The Physician Philosopher Podcast

TPP 41: How Trapped Physicians Can Put Themselves First

Are you a physician who feels trapped in medicine?  Or maybe you think things are okay, but you’d like to go from “good to great?”

While many physicians can relate to, “The Physician First Mentality,” it is not always obvious how to actually do this. 

So THAT is exactly what I address in today’s episode where I will teach you about the high-level things you can work on to empower yourself and to put yourself  first. 

Today is the day that the Alpha Coaching Experience (ACE) opens its doors for only one week! ACE is our premier coaching program that teaches doctors who feel trapped in medicine how to find the financial freedom they need to practice medicine however they want.  This is your chance to start creating the change you want to see in your life so you can have the freedom to practice medicine because you want to. Sign up here → http://thephysicianphilosopher.com/alpha


Today You’ll Learn

  • How physicians can be empowered to (finally) put themselves first
  • How financial freedom can help physicians who feel trapped in medicine find freedom
  • Why mastering your money is not enough (plus the missing ingredient you need) to practice medicine because you want to and not because you have to because they are trapped
  • And more!

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Are you a physician who feels trapped in medicine. Or maybe you think things are okay, but you'd like to go from good to great? Keep listening to learn how to find the freedom you need.

This is the Physician Philosopher Podcast. I'm Dr. Jimmy Turner, an anesthesiologist, online entrepreneur, and creator of the Alpha Coaching Experience. The Physician Philosopher Podcast teaches you how to create the life you deserve, one thought at a time. Start before you're ready, start by starting, start now.

Hey, hey, hey, everyone. Welcome to episode number 41 of the Physician Philosopher Podcast, where we take an uncurated and unapologetic look into physician life, money, and mindset. Today's thought is this: When physicians take care of themselves first, they can take the best care of their patients. The road to doing this requires you to master both your money and your mindset.

All right, so first things first, a few amazing things are happening right now, and actually happening starting today. So June 7th, when this podcast episode drops, today's the day that many of you been waiting for as the doors to the Alpha Coaching Experience are finally open. They are officially open, and that happens today, June 7th. So for those of you who have been waiting to join, this is the week. We only open up ACE every four months or so, so this is the time to get in. ACE is our premier coaching program that teaches doctors who feel trapped in medicine, how to find the financial freedom they need to practice medicine however they want, as much or as little as they want. So regardless of where you are on your journey, ACE can help you find the freedom that you're looking for, the freedom that you need to practice medicine, because you want to, and not because you have to define that physician freedom.

Speaking of which, with our launch, we're running a masterclass called "The three pillars to physician freedom", to talk through the three pillars we teach to help doctors find that freedom in the Alpha Coaching Experience. So, if you want to take a deeper dive into your mindset, your money, and into designing your ideal life, make sure to sign up for the masterclass. The first masterclass starts tomorrow when this episode drops, June 8th, and there's a couple of other dates too if that one doesn't work for you. You can claim your seat by going to ThePhysicianPhilosopher.com/ThreePillars, or clicking the link that's in the description on the podcast player you're listening to right now.

That description for the show, every time you listen to it you click on it and it tells you what the show is about, if you go in there, the link is inside of that. You can just click that. So, in addition to that, a lot of announcements for today, there's something else that's going to happen. For the first time ever with this launch, we're going to open up something called the Delta Mentorship Program for those of you out there who are online course creators and coaches.

So, if you're a physician and you're an online course creator coach, this mentorship is designed specifically for you to get you to six figure online business in record time. In fact, I believe in it so much that if you are joining this mentorship program and you don't have your highest revenue year ever, you can get your money back at the end of the year. So, it's going to include an application process to make sure that we have the right crew involved, a very small group, niche group of people in this mentorship group, an annual live in-person event, get together at the end of the year, and much more.

So, enrollment for both the Alpha Coaching Experience and the Delta Mentorship Program will close on June 14th at midnight. So sign up for the masterclass to learn more about the Alpha Coaching Experience by going to ThePhysicianPhilosopher.com/ThreePillars, or click on that link in the description. All right, so onto the show.

Episode 34 of The Physician Philosopher Podcast proved to be one of the most popular episodes ever on the show. In fact, I had a lot of people reach out to me; listeners from the show via email, or alpha clients, they've got a way to directly contact me. And they sent me messages and said, "Hey, I resonated with that specific podcast so much where you talked about the need to put physicians first." And, if you haven't listened to episode 34, highly recommend you going back and doing that, but it's all about this outdated belief that the patient comes first. We all believe that, we're all taught that. And really what that turns into in medicine is, everything comes first; the job, the hospital, medicine, the patient, and doctors come last.

