If you can’t afford to retire yet, or you simply don’t want to give up your work entirely, these 4 opportunities can be the perfect way to pull back:


The term “locum” is a fancy way of describing physicians who only work on a temporary basis – like when a hospital is short-staffed or when a full-time doctor in a practice has taken a leave of absence.  A locum position might be available for a few days, a few weeks, or a few months.  For you, working as a locum means getting to change things up on a regular basis, without the commitment of a full-time position.



Want some stability AND plenty of free time?  Consider working as a part-time physician.  More part-time opportunities have been made available in recent years to help doctors avoid the burnout that is all too common in the medical field.  According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average physician worked 51 hours per week in 2013 – which is 10% lower than the average work week in 2003.


Contract terms

Some groups actually lay out a blueprint for aging members of the practice.  Check your contract to see if there are certain thresholds you’ve already met – like reaching a certain age or working in the group for a certain number of years – so that you can partially retire.

Or, if you’re currently working as a sole practitioner, consider signing a contract with a group that allows you to work fewer hours.  That way, you don’t have to completely abandon your patients in order to scale down your work.


Concierge medicine

It may sound like something you’d get in a fancy hotel, but concierge medicine is becoming more and more common.  Patients pay you an annual fee, and in return, they get to contact you anytime they need you.  Going this route allows you to limit the number of patients you take on each year, meaning that you can work as much – or as little – as you’d like.