Conversation with Dr. Tom Davis

In today's episode, Dr. Tom Davis and John have a conversation about how we will survive as the healthcare system around us collapses.

The context is about the challenges the co-founders and members of NewScript go through, and how the collaboration between NewScript Mentors and members can benefit everybody.

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NewScript: Background and Goal

NewScript developed from the realization that clinicians are less inclined to use social media platforms for researching nonclinical careers and issues around burnout. Those sites are often less discreet and private. Therefore, NewScript was developed as a private community.

Benefits of NewScript are:

  1. Clinicians can remain anonymous;
  2. Members can easily network with other clinicians seeking a professional transition; and,
  3. There are resources to help members in a collegial and mutually supportive environment.

And NewScript brings together Mentors who are enthusiastic about assisting, training, counseling, motivating, and inspiring members.

Today's Talk Points

During the conversation, the cofounders of NewScript discussed: 

  1. Services for large institutions to prevent and address burnout;
  2. Financialization of healthcare;
  3. Generating revenue using the Internet; and,
  4. How authenticity will lead to a following that wants your services.

Advice from Dr. John Jurica

I like to remind people that there's a whole world of other things you can do outside of clinical, and you can do clinical in different ways.

Advice from Dr. Tom Davis

The only barrier to making change is you.


Healthcare is undergoing constant transformation. Much of that is unfavorable for clinicians.

But there is also reason to be optimistic. It is getting much easier to apply our education and expertise in productive ways outside of the system.

NOTE: Look below for a transcript of today's episode. 

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Transcription PNC Podcast Episode 297

How We Will Survive and Thrive While the Healthcare System Collapses

- Conversation with Dr. Tom Davis

John: Okay, nonclinical nation. It's John Jurica here. Tom is looking at me like I'm crazy because I was pausing for up to a minute because I didn't really realize how I wanted to start today. But it started, so now we're going.

I'm happy to have Tom Davis with me here today. This is a little different type of episode. I had this brainstorm that Tom and I should get on the show occasionally together to just talk about what's going on with NewScript and other things that he and I are both involved with. Some together, some not together.

It's because we're both interested in bringing value to you in an ongoing basis, and there's a lot going on around us in the healthcare system in general. And I think it might be fun to just chat about these things from time to time. So that's what this episode is about. And with that, I will formally say hello, Tom. How are you today?

Dr. Tom Davis: I'm wonderful, John. Thanks for having me on. It's a privilege.

John: The idea here is I'm not really interviewing Tom. We're going to just have a conversation hopefully. So, we're not going to talk about the summit because the summit is actually over even though we're recording this before the summit has been held. So, that's just the peculiarities of recording these things ahead of time.

But anyway, I want to just talk to Tom a little bit about NewScript and remind people that NewScript is out there. It's been out there for a few years. And Tom, what would you say are the most interesting or exciting things going on with NewScript recently? And maybe explain to people exactly what NewScript is for those that aren't members or haven't seen it.

Dr. Tom Davis: Well, first John, I want to congratulate you on the smashing success of the summit. It was amazing.

John: Absolutely. That's what we're anticipating.

Dr. Tom Davis: NewScript came from an idea that folks were getting increasingly wary of using the social media platforms to explore nonclinical careers and issues of burnout and career change, simply because they're not private. What if your employer is of a certain size? I promise that they have a line item in their budget to record every keystroke that you put into the various social media categories because they sell that. That's one of the things that they sell. And that's kind of understandable. Your employer wants to safeguard themselves, but they're also spying on you. I hate to put it like that, but that's it.

So we were looking at creating a kind of a private community. Nothing so grandiose like a private Facebook, although that would be nice. Just a private community people can log on, they can be anonymous and they can connect with faculty members, folks who are in the career transition space and grow comfortable with them and perhaps find their path in life, providing resources to help them and doing it in a mutually supportive environment. That's the vision. And that started about two and a half years ago. And we haven't looked back since.

