Dr. Christopher Loo, a full-time entrepreneur, coach, and speaker, shares his journey to financial freedom and gives tips on how you can set yourself up for financial success in medicine.
- [00:42] Dr. Loo’s Medical Journey and Career
- [04:20] Combined MD-PhD Program
- [06:59] The Dilemma of Being a Physician
- [10:12] SEAK Non-Clinical Careers Conference
- [12:37] Coaching Physicians in Financial Literacy
- [14:21] Resources & Tips to Help You Reach Financial Freedom
- [21:56] Comparing Careers as an Orthopedic Surgeon and Entrepreneur
- [26:58] Dr. Loo’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students
Dr. Erkeda DeRouen chats with Dr. Christopher Loo. Previously, he was an orthopedic surgeon but has retired from his medical career to become a full-time entrepreneur, coach, and speaker. As a coach, he teaches physicians about financial literacy and helps them improve their business skills. In today’s episode, Dr. Loo shares his own journey to financial freedom. He also gives tips on how you can set yourself up for financial success.
Combined MD-PhD Program
The MD-PhD dual degree was established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create more medical scientists. They are meant to become the leaders that will further medical progress. After 2 years of building base knowledge in medical school, the program’s focus shifts to PhD graduate training. Finally, students are expected to complete their clinical rotations before receiving their MD-PhD degree.
NIH’s combined MD-PhD training has a noble purpose. But in reality, the program is very challenging to finish. Gaining a dual doctorate degree can open a lot of career paths for you. In Dr. Loo’s case, he chose to become an entrepreneur. His MD-PhD taught him to be innovative and creative. Today, he applies those soft skills to his business career.
The Dilemma of Being a Physician
There is an expectation for physicians to work in hospitals, clinics, and institutions. Medical schools are evaluated solely on their match rate. Doctors who do not actively practice often face criticism. It also doesn’t help that some doctors view their training as a waste if they don’t see patients. All these factors can pressure a physician to pursue a traditional medical career instead of the career that they want.
Physicians who want to take a different career path might find it difficult since there is no longer a blueprint to follow. Thankfully, there are more opportunities now than ever before. Doctors can leverage today’s technology to pursue their interests or to find like-minded people. Networking conferences by SEAK and The White Coat Investor are helpful for physicians seeking non-clinical careers.
Resources & Tips to Help You Reach Financial Freedom
Good financial habits are not determined by your test scores. A lot of the basic principles are common sense. Take advantage of the learning resources available to you. Learning about personal finance and business is much easier than becoming a doctor.
Read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s a good resource for overall self-development. Second, Dr. Loo recommends “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. The book highlights the difference between the role of an entrepreneur and an employee. Finally, students should also read “Creating Wealth” by Robert Owen to learn more about alternative income streams. One cannot rely on just one way of generating income. If you lose your career, it can be devastating. Look into how you can obtain passive income.
Dr. Loo advises against taking too much student debt. Assess your situation first before taking out loans. While in medical school, students should also get to know the business side of medicine and its culture. Be ready to adapt to changes as you develop your skill sets.
Comparing Careers: Orthopedic Surgeon Vs Entrepreneur
Dr. Loo considers his medical career as a learning opportunity. His practice as an orthopedic surgeon taught him that the corporate world is harsh. It was during this time that he realizes he was an entrepreneur that doesn’t fit into the corporate mold.
As a surgeon, he learned how to set realistic goals and how to manage risks. These skillsets are still valuable to Dr. Loo as a businessman and investor. He also finds that being an entrepreneur grants him more efficient use of his time. By generating more passive income for himself, Dr. Loo is able to work less.
Dr. Loo’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students
It’s never too early to start learning about financial literacy. Doing so can only set you up for future success. You can attain financial freedom by working a regular job and setting aside 20% of your income for investments. To retire early, you’ll need to learn more and develop better financial skills. Financial freedom will allow you to do what you want in life.
Another piece of advice from Dr. Loo: pursue a career out of passion rather than societal expectation. The fear of failure shouldn’t stop you from chasing after your goals. Instead, let the fear of regret drive you into action so you can turn your aspirations into reality. Endless opportunities are all around you. Act now before it’s too late.
Do you have questions about non-clinical careers or personal finance? Reach out to Dr. Loo by emailing him at [email protected]. Follow him on all his social media accounts: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. Check out his books on Amazon.