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  • #16
    Part-timer or 3 day per week cluber or semi-retired.  All of us stepped off the treadmill and survived. I now cannot understand how I took call for so long.

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    • #17




      I just turned 50.  I dropped three medical directorship stipends and the associated leadership roles.  That left me at 0.7 FTE since each directorship was 0.1 FTE.  I realized if I went to 0.6 FTE I could work 3 days a week and still get benefits so that is my current life.  It seems so easy, I think of it as “semi-retired.”  The points here are well-taken though and I will refer to it as part-time with my colleagues.  The situation sounds similar to Vagabond.

      There is tremendous peer pressure to keep burning and churning.  Medicine is more than happy to let you grind yourself into a pile.  I just remind myself that the MAJORITY of physicians are burned out now so it is ok to not be “normal.”
      Click to expand...


      Last night, I was reading, for the first time, WCI's Wealthy Pediatrician blog. I was drawn to it because it was supposed to be controversial, but I found it not to be so. There was quite a bit of discussion of the earning ability of the Pediatrician vs. the Orthopedic Surgeon, and it is hardly shocking to confirm that the Pediatrician earns quite a bit less. (There were many other tangent, most of which involve dentists, that were of no interest to me.)

      The point that was brought up, which I found interesting, was the notion that the career of the Pediatrician may be as lucrative and more sane than that of, say, the Interventional Radiologist. Sure, the IR may earn 2-3x the Pediatrician in the peak earning years, but it is a lifestyle that is more difficult to sustain, tends to burn people out, and may shorten the career. Meanwhile, my impression of the Pediatrician career is that it is more even keel, often 4 to 4 1/2 days per week, generally limited weekend, limited or no call.

      I know plenty of Pediatricians that work well into their 60's and 70's. I know very few private practice IRs working that long (though I am sure that they are out there) and know quite a few who have 1) died young ; 2) switched to DR ; 3) dropped out completely. Additionally, at peak earning, the IR is likely to pay more income tax than the Pediatrician so takes home a smaller percentage of his/her pay. So maybe the tortoise is actually more well off than the hare after all is said and done.

      Comment


      • #18







        I just turned 50.  I dropped three medical directorship stipends and the associated leadership roles.  That left me at 0.7 FTE since each directorship was 0.1 FTE.  I realized if I went to 0.6 FTE I could work 3 days a week and still get benefits so that is my current life.  It seems so easy, I think of it as “semi-retired.”  The points here are well-taken though and I will refer to it as part-time with my colleagues.  The situation sounds similar to Vagabond.

        There is tremendous peer pressure to keep burning and churning.  Medicine is more than happy to let you grind yourself into a pile.  I just remind myself that the MAJORITY of physicians are burned out now so it is ok to not be “normal.”
        Click to expand…


        Last night, I was reading, for the first time, WCI’s Wealthy Pediatrician blog. I was drawn to it because it was supposed to be controversial, but I found it not to be so. There was quite a bit of discussion of the earning ability of the Pediatrician vs. the Orthopedic Surgeon, and it is hardly shocking to confirm that the Pediatrician earns quite a bit less. (There were many other tangent, most of which involve dentists, that were of no interest to me.)

        The point that was brought up, which I found interesting, was the notion that the career of the Pediatrician may be as lucrative and more sane than that of, say, the Interventional Radiologist. Sure, the IR may earn 2-3x the Pediatrician in the peak earning years, but it is a lifestyle that is more difficult to sustain, tends to burn people out, and may shorten the career. Meanwhile, my impression of the Pediatrician career is that it is more even keel, often 4 to 4 1/2 days per week, generally limited weekend, limited or no call.

        I know plenty of Pediatricians that work well into their 60’s and 70’s. I know very few private practice IRs working that long (though I am sure that they are out there) and know quite a few who have 1) died young ; 2) switched to DR ; 3) dropped out completely. Additionally, at peaking earning, the IR is likely to pay more income tax than the Pediatrician so takes home a smaller percentage of his/her pay. So maybe the tortoise is actually more well off than the hare after all.
        Click to expand...


        I agree with Vagabond.  This relates to an idea WCI has been writing about for awhile.  I think it is one of his most unique and most worthy ideas actually.  That of "career longevity."  30 years at mid-range income trumps 10 years at extraordinary levels.  I think it is important because it has helped me with decision making.  Recently I felt I didn't have enough time for my "non-work life."  I needed more time to help at home, to exercise, to think/read/blog.  I could quit work since I'm FI.  If I'm lucky with investing, I would be fine.  But I like my work - in moderation.

