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Facing Racism in the Medical Community with Dr. Aaron Brandt
Episode 302nd November 2020 • The Prosperous Doc • Spaugh Dameron Tenny
00:00:00 00:44:59

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The last few months have brought intense focus to the topic of racism in the United States and around the world. The immediate circulation of media content has brought violent images of racial injustices to the forefront of our cultural attention. Here at the Prosperous Doc, we wanted to do our part to try and change the tone in our country around this. We know this is a emotionally fraught topic and we want to start by sharing a few words from our host, Shane Tenny, from this episode:

Today's topic, I have felt compelled to address for a number of months now, but frankly didn't know how or where to begin... Today, we're going to talk about racism. Now, candidly, I've been nervous to address this on this show because of a number of reasons. I'm a middle-aged white guy with no training on the topic or in social justice, and I'm not even sure I have the right vocabulary to use. If I'm as honest about the topic as I want to be, and as I wish people were, I know I've got blind spots in my own life when it comes to racism and implicit bias. But I want to do my part to try and change the tone in our country around this.

Shane welcomes Dr. Aaron Brandt, a pediatric orthopedic surgery fellow at Children's Hospital Colorado, to share his story and provide his personal experiences navigating growing up as black man in the United States and practicing in the medical field.

Dr. Brand reveals his story of adoption; being part of a family of twelve where everyone was different, with drastically diverse backgrounds. At home he didn’t feel atypical, but in primary school he soon realized his classmates saw him, the only black child in the school, as different. “I was also taller than everybody, so I stood out like a sore thumb.” (7:18)

Dr. Brandt explores the media events that took place this year surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, discusses the concepts of racism and antiracism, and reveals his personal battles with imposter syndrome.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Growing up as an adopted black child in a rural community (3:23)
  • The current state of racism in society (17:16)
  • Racism & anti-racism (22:27)
  •  Dr. Brandt’s personal experience with racism (28:17)
  • Overcoming Impostor Syndrome (32:07)
  • How Dr. Brandt approaches and manages bias (37:16)


Financial Wellness Tip

On this episode’s financial wellness tip, Will Koster talks about asset location. “Is the majority of your wealth tied up in your house? How about in your pre-tax retirement account, like a 401(k) or an IRA? Or have you been planning ahead and have a good mix of assets across different types of accounts?” (25:49)

A few tips to consider:

  • Having a combination of pre-tax and tax-free money available is invaluable when it comes to withdrawing money in retirement.
  • t is important to have ample liquidity in retirement because selling tangible assets to fund your living expenses in retirement is not something you want to rely on.
  • Having the appropriate amount of risk in your account is necessary to keep up with inflation, but your account balances should not be too exposed to market fluctuations.
  • If you need help with your retirement planning, check out some of our complimentary financial resources.

To read more about Dr. Aaron Brandt’s story, check out his article ‘My parents had over 30 temporary placements and adopted 9 children. I struggled with my identity. I didn’t fit.’: Man thanks adoptive family, ‘I’m meant to do something important.

If you liked this episode and would like to hear more about Impostor Syndrome, check out our past episode Overcoming Impostor Syndrome in Medicine with Dr. Gail Gazelle.

Prosperous Doc podcast by Spaugh Dameron Tenny highlights real-life stories from doctors and dentist 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 dentist 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. 

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