A Potentially Lucrative Side Hustle

This week I'm learning about investing in short-term rental properties from Dr. David Draghinas. David is a full-time anesthesiologist located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

He also produces the DoctorsUnbound podcast, which features stories of doctors doing different and interesting things outside of clinical medicine.

Dave received his medical degree and anesthesia training at the University of Southern California. Following his residency, he spent about 3-1/2 years in the Navy, mostly at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. He then moved to Dallas.

In addition to his full-time anesthesiology practice, he's the producer and host of the popular podcast DoctorsUnbound and an avid real estate investor. 

He believes there are many talented doctors doing amazing things that he wants to share with his audience. Hence, he uses his podcast to help physicians reach the next rung of success by learning from peers that have gone before them.


The podcast has added tremendous value to David’s life and career. “I've always had a lot of other interests, so this really kind of helps to fulfill those needs,” said David.

Dave has become an expert in short-term rental properties, such as those listed by Airbnb. Since real estate investing can be a lucrative side hustle that many physicians find fun and profitable, I thought it would be a great topic for today's interview.

Our Sponsor

This podcast is made possible by the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program offered by the Haslam College of Business. You’ll remember that I interviewed Dr. Kate Atchley, the Executive Director of the program, in Episode #25 of this podcast.

The UT PEMBA is the longest running, and most highly respected physician-only MBA in the country, with over 650 graduates. Unlike most other ranked programs, which typically have a duration of 18 to 24 months, this program only takes a year to complete. And, it’s offered by the business school that was recently ranked #1 in the world for the Most Relevant Executive MBA program, by Economist magazine.

University of Tennessee PEMBA students bring exceptional value to their organizations by contributing at the highest level while earning their degree. The curriculum includes a number of major assignments and a company project, both of which are structured to immediately apply to each student’s organization.

Graduates have taken leadership positions at major healthcare organizations and have become entrepreneurs and business owners. If you want to acquire the business and management skills needed to advance your nonclinical career, contact Dr. Kate Atchley’s office by calling (865) 974-6526 or going to vitalpe.net/physicianmba.

Real Estate Investing for Physicians

Physicians seem to have an interest and passion in real estate. David is no exception. 

“I think probably what drew me to it is the idea that I can have greater control over the success of the outcome. If I can select a property appropriately, do my due diligence, then I can have potentially greater returns,” David said.

Here are a few ways to begin your research before jumping into short-term rental properties:

  1. Pick a location, and research it extensively for rentals, and real estate in general;
  2. Look at listings in the area on Airbnb or VRBO to get an idea of the local competition;
  3. Visit AirDNA's web site to view top performing properties in the area;
  4. Review a property’s amenities, pricing, and other factors to estimate the potential return.

Short-Term Rentals Can Be Passive

You can use systems to scale the business. Once the business reaches a certain size, you can hire an assistant to run the day-to-day responsibilities. Then, you can slowly remove yourself from the business, making it truly passive.

“Even with two properties, our cashflow this year is going to be significant,” said David. 


Another recent twist on short-term rental projects is known as “rental arbitrage.” In this situation, the investor leases rental property at long term rates, then sublets it at the higher short-term rental rates.

The investor thereby avoids tying up capital needed to purchase a property. And they avoid some of the other hassles of owning property. Of course, the rental must be selected very carefully.

Physician Advocate

David is a dedicated physician advocate for avoiding and overcoming burnout. He believes that hosting the podcast and investing in real estate have diminished his own risk for burnout.

He also thinks that burnout is exacerbated when doctors receive little or no recognition for their hard work, and by being treated more like an employee than a professional. “When they feel impeded in doing what they think is best for their patient, or not having the system setup to properly take care of their patients… I think all of those things really impact our well-being and contributes to the burnout.”

To learn more about the his podcast, and how Dave puts all of these real estate tactics together, you should listen to the entire interview. You can listen on the player at the top of this post, or by going to iTunes. You can also listen on any smartphone podcast app.


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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Podcast Editing & Production Services are provided by Oscar Hamilton.


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. 

Many of the links that I refer you to, and that you’ll find in the show notes, are affiliate links. That means that I receive a payment from the seller if you purchase the affiliate item using my link. Doing so has no effect on the price you are charged. And I only promote products and services that I believe are of high quality and will be useful to you, that I have personally used or am very familiar with.

The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. It should not be construed as medical, legal, tax, or emotional advice. If you take action on the information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult an attorney, accountant, career counsellor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career. 

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