As a doctor, you’ve probably had to convince your patients not to take advice from amateur bloggers, podcasters, or fussy in-laws. Instead, you encourage patients to obtain and follow advice from legitimate experts.
The irony, of course, is that doctors often ignore similar advice. Sanford Fisher, CPA, laments that “most physicians don’t want to go to professionals. They think they can do it themselves.” His partner, Jeffrey Ring, CPA, adds, “we can tell them [doctors] something over and over and over again but unless and until another physician tells them that same thing, they usually won’t pay any attention.” This reflects a well-known fact: doctors value the opinions of their peers.
Asking peers for advice seems reasonable for several reasons:
But despite the best intentions, doctors are generally not trained to be tax accountants, attorneys, or financial advisors. The risks of accepting advice from peers include:
It’s very tempting to accept advice from peers: You respect, admire, and trust them. They provide the advice sincerely because they’re your friends. But as already noted, accepting their advice opens you up to risks. Regardless of how well-intentioned they are, be very careful in accepting such advice.
Ultimately, your most reliable ally is you! The more educated you are, the more you can help yourself, either in making your own decisions, or in finding an expert who can help you.