Not long after retiring from his medical practice, 60- year-old Bill Schwartz encountered one of his former patients in downtown San Mateo, Calif. Half recognizing Schwartz as she brushed by him on the busy street, the woman whirled around and exclaimed: “Didn’t you used to be Dr. Schwartz?!”

Schwartz was delighted to inform her that although he was no longer seeing private patients, he remained every bit the good doctor. With a band of other “retired” physicians, nurses, dentists, and...

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