A couple years ago, I reached the seven-year mark after my initial board certification with the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA). At the time, it was a significant milestone. I was eligible to take the all-important Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesia (MOCA) exam. Diplomates of the ABA -- that’ right, I’m considered a diplomate -- in other words, a board-certified anesthesiologist. Diplomates were encouraged and incentivized to take the $2,100 exam ...

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Who Retires at 30 to 35? Retiring after a career of zero or a few years may sound ludicrous, but there are a few scenarios that are not so far-fetched. The stay-at-home spouse. A handful of physicians complete residency, but never pursue employment, often choosing to start a family instead. I know one physician who made this choice at age 29, actually. The suddenly wealthy. A large windfall at the beginning of one’s ...

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It’s hard to find time to pay attention to all the messages I receive. There are voicemails, emails (work, blog, and personal), and the nonstop notifications from Facebook and Twitter. Post-it Notes on the desk and the refrigerator. I am bombarded with messages. Urban Meyer, head coach of the Ohio State football team, doesn’t have a lot of time to leave messages. Right now, he’s gearing up for a likely bid in the ...

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You won’t find me at any haunted houses this weekend. I don’t need any costumed creeps jumping out at me when I least (or most) expect it. I’ve never been a huge fan of strobe lights, fog machines, bad makeup, or canned Vincent Price laughter. My day job is scary enough. Some like to say that anesthesia is 99 percent boredom and 1 percent terror. They’re half right. The 99 percent is rarely boring. ...

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The day was progressing swimmingly until the charge nurse announced we had an emergent exploratory laparotomy. These things happen; often there's free air in the abdomen from a ruptured ulcer or diverticulum. Sometimes an exploratory laparotomy is necessary after trauma or a particularly nasty infection. We're prepared to handle them. "Where is the patient?" I inquired. "On the way down from ICU. The surgeon's on his way in," I was told. Hmm … ...

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As a physician who is planning an early retirement, and is writing about the topic often, I find that retirement is frequently on my mind. It’s not difficult to articulate my desire for an early retirement. I crave the freedom and time with my family. I look forward to restful nights free from the threat of the loathsome pager. Another round of MOC is not for me, and I’m ready ...

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I would like to discuss how I achieved financial independence at age 39, and how it allows me the freedom to practice medicine in a way that keeps me happy. Financial independence is defined as having enough money saved and invested in a way that would allow you to quit gainful employment and continue your present standard of living. The math, based on a 4 percent withdrawal rate, requires you to have ...

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Evidence-based medicine is at the heart of what we physicians do. It is the basis for professional decision-making, and a focus of most journal articles we read. Using solid evidence to practice good medicine has been a foundation of clinical practice for decades. There are consequences for failing to follow evidence-based guidelines. If patient harm results from straying from a more loosely defined “standard of care,” which tends to be evidence-based, ...

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