October 13, 2015
In a humdrum, workaday 30-plus-year career, the typical ophthalmologist labors about 60,000 hours, earns about $10 million and passes the reins down to a replacement surgeon. He or she then has about $3 million left in the bank to spend during another 20 years or so of retirement, thinking and rethinking his or her legacy. Sometimes with a smile, sometimes not so much.
Because the baby boom bulge is reflected not just in the older age distribution of patients but also in the graying distribution of surgeons, and because practice stresses are rising sharply, I have more clients than ever before who are retiring, moving on and starting to talk to me about what they thought their legacy would be. Or what they wished it could have been.