Dermatologists more likely to delay retirement

May 1, 2010

Although a recent survey indicates many physicians are postponing retirement because of the recession, dermatologists say that - regardless - retirement in their specialty is rare.

Key Points

National report - Although a recent survey indicates many physicians are postponing retirement because of the recession, dermatologists say that - regardless - retirement in their specialty is rare.

From 2001 to 2009, retirement age in all specialties rose from 64 to 66.5 years, says the survey, conducted by The Doctors Company, America's largest insurer of medical liability for physicians and surgeons.

Meanwhile, plastic surgeons' average retirement age climbed from 63 to 66.4 years, versus 66.4 to 70.6 for internists (2001 to 2010). For dermatologists, average retirement age increased from 61 years in 2007 to 65.5 in 2009.

However, dermatologists say dermatology's allure isn't purely financial.

"People may slow down in dermatology, but for the most part they don't retire. This is a wonderful field," says David J. Goldberg, M.D., J.D., director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York/New Jersey. When asked if he's contemplating retirement, the 55-year-old answers, "No chance."

Howard Murad, M.D., a private practitioner an El Segundo, Calif., who has more than 30 years' experience, adds, "I'll never retire, but I don't practice full time. I love what I do."