A few years back I was working an evening shift in the emergency department along with another emergency medicine physician.
What happened during the shift changed how I think about physician financial planning and investment management, and how that relates to our careers as doctors.
EMS called in saying that they're bringing in a 6 month month old child in cardiac arrest.
In most emergency departments you just don't encounter that very often.
So both of us decided that we'll take care of the child together. I was in charge of running the code and the other physician was in charge of performing the procedures (intubation, I/O line, etc.).
We also needed more help from the ER nurses since the child would have to be transferred to a pediatric specialty center. So we had several nurses on board as well -- which means they had to drop what they were doing and take care of this child rather than take care of the other patients in the ER.
After nearly an hour of CPR, talking with the pediatric cardiologists, toxicologists, and finally telling the parents that their child had died, we walked out feeling physically and emotionally drained.
Instinctively the first thought that ran through our minds was to go home and spend time with our own kids. No matter how long you've practiced medicine, witnessing a small child's death has a somewhat chilling effect on your psyche.
Of course the shift was only half way over -- 6 more long hours left to go.
And what did I and the nurses get after that?
Angry complaints from the rest of the patients in the ER and their families shouting that we weren't doing anything and that they had been waiting too long!
And loser hospital administrators wondering why the wait time was 30 minutes!
(At that point an image of a middle finger pointing up raced across my mind.)
That was a shift I'll never forget because it was one of many that convinced me how badly other people abuse doctors. In which other profession are you expected to put on your little fake customer smiley face right after failing to resuscitate a dead child?
Think about it.
People don't just demand that we see them quickly, address all of their problems, figure out a solution with the blink of an eye, and never frown while doing it.
They EXPECT it.
And they expect it for a cheap price.
That's one example of how medicine has shifted away from physicians being in control of the process to everyone else controlling us.
But there's a deeper lesson I learned after that shift: I needed to take action -- and fast -- so I don't have to take the licks if I didn't want to anymore.
I wanted to be in control instead of being beaten up.
How did I do that?
By figuring out that my personal finances are intertwined with my career.
If doctors can get their personal finances straightened out -- and keep them that way for the long run -- you don't have to put up with the abuse anymore.
You possess the financial freedom to do what you want. It's almost like creating an emotional shield to the outside forces which pull you in a direction you don't want to go in.
Problem is that most physicians simply lack the time, knowledge, or interest to take control of their finances. Instead they keep getting abused because they have nowhere else to go and no plan to get there.
Are you sick of being abused as a physician and want to stop it?
Your first step is to start discussing your situation and determine whether I can help you by setting up your Financial Strategy Consultation here: