Episode 64 of the Hope4Med podcast features Dr. Stephanie Freeman, one of the nation’s most acclaimed ICU physicians. She is double board-certified critical care, a best-selling author, speaker, and consultant. Dr. Freeman works with physicians who are struggling with their jobs, burnt out with their careers, or just want some career advice, helping physicians discover alternative jobs and careers in medicine so they can practice medicine on their own terms. She talks to us about being a lifelong locums physician and how she’s learned to navigate the business side of medicine. We discuss contracts–and the importance of knowing your contracts–with corporate medical groups and hospital organizations.
Connect with our guest:
[00:00:00] Dr. JB: Welcome to Hope4Med.
[00:00:04] Hi everyone, welcome back to the Hope4Med podcast. I am your host, Dr. JB, and today’s featured guest is Dr. Stephanie Freeman. She is one of the nation’s most acclaimed ICU physicians. She is board-certified in critical care, she’s a best-selling author, speaker, and consultant. Welcome to the show.
[00:00:26] Dr. Freeman: Hi, Dr. JB, thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited to be here. I am Dr. Stephanie Freeman. I’m a double board-certified critical care physician. I work with physicians who are struggling with their jobs, burnt out with their careers, or who just want some career advice through my books, webinars, coaching and speaking. I help physicians discover alternative jobs and careers in medicine so that they can practice medicine on their own terms.
[00:00:52] Dr. JB: That is amazing. So, Dr. Freeman, please let us start from the beginning. Please share with my audience your origin story.
[00:01:00] Dr. Freeman: Well, my origin story, as you all can tell by the accent, I am a southerner, so I’m a true southerner, I like to tell everybody. I was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I currently live in Houston, Texas. I went to undergraduate school at the University of Alabama, went to med school at UAB, did my internal medicine residency at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem North Carolina. Then I did my critical care fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh and had a great time. My medical training, my medical school education, great, had really good experiences, really supportive attendings. Of course, medical school and residency and fellowship can be brutal, but I think at the time I was going through, I was in a place that was supportive of learning the medical education, and so I was super excited when I got my first job.
[00:01:56] I finished up my critical care training at the University of Pittsburgh and I took a job at a local community hospital. Took a job at a local community hospital working with a private practice group of pulmonary critical care physicians and going to be their intensivist just at one particular hospital. And I was so excited because I was wanting to breathe my critical care skillset to the community. So I’m trained at world-renowned UPMC and I’m going to suburbia to work in a community hospital, and it wasn’t a good fit. And so the contract was not renewed, a.k.a I was fired. And I was devastated because nobody ever tells you as a physician that you can lose your job because when I was coming through– so I finished my training in 2006 and right around that time, that was the time of which the medical marketplace was really changing and I don’t think that our attending physicians really prepared us for what was coming because when I trained there was only two practice models. You either did academic or you did private practice, okay. And in private practice, you either own the group or you worked for the group, okay. And so, nobody talked to us about the medical marketplace and how things are so political and so economic, so I had to learn the hard way, through a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, about that.
[00:03:33] And so what happened, I lost my first job, but I was able to moonlight, because I’ve always moonlit. I’ve always been that resident that was, as soon as I could get my unrestricted medical license, as soon as I got permission from the program directors to moonlight, I was already moonlighting, so I understood that concept. I understood the concept of I can go someplace and work a shift and make a lot of money. And it was not any, the work was really not any more difficult than I was doing already. The pay was better. So I already understood the concept of moonlighting and so when I lost my first job, I was able to pick, you know, after I laid on the floor and cried, I was able to be like, okay, let me just call this hospital down the street and get back on the schedule. So that’s how I really got into this concept of locums and moonlighting, and that’s how I fell into it. And it actually not only was a lifesaver, it was a career saver. So now I just tell everybody that I’m a lifelong locums doctor because I’ve had a couple of stints where I’ve tried to be an employed physician and it just didn’t work for me, so now I am all in to locums thing and being a PRN doctor and a moonlighter, and I have more work than I can shake a stick at. And so, that is my story briefly, but not so briefly.