And so, I pointed out that I don't really think that makes a lot of sense. It's like the example that the airline industry gives us, right? "Put your oxygen mask on first before putting the oxygen mask on other people, because if you're hypoxic and you pass out, you can't help anybody." It's the same way in medicine. Put yourself first, make sure that you're taken care of, and then you can take the best care of other people. And so, I give that example a lot because it's just so true. In the same way when physicians take care of themselves first, they're going to take better care of people, the patients they care of.

So while many of you related to that physician first mentality, which I'm all about. I got some questions in the Facebook group and elsewhere. "I hear what you're, I think it's really important for us to put ourselves first so we can take better care of people, but how do we put doctors first?" And that's part of the problem, isn't it? That doctors don't know how to do that? In fact, someone called me out on the Facebook groups. "Yeah, none of us know how. That's the problem, right?"

And that is what really prompted this episode. Today, we're going to talk about the high level things we can work on to empower physicians to put themselves first. And so, if you want to take a deeper dive into these things that we talked about today, make sure to sign up for that three pillars to physician freedom masterclass, we'll take a deeper dive into that, and I mentioned how to join that at the beginning of the show. So, here's the problem. Many doctors recognize that they and the patients would benefit from being able to put themselves first. But the problem is that most doctors feel like trapped physicians. And we've talked about this a lot on the show and elsewhere, but there's really two parts to being a trapped physician, right?

One is, the internal feeling of being trapped. And when I say that they feel trapped, what do I really mean? They feel undervalued, unappreciated, overworked. They maybe have suggested changes and they've just been told, "That's just the way it is", that you have to accept the status quo. Some feel like they would be better off going part-time or leaving medicine altogether. And others still, they're like, "You know what? I mean, medicine's fine. I actually pretty much enjoy my job. I'd like to go from okay to great, from good to great." If that resonates with you, then I would say that you're a trapped physician.

But there's also this second part, and the second part is the reason that doctors feel trapped. It's the external problem, the real problem that makes them feel this way. And so many physicians feel trapped because of a variety of things. So, it might be the lack of power, or autonomy, or ability to change things. It might be the electronic medical record system that you spend 15 or 20 hours a week charting on instead of taking care of patients and the EMR, we all recognize is just a glorified cash register, it doesn't actually help take care of people. It might be the non-competes in your contract or conflict of interest policies or ridiculous online modules or maintenance of certification requirements that you have to have. And it could be student loans. It could be the six figure amount of student loans or other debt that you have that you feel like traps you in your current situation.

I'm really here to tell you something else. All of these things suck and they need to be changed and medicine is broken, and clearly needs to be fixed. I think we can all agree on most of that. The real reason you feel trapped is because you do not have the financial freedom that you need to stand up for the change that needs to take place in your life. You don't feel like you have the ability to walk away from your paycheck and medicine. You need the money. And when you need the money, you don't have the ability to say no to any of this stuff. And for this reason alone, you feel like you can not make the changes you need to put yourself first. So when I say, "Hey, physicians need to put themselves first." You're like, "Hey, yeah, that's great, but how do I do that? I need the paycheck and I can't say no and I don't feel empowered to stand up and make the change that I need."

So while EMR and non-competes and maintenance of certification requirements aren't fun, they're not the reason you feel trapped. It's because you don't have the financial freedom you need to make medicine optional, to choose to practice medicine because you want to and not because you have to due to these things to keep you trapped, right? And if you did have that freedom, you could simply say no to a lot of these things that you don't agree with, which might sound crazy to you. Most people they really tell themselves this story all the time, "I don't have any control. It's not up to me. I don't have a choice." We use this language that implies that you are trapped, and it's not really true because when you have enough financial freedom, you can call their bluff. You can say, "Hey, this doesn't benefit my patients, I'm not going to do it." And you recognize that you have the leverage and that the leverage isn't with your chair or your boss or your administrator or your employer or whoever it is.

This is why I focus so much on financial freedom, on the blog for three years on this podcast, and Money Meets Medicine, that podcast as well which is specifically just about money. It's why I love teaching personal finance to physicians. It's one of my favorite things, if not my favorite thing to teach. And it's because, can I just say for a second that I think financially independent physicians, or at least physicians that are on the road to financial independence, they know how to get there, they have that clear trajectory, I think they're better doctors. I'd stand on that. I would stand up and say that I really believe that's true, and that's because those doctors are choosing to practice medicine. Because oftentimes, when you get that freedom, one of two things happens. You say no to things, and your employer says, "Tough cookies. We're not making a change anyway," and you call their bluff and you leave.

