Ramsey Tate, MD – CallMeDr.us

LogoPlease join us as Dr Ramsey Tate, board certified pediatrician in pediatric emergency medicine and creator of CallMeDr.us talks to us about:

  • How to master interviews and make yourself the person they can’t afford not to have in their program
  • Mistakes many make when creating a CV and the strategies to maximize your CV effectiveness
  • Why knowing the amount you owe in student loans is crucial to your financial goals
  • Her battle with burnout and the method she developed to bulletproof herself from it and how you can do it, too

Josh Mettle: Hello and welcome to the Physician Financial Success Podcast. My name is Josh Mettle, and this is the podcast dedicated to advising physicians how to avoid financial landmines. Today, we’ll be talking with Dr. Ramsey Tate. Dr. Tate is a board certified pediatrician currently wrapping up a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine. She’s a blogger and author at CallMeDr.us, her website dedicated to helping other women build successful, rewarding careers in academic medicine.

Frustrated by the lack of financial literacy among physicians and alarming rates of burnout in her colleagues, Ramsey started CallMeDr website to share finance, career, and productivity tips for young academic physicians. She believes that better balance is possible for physicians and we are happy to welcome her to the show and hear all about that. With that, Ramsey, good morning and how are you today?

Ramsey Tate: Good morning, Josh. It’s such a pleasure to get to speak to you.

Josh Mettle: Likewise, I’m excited. I loved your website, and I love the concept of a residency, fellowship, and balance, so I’m excited to jump into that.

Ramsey Tate: Great!

Josh Mettle: All right, so first let’s just talk a little bit about your background if we can tell our listeners a little bit about the catalyst behind CallMeDr website, and what it’s all about.

Ramsey Tate: Absolutely! Josh, I imagine that if I were to poll all of your listeners right now and ask the physicians in the group how many of you have ever been mistaken for a nurse, I can tell you that every female physician listening has their hand up in the air waving up around. I mean many of us know the numbers about women in medicine. We know that we are now 50 percent of medical school graduates, but that we make up a tiny minority of leadership positions in academic medicine.

There’s a lot of different reasons for this, but fundamentally, we just haven’t cultivated the skills to protect our single greatest financial asset – our earning potential. I myself a couple of years ago had a rough experience with burnout. Two of my colleagues at the time didn’t just burn out. They flamed out. I got through that experience, but it led me on a process of systematically studying people who are successful in academic medicine, particularly women, and how they’ve been able to be successful on their own terms. Through that, I really started CallMeDr to help disseminate and distill those lessons that I’ve learned and keep on learning about how to achieve better balance through maximizing our single greatest asset: our career potentials.

Josh Mettle: That’s great! What a wonderful story. I found as I was visiting your site, I found several blog posts very interesting; with match season approaching as we’re recording this, it’s the end of February 2015, so match is just around the corner. You had some blog posts about that, so let’s just start about one of the posts that I read that talked about how to master the interview process for residency and fellowship. Can you give us the inside scoop there?

Ramsey Tate: Sure. We all have pre-interview jitters. We show up for our interviews for whatever your careers is, so for us the residency and fellowship, and we’re worried about whether we’re dressed right. We’ve sat up all night wondering if we were supposed to bring a fancy folder to carry around a copy of our CV. In residency and fellowship, interviews happen in groups, so most of the time we’re surrounded by our peers who also are jittery and nervous.

But many of us have also encountered along the interview trail a couple of applicants who just seem different. They seem like they’re operating on a different plane from the rest of us. They’re confident. They’re at ease. They’re forming great relationships with the faculty that they’re interviewing with, and a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that those great interviewers were just born that way, but they’re not.

Successful interviewing is a skill that anyone can learn, and so on CallMeDr, I developed a three-step approach to successfully interviewing for residency or fellowship that I think that any applicant can do.

The first step of the approach is to flip your perspective. When I say flip your perspective, what I’m talking about is focusing on the needs of your interviewer. Now we’re all great students in medical education; otherwise, we wouldn’t have gotten invited to go to interview for residency or fellowship, and we’ve got these great applications on ERAS that highlight all of our personal achievements.

