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In the absence of a defined retirement age, academic surgeons need to develop plans for transition as they approach the end of their academic surgical careers. The development of a plan for late career transition represents an opportunity for departments of surgery across Canada to initiate a constructive process in cooperation with the key stakeholders in the hospital or institution. The goal of the process is to develop an individual plan for each faculty member that is agreeable to the academic surgeon; informs the surgical leadership; and allows the late career surgeon, the hospital, the division and the department to make plans for the future. In this commentary, the literature on the science of aging is reviewed as it pertains to surgeons, and guidelines for late career transition planning are shared. It is hoped that these guidelines will be of some value to academic programs and surgeons across the country as late career transition models are developed and adopted.