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Patrick Tran
Patrick Tran was a successful dermatologist living happily with his wife and young son in Northern California when his two-year-old son Adrian was diagnosed with cancer. After overcoming his initial devastation, Tran had an epiphany: rather than obsessing over why his son had gotten sick, he decided to instead focus on the fact that medical advances made it possible for Adrian to beat the cancer with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Tran’s life instantly reprioritized, he saw how much time he’d wasted sweating the so-called small stuff and instantly committed to strengthening his relationships with his family and living in the moment. Before Adrian’s diagnosis, Tran had thought his mission was to help other doctors accomplish what he had: achieve independent wealth through real estate investing and, in the process, avoid doctor burnout. But Tran’s mindset shift after Adrian’s diagnosis taught him that while he had much to teach about real estate investing, his true calling was to show other doctors how to re-shift their priorities so they could learn to find grace and beauty under any circumstances and take ownership of their lives and mindset and create the life of their dreams. Burn-In: A Guide for Doctors on Finding Happiness, Avoiding Burnout and Catching FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) is the result of Tran’s journey from surviving to thriving in the face of his son’s sickness, as well as his handbook to investing to the tune of over $21 million in real estate assets. This moving, instructive guide to a life well lived reveals not only the secret to mindset elevation and techniques to be happy, fulfilled and successful but also strategies on how to build wealth through real estate.
Targeting medical professionals, dermatologist and real estate investor Tran shares his wisdom about shrewdly investing and focusing on one’s values in order to face and handle burnout– “that feeling of not having enough money, time or both to do what you love with those you love.” The book is written in concise, encouraging chapters that cover choosing and sticking to a path, achieving healthy mindsets, and why “it’s okay to ask (and answer) questions about finances,” often showing via example as Burn-In covers Tran’s own experience as a doctor, father, second-generation immigrant, and real estate investor. Crucially, Tran focuses on how these identities interrelate and how, managing them, he’s achieved a life where wealth doesn’t just mean money, a values-driven way of living he encourages his readers to strive towards as well.

Drawing on personal stories, original inspirational quotes (“The key to finding bliss and joy in every moment is to let go”), and practical knowledge he has gathered about the real-estate game, Tran’s tome blends the styles of memoir and self-help. Tran’s advice to catch FIRE–an acronym for “financial independence, retire early”–is highly specific; his audience is those who want to follow the path he has: be a practicing doctor who finds peace and security in real estate. “Nowhere in medical school are we talking enough about the financial realities of being a doctor,” he writes, before addressing those realities with the friendly demeanor of a coach or mentor.

Tran’s idea of “burning-in” is not precisely the opposite–or the avoidance of–“burn-out,” which he considers a simple fact of life. Instead, burning-in calls for a focus on values and working for the things one is passionate about. His unique advice, in fact, includes taking on more work but being passionate about the work being done, a message sure to resonate with his target audience.

Takeaway: A doctor lays out a path for other doctors toward real wealth, not just the monetary kind.

Great for fans of: David J. Norris’s The Financially Intelligent Physician, James M. Dahle’s The White Coat Investor.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: B