The blues of retired doctors

It’s 6 p.m. and Dr. Martin, 67, has finished his last consultation. He’s overwhelmed by a sense of emptiness. What will he do now? He goes home and thinks about his career, which is coming to an end today. He’s a retired doctor now.

a man in a surgical gown holding up a surgical light

More than a job, a passion

Spending one’s life caring for others is a vocation. Doctors know this all too well, as they open a new chapter in their lives after long studies and a career that all too often involves long days. When it comes to retirement, it’s never easy to turn the page. Especially in this profession, where 12% of Swiss still work after taking the plunge. A significant figure compared to other sectors. Passion is generally one of the driving forces behind these professionals. However, given the weight of responsibility, few doctors are able to continue their practice indefinitely. So how do they organize their day once they’ve stopped working? Do they make the most of their free time, or do they keep a foot in the profession by giving training courses, for example? Whatever the case – and whatever their choice – change is here to stay, and it’s important to adapt to it without underestimating the negative effects this new phase of life can have on their usual rhythm.

Avoid the blues

We know it from day-to-day experience: work takes up most of our time. Sometimes we even spend more time with our colleagues than with our own families. For practitioners, the situation is no different. Not only do they have to deal with the medical profession as a whole, but also with their patients, with whom they are in constant contact. Over and above the care they provide, doctors spend a great deal of time listening, explaining and talking. It’s a habit that can come as a shock to some if it’s suddenly stopped, leading to a loss of meaning. That’s why it’s advisable to find an activity or hobby to ease the transition. And above all, to ease the transition, start a few years before you retire. And above all, to ease the transition, start a few years before you retire. Favoring a group or team activity can help fill the void you feel and meet your need for human contact. We all know the benefits of sport for body and mind. A doctor wouldn’t disagree! So why not follow the prescription he has so often given?

Rediscovering meaning

Some doctors may feel a sense of uselessness when they retire. What, for example, should be done with all the knowledge they’ve acquired and now have to put to good use? When it’s time to take stock, it’s a good idea to appreciate how far you’ve come, and to put your expertise to new use. There are many ways of passing on knowledge, sharing experience and training new generations of carers. It is also possible for some retired doctors to get involved in the voluntary sector by offering their services, at home or elsewhere, to less privileged populations.

Surround yourself with people

Being surrounded by loved ones or a group of doctors who are going through the same transition can also be a useful way of accompanying this particular moment. Sharing and exchange are always beneficial. They make it easier to look to the future. In this context, it’s also perfectly normal to feel complex emotions. This phenomenon affects all professions, but there are many opportunities to overcome them. With a little patience, you can also build a new balance while discovering new sources of satisfaction.

man wearing medical mask and robe

Thinking of the next generation

While it can be painful for a doctor to leave behind his former life, his colleagues and his patients, the retirement phase can be passed more easily if prepared in advance. Thinking about taking over your practice, for example, is a process that should be launched several years before you leave office. This will not only ensure a smooth handover for you, but also for your patients, who will gradually be passed on to your successor. This is all the more important in view of the current shortage in the medical professions. And this shortage is set to get worse. This makes it more difficult to hand over a practice. This issue, which affects future retired doctors, also opens up a wider question for our society, to which we need to find answers. We’re talking here about the problems of training, the selectivity of studies, the working conditions so particular to the branch and above all the lack of attractiveness of peripheral regions compared to urban centers.

And let’s not forget the finances…

Preparing for retirement also means putting in place the financial solutions needed to ensure a comfortable lifestyle and the development of projects. In this respect, doctors can rely on their advisors or asset managers, who have the necessary skills to understand their needs, however complex they may be. The latter’s expertise can also help them define objectives and structure their assets accordingly. In this respect, the profession of one is not unlike that of the other. . Analyzing a problem, making a diagnosis and proposing solutions: aren’t these the three stages that punctuate the reflections of doctors and managers alike? Don’t they both need to put strategies in place and follow up to ensure our well-being and keep our worries at bay?

Health, like financial health, inevitably touches on the register of emotions. In both cases, it’s vital to feel supported. Indeed, in their respective fields, bankers and doctors are pillars. So, when one can support the other through certain stages of life, it would be a shame not to seek their support. Especially when it comes to retirement, a time when it’s vital to be in full possession of one’s means. To avoid the blues, of course, but also to make a fresh start.

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