What do I define as Physician Zen?
Hi my name is Vi (pronounced “Vee”). I am so grateful that you have decided to visit the Physician Zen website. This site is dedicated to all students, residents, and clinicians who feel drowned everyday trying to manage their career, finances, and life. Having experienced this myself, I started exploring and implementing changes in my own life to improve my productivity and decrease stress in the everlasting goal of achieving a state of Physician Zen. The materials in this website includes things I wish I knew during my own medical training and beyond.
“Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication” Leonardo Di Vinci
As I progress through my career, I realize that the more simple concepts are made and presented, the more effectively they are implemented and retained. I hope to keep that essence with this website by presenting materials that would be helpful to the most number of people in the simplest form possible.
I have an amazing wife and two young children who bring all of the meaning to my life. My wife has been my biggest supporter from day one since we met in college. Without her belief and support in me, I would be lost.
I completed an Emergency Medicine residency in 2012, followed by two fellowships (Critical Care and Emergency Ultrasound) in 2014. I am currently an Associate Professor at a tertiary academic center in Southern California and am heavily involved with clinical work/research/teaching. I have been blessed enough to have been able to publish a text book and over 25 journal articles.
I have interacted with thousands of medical students, residents, fellows, and attendings. A common question I am asked by trainees is “how can I become more productive without feeling so stressed?” I started contemplating on this further and came to the realization that the fundamental reason most health care professionals are stressed with their career, finances and life was NOT the lack of knowledge. Most people know they should stay organized, exercise, eat well, save money for retirement, etc. The fundamental problem is that most clinicians lack a simple and reliable system that enables them to be efficient and productive in their daily lives to achieve these intentions.
Unfortunately, just like personal finances, we are not taught personal productivity during medical school or at any point in our training.
I believe SUCCESS starts with creating a personal productivity system that works for you. A truly great productivity system will allow you to work smarter not harder. What if you were able to achieve goals faster, more efficiently, and with little-to-no stress? It is possible! The process is simple but it will require you to clear your physical environment, digital environment, and mind. It will also require you to develop simple daily habits and weekly reviews. This website will help motivated students and clinicians create their own simple productivity system that can free their minds and maximize their productivity.
I love learning about finances and don’t claim to even know a hint as much as the White Coat Investor, Physician on FIRE, Passive Income M.D., The Physician Philosopher, Dr. McFrugal, XRAYVSN or a host of other Physician Finance Bloggers. However, with the financial knowledge obtained from such sources, my wife and I were able to pay off our college and professional school loans (350k+) within one year of completing fellowship training (in 2015). Using just the most basic financial principles, we managed to acquire a net worth of 1 million in our mid-thirties by living like residents, maximizing retirement accounts, acquiring rental properties, and investing in real estate syndicates.
My hope is to introduce the absolute basic financial principles that all clinicians should be aware of in a simple and logical fashion. Financial independence does not happen over night but requires meticulous planning. Having a trusted productivity system will help you reach financial independence by clarifying financial goals and defining the necessary steps to achieve such goals.
After entering medical school I let my health slip. I was so focused on studying and working that I stopped exercising consistently and ate a very poor diet. I would tell myself that I don’t have time to exercise or eat well. My weight increased and I constantly felt fatigued. I personally know many students and clinicians that can identify with this.
However, once I developed a productivity system, it helped me to prioritize my time and maximize my days. I am now able to exercise consistently 5-6 times a week despite having a full clinical schedule, research projects, and teaching requirements. I started to realize that the more I invested in my health the more productive I actually became. The fact that health and productivity could be synergistic fascinates me. It is a win-win situation.
Health is a very personal subject for each individual. However I hope that by maximizing your productivity and clarifying your life goals, you will be able to carve out time to re-explore passions and hobbies in your life that may have been forgotten.
Mission of PhysicianZen.com
There are many resources on personal productivity and finances that focus on WHAT you should be doing. However, I have found limited resources that focus on HOW cultivating productivity can help clinicians achieve not just financial independence but also career and life goals.
The mission of this site is to help students and clinicians develop their own stress-free productivity system that will allow them to accomplish their career goals, achieve financial independence, nurture personal relationships, and develop mental/physical wellbeing. I hope to do this by presenting material in a simple and actionable way using blogs posts and instructional videos.
PhysicianZen.com is a map of my personal journey to attain a state of stress-free productivity and financial independence. The views are my own and I hope to share what I have learned as well as draw on the experiences from others who share similar passions.
Vi Dinh, MD FACEP
Physician Zen Editor