The White Coat Investor

b00icxcuj6-01-lBook #9: White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to Personal Finance and Investing, James M Dahle

I have spent in total 25 years of my life in school and in training for the job that I now do.  From kindergarten through high school, college through fellowship, I have spent countless hours learning and training.  Doctors when they graduate from residency or fellowship are well versed in human anatomy, physiology and the latest evidence based strategies for patient evaluation and treatment.  But in these 25 years of training, the one area that received the least amount of training was personal finance.  Excluding an hour long seminar in Medical School and courses in Macro and Microeconomics, all of my training in personal finance was handed down from my Dad or self sought.  Doctors (and most people in general) receive little formal training on the one aspect that will have the biggest impact on their personal lives, career and standard of living in retirement: money management.  Choices made over a career can be the difference between retiring in comfort or with very little.  While there are general principles of money management and investing that are universally applicable, there are aspects of financial planning for physicians that are unique to this cohort.  This book, written by an Emergency Physician, is a primer on investing geared specifically for doctors.  It is a must read for physicians especially those early in their career.

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Complications

b003l1zzfu-01-lBook #8: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, Atul Gawande

Medicine is a unique profession.  It is equal parts art, science and technology.  Some patients practically read the textbooks and others simply defy the odds requiring careful sleuthing and continual study.  And for all the progress the last century has brought to the practice of medicine, there are still limits to what physicians can do.  Voltaire once said, “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the diseases.”  For all the pomp in the tradition of medicine, physicians are continually humbled by the intricacy and complexity of caring for the human body.  In this book, Atul Gawande shares his experience as a surgical resident and explores both the art and science of medicine.  It is a must read for both physicians and patients.

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The Case Against Obamacare

41sa1iavfmlBook #7: The Case Against Obamacare, Avik Roy

A lot of attention is being paid to Obamacare.  Some claim that it saved their lives.  Other say that it is itself in a death spiral.  Without doubt, Obamacare has been the largest, most comprehensive legislative package affecting the delivery of health care.  And the effects of Obamacare (for good or ill) will be felt by every patient and every doctor.  So why is Obamacare so criticized?  Why is it overall such a bad piece of legislation?  In this book Avik Roy explains the reasons why Obamacare is a policy disaster.  Bottom line, it comes down to, Incentives Matter.

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Chase Away Cancer: A Powerful True Story of Finding Light in a Dark Diagnosis

51p-nw22bojlBook #19: Chase Away Cancer: A Powerful True Story of Finding Light in a Dark Diagnosis, Ellie Ewoldt

In the stillness of a quiet February night, Ellie and Bob’s lives are dramatically changed by the terrifying sights and sounds of their 2 year old having seizure.  And because of this event, they came face to face with the reality that their son Chase had a very large, rare, and aggressive brain tumor.  In the subsequent year and a half, the relative tranquility (whatever that is in a family with 3 boys and 1 girl) was upended by the trials, anxieties, triumphs and heartbreaks of cancer as they struggle through a disease that would tear them apart and knit them together as a family.  In this experience, they learn what it really means to place their trust in the Lord and to walk by faith day by day surrendering themselves to God’s plan.]

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This was a very unique book for me to read; for several reasons.  Continue reading

America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System

b00lyxy05s-01-lBook #15: America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System, Steven Brill

Obamacare has been one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed in the past decade.  Statements like, “You have to pass the bill to see what is in it” illustrate the backroom pandering and Washington politics that permeated the passage and rollout of healthcare reform.  In this book, Steven Brill discusses the climate that lead to healthcare reform, the working/passage of obamacare and the bungled rollout of the healthcare regulations and exchanges.  In it he gives a critique of the law and his recommendations for real healthcare reform.

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Against Medical Advice

b001anydpo-01-lBook #11: Against Medical Advice, Hal Friedman

In this book Hal Friedman chronicles his son’s harrowing experience with Tourette’s syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  In his 13 year journey Cory Friedman struggles with debilitating and painful tics and his doctor’s attempts to treat them with various medications.  This is a great read for anybody who is involved with caring for neurologic movement disorders and mental health disorders as it tells the story through the eyes of the patient.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

b00338qeni-01-lBook #9: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

Finding an abdominal mass, Henrietta Lacks, the daughter of an African-american tobacco farmer, seeks health care at Johns Hopkins.  She is found to have cervical cancer and he cells are cultured into the now famous HeLa cell line.  This is a fascinating  discussion about medical research in the 1950s and the ethical issues surrounding research before the era of universal informed consent.  It is must read for anyone performing or interested in medical research.

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