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The Sunday Best (3/12/2017)

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:


Fed up with MOC? So am I and so is Eric Larson, MD. Check out the articles he’s written on the topic and sign his petition to alter the bylaws of a large health system that requires its physicians to participate.


Golden Gopher Grad and internist Dr. Clive Nyauncho @ Black Men in White Coats shares his triumphant story after immigrating from Kenya at age 13 in Telling Our Stories – Dr. Clive Nyauncho.


Giving is Good. Jason Connell learned this lesson from a mentor as a young man. Becoming A Giver. The Most Important Lesson in a Decade.


The Doctor in Debt would prefer that you not emulate him by going further in debt. 5 Reasons Millennial Physicians Should NOT Buy a Home Right Out of Residency.


In an oldie but goodie, The Retirement Manifesto digs deep into a reader’s finances in Can They Retire Early? A Real Case Study.


The Medical Profession Has a Bad Reputation. And it isn’t just talk, talk, talk. Reasons and solutions from plastic surgeon Samer W. Cabbabe @ KevinMD.


I’m naturally frugal and strive to be more minimalist, but I’ve felt the two concepts are at odds with one another. J.D. Roth, the Money Boss, noticed that, too, as he explains in The Difference Between Frugality and Minimalism.


In 10 days, we’ll be visiting majestic Iceland. You can get there this spring and summer for as little as $220 round trip. I’ve found Jeannie’s Life with a View a great site for both trip planning and stunning photography. Check out her 10 Amazing Day Trips From Reykjavik.


I’ve talked about our second home being one of our best investments. A lawyer who blogs at Othala Fehu shares the story of acquiring the family cabin, or as they call them in that part of the country, The Cottage.


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Be Nice To Me. I Gave Blood Today.


When I was a resident, I took part in the blood drive in the hospital’s lobby. Later that day, I was in the OR, giving anesthesia for a lengthy ENT case.

The Coban wrapping was a little tight, and I was sure the little puncture wound in my antecubital fossa had healed enough for me to remove the bandage. I unwrapped the bandages, removed the tape and gauze, and set out to clean up the mess the phlebotomist had left.

There was plenty of betadine and bit of dried blood on my skin. I straightened out my arm, grabbed an alcohol swab, which I had conveniently located next to a pile of syringes, and starting rubbing away the evidence of my generosity.

This was a case in which the patient was turned 180° away from me, and the blue surgical drapes on my end were not clamped up but simply fell off where the patient’s feet and the OR table ended. In this arrangement, everything I was doing was in plain sight of the surgical team.

I hadn’t been paying much attention to them, but one of the medical students had started paying attention to me. She looked up, saw a pile of syringes, an anesthesia resident with his arm out straight rubbing his juicy veins with an alcohol swab.

She had alerted her attending, who was also intrigued or alarmed by what he saw, and he asked, “Hey… everything alright over there?” I looked up and they’re looking at my arm and the versed and fentanyl and I’ve got some explaining to do.

Fortunately, I was still wearing the “I Gave Blood Today” sticker, and I quickly explained how I wasn’t mainlining hard drugs, but simply cleaning up after a good deed, and we all had a good laugh.

My wife and I went to the Armory to donate blood on Thursday, and I grinned as I recalled the scene from a dozen years ago. I frowned when I finished and was unable to eat most of the tasty treats due to my self-imposed ban on sweets for the next month or so.


I Gave Bone Marrow, Too.


As a hungry / thirsty college student, I gave bone marrow for stem cell research. The researcher drove a wide bore needle into my pelvic bone (from the backside) and withdrew four or five 20 ml syringes worth. It took about 10 minutes and paid $50. The way I saw it, that was $300 / hour, and I did it six times for $300.

Now, I’m signed up to give it away for free.




By joining the bone marrow registry, I’ve got a 1 in 540 chance of being someone’s cure. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 44, you can join for free. Don’t worry, nobody’s going to assault your bones when you sign up. A simple cheek swab is all they need.

Those aren’t the greatest odds. I’ve actually got a higher chance of dying within a year, but I’m happy to know that if my marrow is a match for a patient in need, they’ll find me in the registry.

Despite evidence to the contrary, I’m really not this generous, altruistic person. That would be my wife. She’s the one that encourages me to give blood, signed up for the bone marrow long before I did, and takes us down to the soup kitchen to serve meals. I wasn’t able to go (I had one of those 17-hour stretches at the hospital), but my wife and boys went back to feed the needy again the other day.

She’s a wonderful person, and I’m a better person by proxy.


I've got my 2 acres of non-leveraged, crop-producing, cashflowing farmland via AcreTrader. Get yours.


Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE

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11 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (3/12/2017)”

  1. Have you ever gotten light headed when giving blood? That was something I remember from my experience that was slightly uncomfortable.

    I guess being on the other side of things (being a physician) makes you immune to bodily fluids or other things like that.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a good one

    • No, but I’m used to putting larger and longer needles into people’s jugular veins and backs, so watching a 16-gauge needle penetrate my arm doesn’t faze me. If I went in dehydrated, I suppose I might feel lightheaded after giving up a pint, but I haven’t had that issue.


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  3. I enjoyed your Sunday Best as usual, but I was disturbed by some of the unconscious gender bias in the posts. In Sammer Cabbabe’s post, he states that many physicians are “councilmen”, while in DoctorinDebt’s post, he refers to the “horde of salesman (sic)” that try to sell physicians things. I know that someone is going to say that I’m whining or making a big deal out of nothing, but I really think it’s important for bloggers to try to be as inclusive with their language as possible. After all, more than 50% of medical school spots are currently going to women (at least in my country); presumably this means that there will also be lots of physician councilwomen in the future!

    • I apologize, I did not consciously bias men vs women. A lot of it has to do with the challenge of becoming a better writer and communication my thoughts clearly on the page.

      It’s a lot easier to convey a message in person when there are context clues and body language to read. With writing, all we have is our vocabulary and how we use it. Salesman was just a word that was closer to the top of my vocabulary than saleswomen. No bias was intended, but I guess that is the point. There is a lot of unintentional bias around. It’s something that I will pay more attention to in the future.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Looking forward to hearing more about your spring break trip and thanks for the links about Iceland. My 18 year-old son and his father just booked a trip there over our Easter break. They are flying Iceland Air out of Toronto. After adding in all the fees on WOW air, they pretty much equaled out (but they also booked them pretty late). Enjoy your trip!

  5. My favorite article was the frugal/declutter blog.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    My way of embracing minimalism is to declutter and buy/keep less stuff, and buying less stuff is inherently frugal. However, I require the stuff (clothes, as an example) to be high quality, necessary, and durable so that I am not compelled to buy it again soon. Often, this means that I will pay more on the front end but spend less in the long run. Since the lifetime cost of pants, for, example, will be lower, it ends up being the frugal choice, too.

    Books, to me, are a no-brainer. I allow myself one Audible book per month, and the rest come from the library. Storing the books bought for the four people of my household, in their lifetimes, is a huge problem and one of the things that motivated me to declutter, in the first place.

    • We, too, are regulars at the library. That’s one aspect of life where minimalism and frugality are perfectly aligned. It’s the whole sharing economy — borrow, don’t buy.


  6. Nice roundup. I saw those ridiculously cheap WOW Air flights to Iceland earlier this year, and was tempted, but couldn’t pull the trigger. Looking forward to the trip report.

    • Take the trip; you won’t regret it!

      This will be my third Iceland stopover in 15 years. I can’t wait until the day when I have a lot more time to spend there.



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