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Would you practice if you had a $25 million windfall?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by whitecoatinvestoruser View Post

    I agree. It seems as though there are mechanisms to protect assets (through for example higher malpractice insurance limits). I do find it sad though, that we have so many physicians who spent most of their youth toiling away at their specialty, who would gladly give it up if they had 25 million. I mean you only have one life to live, I wonder if most would have done something else if they could go back.
    Another viewpoint—I spent “most of my youth” learning medicine, meeting so many awesome people on the way (both colleagues and patients) and learning about the human condition as only the exposure you get in medicine allows. It changed the way I think and see the world, and while that way of thinking might sometimes distance me from the mainstream view I wouldn’t change it for anything. But at some point, 25 million or not, I am probably going to want to pursue a different path, exactly because I only have one life to live and there are so many different things to learn and experience.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by whitecoatinvestoruser View Post

      I agree. It seems as though there are mechanisms to protect assets (through for example higher malpractice insurance limits). I do find it sad though, that we have so many physicians who spent most of their youth toiling away at their specialty, who would gladly give it up if they had 25 million. I mean you only have one life to live, I wonder if most would have done something else if they could go back.
      Many physicians (myself included) enjoy their jobs, just not as much than time with their families or for leisure which 25MM would allow them to do. That's definitely not "sad" in my opinion.

      In addition, many people from all walks of life train for and enter a career in their youth only to switch gears later on in life. Who we are at age 30, 40, 50, is not necessarily who we are at age 22. Goals, perspectives, interests all change. I wonder how many international physicians who decide to enter medicine as teenagers wish they could go back.

      If you hear of someone who has worked 30+ years doing the same job, aren't you impressed? Generally, doing so is the exception, not the rule. You seem to be putting the occupation on some sort of pedestal. We don't have to worship it to enjoy it and it's okay to acknowledge the drawbacks.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Anne View Post

        Another viewpoint—I spent “most of my youth” learning medicine, meeting so many awesome people on the way (both colleagues and patients) and learning about the human condition as only the exposure you get in medicine allows. It changed the way I think and see the world, and while that way of thinking might sometimes distance me from the mainstream view I wouldn’t change it for anything. But at some point, 25 million or not, I am probably going to want to pursue a different path, exactly because I only have one life to live and there are so many different things to learn and experience.
        I think this is right. I “spent my youth” training for one career. Then I “retired.” Now I am at the end of another career as a tech exec. I probably have one more in me as an academic after I retire from this one. I’m not sure if $25M would really matter today. Oh, I could do a lot with it. I just mean it would not affect my decision to have a job. I already have enough to do what I want. But at 40 or so, $25M might have led me to other paths since I would not have needed a second career.

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        • #64
          I wouldn't work as many hours. I am not sure what I would do with my time if I wasn't working. I would continue to work until something else caught my eye and then I wouldn't hesitate to explore that different avenue.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by TheDangerZone View Post

            I wonder how many international physicians who decide to enter medicine as teenagers wish they could go back.

            If you hear of someone who has worked 30+ years doing the same job, aren't you impressed? Generally, doing so is the exception, not the rule. You seem to be putting the occupation on some sort of pedestal. We don't have to worship it to enjoy it and it's okay to acknowledge the drawbacks.
            I entered medical school at age 16, which was the norm in many countries like India and the commonwealth where one enters professional degree schools like Medicine, engineering and law straight out of high school. As I am nearing retirement you can say that I have easily spent 30+ years in Medicine. I had some teenager dreams of being a nuclear physicist or oceanographer but I am happy i choose medicine. I have no regrets at all. After having seen some of the drawbacks of people in engineering, law, finance and other fields ( poor job security, lowish pay, same set of problems with admin and other issues as corporate medicine) I am glad that I did not chuck medicine for the other fields. The grass is always greener on the other side. Try being a teacher in a public school for a month; I bet that you will come running back to be a physician with all ts drawbacks.

            My close relative who became an engineer had so many problems with his job security and pay that he and his son decided that the son would become a physician rather than an engineer or choose any other profession. After seeing his dad being worried if he will be out of a job with pink slips being handed left and right as the company was downsizing from 1500 to 50 jobs after being bought over by a hedge fund, the son decided to become a doctor come what may. We physicians as a group like to whine but just see the other side and you will realize that being a physician beats other jobs easily.

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            • hightower
              hightower commented
              Editing a comment
              Do you enjoy your work though? I don't. So even though the pay is great, my time off is amazing, and a few other perks, I still would rather be doing something else. I know that other jobs have major downsides as well, but if I enjoyed the work, I could put up with those faults. You have to at least sort of enjoy what you do.

              There's downsides to every career though.

              If I could go back in time I would find something else to do for sure. However, for the time being, I can tolerate my job enough that I'm willing to keep doing it despite the fact I don't like it. I am lucky it pays well and if I'm careful and follow the advice laid out here, I will some day be able to retire comfortably. So, that's what keeps me going. If it weren't for the pay, the time off (I'm a hospitalist), and the prospect of financial independence, I wouldn't be able to practice any more.

            • Kamban
              Kamban commented
              Editing a comment
              @hightower

              I enjoy my work. I work only 25 hours or less per week. I take home 1/3 what I would make as a full time subspeciualist in my field but I love doing what I do that the money does not matte much.