The single most common mistake that I see applicants make in interviews is thinking that they’re there to be a walking, talking version of their ERAS application, and you’re not! Interviews have a totally different purpose than applications do, and the purpose is to help program directors and faculty decide if you’re going to fit the needs of their specific program. And so the first step of successfully interviewing –flipping your perspective – is about focusing on your interviewers’ needs and not on your own achievements.

The second step is to do your homework. You’re not going to know what the program’s needs are unless you’ve done some background research, and the best way to do this is to talk to either current or former trainees who have been through that program. Sometimes this makes people nervous. They think, “Oh, my gosh, I don’t know anyone at that program. I just know it’s a top program and I really want to go there, interview.” But I encourage folks to not be afraid of reaching out and doing cold emails. I think that if you’ve never done it, you’ll be astonished by how helpful people are, and just put yourself in their shoes. If someone emailed you asking for advice, you’d probably be happy to help them.

That’s the second step is to do your homework and find out kind of what are the main needs for those programs. Some of them are going to be universal. Every program director says that they want residents or fellows who are great team players, and that makes a lot of sense because one of their biggest headaches is to get health staff who don’t get along with nurses, or their other residents, or their consultants and they have to deal with all of those complaints.

There’s some needs that are common. But then other programs are going to have specific needs like never having enough residents to do scheduling or to lead morning report, so identify those when you do your homework.

Then the third step of the three-step approach to successfully interviewing for residency or fellowship is to develop talking points that address those needs. When I go into interviews, I like to think of myself like a politician on the trail. I have my talking points and I stick to those talking points. Each talking point is an anecdote that tells something about my experience or situations that I’ve been in that highlight how I have the characteristics necessary to fill the needs that I’ve identified when I was doing my homework.

For instance, if you’re going to have a talking point about being a great team player, you know I might have an anecdote about the time that there was conflict among a group of other trainees or med students that I was working with and how I helped to overcome that. I’ll l find a way to answer a question in every single interview with that specific talking point.

Using that three-step approach at the end of the day when the program directors and faculty all sit around and talk about the applicant, every single person sitting at that table is going to say, “So and so just seem such like a great team player.” It’s going to seem like they can’t afford not to have you in their program.

Josh Mettle: What great tips! And almost counterintuitive with public speaking, or with sales, or anything in that nature where you’re trying to convince the person on the other side or the audience to see it your way. There’s a lot of teaching and a lot of experts that talk so much about what you’re talking about, about get in the head of the client or get in the head of the audience and find out what their needs are rather than just kind of boasting and selling your resume or whatever the product that you have. But you’ve got to find how that service you offer or product you have creates value in the life of the other person, and that’s what you’ve described here in the interview process. I think that’s very powerful.

Ramsey Tate: Yeah, absolutely. I think that many of us get so caught up on our own achievements because that’s what gets us the interview invite that we forget about what the purpose of the interview actually is.

Josh Mettle: Great point! I think you have to almost go through the interview process and fail to figure this out or to just be very astute in watching who’s successful, so hopefully to save some painful interviews for some of our listeners. Along those lines, you wrote a great post, If Your CV is Pink, You’re Your Own Worst enemy. Just as a side note, the unicorn and cupcake collage was priceless. I love that. Would you share your thoughts on the most important aspects on a great CV and why to stay away from the unicorn and cupcakes?

Ramsey Tate: I love that unicorn.

Josh Mettle: That’s great.

Ramsey Tate: I think that unicorn is now going to be my mascot for the imaginary or fictitious emergency department that I created for some of my examples, the Sunshine and Unicorns Emergency Department.

Josh Mettle: It was really good.

Ramsey Tate: That goes by the acronym SUED. But you know I think to answer your answer that having a great CV is a lot like having a great interview strategy. It’s all about focusing on your audience. No one should have a single CV. CVs should be living documents that are constantly updated to reflect your own achievements and record of excellence. But each one should be adapted to a particular audience.

