Tale of Two Retirements

Double “O” Arch in Devil’s Garden

When people imagine announcing their retirement, they expect being on the receiving end of ‘congratulations’ from co-workers. That is exactly what Joe got. Additionally, he got a few inquiries as to how he was able to retire at such an early age.

My experience, on the other hand, was quite anticlimactic. When one retires early from a medical career, one shouldn’t expect any ‘congratulations’. In fact, I knew to brace myself when I made the announcement. Patients understandably are disappointed when they lose their doctor, and have to find another whom they’ll have to establish a rapport with. The great majority of my patients were truly grateful for all I’ve done over the years, and some were visibly emotional when they heard the news. However, a few made it clear they they were not happy with my decision, and one even said, “don’t you feel guilty for leaving us?”

Doctors are somehow held to a different standard, but it is important to realize that doctors are human too.

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