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The Frugal Physician Features…

The Frugal Physician Features Fantastically Frugal Friends!

Do I get negative points for using Frugal twice?  Let’s try it again.  The Frugal Physician Features Financially Fit Friends!  I’m having way too much fun with this.  

Anyway, this week I would like to highlight the awesome content coming out of the physician community.  There is a wealth of information out there!

On Frugality

I loved listening to Doctor Money Matters’ episode featuring Dr. Sarah Fallaw, PhD who is the author of the new book, The Next Millionaire Next Door.  One of the most enduring traits of Millionaires?  Frugality!  Nice to hear we are on the right track over here.

I also enjoyed, Ether to FI’s story on Physician on Fire’s site about his FI superpower: his frugal spouse.  He shares his story about how his spouse talked him out of buying a new car instead of repair his old one.  My hubby similarly talked me out of buying a souped up version of our current Honda Pilot when we first started our FI journey.  It’s good to have a partner in crime that gets frugality to pull you back when you start to stray off the path!

Finally, I loved the frugal tips on The Financial Residency Podcast by Ryan Inman featuring Joel Laarsgaard. Here they talk about cutting costs on cell phone bills (I’m also a huge fan of Google FI),  cutting insurance costs (this is on my to do list), cutting costs on groceries, and much more.  

We went maple sugaring this weekend. The sap flows best when the nights are still below freezing but the days are warmer. Here is my big guy learning how to put a spiel into a tree. Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup? Lots of work but so worth it!

On Buying Houses

Dr. Cory S. Fawcett featured a story about a physician family who built a McMansion as soon as they started a new job as an attending. They lost nearly $500,000 when they needed to move two years later.  My family had a similar story.  We bought a house and fixed it up when I started my first attending job.  When we needed to move two years later, we sold the house.  Thankfully it wasn’t for a loss.  But, we put in money for renovations and towards the mortgage and we didn’t get that back.  So it was basically like renting except with the hassles of maintenance and selling.  In retrospect, we would have been much better off renting.

“Should I rent or buy in Residency?” by Wrenne Financial Planning outlines the costs of buying and selling nicely.  If you were going to buy a house and stay there for years, buying is a good wealth building tool.  But, unfortunately, the physician work atmosphere these days makes it likely that our first job wont be “the one.” When we leave, non-compete clauses make it difficult to stay in the same town.  So, renting when we are residents and when we first start jobs is generally the better option.  

On Burnout in Medicine

I firmly believe empowering physicians financially and emphasizing physician financial wellness leads to happier doctors and better healthcare.  Dr. Zubin Damania recently released an immensely powerful video about how burnout actually stems from moral injury.  It is what happens when inherently idealistic people that sacrifice so much in their lives to help people, to be part of something greater, find themselves stuck in a system that demands they compromise their ideals in the name of profit.  This is why I believe it is so important that we understand money- so we can give input on what changes would improve efficiency and where cutting corners would cause harm to patients.  But first, we need financial security ourselves so that we can speak up with out fear of losing our livelihood.  

On a similar vein, The Physician Philosopher featured Vagabond MD on this site to talk about how The Hospital Will Not Love You Back. He writes about how loving our jobs and counting on them for our sense of self worth inherently leads to bitterness because the systems do not love us back.  It helps to get a little emotional distance from our jobs.  Financial independence can help us find the means to fashion a career more suited to us.  

And finally, on a more positive note, Passive Income MD wrote a really nice piece on why he doesn’t plan on quitting medicine anytime soon, even though he is financially independent.  He still enjoys his job and the intellectual stimulation that comes with it.  But, he is pushing himself to work a little less so he doesn’t burn out, which is very smart.  So, there may be hope yet that financial independence could bring back the romance we once had with medicine.

Hope you all enjoy these!

Stay frugal, ya’ll.

Much love,

Dr. D

Standard Disclaimer: Not meant as individualized financial advice.  Images from            


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