By Dr. James M. Dahle, WCI Founder
Being a physician is challenging enough. Maybe you worry that financial stress is hindering your patient care and that your income isn’t creating lasting wealth. Take the time to invest in yourself at WCICON23 to learn how to become a more financially stable physician who is less burned out and who can have a longer, more meaningful career.
Come to WCICON23!
Registration is now open for the fifth Physician Wellness and Financial Literacy Conference (aka WCICON) on March 1-4, 2023 at the luxurious JW Marriott in sunny Phoenix, just north of Scottsdale. I feel confident in saying you will have a wonderful time should you choose to join us. As the pandemic winds down, I suspect the in-person option will sell out this year for the first time since 2020, so don't delay registering. If you delay, you might end up paying a higher price and/or be unable to get a room at the conference hotel, and you might not be able to come at all—at least in person.
Why We Do WCICON
Running a conference is the riskiest part of the WCI business. When we decided to hold the first one in Park City in 2018, we rented out most of a hotel, committed to spending six figures on food, and hoped people would come. Even if it had not been an awesome business move, we felt it was really important to get The White Coat Investor community together. Many people came just to meet their online friends in person. Others were making a commitment to finally getting their finances in order. More advanced folks were just looking to tweak and optimize their financial plans and have a few days to talk to the only people in their lives who were comfortable talking about finances with them.
Most surprising to me, at least that first time, was how many people were coming primarily for the wellness curriculum. Even before the pandemic, burnout was endemic among physicians, dentists, and other high-income professionals. Since then, it has only worsened, so we continue to include a wellness curriculum as part of the conference each year.
Three hundred people attended that first year and had such a good time that the second one (800 people) sold out in less than a day. We had to go fully virtual for 2021, but we still had over 1,000 people register and attend. In 2022, we decided to do both in-person and virtual, and we had about 600 of each attend for 1,200 total. This year, we've made room for about 950 in person (and, of course, an unlimited amount virtually). We think WCICON is the best continuing education conference of the year, and it is attended by people of every medical and dental specialty and numerous other professions.
What Past Attendees Say About WCICON
What do all of those people say after attending WCICON? Over 99% of the attendees at that first conference would recommend it to their peers and colleagues, and that hasn't changed much over the years. Here are a few sample comments:
What to Expect at WCICON23
Every year, we strive to provide a perfect blend of tried-and-true speakers and experiences with new ones. This approach maintains continuity as well as fresh takes on finance and wellness. We have selected the best of the best to include 48 speakers and 55+ hours of content (these were selected from more than 250 submissions). Of those 55+ hours, up to 17 qualify for AMA Category I CME and Dental CE, allowing the conference to be purchased using designated CME dollars (or written off as a business expense if self-employed). In addition to that wellness content, the remainder of the content is evenly split between financial topics that are perfect for someone just getting started and advanced topics that are aimed at the experienced white coat investor. New this year are several two-hour workshops run by experienced, hand-picked faculty:
- Creating a Financial Plan,
- Burnout Prevention and Treatment, and
- Preparing for Retirement
These will allow you and the faculty to take an even deeper dive into the topic and get you on track for your financial and career goals.
Perhaps more important than the actual content presented are the little conversations and connections that happen on the side at a conference like this. Many of us have no one in our lives with which we can discuss our “first-world” financial challenges. Where else do people understand what it is like to have $450,000 in student loans hanging over your head? Where else can everyone relate to losing 30% or more of what they earn to the taxman? Where else has everyone had to decide how to balance their competing financial priorities with being well aware of their own mortality? Where else do you meet hundreds who feel burned out of doing something that they've wanted to do since eighth grade?
Besides the conference itself, what would a wellness conference be without wellness activities? The JW Marriott in March is the perfect place to escape winter dreariness and get out in the sun. We take meals and do receptions out on the lawn in the open air. Authors do book signings. We knock off the academics with a couple of hours of daylight left and let you actually go out and get that wellness we've been talking about. There's golf, tennis, pickleball, yoga, and even a 5K run. Too active? How does a wine-tasting event and just sitting around the impressive pool complex sound?
In fact, since the conference is a combination in-person/virtual event, you can even go out to the pool to watch one session and come back in for the next. And if you miss one because you were having too much fun? No problem. Everything gets recorded, and you get to take it all home with you to watch at your own convenience. Take in as many or as few of the social events as you like. We have an opening reception for everyone and a premium dinner with the faculty for the premium registrants. Conference sponsors put on evening events you won't want to miss, ranging from networking happy hours to dinners to mini-golf to women's events.
More information here:
WCICON23 Keynote Speakers
We get together once or twice a day for a keynote talk. You're going to love our hand-picked keynote speakers.
Christine Benz is no stranger to The White Coat Investor community. She is a returning keynote speaker from the all-virtual conference in 2021, and I can't wait to give her the welcome she can only get at an in-person conference. She is the director of personal finance and retirement planning at Morningstar, an experienced columnist, an author, and the host of The Long View podcast.
Ashley Whillans, MA, Ph.D., is a Harvard business professor who just happens to be married to an emergency physician. She teaches courses in negotiation, motivation, and incentives to MBA students and executives. She is a published book author and academic with expertise in the relationship between time, money, and happiness.
Stacy Taniguchi, Ph.D. is going to be a special treat at the conference this year. A riveting speaker with academic and real-world experience using the outdoors to help others, the amount of life he has packed into one lifetime will be an inspiration for you to do the same. But the best part of his talk may be the revelations he makes about several personal connections we share. So far, he is the only WCICON keynote speaker I've ever almost killed.
As usual, I'll be giving two presentations. In past conferences, I've reviewed the medical literature on financial literacy, taught how Medicare really works, simplified asset protection, and revealed the truth about insurance products. This year, I'll be giving you the truth about real estate investing and showing you how best to spend in retirement.
Various Ways to Attend
Besides regular, in-person attendance, we also have a premium option (usually the first thing to sell out), a spouse/partner option, and virtual options. There is an option perfect for just about everyone in the WCI community. You can get all of the details (and register) at wcievents.com.
Why This Conference?
We know your continuing education dollars and time is limited. However, we believe this is a conference that every doc and high-income professional should attend at least once. The biggest threat to your career and your finances is burnout, and this conference is the closest thing you can get to buying “burnout insurance.” The information and inspiration are second to none when it comes to an investment that will pay future dividends for your career and your finances.
Why I Personally Hope You Will Join Us at WCICON23
Now, if you will allow me for a moment to be a little selfish, I want to tell you why I hope you come. Yes, I know the conference will help you a ton. But mostly, I just love meeting white coat investors face to face. You inspire me. You help me to stay in touch with the real concerns and challenges that front-line docs face on a daily basis. Your worries become my worries and guide the direction of The White Coat Investor for the next year. Financial literacy and wellness might not be the world's biggest niche, but it is one where you matter and where we can help you.
I hope to see you there. Early bird pricing (everything else in your life has gone up in price this year, but not this conference!) remains in place until November 7, but I can't promise you there will be any seats left by then.
Any questions about the conference? Post a comment below!