Continuing Financial Ed: The Doctors Guide To Starting Your Practice Right
As loyal readers of this blog already know, Dr. Cory Fawcett had recently underwent an examination under the X-ray Beam.
Of course an examination of this type, expertly read by a mid/late career radiologist doesn’t come cheap.
Hit with the charges of both the professional and technical components of the radiology bill, Cory offered an autographed signed copy of his “The Doctors Guide To” series of books which I gladly accepted in lieu of payment.
There are currently three books in this series:
- The Doctors Guide to Starting Your Practice Right
- The Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt
- The Doctors Guide to Smart Career Alternatives and Retirement
Although I was tempted to jump into the last book in the series, as it was the one most applicable to my current situation, I thought it best for my readers if I read and review them chronologically (the things I do for you guys).
The Doctors Guide To Starting Your Practice Right
Date of Publish:
It is rare that a physician has a writing style that speaks to the masses.
Too often authors try to impress upon their readers their expertise in a particular subject by using words that could make you win a scrabble championship.
What ends up happening is that audience tunes out and the information is forever lost.
Cory has won numerous writing awards for his books which speak volumes of how well written they are.
This book in particular won the Silver Medal in Business Entrepreneurship as well as the 2016 non-fiction book of the year by the Idaho Author Awards.
This book is perfect for those finishing up training in residency and about to embark on their medical career. Any physician looking for a change in workplace will also benefit from the information contained inside the covers.
Cory has divided the book into 10 chapters.
The first chapter, “The Right Start Makes All The Difference,” emphasizes the importance of choosing your first job out of residency wisely.
Too often residents are lured by dollar signs but don’t take into consideration other factors that may make a lesser paying opportunity more financially attractive.
In fact Cory, quite appropriately, states that the starting salary of a job should be near the bottom of factors to consider when choosing a job.
The cost of choosing wrong the first time is high:
- Moving expenses
- Possibility of requiring expensive tail malpractice insurance coverage
- Licensing costs if going to another state
- School relocation issues for kids
It is also in this first chapter that the reader is introduced to the characters, “Dr. Rolex” and “Dr. Timex.”
These two characters epitomize how lifestyle choices can have a drastic impact on your financial future.
How to define your dream job is another concept that is introduced early in the book.
Knowing what type of practice (academic or private) and location (city versus suburb/rural) you will thrive in is essential to finding your dream job right off the bat.
You do not want to be the fish out of water when it comes to your medical practice.
Far too often the mentality a resident has finishing training is that this first job is just merely a stepping stone to the final medical practice.
Why can’t that first job be your last?
Taking Cory’s advice to heart significantly improves your odds that this can indeed be the case, saving you considerable money in the process.
I especially liked Cory’s section on the interview process.
Remember an interview is a two way street.
Sure they are interviewing you for the position, but at the same time you need to be interviewing them for potential fit.
There is nothing worse than having personality conflicts in your practice.
Typically one or both parties end up leaving the practice with much ill-will left behind.
The chapter “Negotiating Your Contract,” by itself is worth the admission price of the book.
I wish I had this well thought out checklist when I was presented with my current contract.
There are so many negotiating points Cory lists that I would have never even thought about even now, much less back then as a starry-eyed fledgling attending.
Cory ends the chapter with an appropriate quote:
“You are more likely to get what you want when you know what you want.”
Highlights from subsequent chapters:
- Important things that need to be in place before you start your first day at work (for example state licensing and credentialing)
- The rent versus buying home debate.
- Getting priorities straight by choosing family time over work.
“Committees have many members, but you are the only mom or dad your child has.”
- Discussion on accounts receivable and an equitable way of buying into a practice.
- Importance of retirement planning and debt management early on in career.
Finishing up a residency and transitioning to a brand new attending is probably one of the most stressful periods a young doctor can go through.
Despite years of training nothing really prepares you for practicing the art of medicine for the first time without training wheels.
I remember the first time I viewed an imaging study, dictaphone in hand, and hesitating to press the send button because I no longer had someone above me looking over my shoulders and telling me what to include in the report.
Once I hit send, that report became official with just my name on it.
On top of that, there are multiple other factors to consider that frankly don’t get taught in residency.
Dr. Fawcett’s Doctors Guide To Starting Your Practice Right is a great aid to ease your mind during this transitional period, with examples of what to look for and what to look out for.
The chapter on contract negotiation is high yield information and can help you avoid common contract traps.
We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on educating ourselves for this moment.
By comparison, the price of this book is a steal, and can put you in a position to best take advantage of your high priced education.