That's why they call it F You money. Now, other people, they get to this point, they call their bluff, and they make the system change. And when the system changes, they actually fall back in love with medicine because they find that balance that they've been looking for. They don't feel like they have to choose between being a good spouse and a good parent and a good physician, For example. That's a big reason why lot of us feel trapped. And that's ultimately what I want really, because I want people to be financially independent, or at least on the path to getting there, so that have some of this freedom, they have some of that leverage to stand up for the change that they know they need, to stand up for the change that we all know medicine needs, and ultimately that's one of the most powerful ways to empower yourself, is to have the financial freedom.

And many of you are familiar with my background, right? So, I went through bankruptcy as a kid, and it's really shaped my mindset around money for a long time. For 30 years, I just thought money meant pain and ignorance is bliss and I'm just going to ignore this stuff and someday it'll take care of itself because I'm going to be a doctor who makes lots of money, and that led to a ton of financial mistakes like this massive disability insurance mistake, where I still to this day cannot get personal disability insurance that's own occupation specialty specific because I didn't know anything about money back then it fell into the hands of someone that was trying to help but didn't know how to do their job, and tried to sell me disability insurance when I shouldn't have been sold it. I should have waited until training, but I didn't know that.

Even once I fixed my mindset, even once I got to the point where I had some financial freedom through The Physician Philosopher, through this business that I had built, and I was also doing the standard personal finance stuff and paying down debt and saving money into low cost diversified index funds and that strategy that would get me there in my mid forties. Even when I was on the journey, even while I was having some financial freedom, even when this business got big enough that I honestly could walk away from medicine and make it work if I needed to, I was not in a great place, right?

When I created that financial freedom that I needed through the hybrid financial independence model that we teach now for coaching experience, tons of freedom, super beneficial, and I started to fall back in love with medicine. But what many of you don't know is the second part of the story where things got really bad. I had the financial freedom that I wanted, but I didn't have the mindset mastery yet. I did this backwards. So, if you're in the Alpha Coaching Experience, you're going to learn that I think mindsets super important. In fact, I don't think, it is.

The first pillar to finding the freedom that you need, money, super important. It's the gas that you put in the car to get to your ideal destination, but it's the second pillar for a reason. And I did this backwards. That's why I know not to let other people do it. I'm trying to save you the pain. When I learned to master my mindset, things got better, but before I did, it got really bad. I got to this point where I had the financial freedom, but I wasn't content. I ended up getting burned out and depressed. In fact, I became passively suicidal at times, ended up on an anti-depressant, started pulling away from my job and from other people in my life, it was a dark place.

And this was a mixture of a couple of things. It was a mixture of my lack of mastery of my mindset. I really hadn't learned how to be content. I hadn't learned how to deal with my burnout, or the imposter syndrome, or the arrival fallacies that I was struggling with, and I didn't even know what they were called back then. And it's because I just never learned this stuff. It was also a combination of the smoldering graves' disease that was running around in the background that was causing massive anxiety in my life and my first panic attack when I was in my mid-thirties, early thirties. And so, between those two things, I really went to a bad place. And so, I had to work on my mindset as well as the money.

So, that's why I talk about money and mindset. It's why I talk about both of those things because they're intrinsically linked. One without the other does not really provide you the freedom that you're looking for. I thought at the time, if I just got to financial independence outside of medicine, that everything else would get better. And I think a lot of people make this mistake.

I guarantee you, there are people listening to this episode right now, they're like, "Yeah, that's me. I think that when I get to financial independence, everything's going to be better." That's not how it works. In fact, there's a name for this, it's called an arrival fallacy. We talked about it in episode five of this podcast, so go back and take a listen. And this is when I realized that while financial freedom is amazing, and it does really provide a tremendous amount of freedom. It's the gas that you put in the car, like I like to say, by itself, it's not the answer. It's just not the answer. The solution to all of this is to realize that mastering your money alone will not get you to where you want to be. It also requires mastery of your mindset, like I've been talking about.

