Several unique challenges are facing the medical profession today that often go unnoticed or unspoken. Thankfully, there are organizations like the Physicians Foundation who are helping shed light on these issues, bringing them to the forefront and sparking conversations in the community. The intention of these discussions is to generate solutions to promote physician wellness and improve the healthcare industry at large.
Dr. Gary Price, president of the Physicians Foundation and board-certified plastic surgeon, joins host Shane Tenny for this episode of Prosperous Doc to provide insight on vital issues in the medical community. He talks about the work done by the foundation in terms of projects and programs. (07:33) These include working with relevant organizations and developing the Vital Signs Campaign to raise awareness and provide tools to combat physician suicide. (10:56)
He shares how more positive steps are being taken by those in large healthcare systems to address physician burnout and suicide. (12:56) These grave problems are getting more attention now, which is a welcome change from lip service in the past.
Dr. Price also explores the stigmatization of mental illness in the healthcare field. Stigmatizing mental illness leads to physicians being less likely to disclose such concerns (15:53), which can increase the danger to both doctors and their patients. He also touches on the benefits and disadvantages of electronic medical records (21:03), physician staffing and shortage (28:11), and the financial burden of becoming a physician. (32:26)
Although there are frustrations in the industry, what motivates doctors is the opportunity to help people. It’s what drives Dr. Price and the foundation to help make the physician environment less toxic and more rewarding, which will, in turn, help them deliver better care for their patients. (30:40)
This episode’s Financial Wellness Tip emphasizes the importance of having an emergency fund, especially during economic crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Having liquid cash helps ensure that your personal finances are in order, even if the greater economy is not. It’s recommended that your emergency fund is equivalent to 3 to 6 months of living expenses.
You can also make adjustments in your current expenses to stretch the emergency fund longer. Taking advantage of forbearance options on loans and discontinuing automatic investments are some things that you can do so you won’t struggle financially during a crisis. And once things are back to normal, slowly rebuild your savings for the next rainy day.
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 www.sdtplanning.com. You can also connect with our host, Shane Tenny, CFP at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.