Author Dr. Thomas Black coaches physician financial wellness to battle substance abuse, suicidal urges and Government mandates
As Washington considers how to improve the Affordable Care Act, Texas physician and author Thomas Black warns that a bigger problem is being ignored. Doctor burnout is on the rise and threatens the stability of any national health insurance plan leaders may draft in the future.
A new 2017 report by Medscape Lifestyle reveals that the burnout rate for emergency medicine (EM) doctors is nearly 60 percent, up 10 points since 2013, the first year the report was issued. One of the main reasons for burnout is “too many bureaucratic tasks.” More than 14,000 physicians in 27 specialties took part in the survey and noted that over 50 percent of all doctors are dealing with these intense issues.
“No one is talking about the health of physicians and nurses. I want the citizens of this country to be covered by a good health plan, but not at the expense of doctors, some of whom suffer from depression and substance abuse. Most people would be shocked to learn that suicide among doctors is a problem. I’ve lost several colleagues in recent years,” says Black, who manages a network of hospitals in the Dallas areas.
Also, government mandates bring a heavier workload without putting restrictions on the number of hours a doctor can function in the ER. Yet this nation limits the hours an airline pilot or truck driver can legally perform their duties.
“It makes no sense. Why are physicians, who deal with life and death decisions, not aided and respected in the same manner?”
Black, a U.S. Navy veteran and emergency medicine doctor, began to transition out of hospital emergency rooms when he felt ravaged, emotionally and spiritually, by the unrealistic demands placed on physicians during an endless series of medical crisis.
“When you lose a child you are caring for in the ER a little bit of your soul dies. There is nowhere to go to mourn and get some relief. You just have to buck up and carry on, hour after hour, one tragedy after another,” he says. “Part of the problem is money. Everyone thinks doctors are wealthy and therefore don’t need or deserve more attention. Not true.”
To share his own ordeal in medical school and then as a partner in a bustling medical group, Black authored The Passive Income Physician: Surviving a Career Crisis by Expanding Net Worth. The memoir/guidebook reveals Black’s belief that doctors can cut back clinical hours, and buy some restorative time early in their careers, by learning more about the topic medical school ignores—finance.
“We have to look after our own health if we’re going to be effective in hospitals. Yes, we make good money, but that doesn’t buy superhuman endurance and emotional stability under duress. If the politicians won’t discuss the depletion of the medical community, we must do a better job managing our money and personal expectations,” he says, adding, “Commercial real estate and expanding net worth was my path to a calm mind and healthy heart.”
While influential groups such as the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States and the Children’s Hospital Association raised their voices during recent ACA debates, Black choose to coach his colleagues by administering a little money medicine that includes information about hard assets and passive income.
“Real estate is now my passion but it is also my salvation,” says Black, who last year co-founded Napali Capital to help professionals improve their net worth. He also offers insights at his Freedom in the Black blog, and speaks to medical groups.
“The Passive Income Physician sheds some light on the dangers of overworking our doctors, and how they can do a better job providing for themselves. Obamacare will be with us for the foreseeable future. But no matter which health plan you prefer, when you rush your family member to an emergency room, do you want to be treated by an exhausted, depressed doctor? Or a rested, balanced human being who is not on the verge of collapse?”
Dr. Thomas Black is board certified in Emergency Medicine; prior to matriculation to medical school he worked for Wells Fargo Financial overseeing the residential mortgage loans. He and his wife, Micaela, who is a licensed realtor in Texas, have owned numerous single and multifamily assets and are well versed in foreclosure acquisitions.
The couple has designed, developed, and stabilized “A” class assets in Texas. Tom is an active blogger (freedomintheblack.com) in the healthcare community and passionate about translating high income earners to high net worth individuals through passive real estate investing. He just released his first book “The passive income physician, which is being sold on amazon.com hardback and kindle versions.
Reprinted with permission. The information contained in the article has not been prepared by Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and is distributed for educational purposes only. The information is not guaranteed to be accurate and may not entirely represent the opinions of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation.