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INTRO Physician to writer to entrepreneur & halfway there

Saavik

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Hi all!
Pleased to meet you. I'm a mid-thirties woman from Europe, and I'll refrain from posting any specifics - for now, at least - because I joined after reading Unscripted to find a community of like-minded people to bounce ideas off each other, not to promote my business.

Anyway, here's my journey so far:

- Worked as a physician for several years. Found it utterly unsatisfactory. Thought that maybe I was just not a people person, so "helping people" wasn't able to fulfil me. (Spoiler: That was the wrong conclusion.)
- I could discuss the shortcomings of our healthcare system here that made life particularly unpleasant for anyone working there, but I'll leave that for another thread. Here's the synopsis though: Long hours, most of it spent trying to distribute inefficient resources in a system that is built to exploit the idealistic. All in all, very little control.
- Was sick at home for a few weeks (nothing life-threatening). Started trying on and discarding multiple business ideas, all for the sake of not having to go back.
(A little detour here: This sounds like my workplace was hell on earth, which it wasn't. By the standards of our healthcare system, all my workplaces were pretty cushy. In fact, I have several friends who keep working there under far worse conditions. Now we have reached an age in which they develop the first stress-related disorders.)

LEARNING 1: Having a break from the daily plowhorse routine goes a long way to help one get a fresh mind and useful ideas. Follow the same routine and meet the same faces every day and you can't image anymore that anything else might be possible.

- I had done a little freelance writing on the side before quitting, as well as acquiring another useful degree (paid for in cash). I took the plunge and left my job without having any paying gigs lined up, just hoping that I would figure it out once I made the jump.
- I did figure it out, but more slowly than I had hoped, which ate up lots of my savings.

LEARNING 2: If you're going to be in any kind of service business, marketing is THE most important thing to get your business up and running. If you're a beginner, marketing is twice as important as you think, and then some. (Product business probably too, but I know less about that.)

- After a couple of months, I had several clients who paid me to write about my topics of expertise for them. That included copywriting, ghostwriting of articles and such, as well as research and academic writing.
- I was utterly pleased with the newfound freedom. To me, it felt like not working at all. Even things like accounting felt like going on holiday because I could do them on my own schedule, without being constantly interrupted.
- A disadvantage of my newfound freedom was, however, that I was distracted by several side projects that didn't turn out to be viable. On the other hand, if I hadn't tried them, I wouldn't know today that they aren't viable, so I can't really say that I regret taking them on. But I don't regret cancelling them either.
- The reason for these side projects, and an overall concern of mine was, and still is, the problem of scaling. While I find it pretty easy to acquire clients for my service business (I have certain coveted specialties, and I reliably deliver good quality), I find it hard to wrap my head around product development. One of my digital products has made okay money, but overall, no raging success there.

LEARNING 3: If you're in a service business, once you provide good quality and keep your word, you are already ahead of at least 80% of the competition. It's sounds unlikely - and I am still often dumbfounded by the unreliability of subcontractors and such - but it's true.

- Fun fact: I noticed that my clients are often more grateful after a successful project than my patients used to be after a successful treatment. I found out that I do like helping people after all.
- After a couple of clients started asking me for related services, I started looking for reliable subcontractors. After a few failures, I now have a handful of people that I can delegate work to. I still do all of the quality control, though, so the business is not really independent of my time.
- I also published a couple of books (on my own and with established publishers). They are useful for promoting my service business, but don't generate noticeable revenue just by their sales.

In this forum, I mainly hope to find two things:
- Smart and independent people to discuss ideas with who don't have a hidden agenda (I have a few such people in real life, but like all of us, they don't have unlimited time resources)
- By and by, to learn how to scale what I have built so far
 

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LuckyPup

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Hi there and welcome to TFF! I'm familiar with the US healthcare system and the challenges physicians here face, as well as how they benefit. I'm curious to know a few things:

1. Did you train in Europe or the US? Were you saddled with a high degree of loan debt, as most US doctors are?

2. Were you self-employed or did you work in an employed model?

3. The reason I ask is that I know many physicians who would like to transition to "Plan B," but find it very difficult to even approximate their current income as practicing docs. How have you made that transition?

