In order to safely plan for a successful retirement, it’s imperative to have a general idea of what your spending needs will be when retired. We cannot calculate whether or not our anticipated withdrawal rate would be considered safe (in the range of 3% to 4%) without knowing the size of the annual withdrawal. That number can be difficult to pin down, as there are many variables. It can be informative ...

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I’ll be the first to admit that I am a frugal physician. Frugality has served me well, and I wouldn’t be financially independent without that quality. Yes, I refer to frugality as a quality, and as far as qualities go, it’s a quality quality to have. While not everyone thinks of frugality as a decidedly positive quality to possess, it just might be that others confuse frugality with its ...

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Innovative technologies and shifting public expectations are altering the practices of many industries, particularly those that provide a service. Medical practices should take heed and recognize these trends or risk losing patients and market share to others more open to adopting new strategies. How does one differentiate a high-performing medical practice from another that’s falling behind? And what are the forces that drive the discrepancy? What strategies can your practice implement ...

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And I don’t love it. When I gained acceptance into medical school, I thought I would one day have one amazing job, or at least one job title where I might get to wear several meaningful hats. I’m a physician anesthesiologist. It’s my duty to play a role in improving the health and the lives of my patients. I studied and trained for many years to have the privilege of understanding the ...

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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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