In 2023, we will be showcasing Success Stories of doctors and other healthcare professionals who have broken out of the medical mindset and expanded their life beyond the identity and traditional definition of a doctor’s life.
We want to show you that you are not alone and there exist an infinite number of variations to success, freedom and happiness.
Our first BOOMM Success
Story is Dr. Jennifer Mogan.
Here's Jennifer sharing her story...
“We interrupt this regularly scheduled program for an important announcement” … That is kind of how my life felt on March 13, 2020.
All of a sudden, those multicolored bars came across the screen of my life and stopped me dead in my tracks, paralyzed with anxiety about the COVID-19 virus. I am an anesthesiologist. I consider myself a fairly clear thinking, level-headed one at that, even in the face of challenging situations.
But all of a sudden, from out of nowhere, my anxiety-stricken mind was certain that the next patient I intubated or the next emergency surgery that came through the doors was going to infect me with this novel virus that was going to be my death sentence.
Looking back on it now, it was probably a blessing in disguise – the pandemic was the catalyst that allowed me to take stock of my life, my values, and my goals, and to begin to Break Out of the Medical Mindset! Until that point, I had followed the very regimented path most of us took from high school to “attendinghood” with the tunnel vision that blocks out everything else along the way. I had plugged along, working myself to burnout without realizing it, until this forced me to step back and reevaluate what truly got me out of bed in the morning.
If I couldn’t practice medicine in this new world of COVID, what else COULD I do?
During this time of anxiety-inflicted self-reflection, my very Type A personality could not sit idle, so I poured my bottled-up energy into a very unlikely industry – the world of payment processing.
For those of you who are as clueless about this as I was, any business that accepts credit cards must have a payment processor to securely handle those transactions. Any time a patient or client swipes their credit card, your business is paying a fee to use this service.
How much you are paying varies widely and is poorly regulated, and most business owners have absolutely no clue how any of it works or if they are merely being taken for a ride. You may be surprised to know that the cost of these merchant services ranks among the top of your office expenses, so it can be a great place to look when trying to protect your bottom line.
I was introduced to this world of payments by a good friend who had helped to establish Park Place Payments, a female-founded credit card processing company intent on bringing integrity to a rather unscrupulous industry. I quickly latched on to it because it was SO different from medicine and it felt like I was fighting injustice on behalf of my colleagues.
It was freeing to not have the weight of life or death on my shoulders - an almost frivolous endeavor, but one that could truly make a significant difference in the bottom line of the business owners that I encountered.
Very quickly I found that I was good at this. I didn’t consider myself a salesperson (although payments is very clearly a sales industry) - I considered myself an educator. I was confident and knowledgeable and able to help business owners understand this part of their business, with the added benefit of sometimes making a little money from it. And I think that is what made me successful at it – that I was not trying to make a sale. I was trying to share knowledge.
I was providing a valuable service to those around me who were willing to look past the fact that I had taken a little detour on the straight and narrow path of the traditional medical doctor.
I was saving businesses hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands of dollars and opening their eyes to the poor practices that run rampant in the less-than-transparent payments industry.
I was able to be the trustworthy source of payments for my friends, neighbors, colleagues and local business owners, similar to having a car repairman that you can trust, which we all know is priceless.
I was proud of what I was doing.
And then -
“When are you going to stop fiddling around with this stuff and get back to practicing medicine again?”
There it was.
If you are no longer a doctor, the respect is gone. I holed up again. I was embarrassed—the fall of the successful doctor to a disrespected saleswoman.
From the moment you announce your intent to do pre-med, to go to med school, or to do a particular residency, you are held to such a high standard. Sometimes it is hard to always live up to the expectations.
It can be exhausting. There is no room for anything less than perfection, there is no time for frivolities. The medical mindset often prevents you from accepting that there are different paths to the same endpoint, that sometimes it is okay to meander through the park before you make it to the hospital.
That we do not always have to give up more and more of ourselves for the sakes of our patients, our practices, our health systems.
That there is a way to be MORE than just a doctor.
But sometimes it takes falling off of that pedestal to understand that there is a lot more holding you up than just your medical degree. Respect is about perspective, about how you see yourself and how you value your skills. You don’t need to be a doctor to garnish respect.
But you need to respect yourself in order to expect it from others. And so, with time, I relearned that. I dug myself out of my hole of burnout, imposter syndrome, self-doubt, and anxiety.
I discovered that I excelled in the world of payments, but at the same time I realized that I truly missed clinical medicine. Once the vaccine was available, and my anxiety over what I was sure was certain death were I to contract COVID had passed, I was able to craft a new persona for myself where I am now both a physician AND a payments professional. And while it took some time, I can now say that I am proud of where I ended up.
Ironically, as I write this, I am sitting quarantined in my guest bedroom, sick with COVID, an appropriate bookend for this journey.
Now that my febrile fog has subsided, I can look back clearly on the past three years and know that this whole experience has strengthened, invigorated, and grounded me.
We don’t have to fit into the little perfect manicured box that has always defined us as a doctor.
There is no shame or embarrassment in pursuing an opportunity outside of the medical field, whether primarily or as a side gig. On the contrary, it can be soul saving. Luckily, both anesthesia and Park Place Payments are flexible enough that I can now make time for both of them in my life, each satisfying a different need. And I can happily say that whatever I have accomplished at the end of each day is enough.
Jennifer Mogan is an anesthesiologist in a private practice group, as well as an Account Director at Park Place Payments. Her niche in payments is helping her colleagues navigate the field of credit card processing for their medical practices. She offers a complimentary consultation and analysis of your current set up to help you understand where you stand and what else is possible. Knowledge is power – reach out to her at [email protected] for more information.
If you know any doctors or healthcare professionals who have broken out of their medical mindset to expand their identity, freedom and happiness and would share their successful experience, please send us their contact information to: [email protected]