This is such an important question that only you can answer.
- You started this journey at the Lightworker's Fork in the Road when you made the extraordinary choice to go to medical school.
- Survived the 7 - 16 years of the medical education process.
- Have practiced the craft of a helper and healer to the best of your ability, despite EMR and all the other distractions of the Whirlwind of your practice.
Yet, when it comes to the final chapter of a physician's life, most of us play a perpetual game of "kick the can down the road". With 45% of US Physicians age 55 and older - a total of nearly 420,000 doctors in all - this should be one of the most common topics of discussion between doctors. We both know it is not!
We have to remember that doctors are not "normal" people. Never have been, since well before that first day of medical school.
With our two prime directives of The patient comes first and Never show weakness, our needs have always come last. It is tough enough to hack some balance into your week or plan a vacation - the question of "what do I want my life after medicine to look and feel like" is one few doctors ask themselves. In reality, most of us actively avoid the issue of "retirement" completely.
Why are we talking about retirement?
Click Here for the Reason that Shadows Us All
All of us would benefit from starting that "retirement" conversation NOW, no matter how old you are (even if you are in your 30's!) ...
Unless you plan to Die In The Saddle
What do I mean?
I have asked hundreds of doctors this question in the last decade:
"Do you want to Die in the Saddle"?
Do you want to die at 2:30PM walking between rooms on a busy day at the age of 73, still practicing full time?
Only one doctor has ever answered "Yes". Only one.
What is Your Answer? Yes or No?
If your answer is NO, then I have a couple more questions:
When would NOW be the right time to begin talking about, and journaling on, what you want your IDEAL Retirement, your IDEAL Life-After-Medicine phase to contain?
The reason to contemplate these questions now is simple: It Is Always Later Than You Think.
What has medicine pushed to the side in the Whirlwind of your practice - those few things that remain undone and that you simply must accomplish in this lifetime?
What do you not have time and energy for now, that you are longing to enjoy when you are no longer in the Whirlwind?
Where are you on the path to retirement, especially in the single most important issue on this subject ... your financial retirement plan?
When you look forward and pick a tentative retirement date, are you on a trajectory to hit that target?
What does your spouse, partner, significant other have to say about all of these questions?
When I ask about retirement like this, what emotions come up for you? Excitement, anticipation, dread, frustration, denial?
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT
... either below in the Comment Box or join us on The Happy MD Facebook Page:
- If you don't want to die in the saddle, what does your ideal post-medicine life look and feel like?
- Are you on track for that exit ramp?
- How does it feel to contemplate this whole "retirement" topic?