The Physician Philosopher Blog: Two Years Later

By Jimmy Turner, MD
The Physician Philosopher

Two years ago, The Physician Philosopher was spawned while sitting on our hand-me-down couch in our 1100 square foot starter home. Five months before that, I finished fellowship. It was during my regional anesthesia fellowship that I would not only learn how to become an expert at numbing every part of the body below the clavicles; I would also have the financial enlightenment that would set me on the course to eventually create this blog.

Today, I want to chronicle the journey of this little blog that could. We have come a long way from where we started!

Humble Beginnings

There are now over 80 physician finance blogs (Physician Zen carries a comprehensive physician finance blogger list for anyone interested). At the time that my blog started, I received questions about why I would start a blog given the number that already existed.

There were two reasons.

First, despite all of the amazing blogs and podcasts that existed – I would have conversations daily that would show me how many doctors still knew next to nothing about personal finance. In addition to this, very few of them were tying personal finance and burnout together, and I felt that they were intrinsically linked.

After some deliberation about what to name this idea of mine, The Physician Philosopher was born. In that first month, I received a whopping 2400 page views. Of those, about half came from this post on moderate frugality that now frightens me to look at (it’s that bad!). Why? Because Physician on FIRE shared it on his epic Sunday Best series.

Over the next year, I would spend countless hours creating content out of sheer passion and determination. I committed to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule – and have have not missed a day since the blog was created.

2019 – The Turning Point

After going to FinCon in 2018, the direction of my blog began to crystallize with this post on The Road to Burnout. Every post from that point forward has been aimed at helping physicians prevent and treat burnout through financial independence.

Physician Philosopher

In the meantime, I had been working on The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance. With its publication (more information on that below) in February 2019, the blog became non-anonymous

Around that same time, I would publish a post on how much money doctors make (and why it doesn’t matter). This would get picked up by Doximity. It then caught fire and doubled my monthly page views in a single month.

With this newfound success, I approached Jim Dahle at the White Coat Investor to inquire about joining the WCI network. The rest is history as I joined as the fourth member of the WCI network in April of 2019.

Since that time, the site has continued to grow. For those who like to crunch numbers, I’ll include some below.

The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance

Before we discuss the growth of The Physician Philosopher Blog, I’ve received a lot of questions on the book.

Since February 2019 when The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance was published, around 2500 paperback books or kindle downloads have been purchased, though I gave away a ton of free kindle downloads in the beginning to my email subscribers (one of the perks of being on my email list – subscribe at the bottom of this post).

In addition to those two formats, I eventually got around to releasing an Audible version of The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance, too. All three formats maintain a five-star review. It’s been nice to see a lot of hard work well received by so many.

I’ve also been approached by medical schools to sell my book to their graduating classes. If your medical school class is interested in doing the same, email me ([email protected]). I am known to provide discounts for bulk sales.

The Physician Philosopher Stats

The blog now has around 2,000 email subscribers.

Email subscribers can choose to receive an email with each new blog post, or they can receive an email once each week on Saturdays that groups that week’s blog posts together. It also often comes with announcements and deals that are associated with being an email subscriber.

Readers have come from all over the world, as you can see below:

Physician Philosopher Readers

Income for the blog has now turned into a significant side hustle for my family and me. I won’t go into specifics but I will say that I now earn more annually from this blog than I did during residency. Hard work pays off, but it required a ton of consistency. It also required treating the blog like a business. That proved to make the difference.

Most Popular Physician Philosopher Posts

Over 300 posts have been published on this site.

Here are the Top 5 Posts (all-time page views) listed in order:

  1. How Much Money Do Doctors Make & Why It Doesn’t Matter
  2. Life Planning: The Three Kinder Questions
  3. Backdoor Roth IRA: A Step by Step Guide at Vanguard
  4. 5 Reasons I’m Not Joining the Drop Out Club
  5. The 10% Rule: Limiting Lifestyle Creep

If you have other posts from the blog that you feel deserve more attention, make sure to share them on social media!

Physician Philosopher Traffic Sources

In total, the traffic on this site comes from a variety of places. Search engines make up the largest traffic referral source for the site.

Next, the largest batch comes from social sharing on twitter (@physphilosopher) and Facebook (join the Physician-Only Physician Philosophers facebook group).

If I drill down to the three largest places of referral traffic from other websites, there are three that really jump out immediately:

  1. Doximity (Click here to see my Doximity Page)
  2. Physician on FIRE (almost number 1)
  3. White Coat Investor
  4. Kevin MD
  5. Passive Income MD

After joining the WCI Network, it looks life my referral sources make a whole lot of sense! It’s been a great decision so far!

Summing It Up

Since November 2017, the Physician Philosopher blog has been a wild ride. I remember when getting 3,000 monthly page views would get me excited. Now, I barely get excited when I get that much from a single blog post. It’s crazy how times have changed.

After two years of blogging, it makes total sense to me why so many blogs falter (most fail within the first year). You can spend two or three hours writing a post, and it might go nowhere. Other days, you’ll spend an hour writing something that you aren’t sure will work. Seemingly, without rhyme or reason, it will become one of your most viewed blog posts.

Yet, for all the ups and downs and highs and lows, I’ve enjoyed every second of this ride. Increasing financial literacy in the medical community has become a major passion of mine both on this blog and in my work at Wake Forest.

In fact, the personal finance curriculum that I am starting for our 4th-year medical students starts on January 14th. So, expect a blog post or two on creating a personal finance curriculum in the New Year!

Until then, thanks for being a reader! Keep tagging along, and make sure to share the posts you like the most with your friends. Next time, they just might appear in the top 5 posts in an update like this!

Which Physician Philosopher post has been your favorite to date? Have you been here since the beginning, or did you just join the fray? Leave a comment below.


1 Comment

  1. The Scope Of Practice

    Congrats on the success! You’ve had an incredible run, and it’s great to see your mission resonating with so many people. Keep up the great work!!


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