John: Yeah, I remember when we started, we thought, "Okay, it's going to be somewhat like a Facebook group. We'll just have a main feed. People come in, they can share, they can ask questions, and everybody in the feed can contribute." I think it's been nice because we do have people who are designated as mentors. I think sometimes on one of those social media groups, there are people that you go to when you ask a question, but it's pretty random. Whereas we have recruited people who are interested in helping clinicians, teaching them, advising them, encouraging them, inspiring them.

And so, they're in there, they can be tapped. And it's not just you and me that are responding to comments or questions. That's one thing I like about it. And then as we come across materials that are useful, we have places in NewScript to post those. I tend to grab whatever webinar I've recently done and put a copy of that in there. I have some of my old material that I used. Well, it's still in my academy and elsewhere, and you've added a lot of value as well. So, maybe you could talk a little bit more about that.

Dr. Tom Davis: I went ahead and posted all of my telemedicine mentoring information just on there for free. I came to John as we discussed this idea with the thoughts that mentoring folks in how to create and run their own telemedicine practices. An independent contractor was a great bridge between burnout and a second career. And the story behind that is about 10 years old, but I've been doing that successfully for a number of years. And I had put up a couple of courses and they went bananas. I couldn't believe how much revenue they generated.

So, when we decided to do this, we started putting that up inside the community for free. And then offering that kind of direct mentorship that people were paying me for just free there because it had become such a demand. And I needed to scale access to myself because there are people who wanted it and couldn't access me because I didn't have the resources to offer to them.

That's just one example. We have little mini mentorships in there about overcoming imposter syndrome and we have great resources about optimizing your LinkedIn and we have a ton of folks that we refer people to for specific needs. And again, it's a great way to gain some comfort with these people that you might want to work with to coach and mentor you into a second career.

And the best part about that, John, is that hiring is so difficult now if you try to go through the front door of these large corporations. You just never know if anybody has even received your resume. And the best part about going through one of these industry coaches is that they know the back doors and they also have some credibility with the folks that do the hiring. So, if they decide to work with you and they bring you in, then you'll get access to opportunities that you would never get access to if you just try to go through the front door.

John: Very cool. One of the other things that has intrigued me and been surprised a little bit is that some of our members and primarily the mentors are trying to collaborate in more substantial ways. The summit, which was wonderful although we haven't done it yet. You're talking about collaboration, pretty much the faculty is many, if not most of our mentors. So that's cool.

And then we are toying with something now that's actually in place. I think maybe you can describe it better than me, but we get this one minute coaching through DocWorking THRIVE, or DocWorking, whichever way you want to look at it. It kind of opens up new ways to collaborate, in my opinion. So, I don't know if you have any other thoughts on that.

Dr. Tom Davis: The challenge for all of us who are career transition professionals is how to scale access to our offerings, to the people who need it. And the folks who are selling this to the healthcare organizations, they have found that getting traction, with that set of customers is pretty difficult.

The health systems talk a good gain, but when push comes to shove, they'd rather retain their resources internally and not purchase outside services like One Minute Coaching or 24/7 crisis counseling or access to career coaching. I believe it's a two reasons. One, it's to make sure that they husband their resources, and two, they want to make sure that nobody actually gets encouraged to leave their job. And I guess that's understandable except doctors are committing suicide at a record rate. So, there is a higher purpose there.

These folks have been talking to us about engaging with our platform and offering their services at scales to individuals instead of selling it as a package to a health system. And DocWorking is one of those. And they have a fantastic product. It's called One Minute Coaching. They have a tremendous stable of coaches that have great wisdom to offer. And so, they offer bite side coaching every week for you to engage. And we're in the process of aligning ourselves with that particular product. So, folks that subscribe, they will get access to that particular resource if they want to reach out and get it.

The point that I think that you and I tried to make when we created this community is if the product is free, then you are the product. In NewScript, we charge a very modest subscription fee compared to how much the thing costs. But it does send the message that you're not the product, we're the product and we're here to serve you.

John: As you were talking about that, it occurs to me I've been interviewing people for five years or more now about their nonclinical careers and working in the hospital environment, which I'm most familiar with, and all the burnout, as you mentioned, suicides that have occurred. And many clinicians, I'm sure it's not just physicians, it's all of them.