A good CV, just like good interviews, highlights the specific skills and achievements that fill the needs of the potential employers looking at it. Bad CVs are made up of all the things you think are most interesting about yourself. Your CV is not your identity, and I think that’s hard for a lot of us, especially those of us who spend our entire lives in higher education.

We get sort of caught up with our personal identity being reflected in the CV and wanting to have our CV paint a particular portrait of how we want others to see us, but that’s not the role of the CV. A CV is to give potential employers easily digestible and easily accessible information about the questions that they have at the forefront of their minds.

Josh Mettle: Really what you’re saying is that when you say have different versions of your CV, you’re going back to steps 1, 2, and 3 of your interview process, and you’re focusing on the needs of a potential program ‑ doing your homework, sending emails, finding out what the challenges or needs of the program are. Then you’re actually moving that CV towards fulfilling those needs in some way or another.

Ramsey Tate: Exactly! On the blog, I tell a story about a colleague of mine that I refer to as Danielle ‑ I change all the identities, but the stories are always true – who recently came into the office, getting ready for a private practice job fair. Danielle had spent absolutely hours the night before, I’m not even sure if she slept, working on the CV, and it was gorgeous.

It looked like something that a graphic designer would come up with. It had different color shades. It had different fancy boxes all over it, but fundamentally and in all of those hours that Danielle had spent working on the CV, she had never thought about what an employer at a private practice clinical job fair would be looking for on her CV. They’re going to be looking for measures of your productivity, your efficiency in patient turnover, maybe because we’re in emergency medicine, how many RVUs you generate, those sort of metrics.

But instead, she had used this beautiful document to highlight all the things that she thought were really interesting about herself, things like wilderness medicine, international experiences, and so it didn’t meet the needs of those employers at all. It was so disappointing for her to work so hard on a document that then was just guaranteed to end up in a wastebasket at the end of the night.

Josh Mettle: Phenomenal point ‑ start with the interviewer in mind and build from there. Great point. Okay so let’s say that our young doctor friend is now armed with their non-pink CV and it has done the job. She’s working in her fellowship or residency, so let’s talk a little bit financial planning. Tell us why you think this is necessary for residents and fellows and what they might also need to know about student loans and IBR because you touched about all those things on your blog.

Ramsey Tate: Wow! I mean financial planning is a vastly under-addressed topic in medical education. The greatest single financial asset of any young physician is their earning potential. Yet there is an astounding lack of financial literacy among young doctors, and I find it that this is especially true for women physicians. When I go to women in medicine financial planning events, it is a tiny minority of the women in the audience who have a good grasp of basic financial planning concepts like disability insurance, retirement investing, estate planning.

I’m not sure, honestly why this is. I have a few ideas about why women might find it less accessible to information about financial planning than men.

I think that one it’s true of all young physicians and it just isn’t that we avoid the topic. Most of us are graduating with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical education debt, and it’s overwhelming. I know a lot of doctors who don’t even know how much money they owe because they can’t bring themselves to look at the numbers. I think that avoidance certainly plays a role.

I think that there is also just a fundamentally different approach to being a breadwinner among women than men. Most female physicians are the breadwinners for their households, yet we don’t approach breadwinning with the same, I think, intensity as our male colleagues do.

I think that there is also something really subtle about the format in which a lot of financial planning advice is delivered. Oftentimes, it’s technical and frankly delivered by men, and although not intended to be exclusive, I think that there is something about the language that’s a little bit off-putting to women. It’s hard to define but it’s one of those feelings that you know if you experienced it. It’s sort of like when you go to a lecture and you sneak into the lecture hall a couple of minutes late, you know that it’s okay for you to be at the lecture you are expected, but still everyone kind of turns around in their seats and looks at you for a beat too long and it’s uncomfortable. That’s what it’s like as a woman engaging with some of the financial planning literature that’s available. But regardless, there is just no way that we can ignore financial planning.

