Going slowlyBMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7163.955 (Published 03 October 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:955
- Colin Douglas, doctor and novelist
Most of us retire, a few reluctantly and at the last possible minute, more and more of us when some personal calculus of tedium, disillusionment, and accumulating pension rights allows us to slip away a few—or more than a few—years early, to the usual accompaniment of gracious words, best wishes, and little gifts.
Some, of course, do not retire. We die in post, perhaps suddenly—desks untidy, letters undictated, lists unticked, obligations to patients, colleagues, juniors left dangling round an abrupt and jagged space.
A small minority departs in a manner that is neither of the above. Once, a long …