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Old 02-15-2013, 12:43 PM   #21
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Can't imagine patients would begrudge doctors retiring. Had a primary care doctor retire about 10-15 years ago. Probably was in the mid 50s.

I guess the greater concern is preventing losses of patients for your former partners.

In the thread about health in ER, someone cited the stress from not being in control. No matter what your professional status, there will always be people above you or at the same level who make you do your job in ways you don't want to do.

So the "rat race", which I think of more as competitive pursuits for pointless reasons -- amassing wealth to buy the bigger house, car, etc. -- seems to include frustrations from work?

In the context of ER, rat race means do you have enough to retire early or do you work longer to have more money for retirement, especially if working longer means enduring the frustrations which made you want to retire early in the first place?
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #22
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probably right about "rat race" being the wrong term...-being a lab rat is more likely descriptive--at the whims of those experimenting with us...
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:33 PM   #23
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Can't imagine patients would begrudge doctors retiring. Had a primary care doctor retire about 10-15 years ago. Probably was in the mid 50s.
Oh I can. It can be tough to find a good doctor.

To the OP, I'd talk to your partners and start working on a plan. Seems like it could take a while to transition your patients, and maybe by working part time for a while, it would make it easier for everyone involved.

It also seems like you'd have a pretty easy time getting part-time work if needed later on, I hadn't heard the term locum, but I have some Vet friends that do that.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:16 PM   #24
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I have no intention of doing anything medical ever again.
CHAR-BROILED.
I am hoping 3 months of transition will be long enough.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #25
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Retired last year at 52 from my dental practice of 26 years. I liked my profession for the most part and developed relationships with many of my patients but am not regretting retiring. I anticipated working part time but that idea didn't last more than a few days. Well, that's it for now, time for a nap.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:02 PM   #26
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Can't imagine patients would begrudge doctors retiring.
It's a huge issue for doctors in smaller communities where the loss of one doctor may mean the closure of an emergency department or a small hospital. It can get downright nasty and the doctor may need to leave town, fast!

The other huge hassle for doctors in private practice is the need to keep all those old medical records until the statute of limitations runs out.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:44 AM   #27
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Again thank you all for your thoughts. It does change my perspective a bit. We are a large group and historically have somehow absorbed the practices of recently retiring physicians but we may be at the point that is not really feasible. Another issue is I am currently the only woman in the group which may mean a higher than usual percentage of my patients will leave the group if we don't bring in another woman physician (hard to recruit at least in our area)

Maybe the fair thing is part time until mid2014?
Thank you all again
Nikki
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:45 AM   #28
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Maybe your partners will compensate you for staying on longer than you want to?

It's one thing to be fair to them but what are they giving you in return?
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #29
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Nikki-
You are not alone in today's US health care world.
As Healthcare Reform Takes Hold, 74% of Physicians Will Retire, Seek Other Alternatives | Modern Medicine
Practicing Physicians Considering Early Retirement on Louisiana Medical News

And the issue of doc burnout is getting into the lay press too.
The Widespread Problem of Doctor Burnout - NYTimes.com
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #30
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Oh my goodness! ERHoosier, those hit home .....
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:23 PM   #31
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Again thank you all for your thoughts. It does change my perspective a bit. We are a large group and historically have somehow absorbed the practices of recently retiring physicians but we may be at the point that is not really feasible. Another issue is I am currently the only woman in the group which may mean a higher than usual percentage of my patients will leave the group if we don't bring in another woman physician (hard to recruit at least in our area)

Maybe the fair thing is part time until mid2014?
Thank you all again
Nikki
I appreciate your need to be "fair" to your patients and your colleagues. Part time may be ideal for a year or so, provided it brings in enough to cover the fixed costs of licensing, insurance, mandatory continuing medical education and overhead. In fact, it can facilitate your taking some CME courses in locations you wanted to vacation in! Going part time should be the signal for recruitment of your replacement to begin. When you do make a decision to completely leave, try to avoid the "one more year" syndrome. It is better for your patients and for the practice to give them a definite date and to remain firm on it. I also think that giving a year's notice is more than anyone could reasonably expect. Three months should enable proper provision for patients to be reallocated. Remember, the Pope gave 2.5 weeks notice!
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:07 AM   #32
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......... Remember, the Pope gave 2.5 weeks notice!
Since we've opened the Bible, reminds me of Good Book's command to the Levites-

".......but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer."
- Numbers 8:25, New Int'l Version.

I'm no Biblical scholar but seems like OK advice to me
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:22 PM   #33
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I talked to my partners and practice manager today. Shooting for half time beginning of March. Need official ok from corporate who unlike us do not work on holidays but our managing partner does not think it will be a problem.
This feels strange!
Thanks for all the support
Nikki
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:21 PM   #34
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I talked to my partners and practice manager today. Shooting for half time beginning of March. Need official ok from corporate who unlike us do not work on holidays but our managing partner does not think it will be a problem.
This feels strange!
Thanks for all the support
Nikki
Dr. Nikki - it will only feel strange for a little while. When the numbness wears off it feels great.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:44 PM   #35
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I talked to my partners and practice manager today. Shooting for half time beginning of March. Need official ok from corporate who unlike us do not work on holidays but our managing partner does not think it will be a problem.
This feels strange!
Thanks for all the support
Nikki
Way to go Dr. Nikki!
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:03 PM   #36
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Good choice, Nikki.
Good luck with corporate!
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:18 PM   #37
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Just to give a different perspective--I gave my partners about a year's notice and my patients 3 months notice. I got a LOT of pushback from partners and administrators because I had a very full practice and they worried my patients would leave the practice (and some did). It was a strange and emotionally draining last few months at work discussing my decision with my long time patients.
After a year off, I have returned to medicine in a new field/practice model. I missed the patient care and intellectual challenge more than I thought I would. It took a long rest from the burn out to see what I wanted to do more clearly.
Good luck with the part time option. I think it sounds like a smart transition.
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