If personal fulfillment is the primary concern and finances are not an issue, a retired physician can find plenty of opportunities to become a community volunteer. Many physicians who don't need to return to work for financial reasons simply want to give back to the community and serve those who might not otherwise be able to afford proper health care.
You might be surprised, however, to learn how much some physicians enjoy volunteering in free clinics more than their paying job. Not only is it personally rewarding, but doctors say that it's refreshing to not have to deal with the administrative problems or red tape associated normally with their job. They don't have to be concerned about what an insurance company will pay for or what test to do first to ensure maximum insurance payment [source: Weiss].
An additional bonus that volunteering offers for recently retired doctors is the ability to keep abreast of changes in the field. Unfortunately, however, one of the obstacles to retired physicians working in free clinics is that they may need malpractice insurance. If you don't have it, free clinics might turn you away.