        If I ask the WCI question (I'm not sure he phrased it this way, but still) Which decision would boost my career longevity while adding to my enjoyment of life? I would end up with part-time work.  That is my current plan.  We'll see how it goes.....

        Comment


        • #19







          I just turned 50.  I dropped three medical directorship stipends and the associated leadership roles.  That left me at 0.7 FTE since each directorship was 0.1 FTE.  I realized if I went to 0.6 FTE I could work 3 days a week and still get benefits so that is my current life.  It seems so easy, I think of it as “semi-retired.”  The points here are well-taken though and I will refer to it as part-time with my colleagues.  The situation sounds similar to Vagabond.

          There is tremendous peer pressure to keep burning and churning.  Medicine is more than happy to let you grind yourself into a pile.  I just remind myself that the MAJORITY of physicians are burned out now so it is ok to not be “normal.”
          Click to expand…


          Last night, I was reading, for the first time, WCI’s Wealthy Pediatrician blog. I was drawn to it because it was supposed to be controversial, but I found it not to be so. There was quite a bit of discussion of the earning ability of the Pediatrician vs. the Orthopedic Surgeon, and it is hardly shocking to confirm that the Pediatrician earns quite a bit less. (There were many other tangent, most of which involve dentists, that were of no interest to me.)

          The point that was brought up, which I found interesting, was the notion that the career of the Pediatrician may be as lucrative and more sane than that of, say, the Interventional Radiologist. Sure, the IR may earn 2-3x the Pediatrician in the peak earning years, but it is a lifestyle that is more difficult to sustain, tends to burn people out, and may shorten the career. Meanwhile, my impression of the Pediatrician career is that it is more even keel, often 4 to 4 1/2 days per week, generally limited weekend, limited or no call.

          I know plenty of Pediatricians that work well into their 60’s and 70’s. I know very few private practice IRs working that long (though I am sure that they are out there) and know quite a few who have 1) died young ; 2) switched to DR ; 3) dropped out completely. Additionally, at peaking earning, the IR is likely to pay more income tax than the Pediatrician so takes home a smaller percentage of his/her pay. So maybe the tortoise is actually more well off than the hare after all is said and done.
          Click to expand...


          i think that most pediatricians do take call, but of a different nature than the interventional radiologist of course.  i imagine pediatric hospitalists have changed the burden of the day similar to adult primary care physicians.  adult internists seem to have given up inpatient call to hospitalists, but they likely still have outpatient calls, nursing homes, bunch of other telephone stuff.

          do we think this sense of better lifestyle for primary care is a recent development as hospitalist field has emerged?

          most of our primary care docs here are part time for sure.  they give up some pay to do so.

          i don't know that our IR specialists would be willing to give up pay to hire another one to decrease call burden.  of course there are many parts to job satisfaction, including adequate volume of interesting cases which would be divided as well.  but i think the pay is the main limiting factor.  some of it is competitiveness/personality.  i hear lots of specialists who are hurt if there rvu drops a certain amount, or they are no longer getting all the tough cases, or things like that.  i don't here those concerns from the primary care folks that i am friendly with.

           

          Comment


          • #20


            The point that was brought up, which I found interesting, was the notion that the career of the Pediatrician may be as lucrative and more sane than that of, say, the Interventional Radiologist. Sure, the IR may earn 2-3x the Pediatrician in the peak earning years, but it is a lifestyle that is more difficult to sustain, tends to burn people out, and may shorten the career. Meanwhile, my impression of the Pediatrician career is that it is more even keel, often 4 to 4 1/2 days per week, generally limited weekend, limited or no call.
            Click to expand...


            I know a lot of academic and non academic pediatric people across various specialities given my own profession -- I know only a few who actively discuss retiring early.  One near my age (hospitalist) is an MMM semi-adherent.

            However one thing to consider is the lower income of peds means most people have to work longer to reach their retirement goals.  That's completely separate from the career outlook, where more people in peds view the profession as a career/calling and not as a job to earn money to do other things (this statement is speculative, but I would guess holds truth to it).

            I do think over the next 20-30 years some of that will change in peds, just like every speciality, as physicians in all areas want more "balance" no matter.  It may be a bit easier to achieve that balance during your working years in gen peds, so maybe we're going to have a bunch of 'part-time" gen peds people in their 50's-70's over the next few decades.

            http://www.roguedadmd.com/2017/12/is-work-life-balance-a-unicorn/

            I wrote that last week -- first salvo in an ongoing discussion that sort of treads on this.  I'm peds EM, but in academics, which means my "balance" is very different than many others.
            An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
            www.RogueDadMD.com

            Comment


            • #21


              One thing that has surprised me is the level of interest/concern/curiosity in the medical staff regarding my status.
              Click to expand...