I'd love to hear more from you about this.
 
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Bekit

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Hi all!
Pleased to meet you. I'm a mid-thirties woman from Europe, and I'll refrain from posting any specifics - for now, at least - because I joined after reading Unscripted to find a community of like-minded people to bounce ideas off each other, not to promote my business.

Anyway, here's my journey so far:

- Worked as a physician for several years. Found it utterly unsatisfactory. Thought that maybe I was just not a people person, so "helping people" wasn't able to fulfil me. (Spoiler: That was the wrong conclusion.)
- I could discuss the shortcomings of our healthcare system here that made life particularly unpleasant for anyone working there, but I'll leave that for another thread. Here's the synopsis though: Long hours, most of it spent trying to distribute inefficient resources in a system that is built to exploit the idealistic. All in all, very little control.
- Was sick at home for a few weeks (nothing life-threatening). Started trying on and discarding multiple business ideas, all for the sake of not having to go back.
(A little detour here: This sounds like my workplace was hell on earth, which it wasn't. By the standards of our healthcare system, all my workplaces were pretty cushy. In fact, I have several friends who keep working there under far worse conditions. Now we have reached an age in which they develop the first stress-related disorders.)

LEARNING 1: Having a break from the daily plowhorse routine goes a long way to help one get a fresh mind and useful ideas. Follow the same routine and meet the same faces every day and you can't image anymore that anything else might be possible.

- I had done a little freelance writing on the side before quitting, as well as acquiring another useful degree (paid for in cash). I took the plunge and left my job without having any paying gigs lined up, just hoping that I would figure it out once I made the jump.
- I did figure it out, but more slowly than I had hoped, which ate up lots of my savings.

LEARNING 2: If you're going to be in any kind of service business, marketing is THE most important thing to get your business up and running. If you're a beginner, marketing is twice as important as you think, and then some. (Product business probably too, but I know less about that.)

- After a couple of months, I had several clients who paid me to write about my topics of expertise for them. That included copywriting, ghostwriting of articles and such, as well as research and academic writing.
- I was utterly pleased with the newfound freedom. To me, it felt like not working at all. Even things like accounting felt like going on holiday because I could do them on my own schedule, without being constantly interrupted.
- A disadvantage of my newfound freedom was, however, that I was distracted by several side projects that didn't turn out to be viable. On the other hand, if I hadn't tried them, I wouldn't know today that they aren't viable, so I can't really say that I regret taking them on. But I don't regret cancelling them either.
- The reason for these side projects, and an overall concern of mine was, and still is, the problem of scaling. While I find it pretty easy to acquire clients for my service business (I have certain coveted specialties, and I reliably deliver good quality), I find it hard to wrap my head around product development. One of my digital products has made okay money, but overall, no raging success there.

LEARNING 3: If you're in a service business, once you provide good quality and keep your word, you are already ahead of at least 80% of the competition. It's sounds unlikely - and I am still often dumbfounded by the unreliability of subcontractors and such - but it's true.

- Fun fact: I noticed that my clients are often more grateful after a successful project than my patients used to be after a successful treatment. I found out that I do like helping people after all.
- After a couple of clients started asking me for related services, I started looking for reliable subcontractors. After a few failures, I now have a handful of people that I can delegate work to. I still do all of the quality control, though, so the business is not really independent of my time.
- I also published a couple of books (on my own and with established publishers). They are useful for promoting my service business, but don't generate noticeable revenue just by their sales.

In this forum, I mainly hope to find two things:
- Smart and independent people to discuss ideas with who don't have a hidden agenda (I have a few such people in real life, but like all of us, they don't have unlimited time resources)
- By and by, to learn how to scale what I have built so far
Welcome, Saavik! You sound like a delightful person, and it sounds like you have had an awesome journey. Glad you found the forum, and I have no doubt that you will find what you are looking for here.

I'm curious why your side projects didn't succeed. Do you think it was because they were intrinsically not viable, or because they would have to be executed in a way that you didn't have the resources or knowledge to do effectively?

Also, I agree wholeheartedly about the priority of marketing your services. A lot of people struggle to get to the point where they're marketing themselves effectively. How did you come up to speed with the marketing skills that you needed to promote your services as a writer?

