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Physician Retirement
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Retirement on the Horizon?

Consider these Factors Now to Enjoy Your Time More Later...

Medical Records

  • Missouri: In Missouri, you’re required to maintain records for a minimum of seven years from the date of the last service provided.
  • Minors: Minor’s medical records must be retained until their 20th birthday, as malpractice claims may be filed up to that date. Consult with your malpractice provider for more information concerning the statute of limitations for malpractice claims.
  • Retention: Federal laws may have additional record retention requirements.
  • Records Custodian: Consider finding a records custodian, as you are required to furnish medical records to your patients, other physicians, and hospitals upon request.
  • Notice: You are required to give adequate notice or make arrangements for the continued care of your patients upon the termination of your practice.


  • Tail Coverage: Check with your medical malpractice provider regarding tail coverage.
  • Part-Time Practice: If you practice medicine at all, you should maintain malpractice insurance. Check with your provider to determine what coverage you will need.


  • Patients: Be sure to notify your patients regarding your retirement. This should be posted in your office well in advance of your official retirement. If possible, consider posting your retirement in your local newspaper(s) as well as on your website and/or social media pages (if applicable). An official letter to your patients is highly recommended.
  • Counsel: If employed, check with your employer and their legal counsel to determine how best to notify your patients and ensure they are taken care of.

Other Entities to Consider Notifying

  • Board of Healing Arts - We strongly recommend not retiring your license! Getting re-licensed after retiring your license can be expensive and time consuming. Maintain your license by following all requirements. Then, if you decide to go back into practice or provide medical services in any capacity, you can.
  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) -- If you are a dispensing physician, you need to make arrangements to transfer or dispose of your drug inventory. For controlled substances, immediately notify the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and DEA for specific instructions before you transfer or dispose of any controlled substances.
  • Specialty certification bodies
  • Professional associations
  • Other states where you are licensed
  • Employees
  • Colleagues
  • Referring physicians
  • Hospitals where you hold privileges
  • Third party payers
  • Social Security Administration
  • Malpractice insurance carrier
  • Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid


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