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The Physician Philosopher Podcast

TPP #70: Family, Finances, and Faith with Rogue Dad MD

Recently, I connected with my friend Dr. Fahd Ahmad. We share several interests; faith, family, and finances. 

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Dr. Ahmad wears several hats – he is an ER doctor, father, and comedian behind Rogue Dad MD while also serving as an associate professor and program director at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. 

He keeps it real while also bringing an element of entertainment. 

Through experience, he’s learned that there are no style points for suffering in silence. When you give voice to your suffering or shame, it can become a cathartic release. 

Life is not a perfect line from where we are to getting to success.  Sometimes it is a winding and curving road, and that isn’t a bad thing. 

How Secondary Trauma Impacts Doctors

I think it’s important to be transparent and de-stigmatize taboo topics. 

Following a challenging ER case where a young child died, Fahd experienced the impacts of secondary trauma. 

Secondary trauma occurs when you experience PTSD from things you have gone through as a health care provider, the experiences can stick with you or maybe even become haunting.

Fahd was looking for a way to express the emotions he was experiencing when he decided to use public speaking. 

When Dr. Ahmad was looking for a way to express the emotions surrounding what he was experiencing, he decided to use public speaking. While waiting for the talk to be accepted, he started navigating a divorce. 

It can be hard to speak about trauma or challenges. It can also take months to work through secondary trauma. Once you do, it can become a cathartic release. 

One of the lessons from secondary trauma and divorce that Dr. Ahmad learned was there are no style points for suffering in silence. You don’t get bonus points from God, your boss, or anyone else when suffering in silence.

When you can speak from your experiences, it might resonate with other people.

Brene Brown is a shame researcher. She teaches that shame grows in environments where we don’t talk about it. One of the ways of dealing with shame is to give voice to the experience: speak to trusted confidants.

This tool can be used for shame surrounding professional and personal experiences. Many people struggle with shame for various reasons and also suffer in silence.

You don’t have to speak publicly about things. There are many ways to express yourself. Maybe it’s through friends, family, or therapy. Find something that works for you.

The Relevance of Money

Dr. Fahd and I share a passion for personal finance. Many residents and fellows don’t know about money. 

So, how can financial freedom play a part in your life as a physician? 

Once you learn the relevance of money, it will stick with you. 

When you know what’s happening with the money you’re earning, you feel more in control of your finances. And then, when unplanned situations arise, you can focus on them instead of worrying about where your next paycheck is coming from. This creates financial security and awareness. 

Somehow, doctors have been scared into thinking they cannot manage their finances. 

You don’t have to hand your finances over to someone else. Dr. Fahd suggests that once you learn the basics, you then feel empowered to run your own life. Just like becoming a doctor, take one step at a time. 

Two Ways to Generate Non-Clinical Income 

When it comes to investing and generating non-clinical income, there are generally two ways of approaching it: 

  • Traditional forms of investing such as index funds. 
  • Generating income through a business, real estate investments, or other forms of non-clinical income 

Dr. Fahd has been in the more traditional approach of investing in index funds to generate non-clinical income. This has helped him reach basic savings goals. 

So many things, like medicine and money, are experiential. Taking the first step and getting your feet wet is huge. 

How Does Faith Shape the Lives of Physicians?

Dr. Fahd and I come from different traditions of faith, I am a Christian and he’s a Muslim. 

We both agree that you cannot separate faith from who you are. Faith is inherent in your identity. It shapes how you view day-to-day things and your interactions with others.

As people of faith, we can experience interactions where we don’t fit in. Dr. Fahd shares that he comes from a perspective that’s quite different and sometimes it doesn’t come out until there are hard or intense discussions happening. 

The environment we currently live in is divisive. 

When was the last time you broke bread with people who believed or thought differently than you? 

It is easy to have an opinion about people who are different from you. And then, you become friends with those people, and you realize they’re awesome humans. 

While faith is something that we may not see, faith is woven into every aspect of who you are.  

Covid has provided many of us time to talk about the challenges, stressors, and burnout we’ve experienced. 

In medicine, we have this idea that sucking it up and saying nothing is strong. It’s exactly the opposite of that. It takes courage and bravery to say you need help.

If you need help, why care about the opinions of others? 

Suffering in silence and sucking it up has been the standard. There are no bonus points for suffering in silence. If you need support, get it. If you don’t know what the support looks like, find someone you trust. It can help you open doors or get past the big thing in your head. 

We have control over what we are willing to share or what we will voice. You can recognize where you are and where you want to go. 

Start by booking a call here and learning how you can reach physician freedom too.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Param B

    Loved this episode! Really important to talk about these topics. So true talking about and being transparent about the things we are shameful about is healing

    Reply

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