[00:05:02] Dr. JB: So, one thing that was really interesting about what you mentioned was how, when you finished residency, you were very well aware of moonlighting, despite that, you still decided you wanted to go and become an employed physician. Can you walk me through what the reasoning behind that decision?
[00:05:21] Dr. Freeman: Because we are taught in America that you go to school, you study hard and then you get a really good job. And we’re taught and we are socialized to thinking that the road to security in America is to get that good job because you need those, what benefit. And you need what stability. Cause then you want to buy a house and you want to settle down. So that’s the part of the American dream, right? It’s part of the American dream. You grow up, you go to school, you study hard, you get that good job and you stay in that good job until you retire. But see, when I came out, the medical marketplace was rapidly changing.
[00:06:04] And so now you have the rise of– now there’s corporate medical groups and there’s a new corporate medical group on every corner coming up. There’s a new corporate medical group and the corporate medical group way of doing medicine and employing physicians is something that we weren’t taught about during our training, because see then not only do you have to deal with being employed by the corporate medical group, then you have to think about the fact that the corporate medical group has contracts with these hospitals. And so there’s numerous relationships that you’re not privy to, but it all comes down to what does each organization’s bottom line look like? What does the hospitals or healthcare organizations bottom line look like? Can they continue to offer– can they continue to receive services from this corporate medical group?
[00:06:53] The corporate medical group is then looking at their bottom line saying, okay, can we continue to provide services to said organization? And can we continue to employ our physicians at said cost? Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of relationships that we aren’t privy to, that we weren’t taught about, that we didn’t know to ask about. And we get caught up in the churn and we’re the, we’re the casualties of that. And we’re walking around here as the walking wounded without even knowing that we’ve been thrown into a war and we don’t know what happened.
[00:07:40] Dr. JB: Well, how do you even start asking those questions?
[00:07:42] Dr. Freeman: You ask them. That is what you do. You ask those questions. If you are going into an employee contract, you’re signing on W2 contract, and even if you’re doing locums. When I have conversations with locums recruiters, when they call me, the first thing I asked is who was this contract with? I need to know who the contract is with. I need to know if the locums company is contracting directly with the hospital, or if the locums company is contracting with a corporate medical group who is then contracting with the hospital. I need to know those relationships, because then I need to be aware of said relationships that are going on.
[00:08:19] So I can be on the lookout for any things that threaten those relationships, because those relationships get threatened, physician jobs get cut. For those people who are about to sign a contract, know who you’re working for. That is the first thing you got to know who you’re working for. You got to ask this question, who am I working for? Because what many people don’t know, and I didn’t know, is that these corporate medical groups, oftentimes these national corporate medical groups will form organizations in the state so that they can do business in the state. So you got to see whose name is on that contract that they want you to sign because it can, it could be a corporate medical group XYZ, but in the state where you’re working, they’re doing business as corporate medical group ABC. So you need to know who you’re working with.
[00:09:17] So you got to ask those questions and then if you’re not working with a corporate medical group, you have to ask, okay, so you are contracting me for these services at X, Y, and Z facility. What is your contract at X Y Z facility? Did you all just get this contract? Is it a one-year contract with the option to renew? Is it a three-year contract with the one year– you could, they can be out in a year? So where are you all in your contract cycle? Because what happens is if you sign that contract with corporate medical group and corporate medical group loses the contract with hospital organization, then that leaves you without a job. And you might not be able to continue to work at that hospital depending on the terms of your contract with corporate medical group.
[00:10:15] Could you talk about that a little bit more? What exactly do you mean by that?
