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Stuck in a rut? Why a physician career coach makes sense

From deep debt to financial independence / Good time to start a side gig? / Asynchronous care

The LOUNGE - A Newsletter for Savvy Physicians

Here’s what’s made our “spidey sense” tingle this week…

  • A doctor’s journey from crippling debt to financial independence.

  • Least surprising headline: Primary docs are getting burnt out

  • Understanding federal small business loans

  • Does the art of storytelling make better physicians?

  • Why a recession is the best time to start a side hustle

  • Asynchronous care is shaking up the healthcare landscape


Are you a doctor at a career crossroad, yearning for fulfillment but unsure how to attain it? This might be the answer. When facing a career crossroad or feeling unfulfilled, hiring a career coach might be your golden ticket to rekindle your professional passion. Dr. Mat Daniel, a pediatric otorhinolaryngologist, educator, and coach, offers career development and leadership coaching for doctors. With over 30 years of healthcare experience and advanced coaching training, Dr. Daniel is an expert in fostering personal and professional growth. He combines his practical healthcare knowledge with his passion for development to guide doctors towards a more fulfilling and impactful career path.


With a balance of risky decisions and celebrated victories, a doctor turns a daunting debt into a growing wealth, spotlighting a unique path to financial independence. From being engulfed by student loans to achieving a net worth of $275,000, an Emergency Medicine physician charts his unique and inspiring financial journey. Starting out in the negative, he managed to climb out of the red, juggle risky decisions like buying a house, tackle colossal student debt, and celebrate small victories. These accomplishments were fueled by a significant pay rise upon becoming an attending physician and making smart investment moves. As he navigates the "boring middle" stage of his financial path, his next major milestones include a net worth goal of $500,000 by the end of 2023, eliminating all debt, and mitigating potential lifestyle inflation while permitting some lifestyle upgrades.

Primary care is on fire, but not in a good way. The healthcare sector has long been known as a high-stress environment, but recent studies have shown a marked rise in burnout among primary care doctors. Overworked, undervalued, and constantly under pressure, these physicians are struggling to maintain their mental health, leading to a crisis that could dramatically impact patient care. While systemic change in healthcare management and policy is required, digital technologies and AI may offer a lifeline. In the meantime, the sector's steady erosion may soon reach a critical tipping point, necessitating urgent action.

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Want a leg up in fueling your small business growth? Here's how government-backed loans could be your key. Dive into the world of government-backed small business loans, offering competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms that could catapult your business growth to new heights. These loans, administered through U.S. Small Business Administration-approved lenders, cover a broad spectrum of needs, from financing equipment to purchasing real estate. The offerings range from SBA 7(a) loans to microloans, SBA 504 loans, disaster loans, and SBA CAPLines. Every loan type has unique features, requirements, and interest rates, giving businesses an extensive menu to choose from. Whether it's quick funding you need or a long-term repayment plan, these loans could be the buoy you've been waiting for.

Could the ancient art of storytelling be medicine's next frontier? "Narrative medicine" is a practice growing in popularity within the Australian medical community, led by practitioners like Dr. Mariam Tokhi and Dr. Fiona Reilly. This approach focuses on understanding and engaging with patients' stories to build a more profound doctor-patient empathy. By practicing narrative medicine, physicians gain a deeper understanding of their patients' experiences, which in turn influences their diagnoses and treatment approaches. Not just an innovative clinical tool, narrative medicine also offers an outlet for doctors' suppressed creative side. The University of Melbourne has embraced the practice, offering a four-week intensive elective course on narrative medicine. This novel approach aims to address the gaps left by traditional biomedical education, ushering in a new era of empathetic, story-based patient care.

Could the next economic downturn be the breakthrough you need for your side hustle? Let's explore why that might be true. Amid the 68.2% chance of a U.S. recession within the next year, per the New York Fed, some see gloom while others glimpse opportunity. A time of economic downturn may sound discouraging for those with a business idea, but it could be the perfect time to start a side hustle. For one, recessions can create a pool of investors looking for fresh business opportunities as they switch out of volatile stocks. With high-interest rates and greater cash savings, investors are on the hunt for new ventures. And if you've got some cash to play with, you could take advantage of the downturn to challenge struggling incumbents.

Bridging the healthcare gap with a click: welcome to the era of asynchronous care. With a transformative edge, asynchronous (or "async") care is evolving how we interact with healthcare services, driving equity and bridging gaps in access. Leveraging technology, this model allows patients to communicate medical concerns and receive recommendations from providers outside real-time interaction. Async care is crucial for traditionally underserved communities, as it doesn't require broadband and can be conducted anytime, anywhere, offering a lifeline for those who lack Internet access. Interestingly, it's the populations often facing access barriers—people of color, elderly Americans, and those requiring language translation—who are utilizing telehealth services most. Additionally, async care breaks down geographical barriers, enabling connection with distant specialists, and allows physicians to share expertise more efficiently. The model, underscored by safety and effectiveness, has shown improved patient outcomes and satisfaction, proving its importance in the future of healthcare.



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"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

Albert Schweitzer