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This is a critical phase in planning since faculty have a multitude of responsibilities to trainees, research staff, colleagues, patients, and the University. Failing to consider succession planning or adequate career and mentoring plans for trainees can put the programs, research, and patient care you have done in chaos and the legacy in jeopardy. All faculty leave a legacy, often far more broad reaching than they might appreciate. Making sure the capstone of that legacy is one of order and boosting mentees and programs on to the next level assures that the legacy you leave is positive and maintained. Important areas to consider are:

  • Succession planning: if you are in a leadership role (even for a committee), thinking about the next leader and assisting in a plan to bridge or overlap with the next leader assures continuity and continued development.
  • Career development for your trainees and mentees: Do each have a mentor network and a clear career path that will guide them when you are not available every day?
  • Your own timing for retirement: Options for retirement vary from phasing to retirement to a defined date of retirement.
    • Consider what seems the best for you and those for whom you need to plan.
    • A year before you anticipate retirement or phasing to retirement, have a discussion with your Chief, Chair, or Dean. Having a clear plan can facilitate a meaningful discussion.
    • The elements contained in the Retirement Guidance can be helpful in thinking through the options.
  • Legacy creation: the Archive of the UMass Chan Medical School library is anxious to continue to create individual histories with interviews and to collate materials created at or with UMass Chan Medical School faculty.


UMass Chan/UMMMG Online Resources

Other Websites


Steele, RW.  Why do pediatricians retire?  Clin Peds.  2015:54: 1309-10

Clemons JM, Vandermeer LA, Gunstone I, Jacobs C, Kaizer L, Paterson AH.  Lost in transition?  Thoughts on retirement—“will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?”.  Oncologist 2013:18;1235-38.

Henning G, Lindwall M, Johansson B.  Continuity in well-being in the transition to retirement.  GeroPsych 2016;29:225-237.

Onyura B, Bohnen J, Wasylenki D, et al.  Reimaging the self at late-career transitions: how identity threat influences academic physicians’ retirement considerations.  Acad Med. 2015;90:794-801.

Greenspan, Michael.  How to launch a successful portfolio career.  HBR. May 4, 2017.