All the best!
 
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Saavik

Saavik

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Thanks for the welcome! :)

1. Did you train in Europe or the US? Were you saddled with a high degree of loan debt, as most US doctors are?
2. Were you self-employed or did you work in an employed model?
1. In Europe, and I started working without any debt. The policies here have changed several times over the last years and decades, but generally, a university education is not too expensive, at least for the first degree. Some go into moderate debt to finance their living expenses (I held part-time jobs instead), but nothing as gargantuan as seems to be common in the US.

2. I was employed. If I had been self-employed already, I probably would have had considerable debt too.

Honestly, I don't know how I would have been able to do it had I been a doctor in the US, with tens or hundreds of thousands in debt. Maybe by leaving the country with no forwarding address and hoping no-one would come looking for me. (This was intended as a joke when I wrote it, but upon second thought, it's probably not.)

Has any of your acquaintances come out of this with their sanity intact (or at least alive)?

Another major hurdle - probably in the US no different than in Europe - is that everyone expects physicians to be absolutely thrilled to have a job "helping" people. When I left, those of my colleagues that cared thought that I had gone temporarily bonkers due to an unfortunate life event a few months earlier. They just couldn't image than life was possible on the other side of the fence. So, in the position of your friends, they wouldn't only have to deal with the financial problem, but with the fact that EVERYONE would be talking against the decision. Even swinging the moral bludgeon saying that someone who actually cared for people should have had your place in med school, and stuff like that. This, incidentally, is one of the reasons why the healthcare system sucks and, as I wrote above, is completely dependent upon the exploitation of the idealistic young (and not so young).

3. The reason I ask is that I know many physicians who would like to transition to "Plan B," but find it very difficult to even approximate their current income as practicing docs. How have you made that transition?
I haven't, as of yet. If I had stayed the course, I would probably make more now than I currently do. But now I make more per hour worked, which is not my ultimate goal, but an okay position to be in for now.
 
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Saavik

Saavik

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Glad you found the forum, and I have no doubt that you will find what you are looking for here
Thanks! :) I'm optimistic, as I've been lurking behind the scenes for a bit.

I'm curious why your side projects didn't succeed. Do you think it was because they were intrinsically not viable, or because they would have to be executed in a way that you didn't have the resources or knowledge to do effectively?
They were not horrible ideas per se, but they would have needed 1.) more market research and 2.) way more marketing efforts.
And due to the bootstrapped nature of my business, I've been stingy with expenses so far, which includes marketing expenses. The old adage about marketing being like sex (only losers pay for it) doesn't help much when you're starting out. So, every time it looks like I need to spend money on marketing, I very seriously ask myself how I estimate the success chances of the endeavour in question, and in these cases, I just didn't sufficiently believe in them to spend the necessary money on marketing, and I didn't have time that one needs to get a project flying without financial marketing expenses. I didn't want to spread myself too thin there.

How did you come up to speed with the marketing skills that you needed to promote your services as a writer?
A combination of reading (A LOT) and trial and error. My Kindle was my best friend there. No product placement, I'm sure any other e-book reader would have been equally useful. :D
 

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Saavik

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That's very kind. :)
 

LuckyPup

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"Honestly, I don't know how I would have been able to do it had I been a doctor in the US, with tens or hundreds of thousands in debt. Maybe by leaving the country with no forwarding address and hoping no-one would come looking for me. (This was intended as a joke when I wrote it, but upon second thought, it's probably not.)"

Not everyone would, but I appreciate the joke. :)

"Has any of your acquaintances come out of this with their sanity intact (or at least alive)?"

No, they are struggling with ways to develop and execute a "Plan B." I think their biggest hurdle is just plain burnout. They don't have the emotional, mental or physical bandwidth to generate the clarity, courage or confidence to survey other possibilities, much less take the leap. This deficit only skews the risk/reward ratio more in their heads.

