Finding Yourself in Medicine
Varun Verma, MD

Welcome to the Andwise Speaker Series with physicians. I am Varun Verma Internal Medicine Hospitalist and one of the co-founders of, Andwise, if you haven't already, please go to to sign up. Only verified medical students, residents, and physicians will be able to join our private Slack community.

We're really on a mission to provide physicians with free financial education to improve their financial lives. So today as our. Part of our speaker series. We have Dr. Erkeda DeRouen, she is a board certified family physician, a podcast host, an author, an entrepreneur, and we're so excited to have her.

Meet Dr. DeRouen
Dr. Derouen

Thank you so much for having me, and I'm super excited for us to have this conversation about finding yourself in medicine, because I think that it's a topic that a lot of people may find themselves thinking about, especially as they are in different states of transition or just kind of reflecting on life after the pandemic.

So, I am from the DC Metro area. I'm triple board certified and Family Diversity and Lifestyle medicine. I'm a consultant, author, speaker and I just am very passionate about working to break the healthcare barriers and make healthcare tech more attainable and diverse.

And I'm also the founder of the Pacemakers. So today we will be discussing the landscape of just physicians and where they are in terms of the healthcare system. Talk a little bit about seeking purpose and creating your own unique path, as well as translating skills and negotiating your worth.

So over the years, media has portrayed physicians in very different lights. You can see some of these examples here on the slide deck where we talk about things I've seen like Dr. Adam Brickner on the Love Boat, or Dr. Quinn, medicine Woman or Doogie Howser. Or the cast of M*A*S*H or the original cast of Grey's Anatomy. I'm not really staying up to date with that. And Scrubs. So a lot of people may have had this illusion that practicing medicine, maybe like it is on TV or another reason that you may have gone into medicine may be because you may have been inspired by a loved one, a parent, another relative, a mentor, or had a personal life experience that may have driven you to this act of service.

So you made it through and you did it. You did the medical school applications, you went through the trials and tribulations of medical school. You had an endless blur of residency, and now you're working in the field of your dreams. For a lot of people, that's the end goal. And that is okay, if you're content in practicing medicine, that is what the goal should be for some people.

But for others, they may not feel like they're in Kansas anymore. In 2022, 53% of physicians reported burnout amongst them. Emergency medicine specialists had the highest rate at 65% according to Medscape's latest report on physician burnout and depression. We may be thinking about what may be causing things like this.