Passive income for the astute gastroenterologist


I don’t think I heard the term “passive income” until I was already an attending gastroenterologist.

That was no surprise. Why would I as a gastroenterologist with a focus in inflammatory bowel diseases be even remotely interested in that term?

Like most physicians, I went into medicine to take care of patients. That was my entire dream. It was a pleasant surprise to hear that gastroenterologists were relatively well paid compared to many other internal medicine specialties.

Dr. Latifat Alli-Akintade, a gastroenterologist with Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento (Calif.) Medical Center, and CEO, MoneyFitMD

Dr. Latifat Alli-Akintade

That was a bonus. I was not practicing medicine for the money. I was here to do good, only. Money was the evil one. It’s no surprise money remained a taboo topic amongst physicians.

This is reflected in the lack of financial education in our training.

I went through all my medical training without getting any financial education. In my last year of training, I wondered how I was going to not end up being a burned out, overworked physician mom. I knew I was going to work in a large hospital-based practice or academic center. I was already aware that employed physicians had a higher burnout rate compared to independent physicians. My desperation to avoid what looked like the natural history of most physicians in medicine was what led me to my financial awakening, as you could call it.

I became curious about where my money was going as it hit my bank account. Where was I investing? How was I going to ensure that I wasn’t putting all my financial eggs in one basket by relying solely on my clinical income? This road led me into a world that I didn’t know existed. It was the world of physician entrepreneurs.

I began thinking more critically of how I was spending my time outside of the hospital. As a busy physician mom, there already were a lot of competing needs and demands on the 24 hours that I was limited to within a day. How could I get things done and increase my earnability without needing to exchange more time for money in a one-to-one ratio?

Passive income!


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