"Another major hurdle - probably in the US no different than in Europe - is that everyone expects physicians to be absolutely thrilled to have a job "helping" people. When I left, those of my colleagues that cared thought that I had gone temporarily bonkers due to an unfortunate life event a few months earlier. They just couldn't image than life was possible on the other side of the fence. So, in the position of your friends, they wouldn't only have to deal with the financial problem, but with the fact that EVERYONE would be talking against the decision. Even swinging the moral bludgeon saying that someone who actually cared for people should have had your place in med school, and stuff like that. This, incidentally, is one of the reasons why the healthcare system sucks and, as I wrote above, is completely dependent upon the exploitation of the idealistic young (and not so young)."

I've personally witnessed people wielding this moral bludgeon. Regarding the exploitation of the young, large hospital systems are acquiring more and more private practices using bait and switch tactics, changing compensation models once they onboard the practices. The younger docs who don't know any better are willing to accept lower pay for a time-clock mentality. I think this will hurt patient care over the long run, but we'll see.
 
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Saavik

Saavik

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They don't have the emotional, mental or physical bandwidth to generate the clarity, courage or confidence to survey other possibilities, much less take the leap.
[...]
I think this will hurt patient care over the long run, but we'll see.
Exactly! That's what I meant above when I said the daily grind prevents you very efficiently from having fresh ideas and seeing alternatives.

About the second point, it IS already harming patient care (in our system at least).

If at one point you have successful plan B stories to share from members of my old profession, I'd be interested in reading them. :)
 

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@Saavik - you saw my intro but I'm completely in the same boat. And what's tough is that the mainstream, the public look up to you in a way - because for most stuck in the rat race, you're doing it better than they are! You went to more school you have a "more stable career," you make more money, and like you said, you're helping people...so what's the problem, right? When you aren't happy it, it makes you feel really bad about you!

I've struggled the last several years with my discontent, thinking to myself "what's wrong with me?" And especially when the business side was turning around and I had everything I had set out to achieve - it was all based on a conventional, slow lane existence. I just didn't know it yet.

So it is tough for health care professionals to get out on many levels, and with the student debt we have in the US - it's near impossible. Because it is very rare to bankrupt yourself out of student loan debt - it's not like a car loan or a mortgage or credit card debt - you're stuck beyond stuck.

So what do you do? Get in more debt by trying to find happiness in big houses, nice cars, expensive trips that make your facebook friends jealous, private schools for the kids - and the hole gets deeper and deeper. And it's tough to talk with others because so many hide their unhappiness, or they haven't realized the root cause of their unhappiness. It's a vicious cycle for sure.
 

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Ehte Sikander

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Hi Guys,

I had a personal story to share about the struggles (bullying, loneliness and financial struggles) i went through and what most "International students" go through abroad, I wanted to know if anybody else goes through this. I aim to make every culture feel comfortable abroad and help them learn from my mistakes


Here is the link
View: https://youtu.be/jPCfeP1iHv0
 
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Saavik

Saavik

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@Saavik - you saw my intro but I'm completely in the same boat. And what's tough is that the mainstream, the public look up to you in a way - because for most stuck in the rat race, you're doing it better than they are! You went to more school you have a "more stable career," you make more money, and like you said, you're helping people...so what's the problem, right? When you aren't happy it, it makes you feel really bad about you!
Right! And incidentally, in all those "quit the 9-5" and "how to start a startup", physicians are almost never featured as an example, silently assuming that their jobs are already heaven on earth because they are so fulfilling and pay so extraordinarily well. :p

And it's tough to talk with others because so many hide their unhappiness, or they haven't realized the root cause of their unhappiness. It's a vicious cycle for sure.
Exactly. As I said above, my former colleagues thought I was insane for considering anything else. Only a few months after that, one of them called me and asked me how I was doing and how it might be possible for him to do something similar. Apparently, the thought needed to marinate inside of him for quite some time before taking shape. ;) Neither of us followed up, so I'm not sure what he's doing now.
 

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I always find it odd when doctors I meet complain about their circumstances.

I'd say that the majority of doctors are just as poor at making life choices (despite our "education") as the general population.

Here are some facts about being a doc:

  • You earn a crap ton of money pretty quick
  • You can choose a career that fits your personality and outlook
With a medical degree you can literally go into any field you are curious about; law, writing, ethics, bio-physics / chemistry, pharmacology, pathology, physiology etc etc as well as all the different clinical specialties that may tickle your fancy.

