Return from retirement? Enjoy your life and don't even consider it

LETTER — Posted Aug. 22, 2005

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Regarding "Retrain retired doctors to avert future physician shortage" (Letters, July 18): Retired doctors would have to be nuts to go back into practice these days. It is not about retraining them.

Most retired docs enjoyed reasonable reimbursements for their services. Why come back out of retirement when an orthopedic surgeon is lucky to get $1,500 for a $6,000 knee replacement?

Those of us who are working in this business are commodities working at leveraged contracts for managed care, and even, although debatably, as if employees for the federal government. We have leveraged debt that requires we continue to work, kids who are not yet out of school, and many of us with student loans that have not been paid off, not because we don't want to but because it simply is not economical -- we have to finance everything!

My advice to retired physicians: Stay out of this nightmare and enjoy the rest of your life while you still can, before someone passes a law making you go back to work. (Yes, at this point, it would not shock me to learn that they find a way to put a virtual gun to your head to make you work in this business for these appalling rates.)

Daniel J. D'Arco, MD, Pottsville, Pa.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/08/22/edlt0822.htm.

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