Book Report: The Doctors Guide to Starting Your Practice Right

starting your practice right

It’s the second week in July, and that means there are thousands of freshly minted physicians beginning their first career job. Launching a career is an exciting, but potentially overwhelming project. There are so many considerations when it comes to the practice, housing, lifestyle, debt management, etc… Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a textbook to guide you through this jungle? Thanks to Dr. Cory S. Fawcett, there now is. While he titled the book “Starting Your Practice Right,” a better phrasing might have been “Starting your Medical Career Right,” because the book focuses on far more than starting […]

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Book Report: The Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt

Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt

Every day is a school day. The school year may be winding down for our boys and girls, but for me, school is always in session. I continue to read, learn, and find inspiration from many different sources. Today’s source is a volume that I didn’t necessarily need to read — after all, I had already become debt free by forty. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading Dr. Fawcett’s story regarding his relationship with money and the advice he has for physicians who are buried under a pile of debt and looking for a decent shovel. This book can serve well as […]

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Stupid Doctor Tricks — Biggest Financial Mistakes

Universal Life

Saturday Selection: Stupid Doctor Tricks-Biggest Financial Mistakes   This classic post from Dr. Jim Dahle originally appeared on The White Coat Investor. It is the first in a series of posts detailing dozens of money mistakes physicians have admitted to making. Whenever possible, it is best to learn from the mistakes of others rather than your own.  For example, I’ve made the mistake of using a commissioned financial advisor who sold me crappy, expensive, loaded mutual funds; I’ve bought whole life insurance (still hadn’t broken even after 7 years), and I’ve incurred unnecessary taxes in a taxable account due to not […]

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Successes and Failures in the Land of Disability

Best Krusty Can Afford

[PoF: Today’s post is a collection of stories of successes and failures when it comes to disability insurance. I’ve noticed a number of forum questions regarding how much is enough or whether it’s needed at all. The White Coat Investor answered 10 common questions on the subject in this post the other day. For the record, I no longer carry disability insurance, as I am financially independent and therefore self-insured, but I considered it an important piece of my financial plan for a good ten years. The authors below are current or past site sponsors.]   First up is Jamie […]

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I’m Equal Parts Doctor, Scribe, and Mouse Jockey

I’m Equal Parts Doctor, Scribe, and Mouse Jockey. And I don’t love it. When I gained acceptance into medical school, I thought I would one day have one amazing job, or at least one job title where I might get to wear several meaningful hats. I wasn’t entirely wrong. I do have one job title. I’m a physician. Some days I’m referred to as a provider, but I’ve learned to ignore that term. To be more specific, I’m an anesthesiologist. Some days, I’m referred to as an MDA, a term that, to the best of my knowledge, stands for the […]

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Renting versus Buying a Home: The Happy Philosopher’s Experience

[Today’s article is a guest post from our part-time radiologist friend, The Happy Philosopher. Read on as he regales his tale of home ownership during and after residency. Enjoy! -PoF] Should I Buy a House as a Resident?   Purchasing a house is the biggest financial decision many of us make. We are told it is the American dream, and the surest path to wealth. Renting is just throwing money away, and you have to live somewhere, right? When my wife and I started residency we thought no differently. Buying a house for the five years we would be training seemed […]

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Live Like a Resident

pof apartment

Saturday Selection: Live Like a Resident Have you ever watched a movie a second time and not only appreciated the film more, but also noticed nuances that you completely missed the first time around? Or perhaps you didn’t see the show in its first run through the theater, but caught it later on? The movie (or television series, book, or blog post) still holds up, doesn’t it? That’s the idea behind the Saturday Selection series. I’ll be sharing some of the best content curated from The White Coat Investor every other week. If the post is new to you, great! If […]

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I See Dead People

wild alligator

A few weeks ago, I was handed a copy of the next day’s surgery center operating room schedule. Normally, my eyes scan down to the list of procedures, but I became fixated on the top of the page. For some reason, this particular schedule had a list of about twenty physician’s last names, the physicians who are credentialed to care for patients at the facility.   Two were dead.   Of the twenty or so physicians on the list, a list that hadn’t been updated in a couple years, two were now deceased. That’s ten percent. Both passed away suddenly […]

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Top 5 Additional Reasons to Be a Locums Doc

Surfing Goat Dairy Maui

Today’s post is a guest post that riffs off my original Top 5 Reasons to be a Locums Doc. As I’ve shared, I was a full time locums doc for a couple years after residency, and have worked as a locum in between jobs and on vacations at various times throughout my career. Brittney River from VISTA Staffing Solutions offered to share five more reasons to be a locums doc, and I liked what she had to say. VISTA is a site sponsor, helping support this site and its charitable mission, but I accepted no payment for this post. Take it […]

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My MOC Debacle: Nevermind That $2,100 Exam You Just Passed

ABA Passing Score

A couple years ago, I reached the seven-year mark after my initial Board Certification with the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA). At the time, it was a significant milestone. I was eligible to take the all-important Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesia (MOCA) exam. Diplomates of the ABA — that’ right, I’m considered a diplomate — in other words, a board-certified anesthesiologist. Diplomates were encouraged and incentivized to take the $2,100 exam early in the three-year eligibility window. The exam was only offered twice a year. There were testing dates during a few weeks in the summer or a few weeks […]

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Top 5 Ways for Physicians to Attack Student Loans