I consistently ask the question particularly when I'm talking to coaches or people that produce services for large institutions to prevent or address burnout. And there's many out there and not too many systems that I'm aware of really take it seriously. And even in those that I've asked about, where they've put in place a burnouts program, or let's just call it more of a clinician support program of some sort. It might be under their EAP or something like that.

I've not found one yet that's told me that it's actually been implemented, been successful, and they're really happy with it. It seems like they do a survey, they do some things, sometimes they ignore the survey. That's what they did in my hospital. We did a survey every two or three years of the physicians, and I don't remember us ever putting in place anything substantial or consequential that would actually address the issues that were mentioned in the survey.

So, you can imagine that the physicians and the other clinicians that do these surveys end up not responding, or they don't really take it seriously. It worries me, it bothers me that these systems haven't seen the light because they're going to find themselves unable to get any kind of clinician to work for them long term if they don't address these issues.

Dr. Tom Davis: Indeed. And you see that that is the fruit of the financialization of healthcare. You look at the financialization of society, the folks who have the experience and the vision, they are systematically isolated from those who need to benefit from it. And in healthcare, that is the same process that has been going on. You and I, we should be adjunct professors at our local medical schools, we should be in senior leadership positions in whatever practices that we have. And we should have at least a few clinicians who have identified as role models and come to us and help us for mentorship. And that's the model that you and I developed or grew up under. And that's the model that the people that mentored us developed professionally under. But that model is gone. It is dead.

And so you and I, and all of the other wonderful coaches that see this and feel a need to pay their good fortune forward, are trying to create a space on the internet where that mentorship, that engagement can take place. Unfortunately, it's a new paradigm and even though the less experienced clinicians grew up in the cyber world, it's still something that they're just a little uncomfortable with. And that is always a challenge to try to overcome old patterns of thinking. And if there's one thing that medicine socially is, it's a conglomeration of old methods of thinking, and the folks calling the shots are trying to turn that to their advantage. We're just trying to offer a space where people can come and engage on their own.

And John, it is very, very hard to generate revenue consistently through the internet. You really have to work at it. And of all the people that don't want to spend money, doctors are at the very, very top of the list. And of all the people that they don't want to spend money to, it's other doctors, good lord. And that is a huge barrier. It's a huge social barrier to try to overcome. However, it is a commentary on the social fabric of our profession that it is increasingly being overcome, not just by NewScript, but by the entire constellation of coaches out there.

John: Yeah. I guess we just need to keep reminding people that we're here, there are lots of other people out there, other physicians and clinicians of various sorts who are trying to offer support and help.

I like to remind people that there's a whole world of other things you can do outside of clinical, and you can do clinical in different ways. There should be hope out there for you, but you've got to look around and really dig into it and find out that they don't want us to know about these options. So we're not going to get into those options today, but suffice it to say there's a place where you can make good money, not really treat patients, but serve patients in other ways and be happy and free and have some autonomy and move forward with your career.

Dr. Tom Davis: Healthcare is the most regulated space that there is. And the one of the reasons is that costs for labor, that's you and me, have to be suppressed. Otherwise the system becomes wildly unaffordable. It's wildly unaffordable now, imagine if physicians got paid market rates, it would collapse on day one.

And because of that suppression, the compensation that clinicians can earn outside of the system, both clinically and non-clinically, not only equals what you can earn inside the system, it far exceeds it. Especially if you factor in the liability risk, the suicide risk, and the amount of effort, if you want to measure it in hours or stress, however, that you have to put in to get it.

I worked with a neurosurgeon back in the day. Now this guy's a neurosurgeon, so he's pulling down seven figures doing neurosurgical stuff. He quit. He quit after 10 years because he built his own surgery center, identified how to do that best. And he started consulting with other neurosurgeons about how to build his surgery center. He started about by making way more income and then he suppressed his income by taking a piece of the action in every surgery center that he built. And that's fantastic. That's phenomenal.

It is just one example of even at the highest levels of our profession and recognized compensation, the opportunities out there are huge. And that is simply because wages have been suppressed for decades. And now that particular chicken is coming home to roost. Most people who listen to this probably don't understand how much revenue they can generate for themselves outside the system, and that's because that information is being suppressed.

