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Welcome to another installment of the X-ray Beam series.
I am honored that another member of the White Coat Network has graciously accepted an invitation to be put under the X-ray Beam.
Peter Kim, of Passive Income MD, was one of the main reasons I jumped into the blogging world because of this particular post.
I believe I bought a domain and host the very night I read the article and the rest, as you can say, is history.
[Note: I have since switched to Siteground as my host and have been very happy with the result.]
So you can either thank or chastise Peter for what he helped create.
Looks like Peter is gowned up and ready to go so let us crank up the X-ray machine and see what it reveals:
If you can please give a brief introduction of yourself (age, medical specialty, years of medical practice
I’m 41 years old, a fellowship-trained obstetric anesthesiologist, and I’ve been in practice 6.5 years.
1) First off, thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to answer these questions. You were one of the first physician bloggers to highlight the beauty of the passive income philosophy, a philosophy that I personally subscribe to. Thus it is quite fitting you chose Passive Income MD for your website. What were some of the other names you considered before going with this one?
I actually settled on the name Passive Income MD quite quickly.
I really believed that having multiple passive income streams was the way to financial freedom and that’s what I wanted to talk about on the site.
Otherwise it had to be something real estate related, so I thought about names like Real Estate MD & Real Estate Doc.
2) When did you know you wanted to become a doctor? Were there any influential people or events that made you embark on this career path?
Well, I grew up in a family with a good number of physicians, including my father, so I was on the physician path early.
In college, I had a slight fling with becoming an econ major and going the business route, but somehow kept finding my way back to medicine.
My family members were by far the most influential people in helping me making my career choice.
3) What were some of the deciding factors that led you into choosing the medical specialty of anesthesiology? Were there any other specialties that you considered?
Both my father and grandfather were general surgeons and so I initially thought I would follow that path but it wasn’t meant to be.
I met some really unhappy surgeons and I asked them what they would go into if they could do it all over again and they all said anesthesia.
I asked why and they all said because of the work-life balance.
I reached out to a bunch of anesthesiologists and they all said they were happy with their specialty choice.
So I chose to pursue it as well.
4) If you had to do it all over again, would you choose the same medical profession/specialty?
I would absolutely choose it again, and for sure my subspecialty OB anesthesia.
I don’t plan on ever stopping medicine altogether.
5) If you were not a physician, what alternative career would you have gone into?
I would’ve definitely been an entrepreneur of some sort.
The internet offers so many opportunities for entrepreneurs that I think I would’ve pursued some online business.
6) Your love for real estate is well known, highlighted by the fact that you actually founded your own real estate company, Curbside Real Estate. Can you trace where your passion for real estate originated from? How does Curbside Real Estate differ from some of the major real estate companies out there?
I was first turned on to the concept of passive income through real estate by the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”
After I read that book, I sought out other people who were successful in building real estate portfolios.
Turns out my father in law had been quite savvy with real estate investments while being a physician.
Curbside Real Estate is a service that was created specifically for physicians.
For those that have gone through the home buying process, they already know that it can be quite a difficult process with no guidance or help.
I felt physicians in particular had very little idea where to start the home buying process or what resources were available to them, like physician home loans.
I just wanted to create a service that would provide education and guidance for physicians at no cost.
That’s how Curbside Real Estate was created.
7) Have you personally fallen trap to any of the typical mistakes physicians make, and if so can you name some of your biggest ones?
Tons… I’ve made investment choices based on hot stock tips, and many a times bought high and sold low.
In the crash of the early 2000s, I had a significant portion of whatever retirement savings I had wiped out by thinking I could outsmart the market.
8) The retroscope is always 20/20. Looking back is there an investment that you were offered but didn’t take advantage of (or conversely an investment that you wish you never had gone into)?
There are definitely some real estate investments I wish I had pursued.
I saw a few apartment buildings that I could’ve possibly purchased a few years ago in addition to the one I have.
Looking back I wish I had been more aggressive, but that’s really because I know how well the market has done since.
Again I got crushed in the early 2000s in the stock market so I wish I hadn’t gotten into day trading at that time.
9) What inspired you to start a blog? Were there any surprises along the way? Do you have any advice to those who may be contemplating starting a blog?
I never thought I’d ever be the person to start and run a blog.
Honestly, besides reading the White Coat Investor on occasion, I never regularly read blogs.
