Dare to Dream Physician Podcast

Ep 21: Talking to Your 90-Year-Old Self with Dr. Una

September 30, 2021 Episode 21
Dare to Dream Physician Podcast
Ep 21: Talking to Your 90-Year-Old Self with Dr. Una
Show Notes Transcript

This episode is the second half of a golden interview with Dr. Nneka Unachukwu, affectionately known as Dr. Una. She is a pediatrician, founder and CEO of a successful private practice, Ivy League Pediatrics, in Georgia. Dr Una is also founder and CEO of EntreMD Business School.  She is a prolific content creator, host of the EntreMd Podcast and the Doctors Changing Medicine Podcast.


Dr. Una shares:

·       How every physician is actually the CEO of their own corporation and brand, even if they don’t have an IRS-defined business entity, and how they can grow this valuable asset.


·       When physicians recognize and own their unique brand, they start to show up like a boss everywhere, from employment negotiations to building a private practice.


·       What strategy physicians can employ to start creating the change they want, and turn the impossible into reality.


·       How she created a practice of talking to her 90-year-old self, and the attitude transformation that resulted from this long-term perspective.

And so many more gems...



Resources for Dr. Una:

EntreMD Podcast



Doctors Changing Medicine Podcast


EntreMD Business School




Dare to Dream Physician Resources:

Dare to Dream Physician, Life Planning for Physicians https://daretodreamphysician.com

Dare to Dream Physician on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/daretodreamphysician/

 @DreamPhysician on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dreamphysician/

Note: this document may have human or computer-generated errors in transcription. Refer to the audio file for the actual conversation.


Dr. Una, Guest, Dr. Gray, Host

Dr. Gray, Host  00:00

This is the Dare to Dream Physician podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Weili Gray. Many physicians today are feeling overwhelmed and unfulfilled living a busy life based on someone else's terms and expectations. My mission is to help physicians figure out what they really want out of life, and how to make their dream life come true sooner than they ever imagined. My fellow physicians, your time to live your only life is now become a Dare to Dream Physician. Great things are going to happen. Make sure you hit subscribe and share this podcast with another physician you care about. 

Dr. Gray, Host  00:48

Welcome back to another episode of The Dare to Dream Physician Podcast. I am so honored to continue the second half of a golden conversation with my teacher, mentor and coach Dr. Nneka Unachukwu, affectionately known by those around her as Dr. Una. Dr. Una is a pediatrician, founder and CEO of a successful private practice, Ivy League Pediatrics, in Georgia, and also the founder and CEO of Entre MD Business School. She is a prolific content creator, host of the Entre MD podcast and the Doctors Changing Medicine podcast. If you haven't yet listened to last week's episode, Episode 20, finding your voice with Dr. Una, you'll want to add that to your playlist after you finish listening to today's episode. She shares her own story of how she went from a socially awkward introvert to a confident and insightful speaker, rocking the stage, both virtual stages and in-person stages. She shared many, many gems in that last episode. And today we're picking up from where she explains how every physician, whether they're employed or have their own business, has a valuable asset that they can all tap into.  I am so grateful for our listeners. I appreciate you tuning in. I hope you sit back, relax and get ready to be inspired, get ready for aha moments and get ready to start taking action as you listen to the next 20 minutes.

Dr. Gray, Host  02:17

You said, well, you can be the CEO of You Incorporated and that every physician has a brand. Can you maybe say that in more non business terms for my listeners who they're like, oh, what does that mean?

