My research shows that an overwhelming majority of medical students, residents, and fellows want access to unbiased personal finance education. Within their schools and graduate medical education (GME) programs those desires are hampered by logistical issues such as: scheduling challenges, lack of budgets, and scarcity of unbiased instructors. This book and the PillarsOfWealth.com website aim to provide that much-needed education.
Beyond my calling as an educator to provide this content, I also have a deep personal interest. I grew up in a medical family. Many of my relatives are physicians and dentists. My father was a renowned physician, widely recognized as the world’s leader in his field of pediatric exercise physiology. With over 200 peer-reviewed publications, he was a prolific researcher and popular lecturer who lived and breathed academic medicine. He was an old-fashioned doctor, who cared deeply about doing good, and was universally respected and loved by his family, students, staff and patients. He was also a very trusting and honest person, which made him an ideal target for brokers, agents, and advisors pitching financial products and services.
After his untimely passing at the age of 68, I watched my mother struggle. Observing her struggles, and recognizing that she was in relatively good shape compared to most widows, made me realize just how vulnerable physician families are. This led to a career change. I gradually extricated myself from the world of financial risk management—effectively, I was a “physician” for corporations—and rededicated myself to improving financial literacy among medical professionals.
I began by delivering workshops, participating in blogs, functioning as a consumer advocate, and making media appearances. I even obtained the same licenses required of financial advisors so I could truly understand the business of retail financial services and the people providing those services. I have since allowed those licenses to expire. My personal voyage culminated in the Pillars of Wealth initiative, whose objective is to help you and your family attain the prosperity you desire.
Many doctors neglect financial decision making due to lack of time, lack of interest, and in some cases, an element of intimidation. In response, many seek to outsource financial decision making to a reliable financial advisor. In a perfect world this would be an ideal solution. In the real world some financial advisors are inept, some are conflicted, and some are downright dishonest.
Are you able to distinguish the good from the bad? Are you sure your best friend, in-law, or work colleague can help you do this reliably? The honest answers in most cases are “no.”
The safest solution for you is to gain more knowledge. That knowledge empowers you and reduces your reliance on those who may not have your best interests at heart.