“The situation being difficult, it pushed me to continue”: retired doctors still in activity

Impossible to completely hang up the white coat as soon as they retire. After more than thirty years of service, these four doctors have chosen to make a smooth transition. They have chosen to continue to exercise their core business or to pursue their commitment to other services in Montargois. Combining employment and retirement is a good balance for them and meets the needs of doctors that are not met in the territory.

Jean-Michel Dupré, pediatrician

At 68, Jean-Michel Dupré is one of the few pediatricians in eastern Loiret. So he makes extra money. When he retires at 65, this doctor has no intention of quitting his job.

“At first I did eight consultations a month. Gradually I decreased because I wanted to take care of my grandchildren, go to the cinema. Between 70-hour weeks and call duty, there is a time when you have to get up the foot”, testifies the one who, after studying medicine in Tours, spent his entire liberal career in the premises of the Hospital Center of the Montargoise conurbation.

“Full of patients”

If he continues his job “it’s not for financial reasons, I’m quiet on that side. On the other hand, I have lots of patients with neurofibromatosis, a kid with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in a wheelchair. I managed for them to have a referent in Paris but I have the impression of letting go of them, of letting them manage. There is this point of unfounded guilt. Of course, I know that no one is irreplaceable,” says the doctor.

He himself faces health problems and had to slow down. It is now limited to four consultations per month which last 20 minutes instead of half an hour and no longer takes baby patients. “At some point it will be necessary to hand over. But for the moment, I have no buyer. I try to place children with pathologies with colleagues, but they are all overbooked. All the people with whom I worked have retired so they are new people with whom I don’t always have the same way of working”, underlines the doctor who does not yet seem ready to let go of his chair.

Michel Pinson, coordinating physician

After 37 years of career as a general practitioner in Amilly, Michel Pinson is retiring on January 1, 2013 at the age of 65. “I was lucky to find a buyer. It was ten years ago but my replacement was already very courted”, remembers the doctor who is now 76 years old.

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He is now a part-time coordinating doctor at the Les Althaea retirement home in Amilly. “At first I said to myself that as a retiree I could do what I want. Archaeology, cinema, sport, I did all that but I needed intellectual activity”, says the doctor.

In addition to keeping abreast of advances in medicine, “human contact is essential. For me, teamwork is important, to be able to exchange with nurses and management.” When does he plan to drop out? “When I get up in the morning and I don’t want to go there anymore. I also hope that if it slows down intellectually, I will be aware of it,” says the doctor who specializes in geriatrics.

The word of the Althaea

The director of the Les Althaea retirement home, Léonard Poullot is very satisfied with this collaboration. “I don’t consider him a retired doctor. For me, he’s an employee like any other. He himself was the attending physician for certain residents. He knows the network of attending physicians. It’s extraordinary in terms of knowledge of the territory and the local medical landscape,” says the director. A good solution to find a doctor “because it’s always tense”. So he pampers his two part-time doctors: “A doctor is too precious today for him to waste his time solving material problems”. He trusts Dr. Pinson to know when it’s time to stop. “There are safeguards, if he starts to tire our medical teams would realize it. I move forward with my eyes closed with him.”

Maurice Ciras, general practitioner

Installed since October 1985 as a general practitioner in Vimory, doctor Maurice Ciras retired at the beginning of 2023 at the age of 67.

“I would have liked to retire at 65 but it happened during the Covid and I did not want to put my patients in the shit. Before my departure, I tried as much as possible to find a doctor for those with chronic pathologies”, explains the pensioner who continues his activity elsewhere.

“I did not want to stop abruptly right away. I was already working sporadically in the Cham addiction service in Amilly. I wanted to continue there because few doctors like to work with this public but these people need to be followed.”

“Obligated especially when they do not have a doctor”

Hard to cut the cord with the patients too. “I get phone calls from former patients who can’t reach colleagues. I feel obligated, especially when they don’t have a treating doctor. I’m a bit like a medical regulation assistant!”, smiles the doctor who recharges his batteries by gardening and catching up on his hours of sleep.

“It was my ambition to become a general practitioner. I thought it was a great job and it still is. You are still a doctor even after you retire”; concludes the one who sees himself leading this rhythm well until his 72 years.

Jacques Lamberton, general practitioner

Dr. Lamberton retired in 2018 but continued to practice until 2022, the year in which he decided to stop practicing completely.

“It makes a big difference to put the alarm clock in the morning, you feel more free!”, Describes the one who intends to satisfy his travel desires. Although his office located in his house has remained as it is for the moment.

“I did not want a sudden stop. I had seen many colleagues go from intense activity to nothing, they fell ill or depressed”, says the one who continues his activity part-time in the addiction service of the Cham. What interests him in chronic pain is dealing with “people who have no solutions, it is because of the pain that they end up taking products”.

Less 60% activity “that’s a big step. I stopped working on Fridays and I was delighted to work as a team. Between his 58 and 70 years, he spent six university degrees on taking in charge of mourning and families bereaved by suicide. In the morning I go for a walk, manage the religious part of the funeral, accompany people bereaved by suicide through the Hope platform. “We live our train train at work, when we stop discovering things”, sums up the former doctor.

Work after 70? “You have to know how to be reasonable, from a certain age it is no longer possible to do cardiac massage properly, jokes the doctor, at some point you have to leave”.

Le Cham uses retired doctors

There are currently 6 retired doctors practicing at Cham, in the pediatrics, psychiatry, addictology, anesthesia, urology and onco-haematology medicine departments. “In a medical desert, it can be difficult to maintain a stable medical team. Most of the retired doctors who practice at Cham were already in post in the establishment”, we explain to the communication of the hospital establishment. “They thus ensure continuity of care for patients, while knowing perfectly the work environment and the team of health professionals in place”, we continue. Be careful however, “the hiring of retired doctors does not replace Cham’s efforts to recruit doctors, but their experience and expertise represent undeniable assets. They contribute to ensuring the supply of care, but also the support of more youth.”

Doctors “band-aid”

It was included in the law relating to health policy of 2004, the age limit for public officials doctors and nurses is set at 67 years. That of the modernization of the health system of 2016 offers the possibility of exercising until the age of 72. However, given the state of the workforce in these professions, an exemption may be granted. According to statistics from the Autonomous Pension Fund for Physicians of France (CARMF), approximately 10% of liberal doctors continue to practice within the framework of the employment-retirement system at the national level.

Cecile Kettanjian

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