Every week I run into a few articles that I feel are especially valuable, so each Monday I plan to share some of the best with you, my readers. I hope you find them helpful.
This week’s favorites include your hospital will not love you back, ways doctors can lower their risk of burnout, when and why should a physician retire, should physicians feel guilty if they retire before age 80? and before you retire be sure to have some passive income in your portfolio.
Doctors have an altruistic bent in life. They often give until it hurts. But does anyone give back? After all your tireless devotion to your hospital, will they be devoted to you when it counts? My experience says no. I have seen many doctors thrown under the bus by the very hospitals they have supported for years. One particular doctor I know kept a rural hospital afloat as the only general surgeon for many years. When the hospital finally recruited two new young surgeons, they send a text to their savior surgeon telling him he did not need to come back to work at the hospital after his vacation, as they didn’t need him anymore. Vagabond MD tells us why in his article The Hospital Will Not Love You Back which was published on The Physician Philosopher’s site.
Burnout devastates about half of us physicians and our families. Sara Berg, who writes for the AMA, gives us 4 Personal Reasons Why Some Doctors Have a Lower Risk of Burnout. I think the fourth reason is the one that helped me the most. Maybe some changes in the way you do things will help eliminate your chance of burnout. You can also find several burnout preventers in my book The Doctors Guide to Starting Your Practice/Career Right. Maybe a bit of a restart is in order. Don’t let burnout get its hold on you. If you feel it is becoming a problem, seek help before it ruins your career or family.
The decision to retire is a difficult one for physicians. The loss of our identity and the structure of our lives plays a big role in this decision. Dr. Neil Baum discusses these issues in his article, The Late-Career Physician on The American Association for Physician Leadership. I struggled with many of these issues and discussed them in The Doctors Guide to Smart Career Alternatives and Retirement. But my decision turned out well and you can see why in Three Years Retired from Surgery and all’s Well.
Should we feel guilty if we retire early? Do we owe anything to society as physicians? These are questions that the Physician on FIRE, who recently retired at 43, discusses with The White Coat Investor in their piece Dealing With the Guilt of Early Retirement. I felt some of these issues at my retirement age of 54. When is the right age to retire? Is there a moral age to retire? When you are ready to pull the plug, don’t do it before you read this.
When you do decide to retire, it is best if you have a lot of passive income to support you in your retirement years. Wealthy Doc gives us a nice heads up in Passive Money is What Doctors Need as he also looks at the book The Passive Income Physician. I retired with enough real estate passive income, through buying my small apartments, that I don’t even need to touch my 401(k) or IRA money if I don’t want to. When you are ready to buy your first piece of investment real estate, read The Doctors Guide to Real Estate Investing for Busy Professionals so you can do it right the first time, without eating up a bunch of your time and energy.
I hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did. I look forward to updating you again next week with a few more articles I find especially interesting. If you read an especially good article, send me the link so I can share it with others.