how long is a doctor career

how long is a doctor career

How Long is a Doctor’s Career?

Becoming a doctor is no small feat. After thousands of hours of training, internships and residencies, you are ready to embark on your journey as a medical professional. But, how long is a doctor’s career?

Factors That Can Influence a Doctor’s Career Length

The length of a doctor career may vary from person to person. Here are some of the factors that may influence career longevity:

  • Practice Setting: Where a doctor chooses to practice plays a role in how long their career will last. For example, a doctor who works in a private practice may have a longer career than one who works in a public hospital.
  • Physical Health of the Physician: If a doctor experiences any physical issues or illnesses throughout their career, this could lead to a shortened career.
  • Burnout & Stress: One of the most common reasons for career termination is burnout due to the high stress and pressures involved with being a doctor.

Average Length of a Doctor’s Career

The average length of a doctor career is roughly 40 years, though some may retire earlier and others remain active until the age of 70 or beyond. Generally speaking, doctors tend to retire from active practice once they reach the age of 65, though this may have shifted with the introduction of more flexible working arrangements for doctors over the age of 65.

Benefits of a Long Career as a Physician

A long career as a physician can be very rewarding. With decades of experience under your belt, you are able to take on more responsibilities and even mentor upcoming physicians. Some doctors may also transition into teaching roles and leadership positions, furthering their influence in healthcare and making an impact on the future of medicine.


The length of a doctor’s career can vary depending on a variety of factors, but it’s typically around 40 years in length. This can be a highly rewarding time for doctors, providing them with opportunities to mentor, lead, and teach.

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