Yesterday I inadvertently picked up the phone without knowing who was calling me. It turned out to be a recruiter for an emergency medicine group.
I told him something he'd never heard before.
"Hey Dr. Mazumdar, I've got a great opportunity to work at a hospital for you with great pay."
"Really?" I said, as my fingers edged towards the Off button of the phone.
"Yeah, our group needs to fill in a few shifts so we're looking for a few part time docs."
"You can make $250 per hour. Pretty good huh?' he continued.
"My fees start at $500 per hour and up. Double for weekends. Triple for nights. Call me when you're serious." I replied.
And hung up.
That might sound strange to you if you're a physician reading this. Or maybe you think I'm just an arrogant SOB. For most doctors $250 per hour is a hell of a lot of money. If you work 12 hours, that's three grand in a day. Of course you've got to pay taxes on that, so it's really less than two grand.
Why would I "give up" such high pay? Couple reasons.
Well, it has to do with my belief that if doctors provide such essential and valuable services, then the compensation for our expertise should be much higher than what it is. You keep hearing that over 18% of the gross domestic product in the US is attributed to health care costs.
One reason is that demand for our services is really high.
And the pay should be also.
You and I could argue all day long about what doctors should get paid, but all that means is that you are devaluing your own services. Any time you accept what someone else offers you as compensation, you've lost control of your pay.
The second reason I can do this is that I feel comfortable with where I'm at with my finances.
But after I make a certain amount of income, the extra pay just doesn't add anything to my life. There's very little extra happiness to the extra money. In other words it would take more....actually A LOT MORE money....for it to be worthwhile for me to work a shift in the hospital.
And quite frankly the after tax income makes it incredibly unappealing to work harder.
This is also the reason why I've become much more hard-nosed about which new clients I work with. If you're not serious about getting control of your finances and are not willing to pay a fee for good advice, I don't even consider working with you.
And I don't chase after you either.
Fact is, I cut you loose quickly and move on. I can only spend my time with physicians who "get it."
Which brings me to my ultimate point: when you've got your finances and investments in order, you don't have to work for extra money!
You can work for the extra money if you actually enjoy it-- which not many physicians do given all the surveys I read about physician burnout and dissatisfaction with their careers.
But in that case you're working on YOUR terms. You dictate the rules. And you dictate your pay.
Unfortunately most physicians I know simply accept what the medical bureaucracy is willing to dish out to them.
"Sign me up for 3 shifts, and I'll do weekends too! Hell throw in a night shift!" is the attitude many of you take.
And I know why.
It's because you NEED the money. And you need money because you likely don't have your personal financial situation straightened out.
Once you go from needing money to not needing money, it's like sittin' on top of the clouds baby.
How are you gonna get there?
Here's your first step. Sign up for my Financial Strategy Consultation by clicking here:
Let's figure out a way for you to get off the ground and sit on top of the clouds.