Why Doctors Should Know Finance-Expenses

Stories written in numbers….that’s what financial statements tell us.  Simply, it just tells us what happened , what was done and what probably we could have done. This is the second of my series on why doctors should know finance.We talked about income last time.

Today, I am writing on expenses.  Who among you keeps track of them?  I admit, even as I try to, sometimes its difficult for me.  I have tried a notebook, my cellphone, an excel file etc. For now, I am into using my credit card and check book.  The plus point is the written documentation of my spending.  A quick look tells me where the bulk of my spending lies.  Am I eating out most of the time? Has my cost of transportation increased? How about my electrical bill?  Your billing statement or checkbook reveals to you your spending pattern.  If it were a pie, look at how much portion goes to one category and so on. Decide what you can do about the portioning of your expenses if there is a need to.  Try to look at what it is telling you. You wont know unless you look.

Needs vs. Wants.   Just how these two are defined can be a whole lot of discussion.  For me, I just ask “how this spending is already hurting you, or potentially hurt you and the people you love in the future?”  An example would be if i spend a lot of money  on expensive clothes because without them I already feel I am incomplete  or that I have to touch  the money I am saving for my son  just to be able to buy one.  Another question I ask myself is “Can I do without it?”. Some years back, I decided to get rid of our television.  I thought it would be horrible. I have been without it for more than five years now.It gave me more personal  time with my family  and less late nights as well.

Living within one’s means.  If you were reading an income statement, it would be Income-Expenses. If you see numbers in red or enclosed in a parentheses say  (15,000), then it means you are living way beyond your means. What would you do?  You may want to go back to your list of income sources and try to increase it. Or you may want to look back into your spending and decrease it.

Let’s write your income statement now.  First, list down your income sources. Then write your Expenses.  Deduct your Expenses from your income.  It would be great to have a  positive number when you do the math.

What’s your income statement story?

 

Do you have other ways to track your expenses that you can share?

 

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photo by nuchylee/freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Hug and Kiss Your Way Against Baby Abduction

hugs

Babies are such a delight! For such a small  body, they  give  tremendous happiness!

Nursery rounds are always a joy for me .  I was making my rounds to see a new baby this morning. I noticed  something attached to the baby’s leg.  It says “HUGS” almost like a reminder that it is what every baby needs. I asked my resident what the “device” was, (it looks like one to me).  I was impressed with what I heard.  It is indeed a device that keeps track of the baby’s whereabouts (as if  they can walk their way out…*wink*).  Should the baby be taken outside a designated area , an alarm will sound off from the device alerting the people in the vicinity.

It will also show in a monitor of the computer found in the nursery  indicating the baby’s “movements” beyond areas they are permitted.  Cool! Any parent will surely appreciate this effort! The recent news of an abduction  of  a baby in another hospital reminds us that it can happen.


Even cooler is that mommy has a device of her own too.  The device is worn by the mom  and has a name—‘KISSES”. If baby is brought to the wrong mom, it will sound off a specific sound alert. If mom and baby matches, it will also sound off, a sound of approval! Isn’t this great? HUGS AND KISSES! The Medical City’s cool way to prevent infant abduction!

This is a perfect example of addressing needs of patients or parents in this case,though mostly unexpressed explicitly , but is a very real concern. Organizations and medical practitioners who think this way and go the extra mile to anticipate needs make a mark on their patients and will not go unappreciated.  It is one surefire way to grow your practice.  Imagine your patient saying something like  ” hindi ko pa sinasabi, alam na ni doc and helps me with it.”

 

How about you, what unexpressed need of your patients are you addressing?

 

photo courtesy of Dr. K.A. Victorino