As you begin to contemplate retirement now or in a few years, please accept our congratulations and thanks. Congratulations for finishing strong in what has always been a demanding profession (and more so in recent years) and thank you for caring for so many patients from newborn to adulthood. You embody the Academy's mission and dedication to the health of all children.

Here are some things to think about as you face the next stage of your career. They are intended to help you identify what's driving your retirement decision and direct you to helpful resources.

Financial Readiness

You have been preparing for this transition for decades, the time feels right, and your financial resources are sufficient to make your retirement dreams come true. Your financial advisor will assist you in making this determination.

Personal or Family Obligations

Sometimes retirement decisions are based on personal circumstances-such as your health or that of a family member. These factors emphasize that there are no simple answers to the question "when is it the best time to retire?" The fact is that it may be based on very human and important familial needs. Do what's right for you and those you love.

Stress or Burnout

The ongoing stress of practicing medicine in these challenging times can take a huge toll on pediatricians and other doctors. It can influence career decisions. More than forty percent of pediatricians report experiencing burnout.

Addressing problems affecting the health and wellness of our members is a strategic priority for the Academy. Resources on resilience and practice environment are available on the Physician Health and Wellness page.

On the other hand, contemplating all that needs to be done to retire is not without its own stressors. These can include the pressures of making tough business decisions such as closing a practice or selling all or a share of a practice and all that entails. 

Of course, saying goodbye to longstanding patients and families can be a bittersweet process. This sample letter may help you.

All of the above considerations need to be weighed to help you determine what your next step should be.

Future Plans

Physicians are uniquely goal-driven. That makes it important to have future plans directed toward what you want to "retire to" rather than focus on what you are "retiring from." What that looks like is up to you.

Some pediatricians practice part-time on a significantly scaled back schedule or pursue locum tenens opportunities. Others explore new ways to use their skills such as being telemedicineonly providers or participating in medical missions to the far corners of the world. Physician recruitment firms may be able to assist you if those opportunities sound appealing to you.

Some choose to step away from seeing patients altogether to become medical educators (podcasts), health profession career coaches, or medical writers (books, articles, biogs). Of course, there is nothing wrong with hanging up the white coat entirely and choosing to travel, pursue hobbies, and explore new interests.

No matter what direction you go, the AAP can help get you there.


Closing Your Pediatric Practice - For some it starts with closing the door on your practice. Here are some practical steps

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American Academy of Pediatrics