[00:10:19] I mean exactly what I just said, because your contracts with corporate medical group have no compete clauses and those no complete clauses state that you cannot work for X number of years within a certain radius of your current job, or sometimes not just your current job, they’re referring their satellite facilities. So let’s say if you have signed a contract with corporate medical group X Y Z, corporate medical group is contracted with a hospital organization. Hospital organization severs contract with corporate medical group XYZ, your contract state will state that in the event that your employment is over with corporate medical group X Y Z, and they lose their contract, that you have to resign your privileges at that hospital. And you can’t work at said hospital, cause guess what? The no compete clause just kicked in.
[00:11:21] And so therefore, if you want to stay at that hospital and work, that hospital may either have to pay the corporate medical group a fee, a finder’s fee or if a new medical group is coming over to take over that contract and they want to retain your services, then that new group has to pay your former employer a finder’s fee. So here you are. If you’re not privy to these things, going to work, doing your job, saying your patients going to work, doing your job, seeing the patients, then you get notice, oh, we lost the contract to this hospital and you’re no longer going to be able to work there. Decision made without your knowledge, your input, because these are decisions and conversations that are going on going on above your head.
[00:12:09] So then you’ve got to figure out what you’re going to do, because if you have a family and you signed a no compete clause and that no compete clause is a 25 mile radius for two years, where are you going to work? In some places, a lot of physicians have had to get up and relocate or do locums or do something else because you might not be able to go to the hospital down the street or down the block or the other side of town, because your no compete clause kicks in.
[00:12:39] So all of a sudden, you’re in a situation of no wrongdoing of your own, and now you got to find another job. And it’s those types of things that contribute to the moral injury and burnout of physicians, that churning of these jobs and these corporate medical groups in these contracts and these mergers and the acquisitions. And physicians are all ways the casualties of our labor costs are too high, so we’re going to, we’re just going to get rid of these physicians. We’re just going to slash this cost. We’re just going to get rid of these physicians. We’re going to make them work more. We’re going to make them do more with less because we’ve got to increase our bottom line and the physicians are the casualties.
[00:13:22] And I think that it’s been near and dear to my heart ’cause I’ve been thinking about the abuse of physicians lately. That if you’re not cognizant of this churn, if you’re not cognizant of this financial medical marketplace and things are happening in the marketplace as it pertains to your job, and you don’t understand why, it’s so easy to internalize that. It’s so easy to like, here we go again. Or because what happens is oftentimes corporate medical groups know that these changes are coming and they know they got to trim the bottom line and they know they’ve got to do some stuff, so, then they start their abuse tactics with the physicians to do either one of two things: either to make you leave, because that’s what they want to do, they want you to leave so they don’t have to fire you because they want to trim that staffing budget. Or, if you stay, they want to have you under their thumb so that you do what you’re told, you don’t ask, no pushback. And so all of this is happening and we don’t know as physicians because we don’t talk to each other.
[00:14:34] And Dr. JB, we don’t know enough about like the larger picture that then we start internalizing things. We think we’re stuck. We think we’re trapped. We think there’s something wrong with us when all it is, is that we are working for, we’re working in an abusive system.
[00:14:49] Dr. JB: And this abusive system is something that’s new?
[00:14:53] Dr. Freeman: It’s very new. And that’s why you have a lot of older doctors jumping ship. They’re like, they’re not doing it anymore. That’s why you have a– it’s funny I can say older doctors, but you’re not. I’ve been a physician for 22 years, so I’m to the point where I’m no longer a new physician, I’m getting on up there. And these old people, 10, 10 years older than me, they’re chalking up the deuces and hanging up their coats and everything, because this is not how it used to be.
[00:15:20] Before managed care came along, hospitals actually used to be owned. They used to be individual, owned and run by boards in the community that did what was best for the people of the community. Okay. They were staffed well, with a good nurse to physician ratio and you have physicians that actually took pride in working there. They were treated with respect and a lot of private practice physicians, or even groups that provided coverage to the physicians. But once this corporate, this corporate practice of medicine kind of took hold and it took the physician paced– it took the emphasis off of patient care, and it started de-valuing the physician patient relationship.
