I often think about this. What if I lost my NP license due to a frivolous lawsuit, erroneous board complaint, or god forbid a horrible medical error…. Would I be okay? I think so. I suspect most of you would not be though. How much anxiety and stress are produced knowing that your livelihood could possibly be taken away from you at any moment? You are basically given a license, by the government, to do your job. If the board does not like what you are doing, or if you break some regulation on accident, then that license can be revoked. This stuff happens to people more often than you think.
We all know how to protect our license: practice safely, chart correctly, do not over prescribe controlled substances, don’t abuse drugs and alcohol, don’t break the law, etc. Sometimes, things happen that are out of our hands such as a malpractice lawsuit. Malpractice can be a game of Russian roulette. Eventually, there is a bullet in the chamber. What this means is that it doesn’t matter who picked up that chart or saw that patient, chances are HIGH that something bad was going to happen. For example, the 22-year-old college athlete with classic signs of bronchitis who ends up dying from a pulmonary embolism 12 hours later. It doesn’t matter who saw that patient, it was probably going to be missed. This kind of stuff happens. Not only could you be sued, you could also lose your license.
If this happened, would you still be able to survive? Would you be okay? I would, but I have made sure of that through building income streams outside of medicine and protecting my assets. These kinds of protections take planning. You should plan for the worst-case scenario too. That is why we all carry malpractice, yet few of us have other income sources. Not only is it wise to have these protections for the very low chance of losing your license, but it builds enormous financial security into your life and helps you be a more independent person.
How can we all build a life to where we would be “okay” if we lost our license?
- Live below your means: I have said this before and I will say it again: live a more frugal life. The less you need, the less you will spend, and therefore money won’t be as important to your life. If you make $120,000 a year and live paycheck to paycheck, you need to reevaluate your finances.
- Build various income streams: It is not wise to only rely on your full-time jobs salary to sustain your life. Build multiple income streams, preferably outside of medicine. If you start a practice, make sure it is a type of practice that you could hire another NP to see patients in. If I lost my license, I could easily hire someone to see patients at my men’s health or medical cannabis clinic. I would still make money. I know a MD who lost his license due to overprescribing opioids. He owns 6 medical practices. He didn’t care, he still was making money hand over fist.
- Have 6-12 months living expenses saved in cash: Everyone should have at least 6 months of living expenses in liquid savings. I think you should strive for 12 months if you can. This will allow you to weather the worse of storms. You should be able to “figure out” what you would do with the rest of your professional/financial life in 12 months’ time. Losing your license is a worst-case scenario, but you should still have this type of money saved. It provides ENORMOUS security to your life. When you have 12 months of living expenses saved in cash, it changes your mindset about life. You know that you are fine. You know that even if you lost every income stream in your life, you would be fine. It is AWESOME. You need to make this a priority in your life. Here is a quick tip: have 50% of it in cash and the other 50% of it in gold. If shit hit the fan and the U.S. currency plummeted, you would have a secure back up. I have a lot of gold locked up, you should too.
- Diversify your skills: Every one of you should have another skill outside of advanced practice that can provide income. I have a knack for writing which I capitalize on by creating books, courses, and websites. I don’t make a killing off it, but it is still nice side money. I am also good at investing and obtaining a return on my investments. This provides another stream of income. Capitalize on a skill that you are naturally good at. You would be surprised how much you could make on the side with it.
These are the 4 main ways to protect yourself if you were to lose your license. It also protects you from more common catastrophic events in your life such as disability. Implementing an asset protection strategy and diversifying your income streams will build an enormous amount of security into your life. If you do this, you will reduce the amount of anxiety in your life significantly as well as increase your freedom.
Everyone should have a strategy in place for the worst-case scenario of losing your license. These things do happen to people. Usually when this happens the person is guilty of a very serious offense like diverting opioids or killing someone, but it can happen. We work in a high-risk profession. People die all the time, it is reality. All it takes is someone to pass the blame onto you and things could go downhill very quickly.
So, live more frugally, build multiple income streams, have 6-12 months of savings in the bank, and diversify your skill set. If you do these 4 things, you will be MASSIVELY secure and will triumph in the face of adversity.
I want to thank everyone who purchased the Men’s Health and Testosterone Clinic Course last week during its initial launch. It was a great success and the reviews have been 100% positive. Thank you for your support. I just wanted to mention that I am extending the $399 discount price for the next few weeks while our country faces this pandemic. Stay safe out there guys!