhD and my undergrad major is in history so I plan to be a HS history teacher. I'm quite excited while at the same time trying to be aware of how challenging it is going to be, especially those first few years. You really just need to be honest with yourself and make sure you're up for the challenge, as I'm sure teaching isn't 100% great. Also, as someone who did a ton of post-college education just like doctors, I'm against going back to school. Sounds like you think that will be intriguing, but don't assume it's a requirement for you to go back to school. I will not be....I've been in school for long enough! As a doctor I would imagine you don't need to go back and get a degree if you are teaching HS science (especially biology/anatomy/chemistry).

                          Here are steps I've taken/what I plan to do from the past and into the future:

                          1) targeted 5-10 HS I would want to teach at, a mix of private and public schools. I monitor their employment pages and note that a history job pops up just about every year.
                          2) for public schools, I've located the union contract so I know exactly what the pay is going to be along with the benefits. Just so I can plan and see how much my salary is going to fall. This is most likely public information. Found using google.
                          3) I use some vacation days from my regular job and substitute teach at these schools on those vacation days. I've only done a handful right now because this was pre-COVID. Granted when you substitute teach at first it's really just babysitting. More importantly, I use this time on breaks to network and talk to fellow history teachers to see their perspectives and make sure this is still something I want to do. After gaining some of their trust and mentioning my own qualifications to teach (with a PhD I've taught at the college level before) they now have a heads up and leave lesson plans rather than a video for me to carry out with their class if I'm subbing. That's super helpful.
                          4) I've looked into all of the requirements to get licensed. During the pandemic I took one of two exams I'd need to take to get a teaching license. I passed, which made me happy in knowing I still knew this stuff although I haven't taught anything formally or been in history as far as a career for over 15 years. I now know what I need to do to get a license too. This is all state specific and you need to look up your state requirements.
                          5) This summer I'm planning to specifically reach out to the principals at these 5-10 target schools and ask to meet with them for a chat. This is a way to understand their way of thinking, get my name on their radar, and again confirm this is something I want to do knowing the challenges ahead. These are the people who are going to hire you.
                          6) not sure why unions would make teaching more complicated. Haven't really agreed with all of their positions during the pandemic but they are looking out for their workforce, even if a bit extreme. But they don't make getting into teaching more complicated. Again though this is going to vary by state so you need to look into state requirements for teaching.

                          Feel free to PM me if you have more questions/comments.
                          You mean you’re not a physician. You are a ‘doctor’. PhD the last time I checked meant ‘doctor of philosophy”.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doctor Dad View Post

                            I practice in a field of medicine that is physically easy, but can be mentally challenging ...
                            So you’re not an orthopedic surgeon.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I can’t see myself wanting a new career after leaving medicine, but I can see myself working part-time at something easy. My mother had a part-time job at the local library which she loved. I could see myself doing volunteer work as well.

                              Comment

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