So, it turns out that money doesn't solve burnout. It doesn't solve imposter syndrome. It doesn't solve feeling like a victim in your situation or the arrival fallacies you struggle with. And people listening will be like, "Well, I went part-time and things got better." There's a reason for that and we want to touch on it in the show, but basically your circumstance changed, which allowed you to have very different thoughts than you had when you were working 60, 80 hours a week.

So, there are some changes that you can make in your life that lead to better thoughts and help you with that mindset peace, even though you haven't really worked on your mindset. that said, if you can work on your mindset, you can stay bad situation sometimes, and/or change your circumstances and find an even better outcome from working on your mindset. And only when you master both your money and your mindset, can you really find that freedom that you're looking for.

That's when you find the empowerment that you need to put yourself first. So we started off the show by talking about, "Hey yeah, great, Jimmy, let's put physicians first because that's the change that we need. That's what's going to help most patients. That's what's going to allow us to enjoy medicine and fall back in love with medicine. But how do we do that?" Well, you do it by mastering your money and your mindset, and this is ultimately the answer to that question that I was asked in the Facebook group, about how to do that.

And that is why this podcast exists, to help you with your mindset. And that's why Money Meets Medicine exists, to help you with your money. It's not a coincidence that I have a money podcast and a mindset podcast, because I think that both of them are necessary. Now, money is awesome. I like to talking about it as much or more than pretty much anybody you'll meet, but it by itself is not going to solve your problems. So, we have to learn how to challenge the thoughts you have always considered to be true. We're going to talk about that a little bit more next episode, and help you realize that all of those thoughts can be questioned. All of them.

You're not a victim. You are not weak. You're not broken. You are worthy. You're enough. You're right where you need to be right now. You are strong. You might not believe that, but those are all thoughts, and that is because of your mindset. And, it turns out your brain is like any other muscle in your body. If you work it out, it gets stronger. And, when your brain gets stronger, when your mindset gets stronger, you will find a different place, a deeper place of contentment, and of being able to deal with negative feelings and not feel like you have to run away with them, or run away from them, I should say, through alcohol or your cell phone or whatever other kind of thing you're putting in place, buffer that you're putting in place to deal with that.

You can learn to deal with negative feelings and let them exist. You can also learn how to reshape your thoughts to find the positive feelings you feel like are missing in your life. And that's exactly what we take a deeper dive into in the three pillars to physician freedom masterclass I'll be teaching this week. So, there are three dates I'm going to hold this class, but they all happen this week. So, you got to sign up. If you want to take a deeper dive into what we talked about today, your money and your mindset, in addition to that there'll be some questions and answers, you got to join the masterclass. Okay?

So, it's ThePhysicianPhilosopher.com/ThreePillars, and the link is again in the description of the show, but there, we can dive into these deeper topics. We can dive into those three pillars, and I'll show you exactly why you need all three, and you might not believe me right now. So, come to the masterclass and we'll talk about it. We'll talk about why I think all three pillars are necessary, and what happens when you have one of the three or two of the three. And ultimately, what I want you to take from the show is that you do need to put yourself first, and the only then will we be able to take the best care of our patients and fall back in love with medicine and/or have the power to leave medicine if you want.

You've already made your mind up. Some people are like, "Oh no, Jimmy, this is great, but I don't want to fall back in love medicine. I want to leave. I've already made my mind up." This will empower you to do that too, because I want doctors to practice medicine because they want to, not because they have to. So, when physicians take care of themselves first, they can take the best care of their patients. The road to doing this requires you to master both your money and your mindset. That's today's thought. And, I really want you to wrap your mind around that. And, if you want to learn about the money, go listen to the Money Meets Medicine podcast. You all learn about the thought work, the mindset peace, stay here, listen to The Physician Philosopher. And if you want to take a deeper dive into either of those topics, meet me at the masterclass that will be held this week with the launch of the Alpha Coaching Experience, opening the doors today, only open for a week. So, come check it out.

All right, until next time my friends. Start before you're ready, start by starting, start now. I will see you next week. Looking forward to it. Appreciate all of you listening. Make sure to share this podcast with any other physicians or physician, family, and friends that you have, that you feel like might benefit from it. Appreciate y'all being here. Take care.

My Dad, Dr. Jimmy Turner, is a physician, personal finance blogger, and a life coach for doctors. However, he is not your physician or your life coach. He also isn't a financial advisor, financial planner, or accountant. Anything discussed in this podcast is for general education and entertainment purposes. Life coaching is not a substitute for therapy, medicine, or medical treatment. However, if you're a doctor looking for a life coach, you can reach out to my dad at [email protected]



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