As part of an extensive cross-sectional survey of Norwegian physicians carried out in 1993 the 1,158 retired members of The Norwegian Medical Association were sent a questionnaire about their social situation, work activity, health and well-being. The response rate was 76%. 62% of the respondents were 75 years or older, and 13% were women. 44% were still active, doing clinical, research, or consultation work. The most prevalent complaint was lower back trouble, followed by arthrosis and hypertension. It was relatively common to prescribe one's own drugs. 6-8% of physicians under 75 years and 28% of those over 84 years needed practical help, but the great majority rated their life quality as good or excellent.