For an audio version of this post, please click on the speaker icon (top left).It is quite an interesting phenomenon. With every stage of my medical career I automatically assumed once I make it to the next stage things are going to definitely get better. In college I thought to myself, all I have to do is clear the hurdle and get accepted by medical school and then I am set. In medical school, as I saw my personal life dwindle to nothing, I kept telling myself once I got into residency it will be better because I will actually have hands on experience and feel like I am helping patients (instead of memorizing countless facts that consumed the majority of my early med school days). In residency, after hours and hours of work and countless nights disrupted because of being on call, I thought well there is light at the end of the tunnel as things are bound to be better once I become an attending and “make the big bucks.” Unfortunately a lot of people find out that being an attending is not all that it is cracked up to be. Stealing a line from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” What can make this worse is if you sign a contract only to find out that that “dream job” is starting to feel more like a nightmare and exacerbated by all the financial pressures you face as an early attending. Being a new attending can be intimidating. If only someone would create a course to navigate through these early years. Well, as luck would have it, someone has. Jordan Frey, aka The Prudent Plastic Surgeon, has done just that and launched an online course addressing this time period in a physician’s life. There are 8 modules in this course:
- Growing A Healthy Mindset
- Finding the Perfect Job
- Protecting Your Future
- Setting the Foundation for Financial Success
- Investing Your Money 101 (And Beyond)
- Advanced Strategies for Financial Freedom
- Buy vs Rent Your First Home
- Bonus: Real Estate Investing For Physicians
But it is a very well-defined roadGo to college. Get into medical school. Match into residency. Do a fellowship. All of these steps have applications and centralized databases of schools/programs to choose from. Our decision making is so hands-off that for residency and fellowship, we just open a letter or e-mail that tells us where we will be training. It’s an odd process, but can be comforting as the options are defined and limited and, at a certain point, we are just told what we are going to do. It often can even lull us into a false sense of security where we don’t spend enough time thinking about what we actually want. We focus instead on what we need to do.
And then, we must fly on our own…All of a sudden, we get to the end of our training and need to find a job. Our life is about to start in a whole new way. For the first time, we are free agents.
Becoming an attending physician is actually quite stressfulAll of the things I listed above about being a free agent sound fantastic. But the reality is that we have never faced these types of options or made these types of decisions before. And now we feel the pressure of our future and possibly our family’s future, if we have them. It feels a little bit like we are Lewis & Clark being sent out West without a map…where do we even begin? To make matters worse, we don’t have a guide like Sacagawea (pronounced Tsakaka-wea…I just learned this and it blew my mind).
Successfully becoming an attending physicianI really struggled with all of these factors as I began to plan my transition from trainee to attending. Further, I’ve heard from many other past, present, and future attending physicians that this transition almost felt agoraphobic. Too much freedom and open space that resulted in overwhelm. However, I now stand on the other side of becoming an attending physician and can claim that I have done so successfully. I love my job. My family is extremely happy. Our finances are in order as we work towards financial well-being and freedom. Our overall well-being is greatly improved.
How did I do it?
- Why did I choose this career in the first place?
- What does my ideal workday/week/month look like?
- What does my ideal life look like?
But there were a lot of other things that I had to figure outThis change in mindset was huge and set the foundation for me to succeed. But there were a lot of nuts and bolts things that I still needed to figure out to make this transition from trainee to attending. Things that I had never experienced or learned about before, much like the overwhelming majority of trainees that came before me and will come after me. Things like:
- How to look for and evaluate job opportunities?
- How to negotiate contracts?
- What to do with my signing bonus?
- How to set myself up for financial security and success?
- How to determine if I should buy or rent my first house?
- So much more!
My approach was to painstakingly figure everything outLike everyone before me, I figured each of these things out on my own and made the decision that me and my wife felt was best. (This is key, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page!) This was a long, challenging, and painstaking process. You can choose a similar approach and figure everything out on your own. Or, you can accelerate your growth and expand your knowledge to achieve success.
Becoming an attending physician doesn’t have to be this way for you!Having just successfully completed the transition from trainee to attending and know firsthand just how confusing, challenging, and directionless it can be, my goal is to help physicians of all specialties thrive in this transition personally, professionally, and financially! With this in mind, I created an online course specifically geared for this exact purpose! This new course is called Graduating to Success: How to Find Your Dream Job, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Be the Happiest Attending in the Hospital! The course includes 8 modules that will take you step by step through the process of successfully becoming an attending physician from growing a healthy mindset to finding your perfect job to investing your money and getting your first home (and more!)
Invest in yourself!Whether you are a medical student, trainee, or attending, this is your window to create the life that you want! This is your chance to find your dream job, achieve financial freedom, and be the happiest attending in the hospital. I would be honored to help you achieve all that you are capable of! If you are interested but still not sure or have any questions, please contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org! What do you think? Are you nearing the transition from trainee to attending? How have you prepared? What are your goals? Are you already an attending? Is there anything you would like to change? Note: If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.” Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input. -Xrayvsn
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN