Today’s guest on True Doctor Stories is the founder of WeathyDoc.Org who speaks about reaching financial independence and the ways it has benefitted his life. He works as a physician part-time, while blogging and prioritizing health, happiness and family.
I've asked him to share about his journey, why he has decided to create this platform, and how it's impacted his life along with the lives of many others.
What inspired you to get into blogging at WealthyDoc?
Two passions that drive me are investing and teaching. As a medical school faculty member, I got to see firsthand how little doctors-in-training knew about money. My medical school and residency saw the problem and took steps to remedy it.
Unfortunately, the “helpers” they brought in turned out to be salesmen in disguise. It hurt me to see trusting, hard-working young doctors being sold a bill of goods.
How did you get started?
I talked to the residents about the problem. They agreed it was a bad situation. I recommended books to read like Eric Tyson’s Personal Finance for Dummies. The problem is they lacked both the interest and the time.
I thought it would be great to point them to an informative website or blog. This was 2006 and I couldn’t find any. The only MD-“blogger” I knew was Dr. Bill Bernstein and his efficientfrontier.com which he started in the late 1990s. It addressed only investing and not loans or other personal finance. Plus, it was WAY over their heads.
What was your biggest motivation for growing your personal brand?
My plan wasn’t so much to build my brand, but rather to create a platform to help struggling doctors. But it does help to be known. Marketing is my biggest weakness.
As Jim Dahle (WCI) has told me, “You can’t help people who don’t know about you.” For that reason, I want to spread the word that WealthyDoc.Org provides valuable, unbiased personal finance advice.
I don’t feel that I struggle all that much. I really love my current life and the work I do. After reaching FI (financial independence), I do only what I want to do and nothing else.
That doesn’t mean I never get frustrated. The technology can be vexing. Seeing minimal interest in a post I spent a lot of time on can also be disappointing.
Overall, I enjoy learning, growing, teaching, and having a positive impact on thousands of colleagues.
How do you balance everything with your personal life?
I don’t balance so much as I prioritize. I’m clear about what my priorities are and their order.
My blog and writing are currently my #5 priority so I don’t spend much time on it. My other ones are:
#1 My health and happiness
#2 To be more supportive at home
#3 To be more productive at work
#4 To develop my multiple income streams
Have any of your streams of income become completely passive? Did you have that intention going in?
I see the whole passive-active range as a spectrum. I have income all along the spectrum. Even the most passive income streams are so important to me that I need to know what is going on with them.
If you are completely hands-off and pay no attention, trouble can be vast by the time you realize it.
Having said that I spend minimal time on my rental real estate investing, or my surgery centers and they provide healthy cash flow.
How have your income streams impacted your family life?
The multiple income streams have provided options for me. I can work how and when I want. Reaching FI and becoming debt-free gave me strong confidence when negotiating work terms or contracts.
That provides higher income for fewer hours of work. That, in turn, has freed me up to be more present with my family and to have a life outside of work.
Are you still practicing medicine and in what capacity?
Yes, I work in clinical practice as a “0.6 FTE.” I see patients three days a week. Although it is part-time and sounds very easy, I still am challenged.
Those three days are sometimes long and stressful. The work makes me appreciate my days off even more. I plan to continue working for as long as I’m able.
The benefits are many including intellectual and emotional challenges, the joy of helping patients, a steady paycheck, health insurance, an occupational identity, weekly/daily structure, and wonderful coworkers.
What does your typical work week look like?
I see patients Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I do check into our EMR on Wednesdays and Fridays, but I don’t see patients on those days.
I spend those free days however I want to. Mostly I help my wife and kids, exercise, recover, sleep, plan, meet friends, and enjoy my hobbies.
What piece of advice do you have for physicians who are considering pursuing other sources of income?
Do it! Don’t just consider it. Yes, you need to learn a few basics, but jump in and do something.
W-2 paycheck income is the least efficient way to earn money. It is necessary, but not sufficient. Learn about other ways to earn. Save, invest, and become financially free.
You will then have options to make changes in your life. You will be the one who decides what changes to make and when. Trust me you will have no regrets.