MSP Question of the Month – Physician Retirements

Posted by & filed under Knowledge Points, Medical Staff Services.

Retirement for physicians can be a very exciting time in their lives. It is usually filled to the brim with endearing thoughts of one’s colleagues, memories of all the good times spent in the workplace, and well-deserved satisfaction for the lives saved and made better due to their efforts. There are also some physicians who struggle with the decision of retirement because it is often times the only thing they know to do and are usually way over-qualified to do anything else that has as great an impact on a person, community, and the world.

Yet, acknowledging physicians with the respect they are due at the time of their retirement is most appropriate. I receive many questions from MSPs and Medical Staff Leaders asking what I see in the field regarding how to properly recognize physicians scheduled to retire. Are retirement criteria available?

I’m not aware of any national criteria, so I turn again to the folks who make it happen, asking that you share your experience so others can learn from you.

How does your facility recognize a physician’s retirement? Do you give out gift certificates, throw a party, give the retiree a gift or award or do something different? Please post your practice.

Here are the responses I have received so far!

“Once a year the Medical Staff and Administration host an evening reception for any retired (within the last year) or soon to be retired (within six months) for the practitioner and their families.”

“Our Medical Staff doesn’t do anything! However, this question is so timely because I was asked to research what other organizations do to honor retiring members. Thank you!”

“The Medical Staff recognizes the retiring physician at the Medical Staff Meeting and the President of the hospital and the Chief of the Medical Staff present the physician with a Waterford crystal clock. The audience of peers usually gives the retiring doctor a standing ovation as well.”

What does your organization do to recognize retiring colleagues? Please feel free to email me at or post your response to my question on LinkedIn and Facebook. Let’s get the industry moving to properly recognize physicians at the time of their retirement by establishing what we determine to be logical retirement criteria and recognition options!

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