But you go out and get a corporate job, it's a medical science liaison or even administration, not necessarily hospital administration, but administration say as a medical director as an insurance plan, you can exceed your current income very, very quickly, especially with all of the deferred compensation plans that you have. When I started my journey, one of my mentors told me, when you step outside the system, not only will you be amazed at how much revenue you can earn, you'll be astonished at your quality of life. And I have found that to be absolutely true.

John: That's great to hear because it's true. Yeah, I just can't really say anything more to add to that. I do want to shift gears here though because I heard we had talked about before we got on this call that you're doing some new things or taking some resources you've had in the past and putting them all together in a new way. So I thought why not talk about that since we're into helping as many people as possible.

Dr. Tom Davis: As you all know, one of the principles of NewScript is walking the walk. You and I are not just on, they're flapping our gums telling people that they need to go to nonclinical careers. It's kind of a George Plimpton. If you don't know who that is, look it up. George Plimpton asks and we try out some of the things that we recommend and the ones that we can't try out, we try to get faculty members who have.

For me, I'm a big one on using the internet to generate a side revenue and perhaps having that side revenue develop into a full-time job. And it's very, very challenging to do it. But it's also very straightforward because with the connectivity of the internet, you can reach people that previously you needed to go through a gatekeeper to reach like an editor or theatrical agent or somebody like that. It used to be you need somebody's permission in order to access mass media, but now you got mass media at your fingertips and you have the means of production so that the quality of your production is not a distraction. The only thing that's lacking is your desire to do it and then the lack of information about how to do it.

So, we try to model that. And one of my primary gigs is doing business consulting under value-based care. And I really found myself in quite a bit of demand for that service when I first started out. So, I didn't really need to do a lot of internet marketing, but now I'm wearing a bit of the grind, even though the expertise I have is way more valuable since we're all going to be paid under value-based care by 2030 by decree of CMS.

I've taken all of my different sales funnels for my services and I'm putting them into a one gated community. The idea is to make that gated community be my discovery call. And business people who want to engage you for your advice usually want to talk to you first, and usually, you don't get compensated for that. And so, it can eat up a lot of time. And I used to really love doing that. I found that is something I don't love now.

So I've created this gated community with all sorts of free information in there, sprinkle in a few courses, and then give you a clear shot at engaging me if you want. But if you need to have a discovery call, then you just need to look at all the free stuff there until you're comfortable engaging me as a consultant. And it's probably going to greatly decrease the number of engagements I get, but the people who reach out to me are actually going to pay me and they're going to be the highest quality folks.

I figured I'd give that a shot and see if I can take the power of the internet to the next level. Now, that's kind of an advanced thing because I've been messing with it for 10 years and I've hired an exceptional marketer to help me with that. But for the average person out there, all you have to do is start a TikTok channel, start a YouTube channel, start talking about your expertise, and everybody who's listening to this has their expertise. Develop an audience, set up a website that you drive people to. Offer free stuff there. Offer a Patreon, people who appreciate you, give you a donation. And if you feel like it, you start selling some courses that offer a little bit more in-depth information.

What folks are trying are looking for right now, John, is authenticity. They want a connection and they don't find that in healthcare. In healthcare, people have been commoditized. Healthcare is essentially human trafficking now. The healthcare system. That's essentially what it is. Now that's harsh, but if you look at the fruits of the system, it's 100% true. And I'll defend that to my last breath.

When you're in that situation as a patient, you want to connect with somebody. And the connectivity internet has lowered that barrier to the point where it's completely up to you. If you want to do it, you can, and you don't have to be Chris Pratt or Sir Laurence Olivier or anything like that. Just being an average 60 year old guy. Just offering your expertise free in easily absorbable formats on a consistent basis, you build your audience. And if you get a couple of thousand people that will buy anything that you sell, your true fans, that's a living. That's a living. And there are 5 billion people on the internet. All you need is a couple of thousand. They're out there, you just have to connect with them.

