Coach JPMD discusses how physicians learn and habits that help shape their personal and business lives. This is the first episode of the podcast and was recorded to spark an interest in the habits that physicians and other care providers can create to transform their lives after medical school and residency training. Physicians can have healthy careers in medicine by building habits around seven key areas of life.
Welcome to the Practice: Impossible podcast where your host, Jude A. Pierre MD, also known as Coach JPMD, discusses medical practice topics that will guide you through the maze that is the business of medicine, and teach you how to increase profits and help populations live long. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to listen and be transformed! Now, here's your host Coach JPMD!
Coach JPMD 00:24
Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to the Practice: Impossible podcast. And I'm your host, Jude A. Pierre MD, also known as Coach JPMD. And I'm going to discuss the topic of how physicians learn. And what I've experienced is that physicians that are coming out of residency still lack some of the basic knowledge in the business of medicine. Some of them come out not understanding how to negotiate contracts, what different payers are, and what fee for service is versus what is capitated medicine. And I went through some struggles. I had to learn a lot of things the hard way. And what I've realized is that physicians, we learn differently than others. Because of our training, because of the rigours of our training, we go through medical school, and we learn through listening to our professors, our courses, our lab experiments, experimenting on our own, researching on our own, and sometimes theres success in that learning.
And there's failures. But we learned from from all of that. As we grow as physicians, we learn from our kids, we learn from new things that we do, and new procedures that come out. But I was trying to figure out a way to help physicians learn the business of medicine. And one of the things that I came to realize is that there is really no good resource on teaching physicians the basics of population management. And over the past 20 years, I've practiced, mainly managed care, and took care of and is still taking care of a large Medicare Advantage population. And what I've realized is that Medicare Advantage is, is basically population management.
It's managing your patients, from A to Z, from managing their prescriptions, prescribing cost effective medicines, keeping them from going to the hospital by doing preventative care and preventative treatments. Also partnering with specialists and keeping costs down. Sometimes patients can't afford some of the procedures and some of the medications that are being prescribed to them. So I think managed care for me, was a great way to help me understand population management. But when you look at residents coming out, or your fellow fellowship grads coming out, especially those that I've interviewed, they have very little knowledge about managed care.
So I came up with an idea to package some of the knowledge that I have and presented in an online course. And we can talk about that. We'll definitely talk about that later. But I wanted to kind of focus this episode on how we learn. And one of the things that I've learned recently is that we learn through habits. It takes about 66 days on average to develop a habit. And that's doing something repetitively over and over again. So in medical school, what do we do, we wake up, we go to rounds, we change dressings, we present, we go to Grand Rounds, and it's a repetitive process. We do this over and over again. We take courses, we listen to lectures, we study, we learn, and as four years go by, after learning from professors and researchers and clinicians. And then we go through residency training and we learn from our attendings.
We learn from our patients and we learn from our colleagues. So again, even in residency, whether it'd be a three year residency or a seven year residency, there is a habit that we have that we learn from people who are more knowledgeable than we are. So, we come out smarter. We come out as physicians. As general surgeons. We come out as neurosurgeons because we're immersed in that knowledge or immersed in that, that expertise, and then you graduate. And in practice, how do we learn? We learned through continuing medical education credits and conferences. We learn from Grand Rounds. We learn from hopefully other colleagues who are willing to teach us. If we're in an academic setting, then we would continue learning from other professors and specialists and people that are smarter than us. If we're going to be doing a procedure the next day, we read about the procedures in our textbooks. But all of what we learn as physicians is, in my opinion, through repetition. And over time, that repetition becomes a habit and then we can go.
We can memorize medications, we can memorize procedures, we memorize steps in those procedures because of that knowledge that we acquired from more experienced people, from books and from professors. And then how else can we learn? Well, we learned through reading. We learned that, at least I learned recently, that many successful entrepreneurs and business people learn by reading at least one nonfiction book per month. And that has served me so well, because a lot of the things that I'm going to be talking about in the podcast, I've learned through books that I've read, and or I've heard in the car. I have a 45, about 35 or 40 minute commute and it's perfect for me to catch a book and to finish a book within a week during my commute. And there's some people who have commuted on trains and buses and I think that's a great way to learn.
We also learn from our patients. Our patients have a wealth of knowledge. I tend to ask similar questions to my 90 plus year old patients, particularly the ones that are doing really well. And I asked them, "Hey, what do you think got you to be 90 years old?" And some would say that its their diet. Some will say that it's their spirituality and their belief in God. Some will say that they don't know. But for the most part, most of them eat healthy, they remain active, and they remain social. And they also have family involved. Many times, my 90 plus year old patients will come in with their daughters or their sons. And with a lists of things that they'd like to be addressed for their mom.
