The Monthly Checkout: Belated Thanksgiving Edition

By Jimmy Turner, MD
The Physician Philosopher

Every month, I like to highlight some noteworthy posts that I’ve found. I pass them along to you so that you can enjoy them, too. The posts will involve topics that are often covered on this blog including personal finance, the psychology of money, investingphysician burnout, and paying down debt.

We then end with an update on the happenings in my life and the blog. So, read all the way to the bottom to hear the exciting news about The Physician Philosopher!

Welcome to The Monthly Checkout – The Belated Thanksgiving Edition.

It’s All About Gratitude around Thanksgiving

This month’s edition is a little late!  However, since I wrote it right around Thanksgiving, it’ll still count as a (belated) Thanksgiving Edition.

We’ve discussed on this blog before that more money doesn’t automatically make you happier. Don’t take it from me, though.  Take it from this Business Insider article where the author made $15 million before the age of 30, and still didn’t find happiness.

Reading that may drop some hints on how to truly find happiness.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, it has a lot to do with gratitude. Follow along as The Debt Free Doctor walks you through his process towards Gratitude.

Once you realize your gratitude, you may want to show thanks for some of the things you have in life.  Look for Zebras is here to help us out as they share reasons to give thanks, and 5 ways you can give and truly make a difference.

Personal Finance

One thing that will make you happy – and possibly more likely to give thanks – is when your portfolio starts earning more money than you do!  While I’m far away from that goal, we can all live vicariously through Physician on FIRE’s money making portfolio.

If your portfolio makes that much money (and, I’d argue, even if it doesn’t), you are likely looking for tax savings!  Fret not.  Dr. Cory S. Fawcett is here to help out. Tag along as he discusses five tax moves to make before December 31st.

Physician Burnout

I saw an article recently on physician burnout, and – as you’ll read below – it struck a chord with me.  It came from the owner of Truth Prescriptions. However, the article was found on Authentic Medicine.  It’s short, and to the point, but describes my journey over the last 12 months, though I’m not a woman physician.  Are you the face of burnout?

Speaking of being a face of burnout, our favorite physician burnout blogger is back.  While the piece is short, it reminds us that life is messy.  Many social media feeds are curated with only the best from each person’s life.  And most people write about burnout from a place of success after they’ve “made it” and want to help you make it, too.  Instead, M from Reflections of a Millennial Doctor reminds us that We Read Her Posts for the Hard Conversations.

We should remember that when we face burnout, it is important to surround ourselves with people who have similar goals and desires.  Otherwise, we might be pursuing someone else’s life goals.  Passive Income MD reminds us the importance of knowing that we are the average of the five doctors we hang out with most.

If you still have a hard time figuring out what is most important to you after reading through everything above, you can check out the post I shared over at the White Coat Investor recently.  The Three Kinder Questions will help you sort through this messy thing we call life.

From Zero to Freedom Through Real Estate

While many believe strictly in a “25 x your annual expenses” saving method to obtain financial independence, I believe in a hybrid version of financial independence.  This hybrid FI model incorporates other sources of passive income to help reduce how much money you need to save to get to FI.

Likely the best way to accomplish that goal is through real estate.  Yet, many have self-limited belief when it comes to owning your own property. “I don’t have enough time” is the most common excuse.  Or maybe you “don’t want to get a call about a broken toiliet at 2 a.m.”?

Regardless of what has limited you in the past, there is a course that will walk you through the process in a straight-forward step-by-step process.  In addition, the course will provide the motivation and discipline you need to be successful in real estate.

If you want to fast-track your journey to financial freedom, then check out the Zero to Freedom Through Cashflowing Rentals course.  Any readers who sign up through the link on this site will receive a free signed copy of The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance and a 30-minute coaching call on a topic of your choosing!

Burnt Turkey for Thanksgiving?

Actually, the turkey we ate for Thanksgiving was delicious.  It wasn’t the food that was starting to get crispy.  It was me.