[00:16:07] And that’s when you started seeing all this churn in medicine. You know, how common is it now for you to come across a physician who is either a hospitalist, a critical care physician, or an ER physician, and they’ve been at a place more than three years? That’s rare now because their contracts are for what, three years? Because they work for who? Corporate medical groups whose contracts are for what? Three years. So there’s no longer this situation in which you have a physician that’s going to go and be at a place for any extended period of time. The term is in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out.
[00:16:51] Dr. JB: Interesting. Yeah, because I think that there are a lot of physicians who think, oh, if I work for this managed care group, if they lose their contract, that’s fine. I’ll just continue working for the next one that takes over or work for the hospital or things like that. So, what you mentioned, I’m sure, is news to a lot of them.
[00:17:14] Dr. Freeman: It is. Read your contracts, read your contracts, read those contracts and what it states, because there is, they’re very clear about that, so if they lose that contract, you’ve essentially lost your job. It’s not going to be just as a smooth transition because who’s going to take the new contract. So what’s your next contract going to be? Who’s going to write your check? Who’s going to, who’s going to pay you? So that is why it’s very important. I’m not saying a physician should be going to all of the board meetings and all of this and all of that and all of these committee meetings, but I am saying it’s very important that you read your contract, who you’re working for, whose name is on that contract, and you know where they are in that contract cycle with the facility that they’re contracted with so that you don’t get caught off guard.
[00:18:10] Dr. JB: How easy is it to remove the non-compete clause?
[00:18:14] Dr. Freeman: It’s not. It’s not easy to remove that. You can try. A lot of these groups that you, that we work for, they’ll just tell you that a standard language, there’s no compete contracts and locums contracts. And locums contracts, basically, if a locums company presents you to a hospital or a healthcare organization, even if you don’t work there, you can’t work there for a period of two years after your initial presentation or a period of two years after you last worked there. So it’s none of this “okay, I’m going to take an assignment, go through this as a company, take an assignment at this facility and then, oh, this other company is offering the same assignment for hire, so I’m going to go to this company and then work at the same place with this company making more money.” It’s none of that. It’s none of that. So, they do have their own no-compete clause as well.
[00:19:11] Dr. JB: Some people become their own locums tenens company. What are your thoughts about that?
[00:19:18] Dr. Freeman: Well, when you said their own locum tenens company, I think you mean that they contract directly with the organizations to provide temporary services on an as-needed basis without going through a locums agency. I know people who do that, I have done that before. I think that’s very reasonable. And I would recommend that people look into that very option, look into contacting these organizations directly and offering your services and, and see what you all can work out. So I do think that that’s a very reasonable thing to do.
[00:19:56] Dr. JB: ‘Cause sounds like it would be cost-effective for both parties.
[00:20:00] Dr. Freeman: Well, it may be. It may, because it’s, it should cost the hospital less because they don’t have to pay the locums company. It’s not necessarily more cost effective for the physician because you don’t necessarily get a higher salary. And then many of the services that a locums agency would provide for you are things that you now have to do yourself. So, you would have to do all your credentialing and licensing yourself. You would have to make all your travel arrangements yourself and hope that you’ve negotiated with the organizations to reimburse you for your cost to travel. So those are some of the things that can be a little tricky, but it’s not, those aren’t barriers that are insurmountable. Those are the things that you just have to keep in mind, should you decide to do locums. And should you try it, should you aim to contract directly with the hospital.
[00:20:55] Dr. JB: So, if we go back to what we’re talking about, if you’re the physician and this managed care organization loses its contract with the hospital, and then you are out of a job and the moral injury that you experience and, you know, how you can internalize what’s going on and say, oh, if I just was more productive, if I just was quicker, or whatever else you, you tell yourself, how do you not do that?
