After my family went through bankruptcy as a kid, we moved to Georgia. At this house near Augusta, there was a pond. And guarding that pond, there was a Goose named George. He would walk the grass in between the pond and the street leading to my house.
George was an angry goose who liked to hiss at you as your car drove by. He would snap at the tires and – as a kid – I always wondered what would happen if George ever caught that tire he was chasing. It might explain why George was missing an eye.
This isn’t quite the same as “the dog who caught the tire,” but it serves the same point. Sometimes, we chase after things in life that we really want and – when we suddenly get them – we don’t know what to do next.
Recently, I caught my tire.
The Need and The Desire
We all know that there is a huge need for financial literacy in the medical profession. I also have a pretty much insatiable appetite for teaching personal finance to anyone who will listen.
Combining these two things (the need and my desire) seems like a recipe for major success.
I’ve been outspoken, opinionated, and passionate about creating a financial curriculum within the anesthesiology residency where I work. It has taken two years of discussions and disagreements to get to the point where that might happen.
In essence, I’ve been chasing the tire for two years, and the opportunity has alluded me for various reasons.
When one of the deans of the medical school recently approached me about making a financial curriculum for the fourth year medical students and senior PA/SRNA students, I felt like George – the angry tire chasing goose.
I finally caught the tire. Now what do I do?
Making a Personal Finance Curriculum
The readers of this blog will know that I have written a book on The 20% of Personal Finance Doctors Need to Know to Get 80% of the Results. I’ve got a keen idea of what I think most medical students ought to know.
Yet, teaching personal finance in a different medium (e.g. a curriculum) seems daunting. It is not the thought of creating a curriculum. (I am married to an educator who will be willing to help me with that.)
It is daunting for two other reasons.
First, like many people who are honest enough to admit it, I suffer from some pretty major Imposter Syndrome.
A day doesn’t go by where someone doesn’t ask or text me about something personal finance related these days. Yet, despite answering all of those questions, doubt lies just beneath the surface.
This brings to light the second reason this seems so daunting. Now, that I have people who are willing to open the blank canvas to me to create the best possible curriculum I can imagine, I am petrified.
Why? Because I don’t want to fail the same people who are providing me the opportunity I’ve desired.
The last three months have done wonders for my job satisfaction. Support and autonomy are two of the key contributors to work satisfaction.
I’ve experienced support from my chair that led to this blog becoming non-anonymous. Now, I am getting the autonomy I’ve wanted to help increase financial literacy in the medical community where I work.
What Do I Do With the Tire?
All of this leads me to one big question for you, my audience: If you were to travel back to your training days (medical school, PA school, dental school, anesthesia school, etc), what would you have wanted someone to teach you about money in a formal curriculum? If you are in your training days currently, what do you want to know more about?
I’ve asked this question and had it answered on the White Coat Investor podcast. So, to get your gears turning, here were some of the answers from WCI, Physician on Fire, and Passive Income MD:
- Student Loan Management
- Asset Protection
- Cash Flow/Budgeting
- Real Estate
Other ideas were mentioned as well, and I’ve discussed this with a colleague who has been successful at creating such a curriculum (Jason Mizell out of UAMS).
Now, I want to hear from you guys! What would you have wanted to hear? If you could turn back the clock, what do you wish that you had known?
I’m leaving this post intentionally open-ended, because I am hoping that my audience will show up in the comments.
Let me know what you think.
I’m picking all of the brains that I can about what they would have wanted to hear. Put your name down as “anonymous” or “George the Angry Goose.” I honestly don’t care, but I do want open and honest answers.
Help me out making a personal finance curriculum.
After what you now know, what would you have found most meaningful in a financial curriculum while in training? What do you wish you knew then that you know now? Help a brother out. Leave a comment.