What’s the proper ‘procedure’ when listing a retired physician?

Question: “What is the appropriate way to list a retired physician on our letterhead and web site? Should we remove his name or simply put (retired 2008) beside his name?” —Viki


I believe if the physician still represents your agency, then adding retired would be appropriate, or possibly list him as a consultant. The website would be easy to change, reprinting letterhead will be expensive. I’d wait to make changes until you needed to order new letterhead. My office orders new letterhead every time someone sneezes (it seems like), so they finally do small batches now.

I would have two questions on this. First, is it standard in your industry to include former physicians on letterhead and websites? If so, I would keep him. If not, there is no reason to. For most other industries, including mine, when someone leaves the business for any reason, their name comes off everything regardless of how man years they were there previously. But again, if it is standard practice to keep the data in your industry, follow those standards. Second, is he still working for you on a consulting basis? If the answer is yes, then it absolutely makes sense to keep him on the letterhead/site, but maybe listing “Consultant” or “Retired” or something similar.

Has he now taken up consulting for you? If so then by all means keep his name on the letterhead and place (Consultant or Retired) besides it. If he is not doing any consulting work and has retired 100% then it is entirely appropriate to remove his name from all letterhead etc. On the web site it would be nice to place a little news section speaking about the retirement but after 30-60 days. i would archive that.

If he is not consulting but there is some other reason to keep him on the letterhead, such as he wants the association or his name means something to the practice you could use the term “Doctor Emeritus” or “Physical Emeritus” It’s not especially common to list medical doctors emeritus (usually it is for clergy or academic professors) but it is not unheard of.