John: No, that's so true. If you're a nurse with a lot of experience, if you're a physician, if you're a speech therapist, it really doesn't matter. You have so much expertise already. There's a whole bunch of people out there that could use what you know. It's just a matter of connecting and this thing is what you're talking about. And then you're investing a little time and effort in making it work.

Dr. Tom Davis: And you can't be afraid of making yourself look like a fool. One of our hints as far as dealing with imposter syndrome, it's just take a second and just scroll through TikTok or YouTube at random. You don't have to worry about looking like a fool. Look at these other people.

And the other issue with the other opportunity to the internet, John, is actually very, very recent. But it is something like one of those rare things that's new under the sun. When you put yourself out there, when you put your real face out there with no filters, nothing like that, your real self out there, up until now, you've been competing with other people who are putting their real selves out there. But going forward, especially in the next 18 months, we're all going to notice that the internet is going to be filled with crap, homogenized crap created by AI that is specifically designed for a purpose, usually promotional, not with a sense of service.

That's what you and I will be competing against. And people will be starting for authenticity.

The internet has always been filled with crap, but it's been authentic crap. Now it's going to be computer-generated crap programmed by somebody that says what combination of words will help us sell more biscuits or whatever. That is a gargantuan opportunity for anybody who wants to put their authentic self out there. And I am very curious to see what happens in the space over the next 24 months. People who offer themselves are going to be rare, and what is rare is valuable, and that's an enormous opportunity for every healthcare professional because we all have something of value that people want to offer.

John: Absolutely. Nice thing about being authentic is you don't have to remember to say a certain line or act a certain way that you did the other day that wasn't authentic. Be your authentic self. It's simpler. It's like don't tell a lie because you're going to have to remember that lie later. Just be who you are, tell the truth and offer things that are going to be of help to other people.

Dr. Tom Davis: If you want to see authentic, go to our TikTok channel, @nonclinicalcareercoach, you'll see authentic.

John: Yeah, that is very useful, entertaining and informative information every time. I'm just starting to dabble in TikTok, so I'm going to get my posts out there soon. You reminded me when you said the AI. Now I'm getting inundated with AI generated emails, and it's like, wow. Since that opened up, I'm just getting all these emails in response to just my website, the info link. I got to figure out a way to filter all that out. But it's not accepted, it's not something we want to see or we want to use when we see that kind of garbage. We just eliminate it and move on.

Dr. Tom Davis: It's made to seem authentic, but something just through the sheer volume for nothing else, you understand that it's just crap. One of the big things in value-based care is using AI to select specific patients and target them for outreach opportunities and whatnot. I see a lot of tech firms trying to sell this, and you and I as doctors know exactly where that's going to lead. The people are going to check out even more than they check out before.

I talked to patients in my focus groups, they actually block their doctor's offices. Now who blocks their doctor's office? It's like, oh my gosh. So, there's an answer to that, but it's just an example of how AI is going to change everything and it's a huge opportunity for those of us who are driven to be authentic.

John: Yeah. And I guess in the future episode like this, maybe we'll talk about some ways to actually work around or use AI if it ever gets to that point where it's actually useful. But for now, just be yourself.

One other thing I'm going to mention and then I think it's going to be time to go. You mentioned about implementing the things that we're talking about. I had a guest on my podcast a couple of times and I think he's currently a mentor, Armon. Is he a mentor for us in NewScript? I believe he is. Anyway, I went through his whole course and in another future episode of the podcast or YouTube or this or whatever, I'll explain how that was and whether I successfully implemented what I learned through that medical legal consulting conference that I'm going to put together.

But, it was really awesome. I'll just say that as a plug. I'm not going to put a link in or anything to that, but there's so much information in NewScript and around what we do that it's just somewhat overwhelming and you just have to pick and choose what's right for you.

All right, Tom. Well, I think that's it for today. I'll remind people that I'm doing the occasional webinar for NewScript, members in particular, although I'll usually invite other people if there's room, to watch for that. We will be reporting on the results of our summit in a future episode of this. Anything else you want to tell us before we let you go, Tom?

Dr. Tom Davis: Just that the only barrier to making change is you.

John: That's it. All right, Tom, thanks a lot and I'll be talking to you real soon. Goodbye our listeners. Thanks for being here.


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