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Old 04-13-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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Medical professionals

I have come across a few on this site. As a physician I'd love to hear from any other medical professionals that have ER'd. I have loved and hated my career so far. The stresses of the profession have made me realize for my own health, it's time to move on.

Please share your story, including how you left and what you are doing now. Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:43 AM   #2
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I practiced dentistry for 32 years. Sold my practice last sept. Have been teaching part-time at a local university for the last 6 years. Best decision I ever made. Love teaching. I show up , work with the students in the clinic and then leave. No insurance to deal with, no evening and week-end phone calls, no staff problems to handle.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:11 PM   #3
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I have come across a few on this site. As a physician I'd love to hear from any other medical professionals that have ER'd. I have loved and hated my career so far. The stresses of the profession have made me realize for my own health, it's time to move on.

Please share your story, including how you left and what you are doing now. Thanks!
Care to share the stresses and benefits you found most important? I found that at retirement we are not that different from the user base at large.

Main differences I have seen tend to relate to rebalancing personal self image and professional self image. That takes time, relinquishing constant control and a positive outlook. Just one content retired physician's observations.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:26 PM   #4
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The benefits are clearly the opportunity the take care of people, most of whom are still appreciative. Also, a good income and job security.

The stresses: declining income, more work, increased regulation, increased audits, decreased appreciation for what we do and the constant "threat" of legal action.

However, I find that as I have practiced LBYM very well, I think the stresses out-weigh the benefits. I think I can volunteer and get the same benefit (albeit without the income) but without all the stress!
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:47 PM   #5
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The benefits are clearly the opportunity the take care of people, most of whom are still appreciative. Also, a good income and job security.

The stresses: declining income, more work, increased regulation, increased audits, decreased appreciation for what we do and the constant "threat" of legal action.

However, I find that as I have practiced LBYM very well, I think the stresses out-weigh the benefits. I think I can volunteer and get the same benefit (albeit without the income) but without all the stress!
The financial stress goes down, at least for me, since I would not have retired had I not been financially prepared. I'd get to know FIRECalc very well.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:39 PM   #6
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I accidentally posted this in the other thread where I was trying to cut copy and paste from...

I am about to celebrate 20 weeks since my exit from medicine. I got out relatively early after about 22 years. It is still early in retirement but I do not miss it at all. I have no trouble finding stuff to occupy me, and I am actually amazed how a day just slips right by. There is always something that either needs to be done or that I want to do. I am loving the freedom and luxury of never having to cram activities into limited time. I am studying a new language, going to museums for lectures and special daytime programs, cooking more and exercising much more regularly. I look good and feel even better. For now, everything that I had hoped is true. It is awesomely good.

I will say I have discovered something completely unexpected and a bit unpleasant. My wife (by choice, not necessity) is still a physician. Now, as the non physician spouse of a doctor, I have a new understanding and appreciation of the challenges of having a doctor as a spouse. When I was still a doctor I was unaware of how much we give our lives over to our profession and our patients at the expense of our family. It does serve as a regular reminder of why I am so glad to not be in medicine anymore. I hope she gets jealous and quits soon.

I completely agree with those who say that there is a "kool aid" that doctors drink that gets them hooked on the recognition, or the power or the calling or whatever that frankly never really took with me. Or it wore off really fast. And I feel that one who cannot find ways to challenge oneself outside of medicine is just PATHETIC. Absolute nonsense that an intelligent person in this day and age could not find any other distraction than those provided by medicine. Bah! And good riddance.
I am sure I felt burned out, no question by the many stresses mentioned.

I do feel the stress of having less money coming in--even though if my wife stopped working I think we are more than comfortable where we are with our usual spending being around 3% of our portfolio (with over two years safety in cash or CD's that combined are earning over 2% interest) and this is without touching the value of our home equity of $700,000 and my hope we will downsize and at least have lower maintenance costs even if we roll our equity into a higher priced but warmer part of the country. The other thing that amazes me is the series of unfortunate and unusual expenses that have befallen us in this first 4 months- each of us needing root canal for the first time, a broken tooth, an ER visit for stitches, frozen broken pipes, a dryer repair, leaky sink, new timing belt needed, some new tires...I am hoping to see these death by a thousand cuts expenses taper off for a while, but who knows? If my wife were not still providing it would be even more unsettling no matter how much cushion I think we have.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:28 AM   #7
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I apologize for entering the thread since I am not a medical professional. However, urn2bfree's comment struck a nerve. Without going into details (too upsetting) this is true of my retirement as well. It is as if someone laid a curse on us when I retired. There has been little free time. Worse, the steady stream of unexpected expenses seemingly will not quit, and have driven me back to part-time consulting work, which, fortunately, I enjoy.

