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Pre-retirement starts at the beginning of a career and extends throughout a career by developing and maintaining interests and activities that can be expanded and deepened when the all-consuming work of science and medicine is not a faculty’s sole focus. Any life transition is difficult, and consideration of how you might retire and the timing of retirement lead to these important questions:

  • What will my post retirement activities include?
  • What relationship to UMass Chan Medical School/UMMMG would I want to maintain or expand?
  • What will be hard for me in the transition to retirement and what will be easy?
  • When will I be financially and professionally ready to take that step?
  • Do I have all the information I need to make decisions? (see the resources below to help)

Retirement can offer an opportunity to invest in yourself and focus on personal life goals, new opportunities and challenges. As longevity increases, many retirees take up new careers, pursue life goals that were postponed, or give back in new ways to their communities. Take a look at the Transition through Retirement Checklist for help with your decision making.

Succession planning for clinicians/clinical faculty:

The UMass Memorial Medical Group, and the UMass Chan Medical School Office of Faculty Affairs have developed foundation guidance for succession development: Succession Planning Guidance for Clinicians/Clinical Faculty. Succession planning is a strategy all healthy institutions employ, and the ability to add our own talent pool to the outside pool of talent to address a loss with retiring clinicians is important. Succession planning allows us to train people over the longer term, identify new skills needed in our future, as well as have clear plans for immediate short term needs. While succession planning is the responsibility of our Department Chairs (or equivalents)—it is important to discuss key components of individual roles that need longer term skills development (succession planning) even if retirement is 5 to 10 years off. Knowing that a retiring clinician will have individuals with the requisite skills to carry on their legacy gives us continuity of our missions and respects the retiring clinician’s contributions to those missions. Please visit the new Transition to Retirement area of the Medical Group website as well as other resources outlined below.

Intent to retire notification:

The UMass Memorial Medical Group, and the UMass Chan Medical School Office of Faculty Affairs have developed foundation guidance for retirement planning Guidance for Intent to Retire Notification: Clinician/Clinical Faculty Focus. Notification of intent to retire is expected 1 year prior to retirement. This is intended to allow for transition planning with the Chief/Chair as well as provide time to assure patients, colleagues, programs, learners, and mentees have transition plans as well. Sample “expectations” for responsibilities that might be expected during transition are included as idea generators for discussions with a Chair/Chief. Clear expectations make sure the retiring clinician continues to have authority as well as accountability avoiding the “lame duck” and “short timer” concerns. The Part Time Guidelines can also assist the planning process if part time effort is being considered during this period.


UMass Chan Medical School/UMMMG Online Resources

Other Websites


How Retirement Changes Your Identity, Harvard Business Review, January 19, 2019


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Merline AC, Cull WL, Mulvery HJ, Kathcer AL. Patterns of work and retirement among pediatricians aged > 50 years. Pediatrics 2010;125:158-64.

Alexander H, Liu CQ. The aging of full time US Medical School faculty:1967-2007. AAMC Analysis in Brief 2009;9: (4)

Orkin FK, McGinnis SL, Forte GJ, Peterson MD, Schubert A, Katz JD, Berry AJ, Cohen NA, Holzman RS, Jackson SH, Martin DE, Garfield JM. US Anesthesiologists over 50: retirement decision making and workforce implications. Anesthesiology 2012;117:953-63.

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Michael North and Hal Hershfield.  Four Ways to Adapt to an Aging Workforce. Harvard Business Review April 8, 2014. Link

Rebecca Knight.  Plan a Satifying Retirement.  Harvard Business Review September 4, 2014.  Link

Angelos, Peter.  How Should Colleagues Respond to Diminishing Capacities of an Aging Surgeon?  AMA Journal of Ethics October 2016, Volume 18, Number 10: 986-992.  Link

Patel, V.  Greasing the Retirement Wheel.  Chronicle of Higher Education. November 27, 2016.

Kaups KL.  Competence not age determine ability to practice:  ethical considerations about sensorimotor agility, dexterity, and cognitive capacity.  AMA J Ethics.  2016;10:1017-1024.

Frank, B.  Improving nurse faculty retention through a phased retirement process.  J Nurs Manage  2013;21:922-926

Bohnen J.  Late career development and retirement planning:  identifying critical issues for clinical faculty.  Med Ed  2013:47 Suppl. 1:42

Blau JM, Paprocki RJ, Baum N.  Road to retirement:  Not necessarily the road less traveled—part 1.  J of Med Pract Manage .  2015:30:373-6.

Levinson W, Ginsburg S.  Is it time to retire?   JAMA 2017:15;1570-1

DeBard ML.  to retire or not?  THAT is the question.  Annals of Em Med.  2015:66;428-9.