Thursday, September 4, 2008

Shoes: the other Elephant in the Room

So. There‘s pair of $200 shoes sitting on the floor of my closet.

They are beautiful. The smell of their leather sends chills down my spine.

When I tried them on in the store, I actually felt giddy. I’ve put them on twice…. But if I wear them outside the house I can’t take them back, so I haven’t yet.

I tell my self I deserve them. All those long nights at the hospital and hard work should be rewarded. Really, I don’t need them. My closets are full. I’m blessed. Truth is: time is money. As we prepare to hopefully adopt baby # 2, I see each purchase as time. The less I spend, the more time I’ll be able to take off to spend with the new baby when it comes. (No announcements yet but I'll keep you posted.)

I own my own practice. I’m one of 4 partners. My overhead is killer. My malpractice premium alone could buy one fancy Lexus. I do well, as long as I’m working. Taking much time off leaves me seeing red for a few months. Last year when I had to take my boards, I didn’t get a paycheck for 2 months. I accept this because it gives me complete control of my schedule. My partners are great. We get along personally and professionally remarkably well. We are all moms and we cover for each other a lot. Financially though, we “eat what we kill”. We work as little or as much as we want, take equal call, and pay equal overhead. Overhead includes salary, FICA/taxes, and benefits for two dozen employees.

I try to remind my self that the more money I spend, the more I have to work, the more time I spend away from my family. So I think the other elephant in the room is money. At least for me, since I’m the breadwinner in my family. It‘s physically painful to write out a check every 3 months for $15,000 and mail it to uncle SAM. It’s hard not to also see this as time stolen away.

I was looking at everyone’s profile in our group and it seems that myself and perhaps MWAS are the only Physician’s in private practice. Is anyone else self employed? Are taxes less obvious when you’re an employee and it just gets deducted. Is malpractice less obscene when some else foots the bill?

I don’t plan to vote with my pocketbook. I actually don’t plan to vote. (My state is so red even Gore couldn't take it.) But as I said, time is money. Every dollar more I pay in taxes and malpractice is less time spent with my family. Since the Dems came a little too close to having a malpractice lawyer on the ticket, and because I am both a corportaion and nearly "rich" some have promised to increase my tax burden, twice (don't tell my staff, but we could have to cut back). So yeah, I’m eyeing the Dems with more than a little suspicion.

Gottogo. Need to return some shoes.


  1. Oooooh! Send pictures, please!

  2. Love those Cole Hahn's!

  3. Can't spell this morning - supposed to be Cole Haan...:)

  4. I am self-employed and it is painful financially. But flexible and, so far, worth every penny.

  5. I'm actually contemplating a private practice opportunity, so in a few short years, my concerns about employees/overhead etc. will be similar to yours. I've never had a $200 pair of shoes in my life, but I am still classified by the government as "filthy rich."

    As for the current election. Take a good look at both candidates' tax policy. If you like to have more control over your own money, the choice is glaringly obvious.

    I do hope you vote, though. If you don't vote, then you can't complain if you don't like how it turns out! ;)


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