How do physicians view the prospect of retirement?

PFSP Perspectives

June 4, 2018

Quite a few of us these days are negotiating the twilight of our medical careers. According to the Canadian Medical Association Physician Data Centre, 40% of Canadian physicians are over the age of 55. That’s more than 32,000 doctors.

A colleague in the OR change room tells me he’s reluctant to let his medical license lapse, despite being in his early 70s. “I worked too hard to get my license. I’m not ready yet to just let it go.” In the latter part of his specialist career, he had added some part-time administrative work. Not so long ago, he trimmed his work to surgical assisting only. Another surgical colleague did resign from her group before she turned 65 but continues most weekdays to assist them in the OR.

A doctor friend faced a life-threatening health crisis in his early 60s, survived it, and has subsequently reorganized his work to half-time in his main specialty, while doing a second part-time job in a different area of medicine. A rural family doctor I know retired on three different occasions over 10 years. Recruitment efforts to replace her were intermittently successful and she was unwilling to abandon her patients or her community.

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Read the full May-June 2018 issue of Alberta Doctors' Digest at ADD.albertadoctors.org.

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