          • #66
            25 million? Uh yeah, duh I would quit. Even a $2.5 million windfall would result in me quitting within seconds of me verifying the funds were in my account. It would be a phone call to my medical director...no not even a phone call, a text. I would simply write..."I'm not coming in to work tomorrow or ever again. Sorry." And no I wouldn't feel bad. They have plenty of people who would fill in for me instantly and they wouldn't miss me at all.
            I actually day dream about this scenario quite regularly.

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            • White.Beard.Doc
              White.Beard.Doc commented
              Editing a comment
              I am sorry for your struggle with not liking your work. There are many options in the house of medicine. Is there any chance you could make some changes to feel more satisfied with your work as a physician?

          • #67
            Not only would I quit medicine, I'd leave the country.

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            • #68
              Originally posted by legobikes View Post
              Not only would I quit medicine, I'd leave the country.
              I, too, have always dreamed of winning the lottery and running off to Burundi to live out my days.

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              • Tyche
                Tyche commented
                Editing a comment
                Or at least Canada...

            • #69
              Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post

              Why does Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos go to work every day? It isn't a need to pay the mortgage, yet they continue to work.
              Because they do nothing but follow their own interests and passions. It's not "work" anymore when you're being paid to do that. I feel like they probably just live their lives as if they are retired and working on hobbies all day. I don't know about you, but I can get totally lost in my hobbies or projects that I work on for fun. Even if it's really hard, physical labor, I can still lose track of time and spend a whole day working my butt off and feeling great about it. I feel like that's what their days must be like.

              Not many people get to experience that level of satisfaction in life AND become so rich and famous.

              Bill Gates and Warren Buffett talk about that in their recent documentaries a little. They work because it's not work to them. Their daily activities are mostly deeply satisfying fun.

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              • White.Beard.Doc
                White.Beard.Doc commented
                Editing a comment
                I feel quite fortunate. The work I do doesn't feel like work, it just feels like life and most of the time it is fun and fulfilling.

            • #70
              Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post

              I, too, have always dreamed of winning the lottery and running off to Burundi to live out my days.
              Burundi? Do tell. I lived most of my youth overseas, including grad school in the UK. Traveled pretty extensively. Love visiting, but I would never want to live anywhere else but the U.S.

              Is it weird that when I daydream about winning the lottery I tend to muse about setting up trusts to receive the money so I can remain anonymous, and have the funds taxed on the way out so I don't have to pay gift taxes? My goal with my retained share would be to start a non-profit business to provide employment in small town America.

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              • White.Beard.Doc
                White.Beard.Doc commented
                Editing a comment
                I fantasize about living in a Scandinavian country, or New Zealand. But then I realize that I want to live somewhere with San Diego weather.

              • Larry Ragman
                Larry Ragman commented
                Editing a comment
                Perth

              • Kamban
                Kamban commented
                Editing a comment
                I lived in the UK for nearly 4 years. I liked what I did but the weather was awful. Beautiful country for its size but I love living in SE USA much more. I had opportunities to emigrate / settle in New Zealand or Switzerland but having visited those countries I am glad I decided on USA. People who have always lived here sometimes don't realize how good this country is.

            • #71
              Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post

              Burundi? Do tell. I lived most of my youth overseas, including grad school in the UK. Traveled pretty extensively. Love visiting, but I would never want to live anywhere else but the U.S.

              Is it weird that when I daydream about winning the lottery I tend to muse about setting up trusts to receive the money so I can remain anonymous, and have the funds taxed on the way out so I don't have to pay gift taxes? My goal with my retained share would be to start a non-profit business to provide employment in small town America.
              I was being sarcastic...sorry! I agree on not wanting to live anywhere but the US but I would love to continue to travel.

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              • #72
                Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post

                I was being sarcastic...sorry! I agree on not wanting to live anywhere but the US but I would love to continue to travel.
                Oh, I knew that. Just too good a comment to pass up.

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                • #73
                  Originally posted by hightower View Post
                  25 million? Uh yeah, duh I would quit. Even a $2.5 million windfall would result in me quitting within seconds of me verifying the funds were in my account. It would be a phone call to my medical director...no not even a phone call, a text. I would simply write..."I'm not coming in to work tomorrow or ever again. Sorry." And no I wouldn't feel bad. They have plenty of people who would fill in for me instantly and they wouldn't miss me at all.
                  I actually day dream about this scenario quite regularly.
                  I’d do the same, but I’d leave out the word sorry!!

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                  • #74
                    How do you determine when you will financially lose more than you will gain practicing medicine?

                    How safe would the $25 million be if you worked as a physician for the government?

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                    • #75
                      Originally posted by whitecoatinvestoruser View Post

                      I agree. It seems as though there are mechanisms to protect assets (through for example higher malpractice insurance limits). I do find it sad though, that we have so many physicians who spent most of their youth toiling away at their specialty, who would gladly give it up if they had 25 million. I mean you only have one life to live, I wonder if most would have done something else if they could go back.
                      I dont think so. Im not sure I would do something else if I could go back, ok, I would invest that 10k in amazon they're always talking about. However, as you say, you only have one life to live, and when you hit middle age you realize it a bit more. If I had no need to work money wise, I'd re-evaluate priorities and see what I wanted out of the rest of my only life to live. That would not include doctoring in the manner I do it now.

                      Might include trying to start up a business, etc...in fact, it hurt me quite badly to hear that a business with the exact same premise as one I thought of doing, at the same time, just raised 789 million dollars and does 160 million/yr in revenue. Im pretty sure I have an even better idea, but of course not the capital to be able to do it right and take the massive risk of putting everything into that basket. Which, you kind of have to do to really have a shot.

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