Despite having what anyone would define as a successful year over the last 12 months, I’ve never been less happy.  I made more money than I ever dreamed I’d make.  I published papers, joined the WCI network, more than doubled my page views and my email subscriber list.  And I was also… absolutely miserable.

I suppose I could blame this on my struggles with Grave’s disease.  That certainly played a part.

Yet, I think that a more likely cause of my lack of happiness has been my inability to find contentment.  I’ve always looked forward to the next goal, accomplishment, or step in the journey.  Enjoying the journey for the journey itself has never been a strength of mine.

In large part, I think that this resulted from me losing my self-identity in a lot of other things like my work, The Physician Philosopher blog, or other people’s expectations for me.

Recently, I’ve decided that I am getting back on track.

I’m going to spend more time during this Holiday season focusing on what matters most to me.  I’ve made a goal to pray more, read Scripture daily (I’ll be reading through this Daily Gospel Devotional as part of that), and to be more intentional spending time with my family.  You may notice that this results in less of a social media presence and a slower response to emails as I put my phone on silent when I get home.  Yet, when I do respond, it’ll be more intentional and thoughtful.

Instead of doing 1000 things with mixed efforts, I want to fully dedicate myself to each moment.  Maybe this is what Physician Zen meant by creating a productivity system.

In the end, I hope that this new focus and a few practical steps (I feel a blog post brewing) will help me find the contentment I’ve been missing of late.

Make sure to check out this month’s posts and articles! Let me know what you think of the content I’ve curated for you. Leave a comment below with your favorite post.



  1. Dr PayItBack

    I’ve been on the other side of the thyroid stuff with Hashimoto’s; neither is any fun, and I hope you’ve got it generally under control.

    The self-identity thing his hard for me. One thing that a recent high school reunion and Thanksgiving drove home: I’ve become a much less interesting person over the course of the medicine pipeline. I’ve seen and done so much cool stuff, but I’ve become pretty one dimensional with a lot of former hobbies having gone by the wayside. I don’t read for pleasure hardly at all, and I don’t have much in the way of creative outlets. I’m trying to restart some of that stuff, but it’s like using an old atrophied muscle.

    Anyway, congrats on the success you’ve had, and best of luck with self-improvement into the new year!

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      Yeah, it can be tough. I’ve learned to cut things that aren’t as important to me (watching random TV, like sporting events with teams I don’t particularly care about) and opening up time for things that I’m passionate about (this blog, writing, reading for fun, etc). I’ve also learned to outsource some things so that I have more time.

      P.s. thanks for the words of encouragement!

  2. Vi @ Physician Zen

    Happy belated Thanksgiving Jimmy! I think your true strength is how honest you are to yourself and not being afraid of sharing who you are on this blog. I think this is why so many people relate to you. You are a rare and talented person who actually inspires me all the time. I haven’t been blogging very long and I can truly relate to how difficult what you are doing is. Especially being in academics and having a family. There is no way I can be as prolific as you are with blog posts, I can tell you that. Actually, my wife will. Lol.
    I commend you for you all you do and I know you will find that balance you are looking for! You are right being happy is enjoying the journey. And you’ve already had an amazing journey at such an early stage in your career. Always there for you brotha! – Vi

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      Thanks for your kind words, Vi! It’s about finding that balance. And it looks different for everyone! Still learning how to find mine, but want to find contentment along the way. It’s constantly a work in progress.

  3. Psy-FI MD

    Sorry to hear you have been going through a rough patch. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing this.

    I have actually been feeling the same way. The new job hasn’t been what I imagined it would be and there have been family events that have made this year a tough one. Definitely looking forward to turning the page on this.

    Like you, I’ve been trying to be kinder to myself. I’ve been trying to use the gym membership more, be more present with my family, and show more gratitude for the things I have.

    All the best and here’s to a better more intentional 2020.

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      Same to you, Psy-FI! It can be tough to find the balance, and that can lead to a loss of the right perspective. Particularly, when you feel trapped in a tunnel that seems never ending.

      Keep your head up!


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