The spirit and motivation of the for long working psychiatrist
Background Independent psychiatrists around 68 years old often postpone the phasing out of their working practices. They have difficulty to decide whether, when and how to retire.
Aim Clarify why many independent psychiatrists keep on working for long after their retirement age, and how they eventually can phase out their practices.
Method Interviews with over 50 independent psychiatrists, within the context of IFMS (Individual Functioning Medical Specialists), and consultation of literature.
Results Three quarters of the consulted psychiatrists struggled with emotions concerning retirement. Narcissistic and obsessive compulsive motives, but also the pleasure in their work and the feeling of being needed, often played a role. Continuing to work keeps us physically and mentally healthy, once retirement comes into view. Still, it is wise to stop working before our old age actually diminishes our functioning. Gradually and tightly managing the phasing out of work, and at the same time building up a new life perspective, seems to be the best approach for effective retirement.
Conclusion In the western world, the retirement age increases gradually – independent psychiatrists exceed this trend, by working for even longer. Responsibly phasing out their practices means: the need to anticipate on an undefinable stopping moment. Letting go, loss, and starting a new phase, can be an intense process, also for psychiatrists, in which assignment emotional and practical support can be helpful.