Dr. Una, Guest  02:30

How about a few stories? Let's do it that way. Right? Okay. So I have a client and she works her job. She worked for the hospital. But she loved being on media, that that was her thing. And then so she started going on CNN and she started going on HLN and local news. That was her thing. And so she was doing it. And I should also mention that this was the hospital that she worked with, what was she doing, she was building her brand. And she built a strong referral network. So in the hospital where she worked outpatient, she had a lot of patients that came, and they came because of her, because they found her on social media and all of that. And it was a documented fact, because she had them add to the intake form. How did you hear about us? And then so it's like, we found her on social media. I found her when she was speaking all of that stuff. Now because she did that. When it was time to negotiate. She was able to say, listen, it is not to your advantage that I'm here on Fridays, I could be out speaking for the hospital, I could be out doing all these things I knew would bring more revenue for you and affect your bottom line positively. So I need to be off on Fridays. Because she had a brand and she treated her brand like a business. Their answer was yes. So she ended up with long weekends, every weekend. An employed physician, right, that owned her brand. I had another one who started she's in pain management started working in a group practice. And same thing, she built a referral network and your network is yours to keep that's part of your brand. And so people are coming because of you. And so she got busy quickly, very quickly because she had a lot of people sending her patients. And then when it was time for a six months review, she's like I'm gonna scribe and guess what they did, they gave her a scribe. But you see that is because she was treating her brand as a business. If she's just showing up to work and whatever, or maybe even doing all these things, but not building a brand. You know what I mean? Like it's just there, it's happening, but I'm not owning the value that I'm bringing. I'm not negotiating LIKE A BOSS because I don't recognize I'm a boss, that none of these things would have happened. So even if you're employed, you need to see your brand. You need to see your brand as a business. And so maybe you've wanted to start a podcast, we wanted to start a YouTube channel that's in line with what you do as far as clinically that you're good. Listen, I did the Legacy Parents Show for my practice. And I had I had to stop it when I slowed down on my schedule. Because of the number of patients that came from it, so every Thursday 1:30, I would do a parenting show. And it really again is encouraged. I wasn't saying anything necessary and clinical, but just to encourage parents like, I know it's hard. This is what you have to do. I know you have this question about your kid, this is how you handle you're doing an amazing job, all that kind of stuff, they will watch with their kids. Like they so, they started calling me Doctor Legacy, or whatever they were calling me. But there they go, Legacy parent is here, they'll watch with their kids. So the kids will come in for their appointment, "hey Dr Una. I watch you on Facebook, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," Okay, if you did that, that's your brand to keep. It goes with you wherever you go. And you can say, these are the number of people that I have watching this, these are number of people who come into the practice, because of me, I'm going to need x, y, z, or x, y, z, or x, y, z, you negotiate like a boss, because you're a boss, you're the CEO of your brand. And we need to own that. 

Dr. Gray, Host  05:56

I love that concept. Because in college, I was an astrophysics major. You know, I was a science nerd. Then I thought, okay, I like people, too. So I'll go into medicine. And business was the farthest thing from my mind. If someone said, Hey, do you want to be a marketing major? I would have said, No way. That sounds so boring. And what I love about how you teach physicians business, in Entre MD Business School and through your podcast, is just be authentic, be yourself, what is it that you're passionate about as a physician, because guess what, that's what the world wants, right, because most of us want to help people, most of us are passionate about advocating for patients or you know, a certain part of patient care, even though to us, it's so mundane. We talk to patients every day, and it's who we are. But the world loves that because patients love it when they can see someone cares about them. And yes, you can do the one on one. But there's a limited number of patients that you can affect that way. But if you start using your voice in a public forum, people just love it. And I found myself if I have a medical issue, I might go online and see some of these videos from a physician that I'm considering. I'm like, Yeah, I want to go to them. And so even as a consumer, as a patient, I feel the same way. But what you're teaching is it should be obvious, but we just don't think about it. Because most of us aren't interested in marketing. But are we interested in why we want to do medicine and the things that we're passionate about? Yes. And you're just saying, well, common sense, then tell the world, build that brand. And that's what the brand is, it's just showing the world what you care about.


