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Life After Medicine: For Doctors Who Want a Trouble-free Transition
  1. Neelima Deshpande
  1. Acting Consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, University Hospitals Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

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Life After Medicine: For Doctors Who Want a Trouble-free Transition Susan E Kersley. Oxford, UK: Radcliffe Publishing, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1-846-19381-1. Price: £19.99. Pages: 144 (paperback)

Moving on after medicine can be a challenge that most doctors face at retirement. Others may be forced to consider it because of life events or health problems. Some may consider it an active choice towards fulfilling other ambitions or simply to move on from something that does not have the same attraction as when they first started in the profession. All of these people would find Susan Kersley's book of great benefit in clarifying their goals and deciding whether and how to make such a move a successful one for them.

The book is written by an experienced former medical professional who reinvented herself as a neuro linguistic programming (NLP) master practitioner, writer and life coach when she wanted to move on from medicine. She truly understands the conflict that faces a doctor who wishes to move on after medicine and still have a life that is full of meaning and purpose. The role of society, colleagues and family is acknowledged, and strategies provided to help think through the various challenges they bring to the decision. Letting go of a vocation that defines one's identity can be difficult yet very rewarding too. It can create space for the expression of many aspects of one's personality that took a backseat when working as a doctor.

The book is well written and logically laid out and has a number of exercises to clarify the process of moving on from medicine. It would be helpful to have a partner, a friend or family member to work through some of the thought processes and exercises, although a coach may help stimulate more insight and give much needed objectivity. It is also helpful to have a workbook in which to do the exercises and record insights or thoughts as they develop and are reflected upon. It can be quite revealing to read these when doing other reflective exercises at a later date. I would say that the whole process can take some time depending upon an individual's circumstances and how ready they are to make the move away from medicine altogether. I would recommend this book heartily and also suggest becoming part of the group on Facebook by the same name as the book when deciding to move on from medicine.