Views And Reviews Soundings

Going slowly

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7163.955 (Published 03 October 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:955
  1. Colin Douglas, doctor and novelist
  1. Edinburgh

    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.


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    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 …

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