Jobs for Retired Doctors

Jobs for Retired Doctors

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John E Chambers
August 26, 2021
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Retirement may not turn out how you imagined it would; the idea of unending leisure time might seem appealing at first, but in reality, things can get boring pretty fast. 

Whether you are trying to overcome the likely boredom that comes with plenty of time on your hands or you need extra income to stretch your retirement savings, there are plenty of opportunities to explore.  

You may also want to come out of retirement because the doctor inside of you still wants to continue offering valuable experience even though you’ve hung up your stethoscope long ago. 

Here’s the thing, though. Getting back into the workforce might not be as easy as it seems, especially if you’ve been inactive for a few years and your license has expired. In many cases, coming back may require passing a special exam and even undergoing brush-up training. 

Thankfully, there are a few excellent, no-hassle positions that retired doctors who wish to come out of retirement can consider. This article highlights eight of such positions.

Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare Administrator

Many retired doctors with decades of experience would have developed leadership skills to a large extent during their active working years.

This makes them suitable for the job of overseeing the staff and managing health facilities. In other words, they are great candidates for healthcare administration.

In addition to managing facility finances, healthcare administrators develop work schedules for physicians and other staff, train staff members, and ensure the quality and efficiency of the facility.

As a hospital administrator, you don’t usually have interactions with patients in the facility. Instead, your interactions are mostly with doctors, surgeons, technicians, nurses, and other medical personnel. In a nutshell, this career is crucial to the success of any healthcare facility. 

How much can be made?

The average pay for healthcare administrators is $104,280 per year, with the highest 10% earning close to $200,000 annually. On the other side of the spectrum, the lowest 10% earn a little below $60,000 per year. Of course, all of these depend on the size of the facility, location, and years of experience. 

Pros

A hospital administrator is one of the top-paying, non-medical positions in a medical facility. 

Cons

The position is not suitable for someone who is not prepared to take on huge responsibilities. 

Community Volunteer

Community Volunteer

The role of a community volunteer is a suitable one for retired physicians who wish to come out of retirement to find a sense of personal fulfillment. 

The work of a community volunteer for physicians is not limited to diagnosing, treating patients, or any other aspect of their medical expertise. Community-based volunteerism for retired doctors can be as simple as delivering food to the sick or some other charity work. 

Although it may seem that volunteering only benefits those who may not be able to afford proper healthcare, the physician also gains from the act of volunteering.

For one, the retired doctor gets to stay abreast of changes in the medical field. Also, the impact of your free service on people’s lives can make a world of difference for them and, at the same time, humble you when you recognize the value it creates in their lives.

How much can be made?

Retired physicians typically don’t go into volunteering to earn money or for financial reasons. However, you may get money to cover most of your expenses, such as travel and medical equipment needed for work. 

Pros

This is a personally rewarding and fulfilling job, as you get to give back meaningfully to the community.

Volunteering broadens your support network and strengthens your ties to the community.

Cons

You may not be able to volunteer in some free clinics as a retired doctor if you don’t have malpractice insurance.

Telemedicine Doctor

Telemedicine Doctor

Jobs that allow you to work from home (or anywhere) are great for retired physicians.

One of such jobs is telemedicine. You can work part-time or full-time, earning an income from the comfort of your home as long as you have a laptop or desktop computer, reliable internet connection, a phone, and you know how to use a computer. 

Providing your medical expertise over the web is not a new practice. However, modern technology has simplified the process, allowing doctors to conveniently and quickly diagnose minor health issues and prescribe non-controlled medication over the internet. 

You can also opt for asynchronous telemedicine. In this case, your medical expertise is not delivered in real-time, as is applicable with over-the-phone live consultations with patients.

Instead, patients send their health information, such as pathology reports, medical history, and images to the doctor who reviews them and render a diagnosis at his or her convenience.  

How much can be made?

A telemedicine physician’s salary is a lucrative one, with an average annual income of $192,454. Top earners can make as much as $315,000 per year. Those who charge hourly rates can receive anywhere from $15 to $50 per hour. 

Pros

Work from home opportunity means you don’t have to commute to any office.

Telemedicine offers a very flexible work schedule.

Cons

Poor internet connection can lead to possible patient mismanagement. 

It does not really have the “personal touch” available with in-person consultations.

Medical Expert Witness

Medical Expert Witness

Medical expert witnesses are usually doctors who are still in active practice. However, recently retired physicians can also switch to this less demanding yet high-paying job. 

To qualify for this position, your medical license must be current and valid, and you shouldn’t be restricted from practicing in your area of expertise. So, if you’ve spent quite some years at home, this position might not be the right fit for you; at least, not without undergoing some training and passing specialized examinations.

The duties of a medical expert witness involve providing testimonies on a wide range of issues that fall under their professional experience. They offer valuable insight that helps attorneys at every stage of litigation.

The job of a medical expert witness is not only to defend physicians; they also support patients who may have been treated unjustly. 

How much can be made?

Medical expert witnesses charge an average hourly fee for in-court testimony of approximately $555. In some cases, those who devote about five hours a week to expert witnessing can earn more than $100,000 annually, making this one of the highest paying jobs for retired doctors.

Pros

A flexible schedule allows you to work from home.