People love it, and people want it, and people are waiting for it. And there is such a void in cyberspace as far as doctors. But think about it. We have the best stories. We have the best stories, I even find medical shows right where you're like, that's not where the chest tube goes. But we still love it. If I don't do. I did a lot of procedures and all of that stuff residency, but I've been outpatient. And so sometimes shows are based in ER, I just watch it for fun, because I'm like, oh, man, that's so cool. We have the best stories. We have the best education, we have the best hearts, I have not yet seen a physician who's like I went through all this to make money. We did all that because we want to help people. And so if there's anybody whose voice should be loudest, it should be ours. And I don't say that in a prideful way. But, you know, sometimes in a bid to be humble, we've forgotten how amazing we are. And we've forgotten that the world needs us. And it's time for us to go back and just just own what we went to med school to do in the first place. Like you were saying, we wanted to help. And for me, it is so funny when I think about it. We know people are like, but what do you want to be when you're done with medical school? I'm like, I don't know. But I know I don't want to be a pediatrician, which is the funniest thing ever. Because here I am, when it came time to I want to be an OB GYN, but I was like, I know I can't do the nights forever. Like if that's the option. I'm not doing that. But I loved the mommy. So where can I find the mommies? The next place was pediatrics. I was like, okay, so I get the kids and I get the mommies because I felt mommies needed support and they needed support with someone who had a medical education could advise them, but also help them be there. Encourage them believe in them. I would remember moms deal with infertility and all that stuff. So my God, that's what drew me to OBGYN a mom who's just had a baby and feels like she's failing at everything. And so I took that with me, even in the pediatric world. My patients will sometimes say, after I'm done talking to them like Dr. Luna, you know, we just come here because you're like our therapist, and the funny thing is, I don't spend any more time than anybody else would with them, but because that was my heart. They always came out. I mean, if they tell me Oh, I'm in nursing school, and I graduated August 2022. I would put it in the reminder section in their chart. And then next time they come on, like how does nursing school going how are your grades. I was like Doctor Una, Doctor Una wants A's,  you're doing a good job at this, come on, like stuff like that they're like you remember, I'm like, in my mind and like the chart remembered, but hey, I wrote it there, but I owned who I was. And what I wanted to do in the first place. And when I did the Legacy Parents Show is the same thing, it was what I wanted to do in the first place. So everyone listening, should just asked, what is it that I wanted to do, they have told us this is the prescribed way. But maybe it's not, maybe you need to add on something else, maybe you need to be true to what you want to do that help you want to give the change you want to create in the world. And we can do this. Sometimes we say, Oh, that's hard. I can't do that. And I'll invite you to remember who you are. Go ahead, google, check the acceptance rate in the medical school you got in to is between one and 3%. And you got in and you graduated, and you did residency or you did fellowship, you're pretty good at doing things that are impossible, right? And this is no different. If you plan to create a change, go back to it and create that change. You can, you really can't.

Dr. Gray, Host  11:00

Hmm, So good. And again, it's sad that the state of affairs is that so many physicians are feeling the opposite. They're feeling like they don't have a way out that they're just going to have to do what they're being told to do, even though it causes them moral injury, even though they really they're like now when can I retire? So I don't have to keep doing what I don't think is right, or is the best way to take care of human beings. And and yet, what I love about what you teach and finding our voice is that Yeah, you don't even have to have your own business. But if you think of yourself as the CEO of your brand, as a spokesperson for the things that you really care about in medicine, then then speak up wherever you are, because if doctors don't speak up, then nobody is going to speak up for them. 

Dr. Una, Guest  11:51


Dr. Gray, Host  11:52

Patients will speak up. And we know that hospital administrators will speak up and by default, we perceive that they have a certain power, and they have their role in medicine. I'm not bad mouthing everyone who has an MBA and as an executive, it's just that we come from a totally different perspective. And nobody's going to value what we have to say, and our perspective more than ourselves. And if we don't say anything, then nobody's going to value it.

Dr. Una, Guest  12:22

Yeah, and that's the truth. I love that you say it that way, but nobody is coming to save us. This system is not gonna change for us. We're going to decide to do that. That's, that's on us. And we've made hard decisions before, we've made decisions to change things before deciding to be a physician is a pretty profound decision. A lot of us made that in our teens or early 20s. And so now with so much more experience, so much information, so much more education, so much more networks, can we now not do important things? We can, we can and I know someone may be listening to this, and they're like, this is really good. This is really inspiring. But this is all the way out there. I would just invite you to not see it that way. Think about a next step and take that. And the next step may just be I'm going to subscribe to Dr. Gray's podcast. I'm going to listen every week. That may be your next step. Your next step may be I've been thinking about a podcast for two years, like what in the world, I'm going to start it. Your next step could be I, I've hated my job, and I've just made myself depressed, and done all these things, but I'm going to look at it differently. I'm gonna go print out a business card. I'm the CEO of Doctor Me Incorporated, just to let it sink who I am. That could be your next, it doesn't have to be something really big. I didn't start off really big. Dr. Gray didn't start off really big. We started off the same way asking, Hey, what microphones should I use for my podcast? Like that's literally how this stuff starts. But just start, don't worry about all the things if they make you seem overwhelmed, right? Dr. Gray will tell you at Entre Md  well we don't do overwhelm. We just figure out what is the next step and take that. So I want to invite you to do that. But don't just stay the way you are. Don't do that, cause there's so much out there. It just starts from the next step.