              Always have an "elevator speech" to describe what you do. It helps people to help place you!

               

              Comment


              • #22




                The two youngest people in our group (both in their 30s) have cut back to part-time, and one of our older members in his mid 50s will cut back to part-time in about a year.  We do offer benefits above a 0.5 FTE.

                The funny thing is, as our pay in Emergency Medicine continues to rise, lifestyles and needs are not changing much, freeing more people to work part-time.  Most of the groups in our metro area are hiring, and there are lots of locums opportunities at great rates for those who are so inclined.  It is a good time to be an Emergency Physician in our area.
                Click to expand...


                @strider_91 - A thought to ponder!

                Comment


                • #23




                  In general, I follow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach with how much/little I work.

                  When pressed, I find that “part-time” is better received than “semi-retired.” Particularly with bureaucrats.

                  And similar to a secret society, I don’t ever mention FIRE, let alone my concept of FICL.
                  Click to expand...


                  that is my experience, as well. when I cut back i will be proud to think of myself as semi-retired, but feel others would take better to me saying I am part-time. including my patients. so part-time it will be. even though i will be wearing my Vanguard undershirt that says, “early retiree in training.”

                  Comment


                  • #24







                    In general, I follow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach with how much/little I work.

                    When pressed, I find that “part-time” is better received than “semi-retired.” Particularly with bureaucrats.

                    And similar to a secret society, I don’t ever mention FIRE, let alone my concept of FICL.
                    Click to expand…


                    that is my experience, as well. when I cut back i will be proud to think of myself as semi-retired, but feel others would take better to me saying I am part-time. including my patients. so part-time it will be. even though i will be wearing my Vanguard undershirt that says, “early retiree in training.”
                    Click to expand...


                    Good point re patients.  Nobody wants to know that they're going to have to look for a new doc.

                    Comment


                    • #25










                      I just turned 50.  I dropped three medical directorship stipends and the associated leadership roles.  That left me at 0.7 FTE since each directorship was 0.1 FTE.  I realized if I went to 0.6 FTE I could work 3 days a week and still get benefits so that is my current life.  It seems so easy, I think of it as “semi-retired.”  The points here are well-taken though and I will refer to it as part-time with my colleagues.  The situation sounds similar to Vagabond.

                      There is tremendous peer pressure to keep burning and churning.  Medicine is more than happy to let you grind yourself into a pile.  I just remind myself that the MAJORITY of physicians are burned out now so it is ok to not be “normal.”
                      Click to expand…


                      Last night, I was reading, for the first time, WCI’s Wealthy Pediatrician blog. I was drawn to it because it was supposed to be controversial, but I found it not to be so. There was quite a bit of discussion of the earning ability of the Pediatrician vs. the Orthopedic Surgeon, and it is hardly shocking to confirm that the Pediatrician earns quite a bit less. (There were many other tangent, most of which involve dentists, that were of no interest to me.)

                      The point that was brought up, which I found interesting, was the notion that the career of the Pediatrician may be as lucrative and more sane than that of, say, the Interventional Radiologist. Sure, the IR may earn 2-3x the Pediatrician in the peak earning years, but it is a lifestyle that is more difficult to sustain, tends to burn people out, and may shorten the career. Meanwhile, my impression of the Pediatrician career is that it is more even keel, often 4 to 4 1/2 days per week, generally limited weekend, limited or no call.

                      I know plenty of Pediatricians that work well into their 60’s and 70’s. I know very few private practice IRs working that long (though I am sure that they are out there) and know quite a few who have 1) died young ; 2) switched to DR ; 3) dropped out completely. Additionally, at peaking earning, the IR is likely to pay more income tax than the Pediatrician so takes home a smaller percentage of his/her pay. So maybe the tortoise is actually more well off than the hare after all.
                      Click to expand…


                      I agree with Vagabond.  This relates to an idea WCI has been writing about for awhile.  I think it is one of his most unique and most worthy ideas actually.  That of “career longevity.”  30 years at mid-range income trumps 10 years at extraordinary levels.  I think it is important because it has helped me with decision making.  Recently I felt I didn’t have enough time for my “non-work life.”  I needed more time to help at home, to exercise, to think/read/blog.  I could quit work since I’m FI.  If I’m lucky with investing, I would be fine.  But I like my work – in moderation.

