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How Can I Ease the Transition for My Patients When I Retire?

???????Question: After practicing in the same location for more than 20 years, I'm ready to announce my retirement from chiropractic and the sale of my practice. Although I'm excited about this new phase in my life, I'm concerned about my patients and I want to help ease their transition to the care of the doctor who will be taking over my practice. How much advance notice should I give them that I'm retiring, and how can I go about helping them transition easily to the care of the new doctor?

Answer: While your patients will no doubt be happy for you, you’ve become an important part of their lives and you'll be missed. Give your patients as much time as you possibly can to transition to the new doctor or to another provider, especially given the length of your relationship with some of your patients.

Failing to provide patients with adequate notification can leave them with negative feelings; with that in mind, consider a four-to-six-month window. The following letter will give you some ideas; consider customizing it to send to your patients.

Sample letter:

Dear ________:

Because of my retirement, I have sold my practice and office at 18 Water Street. Dr. Debra Jones, the new owner, will begin seeing patients on October 1. To help ensure a smooth transition and to introduce Dr. Jones to my many valued patients and friends, I will be staying on with her until January 1. I will not be in the office after that date.

Two weeks from today, I will begin discussing patient files with Dr. Jones. This time-consuming task is for your benefit; I want Dr. Jones to be familiar with your records so she will be fully prepared to treat you from her first day in the office. I trust you will notify me if this is not satisfactory. I want to assure you that I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Jones, and I hope you will consider allowing her to become your new doctor.

If you decide to be treated elsewhere, I will be happy to provide your new doctor with copies of the necessary records from your file. If that is your preference, please contact my office manager, Ms. Kemp, at (555) 123-4567 so she can arrange proper authorization and transfer.

I regret that I will not be able to continue to serve you. My years here have been filled with many rewarding experiences and memorable patients. Please accept my every good wish for your health and happiness.


Please note: This letter is for illustrative use only.

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