When I do telemedicine I’m fascinated by the demographics of patients who choose telemedicine over an in-person visit. Each company attracts different kinds of patients. And this blog attracts a certain type of medical professional. One subgroup just reads, another comments, and another emails me. This post is about my readership demographics – specifically those who email me.
Interacting with people over email is probably one of my favorite things because I learn about other medical professionals. Some have even become friends and a few potential collaboration opportunities.
A Blog’s Readership
The nature of a blog is that the more content you publish, the more search engines are attracted to your website. This makes your blog a live blog as opposed to the many stale ones out there with little to no content published on them.
And by adding some keywords, you make your posts discoverable. This is where value is created. Keywords is how people can find your content and benefit from it. It can also skew your readership demographics which could be a good or bad thing.
For example, when a physician is dealing with a medical board investigation and they google the topic then I hope they land on my various posts on my own dealings with the medical board.
I share the workings of a blog because I would love to see more doctors start a blog. I know it’s a little scary but you can do it anonymously or write under a pseudo-name.
Reading, Commenting, Emailing
I’m not a big commenter but read a lot of blogs. I don’t comment because I lose all of my social inhibitions when I comment. I see the sarcasm, bitterness, and judgement come across in my comments.
I think when it comes to commenting on a blog, I can’t see the other person’s face, I tend to interact more with a computer and that’s not pleasant and it accentuates my negative side.
But I’m definitely an emailer. If there is a great writer or someone with amazing content then I will email them and even get them on the phone. It’s the best way for me to interact with that particular content creator.
I am very fortunate because those who have commented on this blog have been very kind, respectful, and have actually provided me with amazing advice. 2 individuals stand out to me in particular who helped me through some tough times – cheers to you guys and I deeply appreciate you.
Readership Demographics – Emailers
This is the juice, right here! I keep every email I get and I reply to every email I receive – even the shitty marketers who want to exploit the readers of a blog.
This week was a horribly depressing week. I’ve been digging into old wounds and interacting with the medical board. Just trying to change my home and work address has requires 705 emails over 3 days with the medical board.
After binge eating and feeling sorry for myself, I put on my big-boy panties and decided to work on this post by reviewing all the emails I’ve gotten. So let me dive right in and share with you the various categories of the emails I’ve received.
And if you aren’t already doing so, email me. Ask me any question that you don’t think you need to ask.
Reason for Email
The reason I am contacted via email is often to get some advice on a particular topic. Usually it’s a very broad topic, rarely is it anything specific. Being able to right the right question is a skill in itself.
By broad I mean, ‘how can I get out of medicine’ or ‘how would you deal with an overbearing medical director’?
I write a lot about telemedicine and the few specific emails I get are often about telemedicine such as which telemedicine company I would recommend. Or which telemedicine company will allow for the highest income.
I get a lot of email from physicians who are burnt out though rarely do they phrase is as such. They are wondering what options they have besides medicine, how they can escape the grind, how they can feel less stressed about their jobs.
Most individuals who have emailed me fall into 2 extremes. I have medical students and residents who are about to graduate and I have emailers who are in the their late 30’s.
This is very interesting and feeds into my theory that the best years of practicing medicine are the first 5 years. After that the challenge disappears and we start becoming more aware of the difficulties of the profession.
Up until recently I have had mostly female medical professionals email me.
The past few months I have received more emails from men and I suspect it’s because other bloggers are linking to my blog who have mostly male readers.
It’s fascinating to get email from female medical professionals because their problems are completely different from us guys. They are wondering how to spend more time with their kids. How to have more time to take care of ill parents. Or how to escape an abusive partner on whom they are financially dependent.
From those who have shared their net worth with me over email, nobody had a net worth past $300k. Most were in the $100k range. And many in the negative net worth range.
As for net worth goals, nobody with whom that I had that particular conversation had a particular net worth goal in mind.
The residents who email me are often in a fellowship or in residency on the path to becoming high-earning specialists. Ortho, GI, anesthesia, ER.
Those who are in their late 30’s who email me are often in IM, FM, or EM.
I haven’t received a single piece of hate mail which most likely means that I’m still regurgitating other mainstream content and haven’t ‘found’ my voice yet.
Maybe I’m afraid to take a particular stance or haven’t yet decided which side I’m on. I suspect that I’ll develop that perspective in the next few years.
For anyone interested in blogging, don’t be turned off by hate mail or angry comments. That same person in whom you struck a nerve might later be positively affected by what you wrote – it’s probably the best way to make a difference in someone’s life.
