Retire and Start a New Career? Who Knew it was this Simple!

careersRetirement is in my ear. Sometimes it whispers, other times it roars. While I do not anticipate any major changes to my career for the next 3 or 4 years, I have certainly begun imagining what life will be like beyond that time. Not being a golfer or a serial socializer I have been wondering if there will be yawning gaps in my day, hours with nothing to do but fight Barb over the remote control to decide which we will binge watch next–old episodes of “Yan Can Cook” or the latest series from Joanna and Chip.

And then the brochure arrived. I almost tossed it with the daily collection of cruise catalogs and real estate flyers. But I took a second look. Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians. A two-day conference, 10 minutes along the Tri-State Tollway in Rosemont. Could this meeting be the key to my salvation? When the last prostate core and the final bladder fragment have drifted off my microscope stage, can there be another career for me?

By my rough estimate, the conference will contain more than 20 breakout sessions on careers that doctors can pursue outside of a typical clinical practice. Jobs that could be managed part-time or from home. Should I go to the meeting and weigh some options? Finally, figure out how to get the best value for my MBA degree?

A quick look at the conference schedule identifies some intriguing possibilities…

  • Speaker:  Go on the road and discuss PSA? Universal health care? Physician burn out? I was pretty good at public speaking as School Board President, this could be a chance to get paid for the “talent.”
  • Utilization Review: The guys and gals who help insurance companies and healthcare organizations decide how much medical service will be paid for versus how much is too much. Briefly (and unfairly) known as death panels. I have a history with this kind of work, having served as Chair of the UR Committee at my old hospital. But Dale Carnegie would call this career “how to lose friends and antagonize people.”
  • Pharma: The big kahuna. It’s where the money is, but do I really want to be a corporate shill, the guy pushing the latest generation of drugs or lab tests, ignoring the massive cost tied to the incremental benefit? Besides, it’s way too much time on the road.
  • Locum Tenens work: Latinese for being a temp. If I want to do that, I’ll stick around with my buddies at UroPartners. No need to leave the best.
  • Medical Communication and Advertising: “I used to be a doctor, now I play one on TV.” Intriguing, with my white hair providing just the right amount of gravitas. I may have lost on Jeopardy! but I see this as a potential winner.
  • Information Technology: An interest of mine since my college days, but I would certainly need Coding Bootcamp to get up to speed. And what man my age can stand the rigors of a Bootcamp? “Drop and give me twenty…lines of code, Doctor!”
  • Medical Writer: No one pays to read my blogs, so this one may be a non-starter. Writing is for pleasure, not for an alternate career.
  • Expert Witness:  Cue up the Perry Mason music. Barb talked me out of adding a law degree to my résumé, but courtroom drama has always intrigued me. Who would I rather represent? Plaintiffs? Defendants? As Deuteronomy tells us, “justice, justice, though shalt pursue.”

So all these options and dozens more. And a few more possibilities not in the brochure such as volunteering or medical missionary work. I guess i don’t need to worry about how to keep busy when I hang up the microscope. Years and years from now!
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