Today’s post is a guest post from Travis Hornsby. You might recognize his name from a post about not getting into Harvard which was featured in a recent Sunday Best. He is engaged to a physician and has learned the ins and outs of student loans. Travis applied his knowledge as the founder of Student Loan Planner, LLC. He provides flat fee student loan consultations for physicians. You can reach him at travis@studentloanplanner.com. Student Loan Planner has previously been a site sponsor, and some of the loan consolidation links towards the end of today’s post will benefit you, but may also benefit this site’s charitable […]

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Medicare: A Study in Chaos

Today’s post is a guest post submitted by Dr. Kenneth Fisher, a nephrologist, blogger @ People for Progress in Healthcare, and author of several books, including the one you see to the left. Dr. Fisher is also the co-founder of the Michigan chapter of the FMMA. Additional, he is the lead author of In Defiance of Death: Exposing the Real Costs of End-of-Life Care, and offers a free e-book, The Ten Questions Walter Cronkite Would Have Asked About Health Care Reform. We have no financial relationship to disclose. Government Assumes a Role in Healthcare   The concept of sickness insurance […]

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Real Estate for Physicians: Location, Location, Location, Location

yellow maple family picture

As I head out once again on a snowy December Sunday, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, even though it’s entirely not his fault, the good orthopedic doctor called me back to the hospital right as I pulled the car into my garage, having just left the hospital, and I’ve decided to be upset with him. But, really, I’m just perturbed at the situation, because it’s 9:25 a.m. and I’m going back to the hospital for the third time today. On the other hand, for the umpteenth time this year, I remind myself how lucky smart I am to have a home so close […]

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The High Cost of Being a Good Physician Citizen

San Francisco Cable Car

[Today’s post is a guest post from Russell Roberson, MD, an anesthesiologist, critical care physician, and reader. We have no financial relationship. Dr. Roberson is struggling to find balance between being a good steward of his own finances with being a good physician citizen. In this post, he explores the financial costs of various required or recommended licenses, certifications, and memberships. It’s amazing how quickly his CME fund is exhausted without even a thought of attending a conference or meeting. Take it away, Dr. Roberson, and thank you for the enlightening post. -PoF]   I started reading PoF and WCI […]

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Urban Meyer Has a Message For You, Doctor

It’s hard to find time to pay attention to all the messages I receive. There are voicemails, e-mails (work, blog, and personal), and the nonstop notifications from Facebook and Twitter. Post-it notes on the desk and the refrigerator. I am bombarded with messages. Urban Meyer, head coach of The Ohio State football team, doesn’t have a lot of time to leave messages. Right now, he’s gearing up for a likely bid in the College Football Playoff after a stunning and controversial double OT win over Michigan. He didn’t have much time late this last summer when called upon for a feature story […]

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Boo! Being a Physician Can Be Downright Scary

You won’t find me at any haunted houses this weekend. I don’t need any costumed creeps jumping out at me when I least (or most) expect it. I’ve never been a huge fan of strobe lights, fog machines, bad makeup, or canned Vincent Price laughter. My day job is scary enough.   Some like to say that anesthesia is 99% boredom and 1% terror. They’re half right. The 99% is rarely boring. The “routine” part of my workday is usually quite busy, sometimes fun, and never boring. The terror part? I used to deny it, but as I reflect on […]

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We Were Promised Death Panels

The day was progressing swimmingly until the charge nurse announced we had an emergent exploratory laparotomy. These things happen; often there’s free air in the abdomen from a ruptured ulcer or diverticulum. Sometimes an ex lap is necessary after trauma or a particularly nasty infection. We’re prepared to handle them. “Where is the patient?” I inquired. “On the way down from ICU. The surgeon’s on his way in,” I was told. Hmmm… they usually come from the E.D. This may not be typical. I look up the elderly woman’s medical record on the computer. Two days post-op. Ischemic bowel. Septic […]

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Pros and Cons of Locum Tenens Work

Locum Tenens is simply a fancy Latin way of saying temporary work. Just like curriculum vitae is a fancy Latin way of saying resume. We doctors seem to be fans of fancy Latin words. Why? Nolo contendere. Non est mea culpa. I’ve worked as a locum in a variety of situations and for a variety of reasons. I detailed those in a guest post at the WhiteCoatInvestor. I’ve also discussed some good reasons to choose locum tenens work. Today, I’d like to discuss some of the pros and cons of locum tenens work. Sic infit.       Pro: Locums gives […]

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Top 5 Reasons to Be a Locums Doc

Locum Tenens, Latin for “To hold a place”, describes a unique way for a physician to practice medicine as a temporary or traveling doctor. I’ve had ample experience working as a locum, which I have detailed in a guest post @ whitecoatinvestor.com. My various turns as a locum tenens physician have been quite positive. A competent physician with the ability to easily adapt to new surroundings can be in high demand. Anesthesia lends itself well to fill-in work, as do other specialties where established relationships between physician and patient are not the norm, such as emergency medicine, radiology, pathology, etc… That being said, opportunities exist in every specialty.     […]

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Better to Burnout than Fade Away?

Physician burnout is a hot topic lately.  The trade magazines, e-mails, and even popular media have been featuring stories on physician burnout.  In case you haven’t been paying attention, here are 10 links from a quick google search: New York Times Physicians Weekly Medscape Consumer Affairs Americain Medical Association Huffington Post Washington Post Chicago Tribune Hospitals & Health Networks What is burnout?   How is burnout defined?  In this context, it is described as a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment.  In another context, it might be the guy who started […]

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