You feel extremely good and fulfilled, knowing you helped to defend justice.

Cons

You may be exposed to severe emotional pressure from cross-examination by opposing counsel.

Medical Teacher

Medical Teacher

Some retired doctors would like to come out of retirement but the idea of working with patients doesn’t quite appeal to them. If that’s you, perhaps passing your knowledge and expertise to a new crop of doctors might be something you would want to consider. 

Retried doctors can fill a great need by teaching relevant courses and subjects, especially at the undergraduate level. You could teach courses, such as physiology, anatomy, or biology in a classroom environment. 

You might also opt to teach in physician assistant programs or nursing programs, depending on what you are more comfortable with.

In any case, working as a medical teacher is considerably less tasking compared to full-time medical practice. Plus, you can do this on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on what suits you best.

How much can be made?

Although salaries could be as high as $94,000 annually, the national average salary for a medical teacher is about $49,884 per year. This works out to about $4,157 per month. 

Pros

The opportunity to share your experience and expertise with student physicians

Cons

Teaching is a specialized skill, and you may need to undergo training to properly impart knowledge. 

Physician Entrepreneur

Physician Entrepreneur 

Sometimes, retirement gives you room to take a step back and re-evaluate your contribution from a broader perspective. Did you help as many people as you would like?

One way you can touch the lives of more patients is by improving healthcare delivery. This is where a physician entrepreneur comes into the picture.

First, you will need to have some kind of training in entrepreneurship and develop good business skills. This may mean going the traditional route to earn an MBA or become street-smart in business.  

If you are risk-averse and don’t want to sink your retirement savings into a medical startup, joining an up-and-coming life science company might be the next best thing.

How much can be made?

Just as physician entrepreneurs are likely to touch more lives than those in traditional medical practice, their average annual salary is also higher than their counterparts in clinics and hospitals. A physician entrepreneur earns about $359,000 per year. 

Pros

Higher chance of earning passive income from innovative med-tech solutions or products.

Cons

High startup cost and overhead.

Hospitalist

Hospitalist

The position of a hospitalist might be the right one for you if you have lots of experience in inpatient medicine. While they have the same training as primary care physicians, hospitalists specialize in providing general medical care to patients that are hospitalized. 

Hospitalists have specialized training in acute medical care, quick diagnosis, internal medical care, and communication. In addition to providing answers to patients who have questions about hospital treatments, they manage patients from their arrival time and throughout their stay in the hospital.

Unlike your typical physician positions, the position of a hospitalist involves fewer bureaucratic hassles. 

How much can be made?

Generally, hospitalists have high job satisfaction, and that’s not unconnected to their considerably higher salary and incentives. On average, they earn about $250,520 annually with some of them receiving bonuses of about 19% of their total compensation.

Pros

Generally satisfying job with considerably high pay, making it one of the lucrative jobs for retired doctors.

Cons

You might have to put in weekend hours as well as work during the night. 

Locum Tenens Doctor

Locum Tenens Doctor

While you may have retired from full practice, you can still maintain your license by standing in or holding the fort for other doctors on an as-needed basis. In other words, you still offer your expert medical services minus the rigors and demands of your old schedules. 

Finding a job as a locum tenens doctor is not difficult; all you need to do is sign up with a staffing agency that will link you up with a suitable healthcare facility. This type of part-time physician position can last anywhere from a week to about a month or thereabouts. 

The job of a locum tenens doctor is ideal for retirees who are flexible about location.

You can work in different locations, going from urban to rural communities within months – depending on where the staffing agency places you. Be sure to check whether the staffing agency pays for travel and accommodation before signing up.

How much can be made?

The average salary of locum tenens physicians is $249,148 per annum, with top earners making up to $370,500 annually. 

Pros

This job offers increased flexibility, making it suitable for the lifestyle of many retirees. 

Cons

You need to prepare for off-hours work, and some staffing agencies may not pay for travel and accommodations. 

Conclusion

Careers don’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean your passion for the work you do automatically fades when you hang your stethoscope.

If your desire to change the world for the better is still strong after retirement, perhaps one of the above-mentioned jobs for retired doctors will appeal to you.

There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are driven by financial constraints to come out of retirement. Whatever your reason, it shouldn’t be too difficult for any retired doctor to find a job that suits their interests and schedule.

Reference Articles 

  1. kevinmd.com
  2. locumleaders.com
  3. dr-bill.ca
  4. wheel.com
  5. hcplive.com
  6. amfs.com
  7. seak.com
  8. supplementalincomeforphysicians.com
  9. ascopost.com
  10. medicalaid.org
  11. wgu.edu
  12. work.chron.com
  13. webmd.com
  14. medicaleconomics.com
  15. evisit.com

John E Chambers

John E Chambers is an experienced financial advice expert. Born in Chicago, he has a master's in Industrial Finance, but he has spent decades offering investment advice to businesses and individuals alike. He is the founder of RetireeWorkforce.com and wants the website to be valuable for retirement advice. In addition, he writes articles that help users jump-start their retirement plans and choose the best investment options. If not pondering over stock market statistics or reading some magazines, you can find John spending time with his family. As an early retiree, John also offers unique insights into what post-retirement life is like.