                      If I ask the WCI question (I’m not sure he phrased it this way, but still) Which decision would boost my career longevity while adding to my enjoyment of life? I would end up with part-time work.  That is my current plan.  We’ll see how it goes…..
                      Click to expand...


                      @Vagabond: Congrats man. Enjoy the space. I can relate to your observations. When a guy goes part-time the worst is assumed. This is one of the few areas in our society where women have the advantage. No one questions it when a woman goes part time, and nobody calls her semi-retired. Part of it though may be us (as men). Our ego tends to be tied more to work and career, and thus maybe we are just more sensitive to perceived slights. It's a topic I gotta dig into more and write about. Also I demand politely request a follow-up post on my blog in a few months as the effects of part-time/early semi-retirement kicks in

                      @WealthyDoc: I think someone may have done a guest post a while back on WCI about career longevity

                      https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/your-most-valuable-financial-asset/

                      Comment


                      • #26













                        I just turned 50.  I dropped three medical directorship stipends and the associated leadership roles.  That left me at 0.7 FTE since each directorship was 0.1 FTE.  I realized if I went to 0.6 FTE I could work 3 days a week and still get benefits so that is my current life.  It seems so easy, I think of it as “semi-retired.”  The points here are well-taken though and I will refer to it as part-time with my colleagues.  The situation sounds similar to Vagabond.

                        There is tremendous peer pressure to keep burning and churning.  Medicine is more than happy to let you grind yourself into a pile.  I just remind myself that the MAJORITY of physicians are burned out now so it is ok to not be “normal.”
                        Click to expand…


                        Last night, I was reading, for the first time, WCI’s Wealthy Pediatrician blog. I was drawn to it because it was supposed to be controversial, but I found it not to be so. There was quite a bit of discussion of the earning ability of the Pediatrician vs. the Orthopedic Surgeon, and it is hardly shocking to confirm that the Pediatrician earns quite a bit less. (There were many other tangent, most of which involve dentists, that were of no interest to me.)

                        The point that was brought up, which I found interesting, was the notion that the career of the Pediatrician may be as lucrative and more sane than that of, say, the Interventional Radiologist. Sure, the IR may earn 2-3x the Pediatrician in the peak earning years, but it is a lifestyle that is more difficult to sustain, tends to burn people out, and may shorten the career. Meanwhile, my impression of the Pediatrician career is that it is more even keel, often 4 to 4 1/2 days per week, generally limited weekend, limited or no call.

                        I know plenty of Pediatricians that work well into their 60’s and 70’s. I know very few private practice IRs working that long (though I am sure that they are out there) and know quite a few who have 1) died young ; 2) switched to DR ; 3) dropped out completely. Additionally, at peaking earning, the IR is likely to pay more income tax than the Pediatrician so takes home a smaller percentage of his/her pay. So maybe the tortoise is actually more well off than the hare after all.
                        Click to expand…


                        I agree with Vagabond.  This relates to an idea WCI has been writing about for awhile.  I think it is one of his most unique and most worthy ideas actually.  That of “career longevity.”  30 years at mid-range income trumps 10 years at extraordinary levels.  I think it is important because it has helped me with decision making.  Recently I felt I didn’t have enough time for my “non-work life.”  I needed more time to help at home, to exercise, to think/read/blog.  I could quit work since I’m FI.  If I’m lucky with investing, I would be fine.  But I like my work – in moderation.

                        If I ask the WCI question (I’m not sure he phrased it this way, but still) Which decision would boost my career longevity while adding to my enjoyment of life? I would end up with part-time work.  That is my current plan.  We’ll see how it goes…..
                        Click to expand…


                        @Vagabond: Congrats man. Enjoy the space. I can relate to your observations. When a guy goes part-time the worst is assumed. This is one of the few areas in our society where women have the advantage. No one questions it when a woman goes part time, and nobody calls her semi-retired. Part of it though may be us (as men). Our ego tends to be tied more to work and career, and thus maybe we are just more sensitive to perceived slights. It’s a topic I gotta dig into more and write about. Also I demand politely request a follow-up post on my blog in a few months as the effects of part-time/early semi-retirement kicks in ?

                        @wealthydoc: I think someone may have done a guest post a while back on WCI about career longevity ?

                        https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/your-most-valuable-financial-asset/
                        Click to expand...


                        Thanks and will do! So far, part time/semi-retired has been a good excuse to roll out of bed later and stay in my bedclothes longer, but that might just be some hangover from the end of the calendar medical dash.





                        One thing that has surprised me is the level of interest/concern/curiosity in the medical staff regarding my status. 
                        Click to expand…


                        Always have an “elevator speech” to describe what you do. It helps people to help place you!