I get far more MD’s than DO’s. But I get a good number of emailers who are NP’s and PA’s. More PA’s than NP’s.
The APC’s often ask me about income opportunities which are currently mostly available to physicians. My advice is often to wait it out a little longer and most telemedicine companies should be switching to APC’s as soon as insurance reimbursement and CMS reimburses it appropriately.
The most common financial matter I’m asked about is generating more income. It’s often followed by a byline of “I am terrible at saving and need to work on that but…”
Less than 1% of emailers have expressed interest in starting their own medical practice.
Very few are interested in extreme early retirement, most want to retire in their mid 50’s or at least think that’s when they can retire.
Just like I’ve attracted more female medical professionals I’ve also attracted a higher proportion of LGBTQ physicians. This group is often in a relationship but not married. They are often living a low-expense lifestyle and interested in working a more flexible schedule.
Most of those who email me about a particular topic such as how to earn more money, or how to streamline their investing, or how to become better at saving also share with me their relationship status. They are often either single or in relationships which are falling apart.
The male medical professionals rarely share their relationship status with me except for the ones who are excited to connect with a blogger who is a single guy.
The female medical professionals who are looking to work a little less or optimize their income are often in happy heterosexual relationships. Their main hesitation is giving up the employment benefits.
The medical students and residents don’t care about their investing strategy. They are focused on finding the kind of work they will enjoy doing. I wish I was this enlightened back when I was that age.
The majority of those in their late 30’s are accidental landlords. But most don’t earn any money from their rental income property(ies).
The rest are invested in index funds. Most don’t know what particular funds they are invested in. The answer usually us “whatever my 401k (403b) offers”.
Residential Real Estate
When the medical professional is married to another medical professional or high-income earner, their real estate value is often in the $700k+ range.
The single physicians who email me are often renting but looking to make a real estate purchase. Their main reason for wanting to buy is because they don’t want to miss out on the investment opportunity.
I won’t share the details of the side hustles because I don’t want to reveal anyone’s identity by inference.
10% of those who have emailed me have had very interesting side hustles. I call it a side hustle but it’s really their main passion. It’s something they want to continue to advance in order to practice less and less medicine. Without giving away the exact details, for most it’s something in the arts.
Of those who haven’t started a side hustle yet, very few are interested in real estate. Many are interested in complex securities trading strategies. And this interest is represented at higher numbers even more recently which could be either because of the links I get from other financial bloggers or because daytrading is back on the upswing.
A good number would like to write, blog, or create other kinds of content and even though they have been thinking about it for years, they haven’t yet pulled the trigger.
I don’t have kids and don’t want them. Most of my readers have kids, usually younger kids.
The child tally so far is somewhere in the 1.8 range.
East coast, or whatever the fuck that place is past the west coast, is by far the most common location from which I get emails. Work must be a grind there.
The emails I get from physicians in other countries is mostly to express their interest in my blog and share some kind words with me (thank you!). But there aren’t any questions attached to these emails.
Of course, I exploit that opportunity to learn everything possible about how medicine is practiced in their country, being the voyeur that I am.
A large portion of those who email me have worked or are working for Kaiser Permanente. I have a good amount of information on Kaiser’s SCPMG complicated Keogh plan which is probably the main reason I get so many Kaiserians.
How People Find Me
- Kaiser Permanente
- Medical Board Investigation
This is the order in which most of my emailers have come across my blog. Some of it is from doing a google search and the rest is because someone told them about my blog.
Damn near everyone is employed full-time by a large medical group. Most have decent benefits but, unfortunately, most don’t know what their retirement benefits are.
Only a handful of physicians are independent contractors. Those who are independent contractors live exciting lives and are involved in multiple projects simultaneously.
Cookie-cutter Advice for my Readers
If I had to give cookie-cutter advice based on the readers who have emailed me, it would go something like this.
- Prioritize saving over earning more money.
- Learn to budget. Use YNAB.
- One of your current interests will likely become an income stream in the future. Spend a little more time on it.
- Build a bigger network of like-minded colleagues.
- Pay down your debt and don’t accumulate new debt. This will allow you far more opportunities in the future.
- Telemedicine is an easy way to earn a little extra income outside of your current job.
- If you are unhappy in your career now, it’s unlikely to get better. Make a decision to make changes early to preserve your sanity.
- You don’t need a lot of money to live a happy life. Don’t continue to suffer in an abusive relationship for the sake of an income or benefits.
- Owning and operating rental income properties is not passive income, it’s a second job.
- You’ll likely be happier at a smaller medical group but earn far more at a larger medical group.