Now It Is My Turn to Retire

I just wanted to tell my Authentic Medicine followers that I am retiring from clinical care this Wednesday (Oct. 1) at the age of 55. I am not sick or dying. Awkwardly, this post appears a day after announcing the death of one of my colleagues in DPC who was the same age. Why am I retiring? I just have some other things to do. This interview of me above will explain more. I will remain helpful in any way to the DPC community. In fact, I wish I was younger when I started my DPC practice but that’s life.

Authentic Medicine will continue, however! I am not sure in what direction (expansion?) but we are the only medical blog that has never bent to political correctness. I am proud of that.

So thank you to all my patients. And thank you to all who continue to follow this blog.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]

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35 Responses

  1. Scott Michael says:

    I finally quit at age 65 after seeing my (Bureaucratic BS + Stress)/ (Income + Happiness) ratio approach an irrational number. I have another job,driving a boat for the film industry waiting for me after Covid dies down a bit more. I cannot wait to start.

    I really miss the Placebo Journal, until retirement I handed out a Xerox copy of your accurate description of a vasectomy to the wife and told her not to let her husband read it until after the procedure.I showed your monkey w/ organ-grinder piece about drug reps and their supervisors to carefully selected reps. Until it folded I handed out subscription information as well.

    Good luck in your retirement.

  2. Bill says:

    I’m not far behind …

    • Kurt Savegnago says:

      Congratulations, You’re going to love it. I bailed out July 1st and am 9 years older than you. Do what you want, when you want. I was never a morning person but now get up at 0400 to 0500, take a 5 mile walk with my adult autistic spectrum/PDD son to start the day in a park with a 3.5 mile track at reclaimed strip mine land. Up to 352 miles cumulative so far. Was going to join a gym as I used to do a lot of weight lifting when younger but Covid put the kibosh on that.
      Me? I’m more interested in leisure time stuff that can be done in solitude (for now). I think you’ll be a little more restless and likely pursue something financially rewarding. Nothing wrong with that to help pay the bills. I saved like crazy and don’t have to do that. Adolescence was rough on my son. He was so violent we couldn’t go anywhere not knowing when he would have a meltdown. Hence vacation money was saved and invested. Once Chris hit 22 years old, all the violence melted away and I can take him anywhere now. It’s my miracle and at least his mom lived to see it. He’s very pleasant and fortunately has good speech. His mom, my wife, died January 2019 from Radon induced lung cancer. Never smoked in her life.
      In spite of this, I’m incredibly happy now. Yeah just a touch of grief everyday but I look forward to seeing what life has in store for me and you should too!

  3. Stewart says:

    Rumor has it that you’ve accepted a position with the AAFP as the Neville Chamberlain Chair of the Division of Health Insurer Appeasement and Anal Stimulation.

    Whether it’s true or not, congratulations.

  4. Mamadoc says:

    Congratulations! Hope it is all you wish for. I’ve been a fan ever since Placebo Journal (also still have a few). My sister (also an MD) still chuckle over the DepoDart ad. I retired in December (a good deal older than you) and it’s been good. Best wishes on your next chapter.

  5. Jeff Mack, MD says:

    Good for you, Doug! I have followed you since the early days of PJ and have kept almost every edition ever published.

    You have been a shining light exposing the dark side of healthcare in the USA.

    I look forward to seeing your next chapter unfold. Best of luck.

  6. Natalie Newman, MD says:

    I wish you nothing but the best. You deserve what comes after having given so much.

    Very glad you are continuing AM, which has allowed me to cut my teeth as a writer.

  7. Barry Doyle says:

    Good luck, Dr. Farrago, and thank you for taking care of us. Melanie and I have enjoyed being your patients, and we sincerely appreciate the wisdom and advice you have provided over the years. I know you’ll find success no matter what you do, and we’ll continue to follow. Best wishes.


  8. Joe Smegma says:

    Congrats brother! I miss Starbucks and the daily venting and our 3 o’clock coffee breaks. You are a great doc and even better friend. Enjoy your retirement you’ve earned it!

  9. Dr Bonz says:

    Wow. All I can say are two things. First, congratulations! Second, TAKE ME WITH YOU!!! The condition of our profession is poor and 10-15 years ago I would never believe I’d be saying this but if I had the money right now, I would hang it up too. It just isn’t fun anymore.

    That aside, thanks for all the laughs over the years Doug. As an original subscriber and contributor to the Placebo Journal (I still show off my stories that were published in the PJ and in your book “The Placebo Chronicles” to all my friends) I still proudly own every edition of the PJ and hope you continue to stay active and online.

    Good luck, good health, and Godspeed!

    Dr. Bonz

    • Douglas Farrago MD says:

      Thanks, man. I am not dying. In fact, I will have more time to create cool stuff. And, yes, thanks for your work on PJ and the PC!!!

  10. Rick says:

    Holy cow, the earth is shifting under my feet. It is spinning off the axis. The oceans are rising. THESE are less shocking than you retiring, Doug.
    I had no idea.
    Well, good luck to you Doug.
    Thank you for all you’ve done.

  11. Diane Bergmann says:

    Have a happy retirement.

  12. Michael Trotta says:

    Happy Retirement. Enjoy life outside of patient – doctor encounters!! Wish you the best.

  13. PW says:

    Congrats. I”m following you in about 2-3 years.

  14. Nancy Lewis says:

    Congratulations on your retirement. I too loved the Placebo Journal and still have several of them. I used to hang the posters on the back of the door in the doctor’s dictation area (until they were deemed inappropriate by you-can-guess-who). I have followed in Authentic Medicine and not sure what’s in store for you now, but certainly wish you all the best. I have loved working in healthcare but became disappointed (devastated really) in the path it has taken and recently quit after 47 years of nursing. I was too bitter to retire. I quit. Anyway, I truly hope you find joy in your new venture and am happy for you.

  15. Dave Mittman says:

    Sorry you are leaving. Hope to good things. All the best.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Still have all of the original Placebo Journals and all the posters. Sorry for myself to hear you’re retiring but happy for you. Obviously you’ve got FU money so Godspeed dude. As soon as I’ve got mine squared away I’m ready to kiss this shitshow goodbye too. Good for you man.

    • Douglas Farrago MD says:


  16. Bill Ameen, MD says:

    Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Doug! After six years I don’t miss work that much…too much other stuff to do, and time really goes fast! Maybe you can make it to the Virginia Film Festival…but not this year!!

  17. Martha Clark, RN says:

    Congratulations on retiring (I guess!). You don’t sound very enthusiastic. I hope you’re not having to retire over some unfortunate circumstances, but I’m sure you’re doing what’s right for you.

    Oh wow, you’re exactly my age. I’m still working as a nurse and guess I will have to for awhile (divorce is a real pain!).

    Good luck to you Dr Farrago! Love Authentic Medicine. Have learned a lot and laughed a lot. Will keep you on my prayers, my friend!

    • Douglas Farrago MD says:

      Actually, I am very enthusiastic! AM will continue. And now I am free to do even more projects you may like.

  18. HMcK says:

    Congrats Doug!
    I always thought you were one of the brightest people in our medical school class, and following you over the years has only validated that…I am jealous that you are retiring. I have never been more disappointed in medicine. The metrix killed doctors and medicine will never be the same. I grieved its demise long ago.
    I loved the Placebo Journal back then and look forward to following you on your next adventures.
    I hope to find something that impassioned me as much as medicine did back then…
    Good luck to you and all the best!!

    • Douglas Farrago MD says:

      Brightest? I doubt that. But thank you so much. Yes, medicine is broken. The only thing that we can do is keep fighting.

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