Debt, Burnout & Practice Management: Insights from a Military Surgeon #105

Nov 22, 2019 | Podcast Episodes

In today’s healthcare marketing podcast episode, we’re joined by a very special guest Dr. Brent Lacey

Dr. Lacey is a solo gastroenterologist currently practicing at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune in eastern North Carolina.

Check out the show notes below and download the full transcript.

The Problem of Medical School Debt

We talked about what Dr. Lacy has coined “doc itis” which is living above your means when you get out of school and putting yourself under more than necessary. He stresses “living in your means for a little bit longer so you can live in that grander lifestyle a little later on.”

Do what you can to get out of debt as quickly as possible. Live like a student. Live like a resident. Live beneath your means. 

The cars that I drive are 10 years old and they’re paid for. Do what you can to eliminate debt from yourself. If you walk outside in your backyard when your house is paid for, the grass feels different under your feet, it feels nicer.

What to do about Physician Burnout

Dr. Lacey encourages doctors to not be victims. We’re not pawns of the system. If you really feel that way then get involved. Pass your concerns to your superiors, get involved in committees, get people talking about things, make a difference.

How is patient care different for a military physician? 

He gives our listeners a unique look behind the curtain at how life is different from a military physician and the veterans he gets to treat on a daily basis. Even recently having a patient that was in the Battle of Midway.

Advice for Physician Liaisons Meeting with Military Physicians

I think good for your liaisons to keep in mind is that by and large, we are not beholden to any kind of salary changes or pay. It’s it really frees us up to focus solely on our primary mission of taking care of our patients. 

The best way to get connected with physicians is going to be to find ways to make their ability to care for their patients more efficient or to make it more effective. That’s gonna be the best thing. Come at it from a value perspective. 

How you can help make my job easier?

Dr. Lacey’s talking about how to really create value for him during the referral process or how he’s gonna be able to recognize that pretty quickly.

Showing Support for the Military

Here at the Patient Convert Podcast we always love to show our support and our gratitude for all that you do both active service and veterans. We couldn’t appreciate it more. And, as military providers, all that you do for patients as well, that is really important. We couldn’t thank you more.

Brent Lacey MD Bio 

dr brent lacy md

My name is Brent Lacey. I’m a gastroenterologist with a passion for financial management and career coaching. As a fellow physician, I understand how overwhelming it can be to step out of clinical training and into a career, and I have seen first hand the lack of education on how to run a practice and manage finances.

Through planning, hard work, and sacrifice, my wife and I were able to pay off all of our student loans before finishing fellowship, and we got a big head start on our retirement savings. Because we were debt-free, we were in a financial position for her to choose to stop working and stay home with our two amazing boys.

Most physicians enter their profession with large amounts of personal debt. Beyond that – they begin working with little to no knowledge of how to actually run a practice. 

As a physician, I think you should be able to help your patients and do what you love without being stressed by all the other obligations that come with managing your medical practice.

That’s why I started “The Scope of Practice.” My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to run your business successfully and manage your personal finances with expertise.

Here’s how to get started: 

  1. Check out our online resources which cover personal finance, business management, and personal development at The Scope Of Practice
  2. Subscribe to the “Scope of Practice” to get exclusive content relevant to your needs as a physician or relevant to your practice as a physician liaison. 
  3. Use the knowledge you’ve gained to reclaim the joy of what you love most – helping patients.

For the Patient Convert Podcast listeners, please enjoy our free gift to you! You can download our FREE eBook, “A Physician’s Prescription for Success in Business and Personal Finance” at

Get in Touch with Dr. Lacey




Episode Links:

Read Or Download Full Transcript for Episode #105

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Thanks for listening. Kelley Knott



Kelley Knott is an expert Physician Liaison Trainer and consultant. Her passion is the help liaisons and practices maximize their effectiveness to improve patient care and revenue new revenue streams for their practice or hospital system. She is one of the first people in the US to develop online courses specifically geared toward physician liaison marketing. She is a published author, entrepreneur, and speaker.

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