However, I was telling so many of my colleagues about this concept of passive income and real estate investing, that they suggested I start a blog.
I thought, hey, why not try and see what happens.
There are surprises on a weekly basis.
This is all completely new to me – the content creation, the marketing, the relationships, running a Facebook Group (Passive Income Docs).
It’s quite a commitment.
I tell people that if they’re going to consider starting a blog, they should be willing to commit, at the very least, a year to it.
It takes a while to learn how to run a blog.
I also tell people that they need to have a clear idea of who their audience is.
I think the power is in the niche.
Don’t just copy what someone else has done, try to set yourself apart in some way and show your individuality.
10) Were there any initial doubts that you may have had after launching your blog that made you question doing this?
Absolutely I began to questions things a bit when I started getting some negative feedback.
Comments like, “Focus on being a doctor” or “You’re all about the money,” made me wonder if I should be putting myself out there.
11) Your blog is considered one of the pillars in the physician finance niche and it truly showed a stratospheric trajectory in popularity. At what point did you realize that you made it as a blogger?
Well, I still feel like I have a long way to go, but I think I realized I was making an impact the first time I met someone in person who had actually heard of my blog, ha!
Recently a colleague let me know he had started reading the blog and appreciated it, that felt nice as well.
12) You were the second blogger that became a component of the White Coat Investor Network (it is my aspiration to join these ranks). How did the idea of combining two highly successful/powerful blogs come about?
Well I didn’t come up with the idea.
Physician on Fire and White Coat cooked it up first, and I followed.
I saw the synergy between the two blogs and how it benefited both them and readers.
I knew I wanted to be part of it and after my blog grew to a certain point, it made sense for everyone and we made it happen.
It’s been an awesome collaboration and learning experience.
13) Can you share some of the benefits and the impact that joining the White Coat Investor has had on your blog and personal life?
Obviously it’s brought a lot more exposure to the site, but I’ve gotten the added benefit of learning directly from my partners.
People have no idea how hard they work on their brands.
They’ve been a constant source of motivation for me and it pushes me to get better.
The increased exposure has also allowed me to increase the revenue for the site and that’s given me even more freedom in terms of my work life.
That has trickled down into my personal life because I’m working less in the hospital and able to spend more time with my family.
14) You initially chose to remain anonymous on your blog (much like I try to on mine) but have recently revealed your true identity. What was your reasoning behind this and did this present any additional challenges? Knowing what you know now, do you wish you would have remained anonymous or would you have rather revealed your identity even earlier?
I started anonymously because I knew I’d be talking about some sensitive issues on the site, especially personal finances.
I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to reveal and have it linked to me directly.
I was also worried about privacy concerns when it came to family.
Since I’ve revealed myself, I’m just smarter about what I do put out there.
The large benefit of coming out is that I’ve been able to create some amazing relationships.
I no longer have to hide behind a wall but can spend time getting to know both other creators and readers.
This has ultimately been the best part of having this blog.
15) For the (unlikely) reader unfamiliar to your website, what are three posts you are most proud of that they can gain an insight about you and your philosophies?
Focus Less On Net Income And More On Net Time
I Love Being A Doctor, I Just Want To Do It Less
Why I’m Beginning My Retirement Today….In My Thirties
16) Is there a book or books that have made a major impact in your financial well-being?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad was the book that helped change my mindset when it came to income.
Honestly, I didn’t know that people did it any other way.
Trading time for money was the path I was on, but this book helped put me on a different trajectory.
17) Burnout is a phenomenon that is unfortunately increasing among our physician colleagues. Have you ever experienced burnout during your career and if so how have you dealt with it? Are there any precautionary measures you take to prevent you from becoming burnt out?
Fortunately I haven’t experienced burnout to the degree that many physicians have faced.
I’m fortunate to do what I love and I’ve been able to get to the place where I’m not reliant on my physician income.
That’s changed my perspective on my job – I can continue doing it because I’m passionate about it.
At times I actually force myself to work less.
We’re programmed to work to the limit, and anytime I give up a shift, it feels like I’m “losing” money.
But I remember that “time” is the most precious resource, and spending that with my growing kids & my wife is the best way to spend it.