[00:21:28] Dr. Freeman: I’ve done that before. The thing is to realize what is happening while it’s happening. Okay. That’s the key. The key is to realize medicine is a business. So we’re working in businesses, for business people, and our training is completely different. We are physicians. We are, we answered a call.We didn’t enter the profession for the money. They, the society rewards us for what we do because we’ve dedicated time and energy and effort and money and we are in charge of people’s lives. So, in exchange for that, we make a nice salary, but nobody wakes up and says, I want to make a lot of money, so I’m going to do four years of college, four years of medical school, three years of a residency, and two years of a fellowship, and then start working when I’m 30. Nobody wakes up and says that. You’re five and you decide to be a doctor because you want to help people. So therefore, you’re dealing with the physicians have a totally different frame of reference, but we’re dealing with people whose frame of reference is profits. Our frame of reference is we want to help people. That’s what we’re driven by. And so, we’re so busy operating in our altruistic medical model mindset whereas we’re being managed from a business mindset. And if we don’t, at least, if we’re not at least cognizant of the motivatiod, behind the people who are writing, controlling our jobs, and signing our paychecks, we could get caught off guard.
[00:23:07] And so my suggestion for all physicians is just to be aware of what’s going on so that– not if, but when you find yourself in this kind of situation, A, it won’t be so much of a surprise and B, you can just roll with the punches and find the next best thing.
[00:23:34] Dr. JB: Is there another alternative to just rolling with the punches and finding the next best?
[00:23:39] Dr. Freeman: I would say, you know what? It just depends. It really depends on how much energy and effort you want to put into it. But at the end of the day, you have to decide what’s important to you. And what is important to you is continue to, if you want to continue to see patients, if you want to continue to practice medicine or you want to fight the power, which power are you fighting? Because the thing is these decisions have been made. They’ve been made at the corporate level and there’s nothing that you can really do about it. Because you are the physician, but you’re not at those high-end levels. And so therefore, you have to decide what’s best for you and your family and your financial situation. So, it’d be like, oh, well I just got to get another job. Let me dust out the CV. Let me go pick up some locums assignments. Let me start seeing what’s out there, because you’re going to have to change jobs. So, you’re going to have to decide how you’re going to look at this and how you’re going to let it affect you.
[00:24:41] Dr. JB: So, how did you get to where you are right now in terms of this mindset and mentality?
[00:24:47] Dr. Freeman: Lots of prayer, tears, changing not just jobs, but changing locums assignments too. And it has taken a while. It is 2022, I took my first locums assignment in 2008. I was fired from my first job in 2006, note, I said, first job, because like I said, this whole thing keeps happening and it happens to more physicians than then we know. And so it took years and years. Dr. JB, I was ashamed and embarrassed about the fact that I was a full-time locums doctor. I will come up with every excuse when I was talking to people. Oh, well, you know what? I’m in school to get my MBA, which that excuse lasted for two weeks. Well, my MBA program was over. I was like, well, damn, there goes that excuse, that I guess I got to get a permanent job because I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. And when I was doing it back in 2008, starting 2008 doing locums, I didn’t know any other full-time locums doctors. We were all just going through and whatever, but now locums is a full lifestyle.
[00:25:53] But I’ve had to go through the process to embrace this and because I’ve taken so many assignments and I’ve been a locums doctor working for a corporate medical group and still in the corporate medical group was starting an intensivist program at a hospital. And there was a lot of political issues going on and I’m like, Hey, I’m just trying to do my job as these patients in the ICU. And then, I’m just going to be there. And so, they get fully staffed and then I’ll try and transition to another assignment. And so, I’ve seen the churn, I’ve seen the churn of these groups and these jobs in these contracts. Because as a locums doctor, when, when the contracts change and they get rid of all the permanent doctors, they bring in the locums doctors until they can get the new programs started. So I’ve seen this, I’ve been in the mix. And so I’ve had to just take a step back and. And I would realize how I would be treated during the mix. And I’m like, wait a minute, this is a recurring pattern. And then when I started talking to other physicians and I’m seeing the same pattern because they’re being told the same things, I was like, something else is going on.