We are also tired from the difficulty of communicating with repair people whose English and manners are not good. This has become the norm, not the exception. A serious change from just a few years ago. Nevertheless, there is still much to be grateful for.

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I
The other thing that amazes me is the series of unfortunate and unusual expenses that have befallen us in this first 4 months- each of us needing root canal for the first time, a broken tooth, an ER visit for stitches, frozen broken pipes, a dryer repair, leaky sink, new timing belt needed, some new tires...I am hoping to see these death by a thousand cuts expenses taper off for a while, but who knows? If my wife were not still providing it would be even more unsettling no matter how much cushion I think we have.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:26 PM   #8
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How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...rofession.html

The title of the article tells you what this is about...I posted this on the 1 year anniversary retired doc thread as well...
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:48 AM   #9
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The other thing that amazes me is the series of unfortunate and unusual expenses that have befallen us in this first 4 months- each of us needing root canal for the first time, a broken tooth, an ER visit for stitches, frozen broken pipes, a dryer repair, leaky sink, new timing belt needed, some new tires...I am hoping to see these death by a thousand cuts expenses taper off for a while, but who knows?
It feels that way, but you must know that all that stuff was going to happen eventually and inevitably (well, maybe not the stitches and broken tooth). We once replaced an 18-month-old clothes dryer when an expensive circuit board burned out and the repair would have been over half the cost of a new dryer.

We went for about 5 or 7 years when nothing at all broke. Then it was the dishwasher, microwave, and tires on the car all in the same year. Last year it was the central A/C and water heater in the same month.

All that stuff is going to happen. No one knows when.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:45 AM   #10
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......... We once replaced an 18-month-old clothes dryer when an expensive circuit board burned out and the repair would have been over half the cost of a new dryer.............
Off topic break

Same thing happened to me only a with a washing machine. I found the circuit board on eBay for $75


Back to regular programming.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:32 AM   #11
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Very interesting thread. No, I'm not a physician but started med school and dropped out, as I was married early and in first few months decided that med school/medicine would be hazardous to a marriage. That meant a lot of bouncing around, returning to college and getting engineering degrees (majored in bio). DW responsible for seeing to it that it was all done without any loans.

For about ten years I second guessed myself on that decision. Especially on first year in consulting engineering; misery does not even get close. Eventually found my way in different direction and became quite satisfied with career.

Looking back it was the very right decision for me. When I read threads like this it reinforces to me that medicine is not the panacea of personal rewards many think (thought?) it to be. I'm sure it is for some or many, but not always. The only thing I think I would like is the ability in retirement to travel to third world and use medical skills to help the less fortunate while exploring new lands. I've done some in engineering but it's a little difficult and seems to get entangled with politics in both the organizations and the countries.

Anyway, sorry to intrude but hope all can find their way to where they want to be.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:32 AM   #12
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Interesting thread (so far).

Not a doctor here but a lowly engineer with an MBA. For these doctors that are getting surprised that things break, cost money to fix and can happen unexpectedly, wasn't that the kinds of issues they were "servicing" in their practices?
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:42 PM   #13
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Interesting thread (so far).

Not a doctor here but a lowly engineer with an MBA. For these doctors that are getting surprised that things break, cost money to fix and can happen unexpectedly, wasn't that the kinds of issues they were "servicing" in their practices?
For me it is not surprise that it happens. It is surprise that it all happened in such a short time interval almost immediately upon the end of one paycheck.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:45 PM   #14
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Almost two years out of primary care. I really enjoy the lack of anxiety and getting to operate on my own time schedule (no call! no call! no call!) I do feel a little guilty about quitting some times and am currently looking at some volunteer opportunities that will require much less responsibility. I've found plenty to do to occupy myself, but none of it serious which just feels weird.

