By Dr. James M. Dahle, WCI Founder

It's time to announce the 2022 WCI Financial Educator of the Year award. For the last three years, we have been giving out this $1,000 reward to doctors who are directly educating their peers and trainees about financial topics. We want to continue encouraging doctors to give talks, run courses, and share information with each other. Frankly, I can't do 10% of the direct educating I am asked to do, even during COVID when I could do it from home via Zoom. I want the entire WCI community to help. I've even prepared slides for you to use for your presentations.

The winner of this award in our first year (2019) was Dr. Gaurava Agarwal. In the second year, Dr. Jason Mizell won the award. Last year, Dr. Scott Truhlar won. This year, we received 73 nominations naming 22 different doctors. Great work! The following doctors were nominated this year (in alphabetical order by first name):

  • Adam Ratner
  • Andrew Cykiert
  • Anthony Esposito
  • Anthony Salmaci
  • Benjetta Steele
  • Brett Einerson
  • Brian Gibson
  • Cyril Varghese
  • Eric Johnson
  • Foyin Kumoluyi
  • Jesse Goldstein
  • Jiho Bryson
  • Jonathan Rogg
  • Logan Rencher
  • Matthew McLaughlin
  • Michael Brodeur
  • Michael Mahlon
  • Nick Bennett
  • Recha Bergstrom
  • Ryan Russell
  • Stephen Pamatmat
  • Ty Bullard
  • Viraj Modi

Congratulations to all of you, and thank you for all you have done to boost financial literacy among your colleagues and trainees. These folks have been giving lectures, developing courses, teaching finance informally on the wards, and doing one-on-one consultations with peers and trainees. The nominees had to be practicing doctors but also could not be a blogger, a podcaster, or a financial advisor. Just docs helping their peers.

Stephen Pamatmat

Stephen Pamatmat, MD

Unfortunately, only one of these fine folks can win per year. However, two of the “also-rans” this year deserve special mention. Dr. Cyril Varghese received 14 nominations, and Dr. Viraj Modi received 10 nominations. Well done! As in previous years, there was a very obvious winner.


Congratulations to Dr. Stephen Pamatmat!

Dr. Stephen Pamatmat received more nominations than everyone else. Not only this year but also last year. If we don't give him the award, all of the many people he keeps helping are just going to continue to barrage us each year with more nominations! Stephen was nominated by all of the following people (just this year):

  • Darnel V. Dabu
  • Arnulfo Carlos Rosario Jr.
  • Gerard Q.C. Flores
  • John Tuason
  • Senen T Uyan
  • Ferdinand Magno
  • Mitchell Cabisudo
  • Jose Santos
  • Reynaldo C. Gacad
  • Francis Marlo Simeon
  • Leelamma Joseph
  • Raymond Yu
  • Michelle Reyes Dabu
  • Amelita Lourdes Basa
  • Raoul Henson
  • Michael B. Corpus

As you know, Dr. Pamatmat wins $1,000 and a nice certificate, and the person who provided the best nomination for him also wins a free WCI course of their choice.


Congratulations Raymond Christopher Yu, MD!

We selected the nomination by Dr. Raymond Yu. Here is what Dr. Yu had to say about Dr. Pamatmat:

“Five years ago, Dr. Stephen Pamatmat helped me transition from the Philippines financial system to the US system. Despite his busy schedule, he took time on evenings and weekends to advise me via different platforms.

He taught me how to build a credit score quickly by obtaining a credit card and using it frequently while also ensuring that no debt accumulated. Five years ago when I was a resident, I had no understanding of what an employee match/contribution was or how a retirement account worked. In the Philippines, people tend to work as hard as they can to earn money, emphasize frugal living and save everything in a savings account bank. Through his guidance, I managed to save approximately $46,000 toward retirement during residency. Upon completion of residency, he helped me do a Roth conversion. When I got married two years into residency, he also advised my wife how to start off financially and save for retirement. He showed us how to open Roth IRAs. He also taught us how to open and fund a brokerage account.

Transitioning to my first attending job, he volunteered to provide guidance on financial and savings decisions and to help me come up with a financial game plan based on WCI guidelines. We are very excited to be in this phase of our lives. All of this was done through his guidance. He countlessly conducts meetings to guide us on how to set up accounts, how to contribute properly, and how to maintain a proper asset allocation. The best part about him is he never asked for anything in return. He wants us to succeed and have a good future. We cannot thank him enough for guiding us and introducing us to the WCI podcast and email newsletter, and we even bought the WCI Financial Boot Camp book. I am also certain that we are not the only ones that he has guided in starting off. I have several friends from the Philippines that he also helped through this journey. He has also agreed to lecture to my residency to help other residents and younger generation beginning their financial journey.”


Other Nice Things People Say About Dr. Pamatmat

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Many of the other nominations read similarly. Here are a few excerpts:

“For the past few years, Dr. Pamatmat has shared his success by teaching financial literacy to new and old physicians in our medical fraternity—Tau Mu Sigma Phi. He continuously imparts his financial expertise to anyone who asks for his advice—from residents, consultants of different medical specialties, and physicians near their retirement. He is passionate in teaching the fundamentals of personal finance to help physicians understand their present situation.”