I think of young physicians like professional athletes. We train really hard. We invest everything in our lives into our training. Then because it takes us so long to hit it big, we are high-income earners for a relatively shortened career duration, and we don’t have the same managers and financial consultants and sort of entourage surrounding us that professional athletes have, so we’ve got to do it ourselves.

Josh Mettle: So Ramsey, walk me down the road of how you have mentally obviously made a conscious decision to focus on financial planning and where should young female physicians get started in this path.

Ramsey Tate: Absolutely! I think of financial planning as being one of three inextricable and interrelated strategies to maximizing our greatest asset: our earning potential. There’s financial planning. There’s investing in our career development, and there’s maximizing productivity, and I think of those as being the three pillars to achieving better balance. Because the goal for most women is not about numbers. It’s not about what the bank account looks like or how much student loan interest they’re accruing. It’s about achieving balance and success on their own terms. I try to portray financial planning as just being a part of broader career development and productivity strategies.

Josh Mettle: And so, did you take it upon yourself to do the research? I mean you and I ran across each other on the White Coat Investor blog‑

Ramsey Tate: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: And is that a place that you frequented and got your financial literacy kind of start or do you use a financial advisor? How does that all work for you?

Ramsey Tate: Great question! I do not use a financial advisor, and I do love White Coat Investor with full disclosure. I read all of their posts. Even though I find White Coat Investor to be a fantastic resource, but really overwhelming for someone who does not have a good grounding and basic strategies for managing your own finances. I think that I came from a background where financial planning was really emphasized. I don’t know what your college graduation gifts were, but mine was a single sheet of paper from my father with two lines typed on it that said, “I’m proud of you. Pay yourself first; start a 401(k) tomorrow.”

Josh Mettle: That’s beautiful!

Ramsey Tate: I think that there has just always been an awareness and an expectation about managing finances as being a worthwhile goal and not something to shy away from in my family.

Josh Mettle: Yeah. I mean this is something that I’ve harped on in this podcast over and over, and I see hundreds of young physicians each year when we do their mortgages and we look at basically their balance sheet and virtually all of them young in their attending career and residency and fellowship have got a negative net worth. That’s okay. I mean that’s to be expected to kind of get through that initial process, but the challenge becomes at what point do you draw the line in the sand and decide that you’re going to pay yourself first. That was just a great, great point.

I was talking recently to a young physician client and I said, “You know if you start investing in your 20s, your money is going to have an opportunity to multiply or to double roughly seven times before you end up in retirement. If you end up starting your retirement planning and investing in your 40s, you’re going to have a doubling effect roughly four times. As I kind of looked over the numbers, I realized that investing about $200 a month in your 20s is about the same as investing $10,000 a month in your 40s. To me, it doesn’t matter how much.

I think there’s two really important things that I think your dad hit it on the head. (1) Just get started, and $100 a month could seem completely trivial, but the point is you’ve created the pattern and you’ve created the habit, and at certain point, you’re going to look down at that statement and you’re going to go, “Wow! That’s really cool. I’m having fun contributing to this thing now because I can see it growing and I can see my money making money.” I think that’s incredibly important to get started young for that reason if nothing else.

Ramsey Tate: Yeah, what great points. For many young physicians in residency or fellowship, sometimes we can feel like we missed the boat. Most of us are already in our 30s by the time we finish training maybe even closer to our 40s. Sometimes we read these financial advice books, and they seem to be written for younger people or they chastise us for waiting too late, but we’re in a really different financial situation, and I think that is such priceless advice that no matter where you’re at, that you can start investing and it will accumulate and compound over time.

Josh Mettle: Just out of total curiosity, Ramsey, when did you start your little contributions to your 401(k) or IRA, and what age did you start that?