                         
                        Click to expand...


                        Yes, I have rehearsed it. "No, I am not retiring/semi-retired, I am cutting back and making room for us to add some young blood and fresh talent to our group. I will still be here quite a bit and look forward to continuing to work with you. Blah, blah, blah..."







                        In general, I follow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach with how much/little I work.

                        When pressed, I find that “part-time” is better received than “semi-retired.” Particularly with bureaucrats.

                        And similar to a secret society, I don’t ever mention FIRE, let alone my concept of FICL.
                        Click to expand…


                        that is my experience, as well. when I cut back i will be proud to think of myself as semi-retired, but feel others would take better to me saying I am part-time. including my patients. so part-time it will be. even though i will be wearing my Vanguard undershirt that says, “early retiree in training.”
                        Click to expand...


                        I truly do not think of myself as semi-retired though do acknowledge that my days with my current group in my role are numbered. In the next couple years, there might be a reset to a new location as a rad or to a Career 2.0, and I will be spending the next 24 months trying to figure out which path it will be. The good thing is that I feel no pressure to "make something happen" which is how I felt when I was burnt. Instead, I will keep working and networking on a few different fronts, and I feel the path ahead will reveal itself in due time.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I'm a 41 y/o IR doc (70% IR/30% DR) 10 yrs out of fellowship, and up until just learning about the FI(RE) movement through a friend who referred me to the WCI site a couple months ago, I had always envisioned myself working in some clinical capacity as long as I was physically able.

                          I'm not sure what I'm going to do now, I anticipate being at my FI "number" by 45ish, and am trying to wrap my head around what I'd like to transition into careerwise then.

                          Vagabond, thanks for your insightful posts as always, it is incredibly helpful to learn from someone with a similar career arc + 10 yrs.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Also Male Doc turning 51 soon and I also decreased to .8 FTE after some burnout last year (26 years in Practice - IM/hospitalist). Although my burnout was related to the way medicine is evolving and you can only adapt so many times. As stated in earlier posts, doubt physicians in our field will have > 30 + years as in the past unless you add 10-20 in administration.

                            I reviewed my savings, polished up my CV and almost gave noticed last year.  Being "FIRE" helped and thus contemplating retiring makes a difference since I felt I did not have to cut corners to try to make up for the issues making work less desirable.  I could truly quit at anytime and not worry.  I still enjoy medicine immensely and thus chose to adapt instead (OK I gave in).  Part of which was for me to slow down and not rush things; thus I sometimes stretch my 10 hour days into 12 hours (often compensated if I submitted extra hours worked). Furthermore, after realizing I was  "FIRE," this let me stand up more vigorously various obstacles that arise between me and my patients and thus more gratification with work.

                            Despite 2-3 less days/month with FTE .8, it has made a difference. I think it also depends if your children are at home or off in college since I find myself with very little to do when my kids are gone.  I initially dreamed of the extravagant trips and endeavors possible with time off, however, I think I cleaned out my workshops when I last had 14 days off. Funny how with age, I also became much more sedentary.

                            The demand for hospitalist in our city has always been competitive (5 hospitals competing for bodies). And thus "part time, semi-retiring, or contemplating retiring" doesn't have much impact. Our group has been together long enough to know how much I have contributed and they wish for me to try to stay on as long as possible. Although as per stated by prior peers, doubt the future cares much for experienced physicians. Perhaps if I contemplated administration roles offered, then the work status is much more relevant.  But I think I would rather retire rather than be influenced again by the dark side (tried that once with Kaiser in 1990s). Wife also works and thus I think I will stick it out Part-time/semi-retired or contemplating retiring until age 58. Perhaps one of these later obstacles that gets in the way I care for my patients will get me fired or my group will find a fantastic energetic new doctor ready to take over my position.  The bright side would be that it would be a great excuse to have much more free time earlier.

                            Honestly, can we ever be fully retired. Likely we will dabble in some other projects.

                             

                             

                             

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I signed my part time contract today.

                              My sleep has improved significantly since January 1.

                              I have five trips (one pure business, the rest all or mostly fun) in the next 10 weeks, including the WCI Conference.

                              Life is good!

                               

                              Comment


                              • #30




                                .... and, as of today, as a part time partner.

                                 
                                Click to expand...


                                I am happy for you and not so secretly envious!

                                No way our hospital employer will allow a part-time status, regardless of the specialty need. In fact, if our productivity slips as much as one RVU below their survey median for specialty, we take an additional 10-15%/RVU cut in overall compensation, which is already below MGMA median.

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