I heard someone call another doctor with the same last name as mine recently and it made my stomach flip. I'd be happy to never hear those two words again.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:29 AM   #15
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I'm not even a doctor, just a lowly Government employee with an MS, but was thrown for a loop by the amount of concentrated bad luck which exhausted, in 10 weeks, a seemingly large emergency fund. Among other things, problems with properties tend to snowball, while the cost of labor these days is appalling.

It's not as if we don't maintain things and get them replaced. This spate has gone way beyond what one "might expect."

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Interesting thread (so far).

Not a doctor here but a lowly engineer with an MBA. For these doctors that are getting surprised that things break, cost money to fix and can happen unexpectedly, wasn't that the kinds of issues they were "servicing" in their practices?
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:30 AM   #16
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I'm "just a lowly" (frankly, I don't consider myself a "lowly" anything) Government employee with an MS, but was thrown for a loop by the amount of concentrated bad luck which exhausted, in 10 weeks, a seemingly large emergency fund. Among other things, problems with properties tend to snowball, while the cost of labor these days is appalling.

It's not as if we don't maintain things and get them replaced. This spate has gone way beyond what one "might expect."

A.

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Interesting thread (so far).

Not a doctor here but a lowly engineer with an MBA. For these doctors that are getting surprised that things break, cost money to fix and can happen unexpectedly, wasn't that the kinds of issues they were "servicing" in their practices?
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:38 AM   #17
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I'm "just a lowly" (frankly, I don't consider myself a "lowly" anything) Government employee with an MS, but was thrown for a loop by the amount of concentrated bad luck which exhausted, in 10 weeks, a seemingly large emergency fund. Among other things, problems with properties tend to snowball, while the cost of labor these days is appalling.

It's not as if we don't maintain things and get them replaced. This spate has gone way beyond what one "might expect."

A.
Yes, things can go south in a hurry, for sure. It can happen with health surprises (maybe more so) than with houses, cars, appliances, etc.

Cars, in particular, are becoming more complex and computer controlled even more than the IT folks here can imagine. Have an injection pump fail on one of the new high pressure diesels can result in easily $8,000 in repairs to the fuel system. Better be under warranty and prove you didn't put gasoline in the tank by mistake!

Maintenance is the key, with health and other things that are working towards a failure.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:26 AM   #18
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Question from somebody not affiliated with the medical profession (I'm in the IT field)...

Would all you physicians feel differently about the profession if you didn't have insurance to deal with?

If you could just see patients, run whatever tests were needed, and provide whatever treatment was needed, without insurance companies to fight with, and just get paid for services rendered...would that have changed your view?

As an outsider, I would guess dealing with insurance companies and getting paid is the #1 reason why physicians are unhappy with their profession, but that's just a theory I've had for a while. Would be curious to read responses from actual practitioners.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:40 AM   #19
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Would all you physicians feel differently about the profession if you didn't have insurance to deal with?

If you could just see patients, run whatever tests were needed, and provide whatever treatment was needed, without insurance companies to fight with, and just get paid for services rendered...would that have changed your.
I have practiced as a physician in three Canadian provinces, but I did some training in the US. Grappling with insurance companies is certainly much less of a hassle in Canada than in the US. In the Canadian province where I spent most of my career as an attending physician, it was a very smooth process. In another province where I worked for a short time, it was more challenging. Overall, insurance was not a significant factor in my ER plans. Exhaustion was the main factor.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:49 AM   #20
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Question from somebody not affiliated with the medical profession (I'm in the IT field)...

Would all you physicians feel differently about the profession if you didn't have insurance to deal with?

If you could just see patients, run whatever tests were needed, and provide whatever treatment was needed, without insurance companies to fight with, and just get paid for services rendered...would that have changed your view?

As an outsider, I would guess dealing with insurance companies and getting paid is the #1 reason why physicians are unhappy with their profession, but that's just a theory I've had for a while. Would be curious to read responses from actual practitioners.
I think it's multifactorial: insurance, malpractice, gov't regulations, declining appreciation, declining incomes, increased workload.

I just informed my practice they need to find my replacement. ER here I come!
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