The problem with most docs is that they default to BS jobs in BS departments, in BS hospitals they don't want to be in, all the while complaining how hard it is for them.

And the best bit?! When you get to "the top" and have some leverage there are so many opportunities to go fastlane, because literally everything is broken!

I suppose it may just all be about perspective? :p
 
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Saavik

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First of all, we're not complaining, we're discussing the obstacles on our way and how to overcome them. :p

I'd say that the majority of doctors are just as poor at making life choices (despite our "education") as the general population
Sure they are. Why shouldn't they be? They might even be worse because they're usually the good students who are primed to conform to the system as they have been doing so well in it.

You earn a crap ton of money pretty quick
...which, as we have discussed in length above, is not yours at all (at least in the US system).

When you get to "the top" and have some leverage there are so many opportunities to go fastlane, because literally everything is broken!
"The top"... by then you're 45 or 50 or even older, with something like two failed marriages and a social life that is ruined in all other aspects too (not even speaking about your health). This is "killing it in the slowlane", as my collague @Skwab so aptly put it. Going slowlane at its finest for 20 or more years, just to maybe go fastlane one day (if your job hasn't killed you first). Thanks, but no thanks.
 

Chromozone

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"The top"... by then you're 45 or 50 or even older, with something like two failed marriages and a social life that is ruined in all other aspects too (not even speaking about your health). This is "killing it in the slowlane", as my collague @Skwab so aptly put it. Going slowlane at its finest for 20 or more years, just to maybe go fastlane one day (if your job hasn't killed you first). Thanks, but no thanks.
This is complete BS and you know it.

It just depends on the poor decisions some doctors make in career choices.

Funny how my experience as a physician is so different to yours isn't it?
 
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Saavik

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Apparently so. But I'm not sure what the point is you're trying to make.
 

Chromozone

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Apparently so. But I'm not sure what the point is you're trying to make.
I'm calling you out on stuff which is wrong.

This forum has a lot of straw man threads along the same lines:

  • Should I go to college or not?
  • Should I learn to code or not?
  • Should I start a business or get a job?

The point is that most of these things are inert. A medical degree is also inert - it's up to the person to do with it what they will.

If you use the skills and opportunities at your disposal correctly, you can go fastlane if you choose to and I argue that it's actually easier to do so with a medical degree.

So to sum up. Lots of people have it harder than MDs and still go fastlane. And it's probably 10x easier for a MD to go fastlane because of the amount we earn and the fact that if we fail, we can just do freelance doctor work which is always available and in the UK pays even more than permanent posts.

*Of course you have to take debt incurred attaining the degree into account. But from the sounds of things you didn't get into debt to get the MD (just like I didn't).
 

Skwab

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@Chromozone - I have to disagree. The people who are at the top in the medical world are not the Drs. From a business standpoint, Drs. are just cogs in the machine dominated by the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the supply companies, and the corporations who are buying up the hospitals and clinics. They're well compensated hourly employees. The amount of time dedicated, and in the US, the disgusting amount of money dedicated does not fit the fast lane mold at all.

And the majority of those who take the path to obtain a medical degree are not business minded at all, they're science geeks, like me, who had an ill-conceived view of the reality of life after school. They come out confident in their role but beyond that - not much else. And for most who feel stuck, it's scary as hell to branch outside this profession you've spent so many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to get, and with everyone looking up at you for all "the right choices" you made, it's tough to say "I was wrong, or this just isn't working for me."

Can there be fast lane in medical / dental? Sure - but not as a clinically practicing physician where you're just trading time for money, and most Docs do not have the entrepreneurial mindset nor the business acumen, nor the confidence to do anything but. And most are comfortable enough to where their discord doesn't outweigh their comfort, and that's a big factor too. Doesn't make them bad people or that they made poor choices in life, it is what it is.
 

