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March 1999

Otolaryngologists Older Than 60 YearsResults of and Reflections on Survey Responses From 865 Colleagues Regarding Retirement

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999;125(3):263-268. doi:10.1001/archotol.125.3.263

We should cherish old age and enjoy it. It is full of pleasure if you know how to use it. Fruit tastes most delicious just when its season is ending.—Seneca, circa 4 BC to AD 65

At a recent meeting of the Pan-Pacific Surgical Society, Roger Crumley, MD, introduced a slide (Table 1) depicting the long professional lives of otolaryngologists. It demonstrates that otolaryngologists may enjoy the longest period of professional productivity of specialists recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Nine nonagenarians responded to our survey, affirming otolaryngologists' longevity. One currently is in part-time practice at 94 years and 2 retired last year at 91 years. Recent conversations with many of our colleagues, however, suggested to us that more otolaryngologists were considering shorter, not longer, periods of medical practice.

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