[00:27:10] So I was just able to put things together, put things together and prayer and healing and counseling and talking to other physicians and basically realizing and accepting where I am in life and what I wanted. So that’s how I was able to make this journey and get to the point where I am now and be like, I’m a lifelong locums doctors. All of these places have problems, unless it’s you. It’s not easy. I have to put this disclaimer because sometimes it really is us. Maybe some of us do have personality issues that are difficult people to work with. If you are, you got to get some help and ask the people who are close to you for some feedback. And they might be like, yeah, you do need to work on this or no, that’s okay. Or whatever. But after you’ve done the work yourself internally, externally, and you really make sure that you are not the problem, because I would tell people one locums assignment would be like, “oh, that Dr. Freeman,” I go to another local summit the next week and they would think I was the best thing since sliced bread. I’m like, okay. So it was clearly like me, it’s clearly not me, because these local assignments over here love me and are begging me to give them more time on the schedule, where this locums assignment right here, this hospital right here, had some not so nice things to say to me. So I’m like, which is it? But that, that hospital right there had political stuff going on that had nothing to do with me.
[00:28:44] But there was just like a lot of political stuff. This hospital, these hospitals over here just need somebody to cover their patients and to do the work until everything else gets figured out. So I figured that out, I figured that out, I’m almost 50 years old. I figured it out unless it’s you, it’s not you. And that’s why I tell everybody I’m a lifelong locums doctor. Cause I, I’m in a better place now than when I was when I first started because, and like I said, this is a different game than it was 20 years ago. This is a different game than it was 20 years ago. And physicians need to know how to recognize this game.
[00:29:29] Dr. JB: So, when you take a step back and you look at it through the lens that you are seeing things now and realize that medicine is a business, does that help in terms of combating moral injury?
[00:29:43] Dr. Freeman: It absolutely does. It absolutely does. Because what it does is it keeps you from getting your feelings hurt. All right. It keeps you from getting your feelings hurt because you know that unless it’s you, it’s not you. Okay. It’d be like the same way. This is, it is bigger than me. So, I have these conversations all the time when I’m talking to clients and who are physicians, ‘cause I do locums coaching and they’ll just call me and be like, you know what? This is what’s going on in my job, and they’re picking on me, they’re doing this, they do this, doing this. I’m like, they want you to leave but they can’t fire you. And the reason they want you to leave is because your practice is having financial problems and they can’t afford you. And so then the physician I’m talking to, it’d be like, you’re right. Because then they’ll start thinking about other conversations. They, in the business meetings that have been had and how that organization is at risk of losing this contract or that contract, or the numbers are down or reimbursement’s down. And, and so my goal when I work with other physicians is to, like I say, unless it’s you, it’s not you. And to let them see the bigger picture and that it’s really not your fault, unless it is. It’s not your fault, unless it is. And it’s not you, unless it is. But all things being considered, if you haven’t done any blatant malpractice, if you have not committed any fraud, and if you’re not, then it’s probably not you. And it’s probably due to some financial economic forces beyond your control. And instead of people just come in and say, you know what, we out of money or our reimbursements are down and we can’t have you anymore. We just can’t afford you. They start planning. And then even if they do come to you and say, you know what, we’re having a reduction in force, all y’all leaving, you are losing your job, then you got your feelings hurt. But my goal is to help physicians in realizing that business, that medicine is a business. That when business decisions are made, just to try not to internalize it so much. Yes. It’s going to hurt. Your feelings are going to be hurt because you’ve given so much to this job and quote unquote, how could they do you like this?
[00:32:11] And then you’re like, well, man, I got a family, I got bills to pay. My baby’s got daycare, tuition. My kids got private school tuition. And I got to get back in this job market. There’s all of that, all of that emotion? And that’s okay. Feel it. Feel it, mourn the loss of your job. Mourn than the loss of your job, just don’t continually internalize those feelings of despair and thinking that it’s you, because unless it’s you, it’s not.
