The Sunday Best (10/9/2016)

The Sunday Best
The Sunday Best is a collection of a handful of posts I share with you each week. With so many informative and inspirational writers out there, I have no trouble coming up with a number of worthwhile reads each week.

Every featured post should be of interest to any physician seeking financial independence. Some will be written by your physician colleagues; others will be written by our friends and patients who share common goals and interests.

Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:


How old will you be when you retire? Ten Factorial Rocks explores the effect of retirement age and asset allocation in a number crunching exercise named FIRE: How Long vs. How Much.



Speaking of asset allocation, Jim Dahle, MD, the White Coat Investor wrote an article @ Physician’s Money Digest aptly titled  In Defense of Bonds.


I often speak of money, but don’t say much about the things we do to earn that money. Anesthesia resident Charlie @ Life of a Med Student describes The Worst Trauma I’ve Personally Been In. He more than earned his just-above-minimum-wage salary that evening.


In an oldie but goodie, Matt @ The Resumé Gap gathers his thoughts as a free man in Reflections on Leaving Work.


All the cool kids are travel hacking now. The Mad Fientist has a great site for finding reward cards, and Alexi Zemsky, MD and Brad Barrett started a course and forum @ Travel Miles 101. Future Proof MD shared his rewarding experience with travel hacking in I Added Up My Credit Card Rewards and…


Over the summer, Freedom with Bruno gave us an update on life in the slow lane as an early retiree. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Material Possessions.


How much does blogging pay? It depends… I share details in my quarterly newsletter, which will go out this evening, but here’s a list @ Emma Drew of 65 Online Income Reports from dozens of bloggers.


The Sunday Best requires me to read quite a lot. I enjoy it. I learn from others and after a while, I get the sense that I know some of you, even though I don’t. Not yet, anyway.

Another benefit of extensive reading is the exposure to many writing styles. There are some exceptional writers creating all sorts of great content. When I started this Best series in the spring, I occasionally struggled to find five articles I really liked. I wasn’t casting a very wide net.

Now, I struggle to narrow it down to a mere seven articles. And so I cheat. Like I did with a three-in-one up there, and a bullet point list of so many FinCon wrap-ups last week. It’s not my fault there are so many talented bloggers.

I’m a science geek with no writing background. In college, I was required to take one writing class. There was an offering called something like “Writing for the Health Sciences,” the perfect cop out for a pre-med who wouldn’t dare take one step outside of his comfort zone.

I remember a paper in which I made a cohesive argument for alcoholics to be allowed on the liver transplant waiting list, as long as they had shown they could maintain sobriety. I think that might be called foreshadowing, but we didn’t cover literary terms in the pre-med writing class.

I’ve got some catching up to do if I want to be a writer. “Every day is a school day,” as we would say in residency. In addition to dozens of blog posts, I try to read a few books. I just finished Stephen King’s On Writing, a sort of combination autobiography / “how to write good” book.

I’ll summarize his recommendations and share my favorite quote. Stevie says avoid the passive tense. Tell the truth. Adverbs are unnecessary and not needed. Avoid redundancy. Don’t repeat yourself.

I learned nothing.

He speaks very little about humor, which I found quite odd. I thought Misery was one of the top romantic comedies of my misspent youth, second only to The Shining (obviously).

Oh, and the quote:

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.”

I like that.
I just started reading my next book, which is a perfect follow up to Steven King. It’s a collection of thirteen Halloween short stories called Pumpkin Spirits by Mark Milbrath. I’m screening it, and if I don’t think it will give my boys too many nightmares, I will share it with them.

I’m not sure what the over / under is on the right amount of nightmares, but the boys made it through the Harry Potter series without crashing our bed in the middle of the night, so I think we’ll be alright.


Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE

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  • Ten Factorial Rocks

    Thanks for including my article POF. I am honored that I finally made your Sunday list!

  • Thanks for the feature PoF! Really enjoyed the quote about writing as well. Thanks for the collection of great articles as always!

  • Nice quote. The books sounds interesting. Writing was never my major and to me is about communicating a message as clearly as possible. The wifey reviews every post before it gets published in case things aren’t as clear since English is my second language and our multilingual household makes writing even more interesting. Wifey is fluent in 3 languages (Russian, English and Spanish) and we’re pretty attached to the Korean culture through the TV dramas and food. It’s such a cultural mix that sometimes we have verbal expressions mixed into conversations with English-only speakers unknowingly.

  • Awesome stuff! Thanks for making my Sunday reading easy…

  • Thanks for the list PoF! Some good Sunday reading for me!

    Btw: When did you start your boys on Harry Potter?

    • I know they were 5 & 7 when we finished, and either 4 & 6 or 5 & 7 when we started. My wife read them all the books, and we watched the movie after each book. We also took them to the Harry Potter worlds at the Universal Orlando parks, and both boys were Harry Potters for Halloween last year. To say they got into it would be a gross understatement.

  • The Trauma article was quite intense. I know I would not be able to stomach that. I almost faint at the site of needles. :O)

    Do be careful with exposure to things when children are too young. Fears may not even manifest themselves right away. Our son when he was around 10 watched the first LOR with no problems. But apparently the fleeting images of Gollum began to slowly mingle in his mind. A few months later, he was staying at a friend’s house when we got a call at 4:00 AM that we needed to go and get him. They were watching LOR again and that time he had an awful reaction. The next 30-days and beyond were quite a nightmare at our house and after 30-days, I had, had enough and probably made some quite disastrous parenting mistakes of my own which I won’t detail here.

    Everyone is different, but just be careful.

    cd :O)

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