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A Surgeon's Transition: When to Retire from Surgical Practice
Chitranjan S. Ranawat, MD1; Richard H. Rothman, MD, PhD2
1 Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10021. E-mail address: rocinnyc@rocinnyc.com
2 Rothman Institute, 925 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107-4216
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Disclosure: The authors did not receive any outside funding or grants in support of their research for or preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity.

Copyright ©2010 American Society for Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2010 Jul 21;92(8):e7 1-3. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.00041
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For many surgeons who have celebrated their sixtieth birthday, aging and retirement hang over their practice like the sword of Damocles. A retiring orthopaedic surgeon has to consider the circumstances and transition from a surgical career to retirement, which may require a substantial amount of thinking, planning, and consultation with friends, family members, and other professional people who may help with this transition. Many surgeons electively retire early just to enjoy their life and family. Others wish to retire early and seek another career, totally unrelated to the field of surgery. The proper age for this transition is from forty-five to fifty-five years old, when the physical attributes, intelligence, and knowledge are at their peak and the surgeon is capable of adapting to the new career in an efficient manner. In addition, a large number of those who are sixty and beyond would like to continue to practice. The remarks in this article pertain to the latter group. There is a dramatic and startling contrast between the emotion and circumstances of transition into a surgical career compared with transition out of a surgical career into retirement1,2.
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