Ramsey Tate: I started them very early. I was a nontraditional applicant to medical school. I’d had another career for a few years out of college. I started investing in it was actually a 403(b) program because I was with a nonprofit as soon as I started my first job to get the match that employers were offering. It was initially a tiny amount because I made very little money before I went to medical school. It’s continued to be a fairly small amount as I’ve gone through residency and fellowship just with the amount of money that I’ve made, but I have committed to consistently investing over time.

I’m proud to say that ‑ I’m putting together a series about this actually to be on the site in the next month or two – but this last summer when I was entering my last year of fellowship, I hit net worth zero, which for me was a goal that I have been working on for a number of years.

Josh Mettle: That’s awesome! Yeah. You spent a decade like you said investing in your number one asset, which is your ability to make future income.

Ramsey Tate: Exactly.

Josh Mettle: And to then get out of the red and into the black for the rest of your life is a great place. Welcome! That’s awesome. All right, so anything else you wanted to add in regards to IBR, student loans, or anything else along those lines?

Ramsey Tate: Yeah, and I think student loans are such a pivotal topic for young physicians that we could do a whole ‘nother podcast just on student loans‑

Josh Mettle: Totally.

Ramsey Tate: Alone, but the thing that I wanted to say most importantly is just get out a bottle of wine, open your bottle of bourbon if you’re a good Kentucky girl like me, whatever it takes, and figure out how much you owe. Until you actually know how much money you owe and sit with that number, you can’t even begin to engage with things like income-based repayment and figuring out the best strategies to get your debt either paid or ideally forgiven.

Josh Mettle: It’s a great point. I mean I talk to clients all the time, and one of my questions is, “About how much do you have in student loans?” And it never ceases to amaze me how far off people are. “I think I have about a hundred grand.”

You’re like, “No, you have a hundred and eighty grand.”

Or they’ll just say, “I have no clue.”

“Like I get those things, and I fill up the forms for deferral and that’s it. That’s all I know.” I think it’s a great point. It just talks about you’ve got to confront it. You’ve got to wrap your arms around it, and then from there, you really kind of grasp the responsibility for it and you can start making strides.

All right, so we’ve got financial planning, we’ve got student loans, we’ve got rigorous schedules, and this leads to burnout, right? This is epidemic in residency especially. Share with us some tips to managing your time productively and how to prevent burnout.

Ramsey Tate: Man, I hope that whoever figures out how to cure burnout will tell me. I mean it is absolutely epidemic among physicians. Just this morning actually before we were speaking, I was looking at a newsletter from one of the professional societies in my state that included in there an obituary for yet another physician in my specialty that’s committed suicide recently. It is – I think something that we all sort of know happens, but it’s really under-acknowledged for the morbidity that it causes physicians.

Earlier I kind of alluded to the fact that I’d had my own struggle with burnout, and it was a really difficult time for me. Having been on the precipice of thinking about walking away not only from training but from a career in medicine entirely, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what made me specifically and physicians just overall really susceptible to burnout, and based on that how can we can be more resilient.

I’ve identified two main factors that I think made me susceptible that have resonated with other physicians. One is just how consuming medical training is. It begins to eat our identities and that’s part of the process of acculturation that’s really efficient, but it means that when we’re threatened with crises in our careers and professionally, that threatened loss of our careers feels like we’re losing our personal identity. That conflation is really dangerous for I think our mental health.

The second factor that I’ve identified is that because we’re all such great students, we’ve all been focused for many of us 30 odd years of education and training on getting great evaluations, on getting honors, on seeking approval – that it can take us a while to realize that not all approval is worth seeking. And that there are environments where it can be destructive relationships rather than constructive relationships. It’s hard to walk away from seeking approval when that’s what you’ve done your entire life.

Based on those two factors, I really started focusing on how to be more resilient. One of those is it’s just some stuff that that’s on the site if people are interested I won’t dwell on now, but how to evaluate feedback and mentorship to determine whether it really is worthwhile to you. But the one I’m going to talk a little more about is where productivity strategies come in, and I don’t think that this is intuitive.