“Dr. Pamatmat created a Personal Finance 101 presentation that is specific to jumpstart anyone, especially physicians, who wants a jolt to control their finances. The primary objectives of the presentation are to improve financial literacy, simplify your personal finance, and simplify investment. It covers a wide variety of beneficial topics including investments, taxes, and retirement accounts. Through the years, he has conducted financial presentations/talks in various annual meetings. During the pandemic, he also conducted numerous Zoom meetings about financial strategies. He even provides a step-by-step approach in setting up your Vanguard or Fidelity accounts. He enjoys one-on-one financial coaching and is always available for any questions you may need. He is always there for financial guidance and encouragement.”

“Dr. Stephen Pamatmat was the first person who greeted me when I first came to the US in 2002. I had never met him before, but through a common bond shared amongst brothers belonging to the same medical fraternity, it felt like we had known each other for years. He shared his blueprint on creating a successful business as he guided me on how to open up my own medical practice that is now comprised of 15 clinicians strong and growing. He indoctrinated me on how to invest wisely for my future and not be tricked by so-called financial experts. Because of Dr. Pamatmat, my family and I have been living comfortably beyond what I could hope for, and most importantly, through God's blessing, I am confident that my kids’ future is secured.”

“I am an eye surgeon here in the Philippines. I have known Dr. Stephen Pamatmat since our med school days at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in Asia. He is now an accomplished nephrologist and financial expert. He has taught and influenced numerous healthcare professionals on how to achieve financial freedom. He was even a guest in my podcast entitled ‘Simple Investment Strategies for the US Physician.' Dr. Pamatmat is one of the most influential physicians in the Filipino community in the States. He deserves a nomination for the WCI Financial Educator of the Year.”

“I have known Dr Pamatmat as a good nephrologist, a good friend, and a brother in a fraternity. He was a former president of the Tau Mu Sigma Phi USA and presently handles our finances. He has educated the majority of our members, and they are now managing their own finances. A lot of our members fired their financial advisors after being educated by Dr. Pamatmat. He lectures yearly during our Tau Mu Sigma Phi Fall Reunion which is a gathering of members of the fraternity from all over the US and the Philippines. He is also in charge of the finances of his Nephrology group.”

“He had helped me in my finances, not only in the stock market here in the USA but also in the Philippines. He took his time explaining to me how to understand the terms in investing, including retirement accounts, life insurance, and disability insurance. He was the one who introduced me to The White Coat Investor group. I am now managing my own finances, and we are very much satisfied for what he did. I recommended him to a lot of our members, and all of us are one in saying that he is the best educator when it comes to the stock market.”

“Having a good financial coach is essential in every family. During COVID-19, something good happened. We were able to receive strong and very useful financial advice from Dr. Pamatmat. He gives all his attention and time during his one-on-one financial coaching sessions. He is very patient in explaining the intricacies of financial literacy until we learn and understand it clearly. I am one of the many people who benefitted from his financial wisdom.”

“He has educated me on how I can put all my assets in a more secure brokerage firm. He also has shown me how to invest my money and how to achieve my goals in a very simple manner. As a physician, this is an area I am not very knowledgeable about, and Dr. Pamatmat made it easy for me to understand. Being a physician himself, he can understand the hard work doctors do and how it is important that we can also take care of ourselves.”

“I am the executive director of the University of Santo Tomas Medical Alumni Association in America. Dr . Stephen Pamatmat, as an active officer of our Board, has been instrumental in giving us the proper advice in directing our Foundation’s purse toward sound and stable investment platforms while minimizing our risk and giving us firm guidance on what important principles to follow. This particularly holds true during this time of investment volatility, supply chain bottlenecks, tight labor, and extraordinary inflation. Today, our Board feels comfortable and confident. We stand firm through his financial wisdom.”

“He gave me a different perspective of saving for the future in a way that I never understood before. He had the patience to break down the concept of investing in the simplest and most easily understandable way possible. He was able to explain what I should do with my money as soon as I started working, as well as shared with me how he started with his own personal investments. He influenced me to do further reading and suggested that I read the White Coat Investor blog as early as I can in order to be educated and make the right financial decisions. Currently, I am a third-year internal medicine resident, and I have made significant investments to my 403(b) and Roth IRA that I would not have done if it was not for Dr. Pamatmat. He was truly an instrumental component in my financial literacy as a young physician, and my financial decisions would not have been the same if it were not for Dr. Pamatmat’s lessons.”

“Stephen has been untiring in teaching the Filipino community here in East Texas on how to use index investing as a method toward financial stability and security . . . He continues to provide his personal investment strategies to our investment group on Facebook Messenger as well as being a guest in a few of our podcasts.”

“Dr. Pamatmat has been a proponent of early financial literacy education for the undergraduates. He has given several lectures regarding financial literacy, financial independence, investment accounts, passive investing/index funds, diversification, and the importance of starting early.”

“He has handled the financial investments of several physician organizations, as well as members.”

“Through the years, Dr. Pamatmat has indeed helped countless people in achieving their goals of financial freedom. I have been a testament on how he has been able to help guide, both young and old, in preparing their future through handling their present . . . Dr. Pamamat is indeed one of the trailblazers in our circle in advocating financial literacy with the goal of achieving financial freedom. He has always been passionate in helping and teaching people to make proper decisions.”

Congratulations to Dr. Pamatmat and all of the other nominees. Thank you for what you are doing and for helping to spread financial literacy among doctors everywhere.

What do you think? What are you doing to help your peers with their finances? What is the best way to spread this message to everyone who needs it? Comment below!