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  • VagabondMD
    replied













    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheHappyPhilosopher
    replied










    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/

    Leave a comment:


  • Craigy
    replied







    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • FIREshrink
    replied




    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.”

    Leave a comment:


  • adventure
    replied




    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • adventure
    replied


    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!

     

    Leave a comment:


  • RogueDadMD
    replied


    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • q-school
    replied







    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.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • WealthyDoc
    replied







    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.....

    Leave a comment:


  • VagabondMD
    replied




    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hatton
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • WealthyDoc
    replied
    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."

    Leave a comment:


  • Craigy
    replied
    Part time definitely better than semi-retired.  Semi-retired implies in the very least that you have a foot out the door, trying to escape, consider yourself retired to some extent, you name it.  Also sounds like you're a take-it-or-leave-it type employee, someone who doesn't care about the future of the team, and at worst, possibly even a quitter or a quit-and-stay type employee.

    Part-time is better simply because there are fewer connotations or denotations (i.e., retired).  You simply work part of the time, not full time.  That could be for a myriad of reasons, due to desire or necessity, your will or the will of the employer, nobody has to know.  Obviously those close to you will know your situation but generally part-time is going to sound like you're less of a quitter than someone who is semi-retired.

    Leave a comment:


  • q-school
    replied







    we have lots of primary care and ER docs go part time before 50.  not so much in specialties, unless there are health or family reasons.

    conversely we recently hired a medicine subspecialty doc who was 90% time from the start.

    congrats!

    may i ask (pm me if private) how your call, vacation and CME were affected by the part time status?

    thanks!

     

    it’s a good thing for your wife to be primary breadwinner.  lucky!

    i wish i had a sugar momma.

    ?

     
    Click to expand…


    We do vacation a week at a time, so I still have the same number of vacation weeks (just three off days per week off). I am doing 60% of weekends and get 60% allowance for CME, memberships, meetings, etc.

    I am the only one who can make decent coffee around here, so I think my postion at home is secure. ?
    Click to expand...


    everybody loves the weekend guy.

    do you think they would have been as accepting if you tried to work 60% of traditional workweek?  or the weekend coverage was a key factor in the discussions?  thanks

     

    Leave a comment:


  • GXA
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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