Well, Sena alerted me to yet another boglehead retirement discussion. There was a question for non-retirees and I guess I fit as a member of that group–though not for very long as I’m easing into retirement. The question was whether there’s anything that “really scares” us about the prospect of retirement. There were the usual concerns about not having enough money for it, and something more interesting–the fear of death, dementia, or “ending up” in a nursing home.
I’ve been thinking about all of them. There are all sorts of reminders about it, including the Kaiser Health News article about the issue of Medicare paying doctors to discuss end-of-life issues with their patients.
And there’s an entire July 2015 issue of Psychiatric Annals devoted to Geriatric Psychopharmacology. in which Dr. Jan Fawcett in his introductory editorial quotes from John Mellencamp’s tune Jack and Diane, “Oh yes, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.”
It goes right to the heart of the issue of getting older, at least for a geezer psychiatrist.
One of my fears is the whole legacy thing. You know. What is it? For me it’s probably tied to the dragon slayer archetype. One of my dragons has been Maintenance of Certification (MOC) controversy, especially the Part IV Performance in Practice (PIP) issue. By the way, the Delirium PIP looks like it’s a go (Delirium PIP individ Dr Jim Amos) and it’ll be free and open access on a new American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) website section where peer-developed QI projects will be posted. I’m told it’s in the works and will be coming soon.
The delirium PIP is based on the most recent guidelines available from the NICE Delirium Guidelines. It was just reviewed in January 2015. They’re more current than the American Psychiatric Association (APA) guidelines for delirium, which haven’t really been updated since May 1999.
Because guidelines of every kind are never perfect and subject to change, I’m hoping that the next generation of doctors will keep it up to snuff. The dragon still lives, as it must.
Oh, and I edited a book with my colleague, Dr. Robert G. Robinson.
What else? Not much really; except I’ve done the best that I can, in the Mellencamp style, more or less. Like most, I’m closer to the tastee-freez than the “beautiful Russian countryside.” Of course, I don’t really know anything about Tchaikovsky or his last symphony. What little I know of him has been gleaned from internet scraps, including those of Dr. Richard Kogan, psychiatrist and accomplished pianist.
So am I scared of upcoming retirement? I don’t think so. Every time we go on vacation, working on the bucket list now rather than waiting until formal retirement, I try to pretend I’m retired, just to get used to the idea…gradually.