The Physician Philosopher Podcast

TPP 41: How Trapped Physicians Can Put Themselves First

Being trapped as a physician means many things. There are two parts to being trapped. There is the internal feeling where you feel undervalued, unappreciated, and overworked. Then there is the external part, which can include everything from non-competes to the six-figure student loan debt you have. Today we are discussing the truth that when physicians take care of themselves first, they can take the best care of their patients. We discussed how the physician should come first in episode 34. The road to doing this requires you to master both your money and your mindset. 

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My Story

Let’s talk a little bit about my story. As a kid I went through bankruptcy, and it shaped my mindset about money. For 30 years I thought money meant pain and ignorance is bliss. “I will just ignore this stuff and someday it’ll take care of itself because I’m going to be a doctor who makes lots of money.” This mindset led me to a ton of financial mistakes, such as a massive disability insurance mistake that prevents me from getting personal disability insurance that’s occupation specialty specific to this day. I didn’t know anything about money, and it fell into the hands of someone that was trying to help but didn’t really know how to do their job. 

Once I finally fixed my money mindset and got to the point where I had some financial freedom through The Physician Philosopher and working on my finances correctly, I was still not in a great place. I created financial freedom through the hybrid financial independence model we now teach for coaching. I experienced a ton of freedom, and I started to fall back in love with medicine. But many of you don’t know is the second part of the story where things got really bad. I had all of the financial freedom I needed, but I didn’t have the mindset mastery yet. I did it backwards, and that is why in the Alpha Coaching Experience mindset comes first! 

When I learned to master my mindset, things got better, but before it got better, it got really bad. I had the financial freedom, but I wasn’t content. I was burned out and depressed. I became passively suicidal at times, ended up on anti-depressants, and started pulling away from my job and other people. I was in a dark place. I hadn’t mastered my mindset yet because I hadn’t learned how to deal with burnout, impostor syndrome, or the arrival fallacies. I was also dealing with the smoldering graves’ disease that was running around in the background causing massive anxiety in my life. Because of these things, I needed to really work on my mindset and my money. That is why we focus on both, because they are intrinsically linked.

Financial Independence

You may be thinking right now “That’s me! I think that when I get to financial independence, everything’s going to be better.” Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works! Listen to Episode 5. This is called arrival fallacy. While financial freedom is amazing, it doesn’t provide a tremendous amount of freedom. It is the gas you put in the car, not the full answer. Financial freedom alone won’t get you to where you want to be. You also must master your mindset.  

Money doesn’t solve impostor syndrome, it doesn’t solve burnout, it doesn’t solve feeling like a victim in your situation, and it doesn’t solve the arrival fallacies you struggle with. Maybe you went part-time and felt better, but your circumstances changed, and you were able to have different thoughts than when you were working 60 to 80 hours a week.

Mindset Mastery

If you change your circumstances, you can make your life a little better and that will lead to better thoughts and a little mindset peace. You haven’t really worked on your mindset though. When you work on your mindset, you can stay in a bad situation sometimes and find a better outcome than before you worked on your mindset. When you master both your money and your mindset you will find the freedom you need. 

Put Yourself First

Once you have your money and your mindset taken care of, you can find the empowerment to put yourself first. The question we started out with was how to put ourselves first…the ultimate answer to that is to master your money and your mindset. That is why The Physician Philosopher and Money Meets Medicine exist. To help physicians like you get help with these things. You are not a victim, you are not weak, you are not broken. You are worthy and enough. You are where you need to be right now. You are strong. 

Maybe you don’t believe that right now…but that is because of your mindset. When you work out your brain, just like any other muscle in the body, it gets stronger. When your brain gets stronger, your mindset gets stronger. You will grow and find a deeper place of contentment and you’ll be able to deal with negative feelings rather than run away with (or from) them. 

You will learn to deal with negative feelings and let them exist. You will also learn to reshape your thoughts to find the positive feelings that are missing in your life. This is what we cover in the Three Pillars to Physician Freedom Masterclass

The Next Step

When you master your mindset and your money you can put yourself first, give your patients the best care, and fall back in love with medicine, or have the power to leave medicine if you want. You have probably already made up your mind if you want to fall back in love with medicine or leave it all together. This will empower you to do either option. I want doctors to practice medicine because they want to not because they have to. I want you to really wrap your mind around today’s thought that the road to putting yourself first so you can take the best care of your patients is to master your money and your mindset. Check out the Money Meets Medicine podcast to learn all about the money side of things, and keep listening to The Physician Philosopher to dive into your mindset.


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