Dr. Gray, Host  14:17

I love that. And that's what I do, too. I'm a student in the Entre MD Business School and it meets once a week, an hour and a half or so. And there are weeks where I'm like, I'm tired. I don't have an appointment at this time. So I don't have a quote excuse not to show up. But I'm just really tired and I haven't really done anything. I didn't even do the homework that was assigned last time and and it's up but I love this group of people. So I'm just going to show up. I don't even know how much I can soak in because I'm so tired. I'm just going to listen. And sometimes that session is what makes a huge difference for me and I actually get inspired just because I showed up with half of myself. And that was all I needed to do. So I love that little little steps.

Dr. Una, Guest  15:01

Yeah, I can identify with that, because so there's some people who are like really fast learners who really did really big things. And that's just not my experience. For me, I think the thing that has made the biggest difference for me is that I was willing to just try. I was willing to just take the next step. It's the action, right? Because a lot of people will learn a lot of things, they can talk a lot about the things they learned, but they don't experience the difference, because they're not doing anything with it. So you've listened to this podcast episode. And if you'll just take one thing and do it, I cannot tell you how many people you're ahead of because many people will listen, and many people will get inspired, but they won't do. So just find what is that thing I can do? If you're moving forward, now we're talking action, you will run circles around the person who is getting all the experiences on they can say all the lingo. And I'm not saying that's bad. But I'm just saying you're not at a disadvantage if you'll take action. 

Dr. Gray, Host  16:01

Yeah, that's so so true. Please tell our listeners, I already introduced all the things that you do, but tell them how to find you, and how can they get involved? And take that next step?

Dr. Una, Guest  16:14

Yeah, so first of all, you are on a podcasting platform. And there are two podcasts you need to subscribe to. And the reason is one of the things I love is immersion, you may be hearing this and some of the concepts are like so new, just the way if I listen to someone speaking German, it'll be just new. But if I moved to Germany, guess what, it becomes my new norm. So I want you to have that immersive experience. So one is the Entre MD podcast. And that's E N T R E M D, Entre MD podcast two episodes a week we talk shop just like this. And you get strategies like you know how to be a great podcast guest how to start your own podcast, what to do if you don't have confidence, private practice tips, all kinds of stuff there. And short of sweet, probably about the length of a commute and really good stuff. And then the Doctors Changing Medicine podcast, I started that because like Dr. Gray, how you said your life, well, some people are not in private practice and all this stuff. And I'm like, our options are limitless. Sounds like, I'm gonna create this podcast, I'm just gonna interview doctors who are just at the top of their game doing things. And so it's almost like a buffet, you can go, hmm you're like, yeah, I don't really like the bourbon chicken. I think I might like the honey roasted chicken better. And because in that environment, what happens is, you may go like, wait a minute, in my mind, in my subconscious, I was thinking I could do something like this. I didn't even know people do that. And that's the whole reason, you know, so the only episode that was done just by me is the first episode. Everything else is just interviews, people who have done products, and it's so funny, they're all trying to help and they end up in products, they end up with services, some of them are working jobs, some of them are fighting for institutional change, it's everything. Because our options are limitless. It's not private practice or employee physician. No, it's so many things that we can do. And then if you're ready to say, you know what, I've thought about this, and I'm ready to do it, I'm ready to own my brand, I'm ready to own my own business. I want to be in a community of physicians, Dr. Gray and I are in. It's a fun place, you're like I want to be in a place where I can be inspired, and I can be held accountable, and I can be vulnerable, and it's okay, I can get the coaching I need the Entre MD Business School is a school for you. Okay, and it is I say is the most positive physician space on Facebook. And I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that it is an unbelievable place. And people are in there owning their own brands, burying their fears, starting new businesses, scaling old businesses. You see people from I just started a podcast, so I just had my first $500,000 month, the whole spectrum. It's a beautiful place. So you should check it out. It's entremd.com forward slash business, we only enroll twice a year. So you'll want to check it out. It's not open, just get on the waitlist, you'll be the first to know.

