Later career wellbeing

In addition to the guidance we have provided on our essentials page, it is important to also consider your own wellbeing when approaching retirement.

Advice and guidance can also be found on the RCGP wellbeing pages.


Whether you are returning to general practice during the COVID-19 crisis, or not, the College are here to support your wellbeing. On the COVID-19 resource hub, a dedicated wellbeing section shares resource and guidelines for during this period.

The College are also delivering a campaign called #RCGPTogether to share experiences, support one another and network. Why not join our campaign by celebrating examples of positivity, including new ways of working, tools to aid mental and physical health, and supporting your community in the midst of really challenging times.

An outline of the ways to contribute is provided in the dedicated wellbeing page within the COVID-19 resource hub. This includes vlogs, blogs and on the Twitter handle @TeamGP.

GP viewing art work

Some additional suggestions to explore include: 

University of the 3rd Age (U3A)

The University of the Third Age (U3A) brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning. With over a 1,000 U3As across the UK, and hundreds of interest groups covering many subjects, you can teach and learn from other U3A members simply for the joy of learning. 

Royal Society of Medicine

The Royal Society of Medicine’s aim is to be a leading provider of high quality continuing postgraduate education and learning to the medical profession and wider healthcare teams. They are committed to becoming a trusted voice in healthcare education and promote an exchange of information and ideas on the science, practice and organisation of medicine.

Society of Medical Writers

For those looking for creative or journalistic outlets, the SOMW is for anyone from a healthcare background who wants to write (and not just about health, either).

Retirement and the Arts

The BBC provides information and links to inspire your creativity.  

Dr Amar RughaniThe gift of retirement

By Dr Amar Rughani

My wife, as so often, helped me without even knowing. Sue, a much better GP than myself, gave patients the time they needed. To become more ‘efficient’ would have taken away what made her work meaningful. Sue used a phrase that really struck home when she said she found her approach unsustainable and was leaving because ‘My era has passed’.

It made me think about the natural arcs in our lives and the importance of moving with grace, not rancour, between them. It made me think about not overstaying our welcome with one community only to join late with the next. And of adopting a mindset that is less focused on our physical disappearance from one community than our spiritual appearance within a broader one.

"The penalty we pay as doctors in prescribing for the living, is that our living is prescribed for us."

We sacrifice our person on the altar of our persona and are happy to do so, fueled by the motive of living up to what is expected of us. And then comes retirement when if we are fortunate, we have the scary prospect of directing how we use our time. Let me share a couple of my experiences with you.

WH Davies said ‘What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare? This meant little to me when I was younger, but means more to me now because I stare less blankly than I did and I savour each day and savour each relationship. At times I may be brisk, but I’m not hurried.

My second is of giving back. It’s not for us to determine the future, but we have a valuable role, perhaps invaluable, in encouraging those younger to engage confidently with the world, just as we were encouraged to do by those who made sacrifices for us.

To me, far from being an ending, retirement from one phase of life is simply the gift of entry to the next, where the insight that we gained through helping patients experience better health can now help us all to live better lives.

I wonder what it is for you?

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