Doctors: Is Retirement Overrated?

Shelly Reese


April 24, 2018

In This Article

Focus on Relationships, Mentors, Community

There are additional ways to help make your retirement more rewarding:

Focus on your relationships. Your spouse or partner needs to work through the retirement planning process with you. Not only are you likely to spend a great deal more time together in retirement, but he or she will also have goals and ambitions for the next act. Will you relocate? What interests do you want to pursue together? Which will you pursue as individuals? How will you enjoy more time together while still affording each other space? "There's an old saying: 'You get married for better or worse, but not for lunch'," Hudson quips.

Get a mentor. Career and life coaches, retired friends and colleagues, and spiritual advisors who "encourage people to think deeply" can all be invaluable resources, Moskowitz says. Physicians may be trained to handle situations independently, but "simply following the protocol that was beaten into their heads in medical school" probably won't serve them well in preparing for retirement.

Find ways to stay connected with the medical community. Teach, attend lectures, or volunteer at a clinic. "Don't completely drop out of medicine if you can avoid it," Moskowitz says.

Although it took him 18 months to realize he was a "failure" at retirement and return to work, Segan says working part-time as an assistant professor has been the perfect solution, affording him a schedule, a chance to mentor small groups of students, and a meaningful way to stay connected to medicine.

And that's the lesson to be learned, Hudson says.

"It's never too late," says Hudson. "The model for coaching is awareness plus responsibility equals performance. Once you are aware of something, you really need to do something about it. Otherwise, you are just whining. If you've acknowledged that something is not right, then do something. Read about it, get out of the house, talk to a professional coach. If you are truly depressed, see a counselor. Move out of that stagnation."


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