Returning to the physician's life may seem most attractive to a retired doctor, especially if finances are prompting the move back into the workforce. And you'd think it would be an easy transition coming back. After all, because of his or her ample experience, a retired doctor would need no training -- or, so it would seem.
In the United States, if you let your license expire and have been inactive for an extended period of time (which might be only one or two years, as it is in many states), re-entry could require new training. This may involve continuing education and passing the Special Purpose Examination (SPEX). This makes sense: If it's been several years since practicing, a doctor might need to brush up on their knowledge and skills.
In addition to that, experts in medicine emphasize that technology in the field is continuing to change at an accelerated pace. Doctors may need to prove that they're literate in those technologies and can work with electronic medical records.
Several re-entry programs around the country help get a doctor up to speed. Some states provide the service, while others might require the doctor to pay for it. This is an important matter to look into, as the costs of a re-entry program, which can be upwards of $20,000, can be difficult for a retiree.