Chromozone

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@Chromozone - I have to disagree. The people who are at the top in the medical world are not the Drs. From a business standpoint, Drs. are just cogs in the machine dominated by the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the supply companies, and the corporations who are buying up the hospitals and clinics. They're well compensated hourly employees. The amount of time dedicated, and in the US, the disgusting amount of money dedicated does not fit the fast lane mold at all.
  1. When I said "the top", I meant the top of a given field, where you get leverage and your own department to run. I was 30 when I got my own clinic for example.
  2. I concede I don't know much about how things are run in the US. But in the UK all the business stuff is done mostly by doctors (see: Clinical commissioning group - Wikipedia) .
  3. A lot of contract work is outsourced to ex healthcare professionals after they have gone into the private sector in the UK. It is actually quite common, but you won't hear people publicly talk about it much.
  4. Yes, being a doctor, working for someone else means you're an employee. No one's disputing that. What I'm saying is that doctors do this by default, because they're not thinking for themselves. There is no inherent reason why you can't start a fastlane business as a doc. If anything, with the amount of stuff that's broken in healthcare the opportunities to start a fastlane business are huge.

And the majority of those who take the path to obtain a medical degree are not business minded at all, they're science geeks...
This is exactly my point. It's the people, not the degree itself. The degree itself doesn't come with a "you can't start a business" clause.

It's the same as any other degree - it is what you make of it.

Can there be fast lane in medical / dental? Sure - but not as a clinically practicing physician where you're just trading time for money, and most Docs do not have the entrepreneurial mindset nor the business acumen, nor the confidence to do anything but. And most are comfortable enough to where their discord doesn't outweigh their comfort, and that's a big factor too. Doesn't make them bad people or that they made poor choices in life, it is what it is.
I think we're in agreement then. It's the individual people and not the degree which is the problem. Being exposed to such poor working conditions should make you hyper-acute of needs that you can solve. That's what happened with me.

Look I'm not trying to be a douche bag and confrontational for no reason, it's just that I see this type of logic in your typical doctor all the time and it boggles my mind. And as someone transitioning to the fastlane, I'll take it as an opportunity to call out BS if I see it. :blush:

Edit: Reps transferred for having the balls to join the forum. Keep pushing!
 

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Skwab

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  1. When I said "the top", I meant the top of a given field, where you get leverage and your own department to run. I was 30 when I got my own clinic for example.
  2. I concede I don't know much about how things are run in the US. But in the UK all the business stuff is done mostly by doctors (see: Clinical commissioning group - Wikipedia) .
  3. A lot of contract work is outsourced to ex healthcare professionals after they have gone into the private sector in the UK. It is actually quite common, but you won't hear people publicly talk about it much.
  4. Yes, being a doctor, working for someone else means you're an employee. No one's disputing that. What I'm saying is that doctors do this by default, because they're not thinking for themselves. There is no inherent reason why you can't start a fastlane business as a doc. If anything, with the amount of stuff that's broken in healthcare the opportunities to start a fastlane business are huge.


This is exactly my point. It's the people, not the degree itself. The degree itself doesn't come with a "you can't start a business" clause.

It's the same as any other degree - it is what you make of it.



I think we're in agreement then. It's the individual people and not the degree which is the problem. Being exposed to such poor working conditions should make you hyper-acute of needs that you can solve. That's what happened with me.

Look I'm not trying to be a douche bag and confrontational for no reason, it's just that I see this type of logic in your typical doctor all the time and it boggles my mind. And as someone transitioning to the fastlane, I'll take it as an opportunity to call out BS if I see it. :blush:

Edit: Reps transferred for having the balls to join the forum. Keep pushing!
Thanks for the 100! - can I have it British sterling instead of US Dollars? ;)

I do think we're on the same page - it's 100% the person and not the degree. I know for me, I had to teach myself the business end of things out of necessity, and that's when I discovered there can actually be more! It opened up a world I had never been exposed to and you are definitely of the same mindset which is awesome...and rare!

And I also agree that most that I know in my profession are bright and capable of anything they want to but they can't get passed their own BS. In the US student debt is a huge issue, but also when you make an above average living, it's hard to sacrifice that for the unknown. You get comfortable wading through the crap, or from a slow lane mentality - you're at the top and there's nowhere to go but down, so it may suck but at least you're at the top!

But when you awaken to the fact that more is possible, it's impossible not to strive for it!
 
