About a decade ago, I had my first doctor-client. And part of what they wanted to discuss was budgeting in order to save more. They just got new jobs and wanted some general planning for the sake of making good decisions. Software for budgeting and spending history didn't exist the way it does now. I wanted to provide the best help I could on this topic, and I knew about budgeting, ...

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Physicians are, without a doubt, some of the most educated professionals around. You spend endless hours studying, taking tests, and jumping through academic hoops in the name of good grades and patient care. But is the education you are receiving truly preparing you for the practice of medicine today? Health care is now considered almost exclusively a business term. And yet there is a lack of business taught in medical school. ...

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The conversations we’ve had with physicians this week confirmed that the primal fight-or-flight response has kicked in as physicians across the nation recognize the COVID-19 pandemic as an imminent threat to the survival of their practices. Some are reacting from a place of fear, while others are proactively evaluating options and making strategic moves. In surgery, there exists a time-honored adage: all bleeding stops eventually. When a patient has unexpected severe ...

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These days are getting harder. Today I heard about physicians getting intubated. I heard about physicians having to make the decision to separate from their children indefinitely. I heard about health care workers who officially ran out of PPE. I heard of hospitals that are nearing capacity and many young patients who are intubated. The calls for help at the frontlines got more desperate. Over the last few days, I’ve also heard ...

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Physician burnout and shortage have a profound impact on the ability to deliver quality, accessible health care in the United States — especially in rural areas where specialists are scarce. Burnout is costing the U.S. health care system roughly $4.6 billion a year, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Another study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggested 54% of physicians have ...

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Eighty-five percent of health care facilities used locum tenens temporary doctors in 2019 to address their staffing shortages or gaps in coverage. Physicians are turning to locum tenens work to allow them more flexibility, extra income, the ability to travel, and exposure to new and evolving patient care environments. But what they are likely not aware of is the price tag on their heads if or when they decide to consider ...

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Medicine is a difficult calling. You already know the sacrifices. As an undergraduate, you gave up time with friends and family so you could be accepted into medical school — where you worked even harder. You understand that the practice of medicine requires you to take responsibility for the care of others ... and the emotional toll that comes with it. In this profession, it's easy to feel like you're alone. Our ...

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If you follow me for any time, you know that I’m about physicians owning your value, recognizing your strength, and balancing your life. I was doing that before it became popular to talk about. While it has a catchy ring to it, what you don’t know is that it was not always that way for me. And no one knew.  It was one of the ways that I struggled in medicine. There ...

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For weeks, the news has been all about COVID-19 and its impact beyond Wuhan, where it emerged. Just two days ago, in fact, the first case reports surfaced in the county where I live. Overnight, preparations have leapt a notch. Many will work from home. Students will learn online. Even the gym where I climb with my son e-mailed regarding steps to minimize transmission. Like most of you, however, by ...

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The rapid advances of medical science, patients’ expectations, the loss of autonomy, insurers’ regulations, fears of litigation, and the documentation burden of recording patient data on electronic medical records all contribute to widespread physician dissatisfaction, and cynicism with medical practice referred to simply as “burnout.” Some have reduced their hours, some have quit medicine. Some just suffer in silence. But of the many causes, inputting information electronically is the number one “pain ...

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I recently attended a cardiology conference where a dear friend of mine was presenting on the topic of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She discussed how fibrosis within the ventricle causes diastolic dysfunction, an inability of the myocardium to relax. My ears perked up. Just the week before, while on vacation, I personally experienced the inability to relax. Though I was free to lounge around New Orleans while my husband attended the annual CHEST ...

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The first step on any journey is having a direction to follow. When you decided to become a physician, you no doubt sought out advice from trusted mentors: advisors, other physicians, even peers who had traveled that road before you. Becoming a physician likely started as an abstract thought that became all-consuming. Somewhere along the line, your everyday life revolved around school, training, procedures ... you get the picture. Now that ...

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Recently, I realized that something needed to change in my family life. With three busy daughters at three different schools who participate in multiple activities along with my full-time job as an anesthesiologist, my life depended on accurate and concise communication. However, this was the third time in a week that a ball had been dropped between my husband and me. This time it resulted in my middle daughter, Laini, being ...

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I have evidence that I am a victim of gendered language. One of my teaching evaluations from a national course once said, “If you look up the definition of the word ‘perky’ in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Jennifer Hunt.” One of my old performance reviews says, “Dr. Hunt is aggressive.” Even my 12th grade English teacher complained to my parents that I was “pushy and bossy.” Now ...

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It’s 2020, and many of us are more motivated than ever. We want to get fit, eat healthier, and continue to survive residency. While these are noteworthy goals, consider one more thing: making money doing something you love … outside of medicine. A.k.a., start a side hustle. If you’re unsure of where to start, here are a few side gigs to pursue as a resident. Start a blog For those who love ...

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Medical residents and fellows have always been in an interesting situation. They are embarking on the foothills of their career and obtaining the skills and knowledge they need to press forward. They are likely in the most idealistic mindset they'll ever be in their career, and they're networking with their future general practitioners and specialists; it's an exciting time of life.

One twist is that they have ...

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If you’re like me, taxes are my biggest expense and one of my biggest frustrations. I had talked to numerous local accountants and was always told there wasn’t anything I could do about it.  Last year, I was introduced to a proactive tax planning firm and had the opportunity to work with a certified tax coach.  You might ask, what is a certified tax coach?  They are an elite group ...

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Physicians are, by nature, excellent taskmasters. When given a defined set of goals to complete, whether it be a list of patients to round on, a target GPA for admission to medical school, or procedures to complete by graduation, we face it head-on with our tool kit at the ready.  This often leaves us vulnerable when faced with more nebulous tasks assignments that lack defined parameters.  Networking, the action or ...

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Maybe you think it’s too early to consider the next stage in your career. Medical school graduation is just months away.  Newly graduated doctors will be making their way to their first rotations in July. Senior residents and senior fellows are thinking and dreaming about their next position as a new attending. This got me to thinking. Are you truly considering and factoring in your well-being as you look for the next position ...

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I'm breaking up with you. I fell in love with you when I was just a child sitting in my grandfather’s family practice office. He put that magical white coat on me, sat me at his desk, welcomed in my first patient, and I was smitten. I grew up playing medical guessing games with him and his best friend, the town surgeon. They told stories of home visits, generations of families they ...

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