5 Things a doctor didn't know he didn't know.
On the path through premed, med school, internship, residency, and fellowship into medical practice, I dedicated more than a decade to learning valuable information and skills to treat and heal others. In my area of medicine, I know so much more in order to translate a history and exam into a diagnosis and treatment plan. All that education, training and exams allowed me to become an expert at what I do. In medicine.
My crises of working harder and longer for less money, time and control slapped me in the face of my expertise to teach me that I had more to learn. Outside of medicine.
From my challenges, I have learned so much more which has helped me become freer and happier.
Here are 5 things I didn’t even know that I didn’t know which helped me Break Out Of my Medical Mindset and improve my life.
- When I was frustrated, exhausted and needed a change, I changed the state where I practiced, my job, and my goals.
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW: If I want to change my life, what needs to change is ME. Nothing will change until I change. Real change is a risk, uncomfortable, new and not the same. Changing my mind means thinking differently and making different choices. Once I began learning and changing, I began loving my life again.
- Like most healthcare professionals, I am a dreamer and an achiever. More than that, I can become obsessed with my goals. In a world where I watch everyone’s highlight reel on social media with FOMO, my list of goals seems to never stop growing. Whether or not, I took any steps toward realizing them.
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW: If I can’t measure it, I can’t improve it. What I focus on grows. So I must focus on the goals I want to achieve and grow. These goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-keyed. I must track them and be accountable to someone else for my results.
- In medicine, we advance and excel by saying yes. Yes shows we are willing to do whatever it takes. We will work harder than the next guy. We can be depended upon. We are the right choice for the next rung up the ladder of success.
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW: Every time I say yes, I am saying no to something else. Every time I do work that I don’t want to do, I leave myself less time to do what achieves my goals, makes me happy or gives me fulfillment. I can choose how I use my time by taking more seriously what I say yes and no to. Saying NO has the power to free me to discover my HELL YES.
- For the first 20 years of my career, I worked longer and harder to make more money. I hit a ceiling where I could not work any more hours, see any more volume or move any faster and still enjoy my work and my life.
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW: My money can make me money. Earning money does not have to always require all my sweat and time. I can empower my money to make me money. In order to do this, I must spend less than I earn, save and direct my savings toward cash flow. This income that is not tied to my time is called passive or horizontal income.
- For so many years, I would ask my CPA why I pay so much taxes and how I can take home more money. I tried my best to work harder and earn more money and decrease my expenses but it always seemed that as I earned more money, I paid more taxes and my net take home pay did not increase as much as my time and work. Time and time again, I was told “If you want to take home more money, make more money.” With that frustrating response, I found a new CPA and then another and another.
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW: Over my lifetime, my single largest expense will be taxes. There are many steps I can take to decrease my taxes including owning a business, real estate depreciation, Real Estate Professional Status, and whole life insurance. I needed to educate myself and find the right CPA who would help me achieve my goals.
Breaking out of the medical mindset means helping physicians get unstuck by teaching new concepts, and strategies while sharing networks who think and act in a different way from what healthcare professionals have learned in medicine.
There is an entirely different world outside of medicine to experience and enjoy. You deserve to be happy. But first, you must know what you don’t know.