More than a few practicing physiciansâ€”regardlessof ageâ€”are thinking about retirement. The respectedTexas Medical Association (www.texmed.org) hasdeveloped a quick self-evaluation test for doctors whoare considering retirement. Try to honestly answer thefollowing 10 questions and then score yourself.
1. Do you enjoy good health?
2. Does your spouse (or alternate personal support)enjoy good health?
3. Are your current finances sufficient to properlysupport you as you would like?
4. Do you have the courage to make a majorchange in your life?
5. Do you have a social support system to replacethe loss of your practicing colleagues?
6. Do you have the imagination to greatly expandthe time that you spend on nonpractice activities orpursue new fields of interest that are meaningfulenough to fill your new life?
7. Are you prepared to undergo an emotionallystressful period lasting about 1 year?
8. Can you accept the loss of identity as a practicingphysician with the privileged perks?
9. Are you willing to undertake the trifling activitiesthat you are used to delegating to others?
10. Will you enjoy the greatly expanded personalfreedom that retirement brings?
Give yourself 10 points for every "yes" answer. Ifyour answer to a question is "no," you may give yourself5 points if you feel that you have sufficient flexibilityto fulfill the missing ingredient after retirement.If you scored 70 points or more, you should dowell in retirement. If not, you may need more preparation.Think about the questions you answered negatively,consider how you might change your answer,and take the test again at a later date.