So, those are some things that I've learned, and through the experiences of my patients. Another way we learn is just through self reflection, and self awareness. And one of the things I've done about three years ago is I hired a coach to help me, because there were areas in my life, after 15 years of practicing medicine, that I found that I needed to improve. And, you know, you hear about concepts of the wheel of life. You hear about, you know, seven or eight areas of your life that you can work on to transform your being. And for me, there's seven areas that I've come up with, in my life that if we can implement and do things, and learn things from people who have been successful in those areas, we can really live powerful lives. And one of the books I read, and one of my favorite books is called "The One Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. And I'll leave the show notes, show notes will have the references to books and things that I mention in this podcast. But one of their key lines in that book is, "what's the one thing you can do in each area of your life, such that by doing it, everything is easier or unnecessary?"
So for me, I took seven areas... I took the area of spirituality, I took the area of physical, area of family, work, financial, business, and personal. And one of the big areas I was struggling with was financial. And I think we all struggle financially, or many of us struggle financially after medical school because we've got so much debt. And, you know, after 15-20 years of practice, I was still in debt with student loans, even though I had opportunities to pay them down earlier. Not paying them down kind of caused a lot of stress and a lot of heartache in my personal relationships, as well as my business relationships. But what's the one thing I could do in my spiritual life? Well, I started reading one verse a day. In my physical life? I started to, I figured out there's one thing I can do well, it's I started working out. My family life? I decided that I wanted to speak to my kids every day, or at least attempt to speak to them every day. In my work life, I decided that I wanted to do things that were productive in work by delegating things to staff members. I found that many times I tried to do things on my own, and didn't delegate tasks to staff members or didn't have them help me.
So there's certain things I implemented in my job and my work and in the practice that enabled things to be much easier. And one of those things was having my medical assistant go over my messages on a daily basis with me. So that's a practice that I developed, on the one thing I did in regards to messaging. Whereas, my staff would print out all the messages for the day or twice a day and we would sit down for 5 or 10 minutes and she would go over the message. I responded to the messages that she responded to, which I told her what to do and kind of helped guide her in what I wanted to respond to the patients. She would respond to them and update the messages. And that would be it. I wouldn't have to go home and return messages and return phone calls late in the evening. Financial, I decided that I needed a financial coach. So I got a financial coach who helped me become debt free. Through budgeting, through savings, through simplifying my financial life, I was able to do that. And in the business and personal life, I'm lumping that together, I found that I was missing something.
And over the past two decades, I witnessed a loss and trauma on many, many different levels, including divorce, and, you know, financial, almost financial ruin. Not only myself, necessarily, but I was close to that. And even seeing physician suicide, which is difficult. And in 2014, that's when I kind of decided that I needed to do something to help other physicians and other colleagues that may be struggling with the same things that I struggled with, and transformed there wellbeing so that they can live, that were powerful, and not only helped them to not only help themselves, but also to help their patients. And that's when I came up with a mission of helping populations live long by increasing physician awareness of spiritual, mental and physical health globally. And so how was I going to do that? I had to figure out a way to help multiple physicians in different areas understand the business of medicine, because I strongly feel that if physicians are strong in their personal finances, and these other serious seven areas of their lives, then that's the only way they can help their patient populations live long.
So because I had expertise in Medicare Advantage, because that's what I was doing, I decided to create a course called LearnAboutMedicareAdvantage.com. And essentially, it's a data dump of everything that I've learned over the past 20 years in the managed care space. And I know that this is sounding like an infomercial, but it's not. Because I really truly have a passion to help physicians understand the business of medicine. And my goal is to bring thought leaders that are in the managed care space, to this podcast, to help physicians understand what things that they can do in their business and work lives that can help them live powerfully and help their populations. So season one of this podcast is dedicated really to Medicare Advantage and teaching physicians how to decrease stress, increase revenue, how to care for patients in a cost effective manner, and also how to take care of themselves. I certainly don't want to be the only one speaking because it's kind of boring talking to this mic right now, with no feedback.
So I hope to have thought leaders coming on the podcast that we're going to be interviewing. We have a lineup of pretty high power industry experts that are going to really tell you or teach you things that you can do to help your populations live long, including yourself. And if anyone's interested in the Medicare Advantage space to join me in this podcast, especially if you have a story to tell, I would really enjoy having you on the podcast. Because that's what the Practice: Impossible's all about. It's a place for physicians to tell stories, for thought leaders to give their insights, and for physicians to understand that they have a home where they can come in and learn about not only Medicare Advantage, but also learn about self care. Learn about getting out of deb and learn about how to use resources that are out there right now to help you Practice: Impossible.
So I invite you to subscribe, share this podcast with your friends, and leave a review because it's only through your honest feedback that this podcast will only get better. And being that this is my first episode, I hope to continue on for a very long time. And my goal is to help every physician Practice: Impossible.