Dr. Gray, Host  19:02

Yes, that's so good. And to echo what you said previously about the importance of taking action, because we can talk all we want, we can certainly find our voice. But really that's the bridge to then taking action. And I'm going to just bring up this beautiful practice that you taught me in one of your podcast episodes, which is talking to your 90 year-old self. And I just love that because it gives so much perspective you like to just hang out with your 90 year-old self and hear what does she have to say to me it's so right now what I'm going through maybe it's a fear maybe it's a hang up like okay, I can't do that or that seems a little out of reach. What is your 90 year-old self going to say? Is she gonna say yeah, just don't Yeah, don't worry about it. It's fine that that does sound too scary. Or is she going to say, go for it, when you get to 90 you're going to have less energy and less time to do it, the time to do it is now. And I think That is just such a powerful concept because as a life planner, that is exactly the energy I want to inspire in my clients is that they don't know when they're going to die. None of us know when we're gonna die and, and life is precious, and you're here once to make an impact. So whatever that impact is, I think that we owe it to ourselves to to go for it.

Dr. Una, Guest  20:24

Yeah, I love that concept so much. I think there's two things that made it stick for me. One is I heard Brian Tracy say, this is not the rehearsal. This is your real life. You know what I mean? Because when you're alive, you really subconsciously think you live forever. You know what I mean? Like, we, we theoretically know we're going to die. But we fully expect to wake up tomorrow, we fully expect to be here five years from now, you know what I mean? Like, yes, we're not really in tune with our mortality, like we just are not. And so when he said, this is not the rehearsal, sometimes we live that way, like today's rehearsal for tomorrow. So if I don't do it today, I'll do it tomorrow. You know what I mean. And that this was I probably read that 10 years ago, but it just stuck. And then he also had an exercise where he would say, to write what you want read at your funeral. Now, of course, this sounds morbid, but think about it is like you are going to die someday there is going to be a funeral. So what do you want read at your funeral. So I sat down one day, and I did this exercise, I started writing all these things, because of course, I had this inflated idea of what should happen by then. And I started writing. And then when I was done, I looked at it I was like, okay, if I want any of this to actually be read, I need to get to work. Because I'm not doing anything today to make this a reality. You know what I'm saying? So it was like self coaching. Like it put me in perspective, real quick, like you're slacking, okay? I mean, like you're dreaming, if you really want that read, the things you need to start doing today. And so that made me develop this concept of my 90 year-old self, because I was like, I can't think of me dying every day at my funeral. That's a little too much. So I did my 90th birthday. And I'm like, my kids are around me, the people I've touched around me, and what would they be saying? Right? So I talk about that version of me a lot. I hung out with that version of, because then I look back like, now if I'm scared to start a second podcast, what is she going to say? Like, girl, we're trying to change the world. Go start on that podcast. That's what she's, you know, I mean, and I think about things I was scared of as a teenager, now that I'm an adult. I'm like, that's so stupid. And so I know, my 90 year-old self is thinking this like grow up that is not that serious. Like, go get it done. You know what I'm saying? And the more I think about my long term perspective, the better decisions I make today, right? If you have your mind focused on where you're going, you make better decisions now because you know that your tomorrow isn't today. Or tomorrow doesn't just magically appear. It's in today. So whatever you put in today, determines what you see tomorrow. So she helps me behave and I she coaches me a lot.

Dr. Gray, Host  22:59

I love it. Ahh, thank you so much, Dr. Una. I knew this was going to be pure gold. And now it's proven. This is an amazing episode, so I can't wait to share it with the world. 

Dr. Una, Guest  23:10

Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for having me here. And thank you for being so gracious and so kind with your words. And thank you for what you do. It is so important. You may think well Oh, Dr. Una is amazing. But you know, the funny thing. There's some people who are like, yeah, she's cool. I really love Dr. Gray though she changed my life. And and that's the way the world is because we're all called to different people. You know what I mean? Your people are waiting for you. And I'm so grateful that you showed up to serve them. And for everyone listening, I know I said it before you need to subscribe to her podcast. And if you're going like wow, this life planning thing you need to talk to her because that's her zone of genius. So thank you so much for having me.

Dr. Gray, Host  23:51

Thanks for listening. Make sure you hit subscribe so you don't miss another episode. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend and give us a five star review so we can help more physicians dare to dream and create their most abundant lives. There's also exciting news at the Dare to Dream Physician. For those of you who wish to get clarity on your own why, and get energized as you explore, envision and create your dream life. I'm so excited to announce that I'm taking on a limited number of one on one clients for life planning. To get the complete details and sign up for an exploration meeting. Go to my website, daretodreamphysician.com. I really look forward to working with you. And it would be such an honor and privilege for me to be able to help you create your life plan. I truly believe that life planning will transform your life and will give you that energy to pursue your dream life sooner than you ever imagined. See you next week.


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