I think that if I tell most people or most young physicians  oh, we’re going to help you become burnout-proof by being more productive, the script that’s running through people’s head is like, “Oh, my gosh, I can’t even think about how much work I already have to do. That’s why I’m burnt out. Why are you telling me to work harder?” But when I talk about productivity, I’m trying out something totally different. I’m talking about maximizing your productivity so that you have the ability to carve out time and space to meet personal long-term goals.

Those personal long-term goals, they might be career-related. Maybe they’re about writing a certain manuscript or doing a project, but oftentimes, they’re personal: spending more time with your kids or getting into better shape so that you just feel better. Having long-term goals builds a compass for us that doesn’t sway back and forth depending on the approval of those around us or even based on how our careers necessarily are going. Building that long-term compass and carving out time to achieve those goals by being more productive really is what makes us resilient.

Josh Mettle: Ramsey, I sit on a board of directors for a financial service firm, and there’s 12 of us and 9 of them are physicians, so I’m obviously one of the non-physicians in the group. At our last board meeting, we were talking about how do we add value to our physician clients’ lives. How do we kind of come up with out-of-the-box strategies to add value? We opened up with a round of questions like, “If you had the last day of your life and you knew that was your last day, how would you spend it? If you had the entire day off, what would you do?” Those kind of questions, and it was surprising to me that better than two-thirds or maybe even three-quarters of the physicians in the group didn’t have an answer like, “I don’t know. If I had a whole day off, I don’t even know what I like to do anymore. Do you guys have some ideas?”

It was really kind of a transparent, tender kind of a moment like vulnerability, like a soft underbelly being shown, and I realized at that moment, I’m like, “Holy cow! This thing is so consuming that some of these guys and gals have just totally lost sight of what makes them tick. Is it like you mentioned, fitness or yoga or whatever it is. They’ve just lost it.

Ramsey Tate: Yeah. I laugh not because it’s funny but because I can so relate to that. When I finished residency and started fellowship, I had a significant change in kind of my clinical workload, and I found out I had time to be at home occasionally or that I had time to sleep. It took me I would say 6 to 9 months before I could even be comfortable having time that wasn’t spent at work. I had no idea what to do with myself.

Josh Mettle: You know I think I’ve got five other questions, but we’re coming close to the end of our timeline, so I think that my next question is going to really feed into the previous question about burnout. You have a blog post called “Your MM90”, and I love that because I thought it was like an explosive device or something like that. I’m a morning person like you. I’m laser focused. I’m hyper-productive first thing in the morning, so uncork the MM90 and tell us a little bit about that recipe for success.

Ramsey Tate: Yeah. MM90 is what I call a technique that stands for My Morning 90. It is absolutely my personal secret weapon for feeling balanced and successful. It’s what makes me resilient, and I think it’s a technique that other people can use as well. It’s how we actually go about creating that time and space that I was referring to a minute ago that we all need to develop our own personal long-term goals and identity.

Actually for me what MM90 looks like is I roll out of bed, whatever time of day that might happen to be. I mean I’m in emergency medicine. Some days I don’t get up until 10:00 in the morning and that’s fine. But I roll out of bed. I grab a cup of coffee, and before checking my phone or email ‑ I’m going to repeat that ‑ before I check my phone or email, I sit down with my cup of coffee. I set a timer for 45 minutes, and I work on a project. Whether I feel like it or not, I sit down and I commit to sitting there for 45 minutes.

When the timer goes off, I get up. I grab some breakfast. I still don’t check my phone or email and then I sit down and I do it another 45 minutes. Shockingly, a lot of times I don’t feel like getting started on anything in the morning but by the time that that second timer goes off, and I’ve been working for 90 minutes, it’s usually hard to stop because I’m working on something whatever it is that’s engaging. It’s stimulating, and it’s something that’s just for me.

Now I have three caveats to that, which is (1) you don’t have to be a morning person. What makes MM90 work and it’s rooted in behavioral science and techniques that have worked in a variety of environments is that you create a distraction-free zone and you take your personal feelings, emotions, and motivation out of the picture. That’s why it’s important not to check your email, not to check your phone, to create a space where you’re not distracted, and you have no alternative but to sit there whether or not you’re doing anything productive.

