[FPMD: Small publishing snafu this morning. My apologies to those who saw the unintended post.]
I'm fond of saying how much I appreciate the physician blogger community and all of the support and collaboration we receive from one another. Never once did I think that I would be writing a post like this one. You likely already heard that the physician blogosphere lost one of its own this week. Despite the tragedy, Dr. Wise Money (DWM) deserves a spot as a guest on Future Proof Docs. So here it is - Dr. Wise Money through my eyes.
In March of 2015, approximately 2 months after I launched Future Proof MD (White Coat Money back then) with a post on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). I was hitting a low spot. Turns out that blogging was tough work. Despite so much effort, my articles were not getting many views and I was getting deflated. I reached out to the guy who made it look easy - Dr. Jim Dahle of the White Coat Investor - and this is what he wrote back:
Amanda and I had a lot in common - we were both radiology residents, we both started a finance blog recently, and we were both Chinese immigrants who's made it thru the challenges and triumphs of an American medical education. Heck, we even shared the same last name! (No relations however). We became fast friends, collaborators and (dare I say?) competitors. We exchanged guest posts - she wrote an inspiring post for me titled "How I Contributed $23.5k to Roth IRA/Roth 403b in 2015 as PGY2" and my guest post for her titled "PSLF – Why REPAYE May NOT be the Best Plan" became the most commented-on post on her site.
Although my interaction with Amanda was limited through our personas as FPMD and DWM, I was able to ascertain the following about her as a person:
- She was kind and generous - Given our shared attributes and the fact we started our respective sites within 2 months of each other, we went through a lot of growing pains together as bloggers. Thru the process we shared ideas, suggestions and problem solving sessions. Her inclination to share and teach, especially to a competitor (somewhat), was genuine and admirable.
- She had an incredible work ethic - Throughout our collaborations, I was most impressed by how productive she was. Being both radiology residents who ran finance blogs, while I struggled to write three times a week for Future Proof MD, she managed to pump out 182 posts including multiple articles on Physician's Money Digest per week, start the Physician Support Initiative (PSI), a YouTube channel, authored multiple books and ran a successful tutoring business all while being a mother to her beloved Mini Wise Money.
- Among all her many jobs, the most cherished one was being a mother - and I'm not just referring to the many posts on DWM where Mini had a central role. As you can imagine, given how prolific she was, time was a limiting factor. In our private conversations, her biggest lament was always the time her many endeavors take away from her daughter.
Despite being partners for nearly 2 years, we never had an opportunity to meet face-to-face. RSNA 2016 was suppose to be the first time we got to meet in person. And we were excitedly planning to meet up at her presentation. When she stopped responding to my texts, I figured she was just busy preparing for her talk. Even when the rumors started, I still refused to believe the worst. But when I showed up at her session on Tuesday and she wasn't there, my heart sank.
DWM's passing has left a big hole in the physician blogosphere, and in my heart as well. Please keep Amanda's family in your thoughts and prayers. For all those who are interested in celebrating her legacy, please join the Physician Support Initiative (PSI). You can see all of her posts at http://drwisemoney.com/. And if you have any interest in spreading the good word on physician well-being, financial or otherwise, I encourage you to follow her lead and take up the keyboard - you would be surprised how many are interested in your story. I would be the first to host your guest post.
DWM had many friends in the online community. Here are what some others had to say:
- On Physician's Money Digest (PMD) from multiple contributors (myself included) - Thank you, Dr WiseMoney. You will be missed.
- On the White Coat Investor forum - R.I.P. Amanda Liu aka Debt Free Doc aka Dr. Wise Money
- From Passive Income MD (PIMD) -
"Simply put, I owe Amanda so much. I reached out to her when starting my blog looking for advice and what I got in return was an extremely detailed email on steps I needed to take and even ideas for blog posts. It's an understatement to say I was blown away by her generosity and willingness to help someone she didn't know. She had a big heart and a passion for teaching, and these are the things I'll always remember her for. Amanda, your legacy will live on. Rest in peace my friend..."