18) Can you name 5 things that had the greatest impact on your financial journey?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
My Father in Law
White Coat Investor Network – White Coat Investor & Physician on Fire
Businesses – Curbside Real Estate & Passive Income MD
19) What is your advice to the medical student/resident/early physician who may be facing a monumental amount of debt early on in their career?
Follow the White Coat Investor’s plan and try to pay all of it off in the first five years of practice.
20) What is the non-financial achievement you are most proud of?
Besides having and raising my children, it’s the social impact that I’ve been able to make through Curbside Real Estate.
The company is built on a social mission of providing for those in need and in the last couple of years we’ve been able to build two orphanages and sponsor an academy to teach orphans a trade skill.
21) What is your greatest fear, if any, you have in retirement, and are there any ways you are addressing that now?
My biggest fear is simply dying too early to make sure my children and wife are taken care of for life.
So I’m doing my best to build in assurances like having enough life & disability insurance, having a good trust in place, etc.
Again thank you so much for your time answering these questions and being placed under the “X-ray beam.” I look forward to your continued posts and wish you much success.
If you are interested in checking out previous individuals that were brave enough to expose themselves to the beams of the X-ray, please check them out here.
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Peter is every bit as genuine and winsome in person as he comes across in your interview, Xrayvsn. At FinCon, he was going 110% despite unexpected GI challenges while the rest of the docs were laying from sleep deprivation. Thrilled to learn more of the story behind this incredibly inspiring blogger.
Glad to see you on these pages, Peter!
I do remember him mentioning the GI ailments in FinCon. Hopefully it won’t happen at this year’s meeting and I look forward to meeting him in person. All 3 of the WCI network docs have been truly inspiring for the rest of us.
Thanks for the kind words and your true concern for my well-being at FinCon. Oh yes that GI bug, I blame the half-cooked chicken haha!
Thankfully I knew I was going to be fine as I was surrounded by a multitude of other physician financial bloggers like yourself.
Thanks for featuring me as part of this awesome series, feel quite honored. Your passion for your mission (and blog) is an inspiration for me. Looking forward to connecting in person someday soon.
Thanks Peter. It really who is me that should be honored as you are part of the Mount Rushmore of Physician Bloggers (by the way since there is only 3 of you on it, is there room for a 4th to make the analogy complete? 🙂 ).
Definitely would love to meet up and hope you can come to Fincon 2019 as I will be there.
I’m glad you coaxed Passive Income MD into undergoing the infamous X-Ray beam. Peter is incredibly inspirational and is a great role model. From being a family man, a great doctor, a humanitarian with a great social mission, creating a community, to all of his business enterprises… I’m always impressed with what he is doing and building.
The social mission of Curbside Real Estate is so admirable. Just curious, any thoughts on making a social mission a part of Passive Income MD, too?
Hey DMF thanks for dropping by. I agree Peter has done a remarkable job of promoting physician financial literacy and I was impressed learning about him formerly starting an actual real estate company to help docs. We may just have a fighting chance 🙂
Thanks for putting a spotlight on Peter. He is a great resource and model for the rest of us. I have no idea how he remains so nice and humble through all this.
I agree he is one of the good ones and we would be very lucky to be held in similar light as Peter. Thanks for dropping by 🙂
I enjoyed this interview and getting to know PIMD . His blog is chockful of great information and I always learn something new. Running a blog/media empire is no easy task. Like Xrayvsn, PIMD helped inspire me to start my own blog. Keep up the good work.
Thanks MD for stopping by. I found Peter’s and your blogs extremely useful as I have been turning more towards real estate as my primary method of creating wealth and between the two of you there is so much valuable resources on the subject.
Me three. PIMD inspired me too.
Loved reading this! And honored to call him my friend.
Thanks Bonnie! I consider every blogger I interact as a great friend and hope to meet each and everyone of you in person one day (trying to knock of a few of them by going to FinCon 19 this year which I can’t wait 🙂 )
Enjoyed getting to know Peter a little bit better!
Honestly, the “should-I-or-shouldn’t-I be anonymous” argument is a constant, angst-ridden internal dialogue for me. I appreciated this perspective. Maybe one day, for me…
Thanks for dropping by MFM. For me I’m sticking with anonymity as best as I can (very hard to do). It is easier to promote your posts etc if you are not anonymous but I’m not sure it is worth the drawbacks of coming out of anonymity at least for me.