Regarding a 2016 statement advertised in the Journal of Medical Regulation, there are over 950,000 actively accredited allopathic and osteopathic doctors in the United States. Of these doctors, approximately one-third are aged 60 years or older—only a stone’s throw away from the average doctor retirement age of 68.
Contemplate one of these seven fulfilling job opportunities before going into retirement.
While some doctors look forward to continuing travel and other benefits upon retirement, others are not quite so ready to give up the mental stimulation and significant accomplishment that a job can offer. In fact, in a recent survey from CompHealth, about half of doctor respondents (48%) stated the desire to work part-time or in a missionary capacity upon retirement.
The American Medical Association (AMA) confirms this view. Because leaving a deep and particularly setting career such as medication can be a psychologically challenging manner, the AMA supports a gradual development to retirement, with a tapering of professional responsibilities. The association also recommends retired physicians pursue meaningful activities that will offer a sense of purpose during retirement.
With this advice in mind, here are seven great places for the retired or semi-retired doctor:
Possibly you’re not quite equipped to hang up your stethoscope and white coat just yet. If that’s the case, think to become a locum tenens doctor. Locum tenens expression, from the Latin “to hold the place of,” is a great option for docs who keep licensure and still want to work—but without the difficulties of a 60-hour workweek.
Locum tenens jobs are rather easy to score—particularly if you’re flexible about location. Ever wanted to work in a mining town in Nevada for a little while? How about a rural population in Alaska? Go for it!
All you require to do is give your name to a recruiter at a staffing agency Locum tenens jobs can last from a week to a month, with various options in between.
The field of negotiating may bring to mind the image of young experts climbing the rungs of the corporate stairs at firms like McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, or Bain & Company (“the Big 3”). Nevertheless, plenty of other consulting possibilities are open to retired doctors. Institutional, governmental (e.g., Social Security Administration), legal (e.g., expert witness), biotech, and pharma companies often require medical consultants for insight on issues related to policy, product, and liability. The key is leveraging the right messengers. But hey, what are friends for? A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Working part-time as a telemedicine doctor can be a rather pleasant experience for a retired doctor. All you need is a few machine smarts, a laptop, and a reliable Internet attachment. You can work remotely from the convenience of your own home to the coziness of your preferred coffee haunt. The money can be great, too, with average earnings of $121 per hour.
Of note, asynchronous telemedicine possibilities are also possible. These consults pay a bit less, but they are typically fast and can be done by email or text. Ah, the wonders of technology!
You’re close with the mantra “see one, do one, teach one”—after all, that’s how you built up a trained skillset and transferred these abilities forward. As a departed doctor, perhaps you could focus on the last part: teaching. Maybe you’re already training at your medical school or residency application and wish to remain in this capacity. Or, maybe you’re looking for a change of scene and want to develop courses like anatomy or physiology at the undergraduate level. You could also arrange to teach at nursing or doctor assistant applications. The (education) world is your oyster!
You’ve spent your life working for the man, so why not become the man? The need for qualified healthcare administrators is on the rise. The job generally entails facility management and staff oversight. Administrators shape and enforce the rules and regulations of the organization. They also manage budgets, marketing campaigns, and human resources.
Importantly, although clinical experience and knowledge are invaluable assets to many successful administrators, healthcare administration is a different beast from clinical practice. Consequently, physicians with MBAs, MHAs, and other similar degrees are best prepared to excel in this role.
Writer and editor
Possibly you fancy yourself as the next Lawrence K. Altman, Atul Gawande, Samuel Shem, or Khaled Hosseini—all best-selling doctor authors. Or, maybe you’re more involved in writing and editing for more quotidian papers, including health-consumer websites or peer-reviewed publications. Either way, for those willing, writing, and editing in your golden years can be a pleasant relief.
Responding to university and accomplishing a broadcasting graduate degree may be challenging during removal, but certification programs are also possible. For example, the University of Chicago Graham School offers an online therapeutic writing and editing document that can be accomplished online in less than a year. Additionally, the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) offers various certificates, including the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS) certification.