Future Proof Docs - Smart Money MD (SMMD)

Welcome to another installment in the Future Proof Docs series.  As a reminder, this is a series of posts highlighting physicians who excel at something outside of medicine and care enough to share their passions with us.  Today I want to introduce Smart Money MD (SMMD) - an ophthalmologist who discusses lifestyle and financial approaches to building a healthier career as a physician.  I hope you will enjoy this Q&A.  

Introduction

Smart Money MD (SMMD) practices eye surgery by day and dabbles in finances by night.  After climbing out of significant student debt from college and medical school, SMMD realized that there are many strategies that doctors have to build up their retirement portfolio so that they won’t have to work into their 70’s (unless they really want to!).  This includes a combination of practical living along with fundamental financial practices.  The website serves as a conduit to share these ideas with other professionals to live a balanced financial and healthy lifestyle.

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A PHYSICIAN?

I decided to become a physician halfway through college.  At the time, it wasn’t clear to me that I wanted to be writing software my entire life.  I had a job installing computers and met a Radiologist who also studied computer science in college and discovered that it was possible to make the leap.  So I did.

[FPMD: Agree that writing software for life doesn't sound all that exciting, but what if you struck it big and made the next Slack? But we can't live life wondering "what if..."  Glad to hear it was a Radiologist who made you see the light.  I've been told they're the coolest ;)]

WHY YOUR SPECIALTY?

I liked playing Asteroids in childhood. Eye surgeons also use plenty of lasers. It was a fun combination.

[FPMD: Definitely a big fan of eye lasers.  Did you know we are using lasers in IR too?]

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG?

I had kept blogs intermittently, but finally decided to find a way to stay updated in the computing world, and perhaps litter my lack of humor in cyberspace while offering some of my experiences to professionals.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE RUNNING YOUR BLOG WHILE BEING A DOC AT THE SAME TIME?  HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT? 

Like most doctors,  I find myself short on time (perhaps I’m inefficient with my time, and I like to sleep a lot!).  My daily schedule is relatively packed, and I often end up doing the cooking and cleaning when I get home (yeah, more excuses!).  But hey, creativity comes in spurts, and I update the content as often as sanity allows.  It works out as a way to relax.

Likewise, I like to be concise. If fluids need to be hung on a patient, I don't like to ask more than once.  Writing, in many cases, is the opposite of that. I would consider that one of my weak points.

[FPMD: Amen brother!  I'll need to get some solid time-management tips from you.  I often find myself feeling "busy," but not necessarily productive.  And you must have some amazing support staff if you only have to ask once!] 

WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 LIFE LESSONS YOU HAVE FOR FPMD READERS? 

  1. Most of you guys are doctors, some lawyers, and other professionals.  I think it’s so important to be able to figure out what makes you happy.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out.  Caring for patients?  Fine.  Money?  Fine.  Sitting in the backyard enjoying the stars?  It doesn’t matter as long as you have fun doing it.
  2. Most of you guys are going to be successful in whatever you do.  Don’t forget to give back. Volunteer your time, money, or both.  It doesn’t have to be much or to any particular cause.  It’s a great feeling when you do give back.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Forget to max out your 401k?  Your high school buddy con you into buying some whole-life insurance?  Forget to take out the trash?  The world will still be there.  Figure out a way to make due, and you’ll be fine.

[FPMD: Great advice.  #1 is especially important.  But may change over time as your priorities change.  I'm personally working on #2..  Also I must confess I border on the OCD side so #3 is a challenge as well.]

GIVE ME 3 BLOG POSTS THAT FPMD READERS CAN VISIT TO GET THE “CORE” OF WHAT YOU STAND FOR. 

  1. How to Become a Rich Doctor - Ride the Wave.
  2. How Mustachian Can a Doctor Be?
  3. Is a Degree from a Prestigious Medical School Advantageous for Doctors?

[FPMD: If you haven't read all of the above, you should.  Big thanks to SMMD for coming on as a guest.  Stay tuned for our next Future Proof Doc!]


SPONSOR HIGHLIGHT

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Future Proof, MD

Dr. Bo Liu is an aspiring radiologist-in-training and the founder and editor of the White Coat Money Blog.  He has an interest in interventional radiology and helping his medical colleagues get ahead in this mad world of medicine and money.  When he's not crushing the list at the PACS station or typing up your next favorite blog post, you can usually find him at the local badminton club, movie theater or the most recently opened restaurant.