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Saavik

Saavik

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The point is that most of these things are inert. A medical degree is also inert - it's up to the person to do with it what they will.

If you use the skills and opportunities at your disposal correctly, you can go fastlane if you choose to and I argue that it's actually easier to do so with a medical degree.

So to sum up. Lots of people have it harder than MDs and still go fastlane. And it's probably 10x easier for a MD to go fastlane because of the amount we earn and the fact that if we fail, we can just do freelance doctor work which is always available and in the UK pays even more than permanent posts.
I'm not arguing against that at all, and I'm not saying the degree was a mistake for me, or for others in my (our) situation. Quite the opposite, it opens up opportunities in fields that have a high barrier to entry, which I have pointed out in this forum before.

My point was that it is a smart move to leave the traditional career track sooner than later, and not wait until you've made department head or anything comparable.
 

Chromozone

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And I also agree that most that I know in my profession are bright and capable of anything they want to but they can't get passed their own BS.
This is what I think and it's what I've observed.

It's hard to believe that doctors can make successful businesses, but there are a lot of us.

For some reason the typical doctor thinks they're different to the rest of society. But we're all playing the game by the same rules, no matter what industry we're in.

Also because people respect us and because we're supposedly "smart", they don't want to come and call us out on our BS and self limiting beliefs.

My point was that it is a smart move to leave the traditional career track sooner than later, and not wait until you've made department head or anything comparable.
It just depends IMO. Of course circumstance matters a lot - e.g debt and if you have children.

But each part of your career provides different opportunities.

A junior doctor might see an opportunity to make a handover app, whereas someone who has their own department can concentrate on higher level issues.

One thing I found when I got my own clinic, was that I was about twenty years younger than most others in my situation.

I encountered a lot of juicy needs that required solving. And because all the other seniors have an average age of 50+ none of them even considered solving their own problems, never mind starting a business.

My brother is also a doc, seven years older than me. It took him one year to plan out a business and now he's already about 50% of the way in replacing his previous income and way way happier to boot!
 

Skwab

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For change to occur you have to have the need, and you have to have the confidence. I think most Docs have neither in enough abundance to take that leap. Older Docs I know who have tried to branch out and do something else, the second things became tough they crawled back into their comfort zone and they are too close minded to have learned from their experience - the only thing they learned was, at least in their mind, was that they should have never tried to branch out in the first place! Their skepticism was backed up by failure, it wasn't propelled into other ventures because of failure.
 

DustinH

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Greetings Lieutenant Saavik. Welcome to the forum. Firstly, I'm curious to hear about your experience with the Kobayashi Maru.

All kidding aside, my wife is a doctor and also wants to get into writing. I try to encourage her but she needs to create the right mindset for herself. Nothing I say is going to motivate her. Fear is holding her back.

@Chromozone Can there be fast lane in medical / dental? Sure - but not as a clinically practicing physician where you're just trading time for money, and most Docs do not have the entrepreneurial mindset nor the business acumen, nor the confidence to do anything but. And most are comfortable enough to where their discord doesn't outweigh their comfort, and that's a big factor too. Doesn't make them bad people or that they made poor choices in life, it is what it is.
The fastlane track for doctors in the medical field is opening multiple urgent care clinics or outpatient surgery centers. Hospital corporations will buy those up for a premium if they have a demonstrated track record of success (something like 5 years). For dentists, its creating a group of successful practices (3 or more) so that a dental corporation (like a Heartland Dental) will come in and buy them up.
 
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Saavik

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Greetings Lieutenant Saavik. Welcome to the forum. Firstly, I'm curious to hear about your experience with the Kobayashi Maru
I think that's classified. :D

All kidding aside, my wife is a doctor and also wants to get into writing. I try to encourage her but she needs to create the right mindset for herself. Nothing I say is going to motivate her. Fear is holding her back.
What kind of writing is she considering? For myself, non-fiction is by far more profitable than fiction - I have tried both and the best I can say of my fiction endeavours is that they support the marketing for my non-fiction service business. But maybe that just means that I'm better at non-fiction, and I definitely know the market better.
Don't be afraid to pick a niche, by the way. When I hired contractors, I noticed that most who were supposedly experts in a certain niche had two, three relevant articles in their portfolio, not more.

