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Finding Freedom and Balance as a Locum Tenens Doc with Nii Darko, MD
Episode 2213th July 2020 • The Prosperous Doc • Spaugh Dameron Tenny
00:00:00 00:36:31

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There’s a common misconception that there’s only one path you can take in the medical field: graduate from med school, finish residency, get a job at a hospital, and save lives until the end. While plenty who have chosen this path are contented, there are others that do not share the same enthusiasm. Don’t worry if you’re part of the latter group! There is a vast world outside of medicine for you to explore while continuing to practice your profession.

In this episode of Prosperous Doc, trauma surgeon Dr. Nii Darko and host Shane Tenny explore the possibility of achieving a flexible medical career and becoming a 1099 employee. (7:17) Dr. Nii shares his personal experience with locum tenens and the pros and cons of this type of employment. Not only does this option expose you to different hospital systems, cultures, and doctors, it helps you understand your self-worth in terms of wages for your services. (12:19)

Additionally, he believes that doctors stand to gain considerable knowledge from professionals in other industries, one of the founding ideals of the Docs Outside the Box podcast. (22:11)

He also provides insight into physician contracts and how to retain control over contract negotiations, even as a young doctor. Two things to keep in mind, have a clear understanding of the contract terms and ensure you build in an exit plan. (17:15)

For Dr. Nii, there’s no such thing as balance. It’s all about trying to be the best person you can be and being kind to those around you. (26:50) Wellness is also about having control, being intentional about decisions that will affect your life. (32:44)

Financial Wellness Tip

This episode’s financial wellness tip encourages physicians to think about refinancing student loans. According to Will Koster, you have control over the terms of the loan and whether you choose a variable or fixed interest rate, among other options. However, before you make any decision, first assess your situation. Make sure that items such as your minimum monthly payment will fit your current financial state and will not become cumbersome in the future.

Prosperous Doc podcast by Spaugh Dameron Tenny highlights real-life stories from doctors and dentists to encourage and inspire listeners through discussions of professional successes and failures in addition to personal stories and financial wellness advice. Spaugh Dameron Tenny is a comprehensive financial planning firm serving doctors and dentists in Charlotte, NC. To find out more about Spaugh Dameron Tenny, visit our website at You can also connect with our host, Shane Tenny, CFP at or on Twitter.