HomeNews & EventsPublicationsMind Matters - Spring 2022A Glimpse Inside the IPS Retirement Committee

A Glimpse Inside the IPS Retirement Committee

Electronic Spring 2022  |  Issue 50

A Glimpse Inside the IPS Retirement Committee
By: Gunnbjørg Lavoll, MD

The Retirement Committee is a group of retired psychiatrists within the Illinois Psychiatric Society, which has a goal of sharing common interests. 

When you retire, you can lose your sense of identity. Leaving one’s medical profession provokes a sense of losing structure, of having lost meaning and direction. We experience existence as chaos, being in the heart of a maelstrom.
However, retirement can also be a time of integration and creativity and connecting with friends and family. There is time to reflect and learn about the world and society from lenses other than from that of medicine.
The Retirement Committee tries to address this profound change and new stage of life. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have met virtually via Zoom for about a year.

Topics we have discussed are: Resilience, Wisdom, and Integration vs. Despair. We have used literature, poetry, visual art, film, YouTube and Zoom to amplify our discussions and understanding.
We used Dilip Jese MD, who wrote Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good. 

We used Dennis Charney MD, who writes about Resilience, The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges.

We referenced William Carlos Williams and King Lear, who had difficulty with retirement in a big way, but found redemption. 

We used Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl; a story of how he survived in the camps during World War II.
And of course we utilized Erik Erikson.
For one of our programs, we discussed a symposium from the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society about climate change and psychiatry on May 22, 2021.
We would like to extend an invitation to our IPS colleagues to join us in interaction, sharing common experiences and putting forward ideas on how to weather the challenges of retirement. 

As a committee we can also discuss and participate in projects that might be useful and give a sense of purpose during this difficult time we live in. These issues may involve social advocacy, political advocacy and environmental advocacy.

Please contact Dr. Lavoll or reach out to IPS, as we would love to hear from you.
~Gunnbjørg Lavoll MD
Chair of the Retirement Committee
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