When I was in medical school, I already heard what other people are saying. Doctors in training seem to be in an extended adolescence stage. I don’t know if my Pediatric Adolescent Specialist friends will agree. Perhaps it’s the confines of the medical world that predisposes us to it. There is so much to do, to read, to write, to attend to. The world of a medical trainee revolves around books, patients, cases and more books, patients and cases!
Then suddenly out of residency or fellowship into the REAL world. The ADULT world.
To raise a family. Make a living. Don’t forget, make a LIFE other than being a doctor. The loooooong years of studying medicine seem to make us forget that we have “other lives. ” Our gifts get buried that we need to rediscover ourselves. No wonder why I went into making chocolates and pastries as well as dabbing on painting when I finished residency!
There’s more! Whoever said just finish training and they will come must really be joking! So, I had to plan my next move to get the practice going! Kailangan palang pag-isipan! Where are the patients? How do I get them to see me? Hay! Dapat pala may big picture!
Then there’s the numerous documents—SSS, pag-ibig, philhealth, BIR, getting an OR etc. I admit these things really made me panic more than other things! Will I have to do it myself? If you know me, when it comes to matters like these—you can say I am like a princess. Everything is done for me by somebody else!
Here comes financial matters! FINANCE is a BIG word for me.
Even if I grew up with a dad who is an entrepreneur, nowhere was I in that area during my training years! All I know is that I get this amount every month and I spend it. I don’t know how to open a bank account, write a check or go to an ATM. My best financial teacher was a book I chanced upon in a book sale store entitled “ The Wealthy Barber”. Thought Bubble:” If the barber can be wealthy, maybe so can I!” he! he! he! The book turned out to be an engaging story about a barber who knew personal finance and taught it to his customers during their monthly haircut visits.
Much of the learning came when I was thrown into the adult world and I needed to learn things with not much choice. Fast forward so and so years, here are my insights:
- Do not jump the gun on finding a clinic, getting a secretary etc. in haste. Think big picture first. Remember you are making a life not just a living.
- Do not bury your gifts! Continue to develop them. Even if you have to do it one gift at a time . Take small steps so they don’t get buried to oblivion. Hey , I sold a lot of chocolates after residency until I had to turn away from them to avoid eating too much !
- It pays to learn about those regulatory stuff you need to practice. Even if you will not do it yourself, you owe it to yourself to know about taxation, permits, certification etc.
- Learn personal finance. Do not get intimidated by the word and the figures. Read materials about it. There are many online resources on this topic. Remember the barber! If he can do it, so can you!
- Raise up your plans in prayer. Whoever is your God, He must be a generous God who will see you through!
Time to grow up doc , don’t you think so?
photo by jomphong/freedigitalphotos.net