[00:32:43] Dr. JB: But realizing that it’s not you also takes some looking in the mirror to see whether or not it really is you or not.
[00:32:52] Dr. Freeman: Right, right. That’s right. And so for me, I’ve had to do a lot of work because is this something that just keeps happening and it’s just not a good fit, eventually you’re going to find a place that’s a good fit. Eventually you are. But like I said, you’re going to have to have some, some coaching, some mentorship, and some tough conversations with people you love and people who can say, okay, you know what? You were out of line, you do need to do things differently, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So it’s a two-way street. It really is a two-way street.
[00:33:26] Dr. JB: And all of these things that we’re talking about can be learned. Right? So it’s not, oh, just because I don’t behave in XYZ manner today doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed. It can’t be adjusted. All of these things are learned habits.
[00:33:44] Dr. Freeman: You’re absolutely right. They’re all learned habits and everybody, even, especially myself, I’ve had to learn. And, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more mellow. I was having this conversation with my mom. She was like, yeah, you’ve, mellowed out some.Yes, I have, I have mellowed out some and it’s a growth and maturity process. And I think we have, as physicians, we have to rely on that we’re human too. And that’s why I tell people, physicians are human too. And we expect humans to continue to grow and evolve and mature, and physicians need to be extended that same grace, and we need to give the same grace to ourselves.
[00:34:21] Dr. JB: That’s right. So, Dr. Freeman, if my listener wanted to find out more about you and what you do, how can they do so?
[00:34:33] Dr. Freeman: Yes, my email is www.drstephanieicu.com and everybody is welcome to go to that website. And also, you can join my Facebook group, which is for physicians is called Creating Careers in Medicine, it’s on Facebook and welcome to all, open to all physicians. And if you are interested in locums and you want to get started with locums, I have a free online training course that is called getting started with locums and five easy steps. And you can find that at www.freelocumstraining.com. That is www.freelocumstraining.com.
[00:35:17] Dr. JB: All right. Thank you so much. I mean, you have so much valuable information to share with, with all of us.
[00:35:25] Dr. Freeman: Well, you know what? I just want everybody to win. I want every physician to, when there’s too many physicians that are leaving the practice of medicine altogether and it doesn’t have to be that way. So my goal is to get every physician to win, whatever a win looks like to them. I want every physician to be in a place where they truly can practice medicine on their own terms. But before you can win, you have to realize this. Before you go right to the game that we are all in. Got to learn the strategies, to win the strategies.
[00:36:07] Dr. JB: So with that, do you have any words of wisdom or pearls of wisdom for my listener?
[00:36:16] Dr. Freeman: I would say like the Bible says, physician heal thyself. My words of wisdom are every physician listening to, here listening to this podcast is to make the healing of yourself your top and main priority, because so much is taken out of us and we don’t even realize it. Every day, every day as a physician, we are dealing with two things, death and dying, three things, death, dying, and sickness. People don’t come to us professionally just to chit chat. They’re there with the complaints, an illness or a life-threatening situation. They’re all negative and we’re dealing with that day in and day out. Some stuff, physicians go to work every day, some physicians work five, six days a week, 60, 70 hours a week, and dealing with that does take a toll. It takes a toll on your spirit. It takes a toll on your soul. It takes a toll on your mind. And even ages you, it takes a toll on your body, but the Bible says physician heal thyself. So whatever it is you need to do as a physician to heal yourself, you got to make that your top priority. Got to make self-healing a top priority because nobody else is going to prioritize you until you prioritize yourself.
[00:38:01] Dr. JB: Who says a doc can’t rap? D O C T O R J B. The greatest doctor to ever touch the mic. The greatest podcast ever broadcasted or prerecorded. Come learn some. Each one, teach one. I’m done.