On a more general note, you can't motivate her. Trying to convince her will just put a strain on your marriage in my opinion.
Anything that is discussed in this forum, and that has been described by @MJDeMarco in his books, boils down to one single insight: Life is too short [to follow other people's orders, to have a shitty 9 to 5, to worry about money, insert here whatever else you like].
This is not an intellectual insight, but one that is emotional and based on experience. Either you've had it, or you haven't had it (yet). For someone who's had it already, you can provide the necessary resources to enable them to take action on this realization (such as the books and this forum), but you can't create the insight in someone else. My 2 cents on this.

The fastlane track for doctors in the medical field is opening multiple urgent care clinics or outpatient surgery centers.
Not "the" but one of them, yes. Are you in this business?
 

DustinH

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What kind of writing is she considering?

Not "the" but one of them, yes. Are you in this business?
She says she wants to do fiction but I think non-fiction is a good route too. She’s good at any writing genre.

We are not those businesses but have friends an colleagues that have succeeded in that. Our banker has worked with some docs who have been successful doing those endeavors as well. Some other fastlane paths for docs I’ve heard about could be selling a medical device, an auxiliary hospital business (SaaS for medical, consulting, training staff, Med billing), nurse placement services, or home hospice care. There’s probably more that I’m not thinking of. Nashville is a major hub for hospital administration and spinoff companies involved in that field. Some of the biggest hospital corporations and nursing home corporations have their headquarters located here. So, I hear about successful medical businesses from time to time.

Some doctors could be great entrepreneurs. There are plenty of doctors that will always be a W-2 employee, though. They will always be stuck in the E and S quadrants trading their time for money. I think some reasons many doctors have a hard time switching to entrepreneurship is:
1) want everything to be perfect,
2) fear of failure, never failed at anything in their life,
3) don’t understand the path to success because it’s not a clearly set path like the college-med school-residency-practicing path,
4) they suffer from the sunken cost fallacy, “Well I’ve already spent $400,000 toward becoming a doctor so I have to go forward with that path.”

There’s a retired doctor who has a podcast and addresses these issues. His name is Buck Joffrey and the podcast is the Wealth Formula I believe.
 

Arun Siva

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Hi Guys,

I had a personal story to share about the struggles (bullying, loneliness and financial struggles) i went through and what most "International students" go through abroad, I wanted to know if anybody else goes through this. I aim to make every culture feel comfortable abroad and help them learn from my mistakes


Here is the link
View: https://youtu.be/jPCfeP1iHv0
where are you from originally
 

Skwab

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She says she wants to do fiction but I think non-fiction is a good route too. She’s good at any writing genre.

We are not those businesses but have friends an colleagues that have succeeded in that. Our banker has worked with some docs who have been successful doing those endeavors as well. Some other fastlane paths for docs I’ve heard about could be selling a medical device, an auxiliary hospital business (SaaS for medical, consulting, training staff, Med billing), nurse placement services, or home hospice care. There’s probably more that I’m not thinking of. Nashville is a major hub for hospital administration and spinoff companies involved in that field. Some of the biggest hospital corporations and nursing home corporations have their headquarters located here. So, I hear about successful medical businesses from time to time.

Some doctors could be great entrepreneurs. There are plenty of doctors that will always be a W-2 employee, though. They will always be stuck in the E and S quadrants trading their time for money. I think some reasons many doctors have a hard time switching to entrepreneurship is:
1) want everything to be perfect,
2) fear of failure, never failed at anything in their life,
3) don’t understand the path to success because it’s not a clearly set path like the college-med school-residency-practicing path,
4) they suffer from the sunken cost fallacy, “Well I’ve already spent $400,000 toward becoming a doctor so I have to go forward with that path.”

There’s a retired doctor who has a podcast and addresses these issues. His name is Buck Joffrey and the podcast is the Wealth Formula I believe.
Completely agree Dustin - I listen to a podcast by an entrepreneur from Austin named Mike Dillard, and he once said that the definition of an entrepreneur is a professional problem solver. Docs have this innate ability to solve complex problems but your list is a very good synopsis as to why they don't branch out.
 

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