Interview with Dr. Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD
On this episode of the PNC podcast, freelance consultant, Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, describes how he left clinical medicine, became financially independent by the age of 29, and developed his consulting practice.
Now a freelance consultant and author of three books, Christopher is a fascinating example of the ways in which you can make your MD work for you outside of clinical practice.
Born and raised in Houston, TX, Christopher completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M on a full scholarship. He then went on to get his MD-PhD in medical science at Baylor.
Although he was completing a medical degree, Christopher was an entrepreneur at heart. While at Baylor, he started several side hustles in real estate and stocks that became lucrative projects.
Despite growing financial independence from his businesses, Christopher was still intent on completing his residency and becoming a practicing doctor. After graduating, he was accepted at Rutgers University in New Jersey and began a residency in orthopedics.
“I loved med school. I loved grad school. Then the first day of residency it was just like, ‘Oh my God, what did I get myself into?'”Dr. Christopher H. Loo
However, unlike so many doctors that experience burnout before realizing that clinical medicine is not for them, Chris knew almost immediately. “I loved med school. I loved grad school. Then the first day of residency it's just like, ‘Oh my God, what did I get myself into?'”
We're proud to have the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program, offered by the Haslam College of Business, as the sponsor of this podcast.
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By joining the University of Tennessee physician executive MBA, you will develop the business and management skills you need to advance your career. To find out more, contact Dr. Kate Atchley’s office by calling (865) 974-6526 or go to vitalpe.net/physicianmba.
Becoming a Freelance Consultant
Because of his financial success outside of medicine, Christopher did not have to wait to make a change. In 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, he quit clinical medicine for good.
Although he was financially comfortable, Christopher knew that he wanted to do something that could really have an impact on the world with his next venture. Consulting struck a chord, and he decided that would be the best way to put his diverse expertise to work.
With a love of technology, Christopher positioned himself in the intersection between technology and medicine. His first role as a consultant was consulting for hospitals that were moving from paper to electronic records. He worked with physicians and nurses to get them up to speed with new systems and communicate their needs to the engineers building them.
However, as most hospitals have now ‘gone live' with electronic records systems, Christopher has pivoted. Now he primarily works with tech startups in the medical space. And he does individual or group executive and business strategy coaching.
Christopher has no regrets about leaving clinical practice. However, he does acknowledge that when he first started his consulting business he was working 100 hour weeks and traveling 11 months out of the year. But now he enjoys setting his own schedule and travels 6 to 7 months out of the year.
Becoming an Author
Once the dust had settled on his exit from clinical medicine, Christopher decided to write his autobiography. He wanted to communicate his experience to his colleagues, many of whom he knew were experiencing burnout and not reaching their full potential in clinical practice.
At first, he thought that one book would be it. But after seeing how many doctors struggled with navigating the transition out of clinical practice, and how to become financially stable, he decided to write a book about each.
His latest book, “The Physician’s Guide to Financial Freedom: Getting Started As A Consultant,” is the third in his series. With his books he hopes to reach people that may not be able to access his coaching services. He also wants to refute the idea that clinical practice is the only option for people with an MD. “1-2% of the opportunities for using an MD are in patient care. The other 98-99% are in how skilled a physician is in the entrepreneurial sense.”
With an entrepreneurial spirit and shrewd investments, Chris was able to make the transition out of clinical practice as soon as he recognized that it was not for him. However, for anyone who is not in that position, he recommends taking it slow and building financial freedom while you work to leave clinical practice.
“Start small… Gain your financial freedom so that it frees you up to pursue other avenues.”Dr. Christopher H. Loo
Once you are ready to transition out of clinical practice, Christopher's key piece of advice is this: Be agile. The world is changing at an ever-faster pace and the ability to adapt and pivot will be crucial to success in the future.
If you're interested in pursuing a career in consulting, or if you are want to find out more about Christopher's coaching services, he generously offers a free 15-minute consultation with you.
Time is Running Out for BootCampMD!
If you want to learn more about building an email list, and how I’ve nurtured the PNC Hunters Facebook Group, please join me and other listeners at BootCampMD in Atlanta Georgia on October 4 through 6, 2019. That’s less than three weeks away at the time of this recording.
Join me and Mike Woo-Ming, Eric Tait, Maiysha Clairborne, and Nana Korsah – all successful entrepreneurs – to learn about starting your own part- or full-time business.
I’ll be there for the whole weekend, so we can meet and chat about anything related to nonclinical careers and burnout. In fact, I’m hosting a private meet-up with you and other listeners where we can meet and talk about career change, podcasting, and anything else on your mind.
But for that you must register here: vitalpe.net/bootcamp2.
Then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can look you up at the conference.
Links for today's episode:
Thanks to our sponsor…
Thanks to the UT Physician Executive MBA program for sponsoring the show. It’s an outstanding, highly rated, MBA program designed for working physicians. It might be just what you need to prepare for that joyful, well-paying career. You can find out more at vitalpe.net/physicianmba.
I hope to see you next time on the PNC Podcast.
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The opinions expressed here are mine and my guest’s. While the information provided on the podcast is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed here will lead to success in your career, life or business.
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