(2) The second caveat is that I’ve built up to doing this for 90 minutes a day. When I was a resident, it was more like maybe MM10 or MM5. I just didn’t have the available time or energy and the way that I used that time was different, too. But by using this technique to sort of decide what’s important to me in my life moving forward apart from other people’s expectations about me, I’ve been able to create a working life that better fits my priorities. Now I have that time to sit and work for 90 minutes a morning several days a week on my own projects.

(3) The third caveat that I like to say is that it doesn’t matter what you’re working on. It only matters that it’s important to you. When I was in residency, I used the time to meditate. Now I use it to write manuscripts for my research or to work on blog posts. Maybe for you using that time is time that you spend reading with your kids or exercising. It really doesn’t matter what it’s for. It just matters that you make that time and it’s hard to do unless you set a timer and create a distraction-free zone.

Josh Mettle: Well, it’s a little bit like your dad’s lesson of pay yourself, right? He was talking about financial terms, but what MM90 is about is paying yourself first in terms of saying, “Hey, no matter how busy I am, I’m still a priority to me and I’m going to feed my soul just a little bit each day before I give to everybody else.”

Ramsey Tate: What a great analogy! I hadn’t thought about that, but you’re absolutely right because when I do an MM90 in the morning, and then I go to the hospital, no matter what happens the rest of that day, I know that I’ve already achieved something‑

Josh Mettle: Yeah.

Ramsey Tate: And it really does buoy me through the day and makes me more burnout-proof.

Josh Mettle: Yes. Have you read the book, Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy?

Ramsey Tate: No, I have not.

Josh Mettle: It’s a quick read. You’d probably read it in an afternoon. It’s only a couple of hundred pages and it’s kind of pictures and big type and that kind of stuff. But Darren Hardy is the CEO and I believe the owner of SUCCESS Magazine, and he’s basically spent the last 20 years interviewing the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. He’s gone around cultivating kind of this list of what these guys do and what these gals do, and what makes them be one in a million.

He wrote this fantastic book called Compound Effect, and he has this thing that he does that’s called his morning routine. He has it scripted.

He compares that to a professional golfer. As they enter the tee, they walk up to the golf ball. They take their perfect routine swing, and they hit the ball. He does the same exact thing every single day like clockwork and he says exact same thing that you do. No electronic devices. It’s all about the most important thing in his world at that time and nothing is going to get in his way.

Then, if he gets that done, it doesn’t matter really what happens the rest of the day. I mean he still tries to have outcomes and desired objectives. But if he gets totally derailed, if everything else goes wrong, he still moves forward his goals or his life or whatever is feeding his soul a little bit each day and that of course turns into the compound effect. You do that over years and years and you have a big end result. Great book for anybody who’s interested in some light, fun truthful reading. It’s just great tips in there.

Ramsey Tate: Fantastic! Yeah, thanks for sharing that. It’s something that I built this technique out of learning from people in a variety of different disciplines about personal success, and I mentioned to you I’ve done a series of interviews as well with people at all different points of their career in academic medicine. This is something that comes up as a theme across people who are successful on their own terms, which is carving out this time distraction-free and working on goals baby-step at a time.

Josh Mettle: Yeah, great, great, great point. Well, Ramsey, thanks for your time and your tips for better productivity and avoiding burnout. We’ve mentioned your website, but if our listeners want to find out more about you, where can they find that info and how can they contact you with questions?

Ramsey Tate: Yeah, so the website is CallMeDr, C-A-L-L-M-E-D-R dot U-S, CallMeDr.us. I can also be reached through the contact form or by email at thedoctorisin@callmedr.us. I love getting emails from folks. I read every one and respond to everybody.

Josh Mettle: That’s awesome! Ramsey, thanks again. It was a pleasure, and we look forward to connecting with you again soon.

Ramsey Tate: Yeah, thanks so much for having me on.