To celebrate reaching 100 posts, I decided that it’s time to reveal my secret identity. My name is Daniel Shin, and I’m the Darwinian Doctor!
Hi! My name is Daniel Shin, and I’m The Darwinian Doctor. I’ve written these posts on a weekly basis since 2018. During that time, I’ve written anonymously. The only people who knew about my writing were my wife (the Darwinian Dr-ess) and a few fellow bloggers and friends.
To celebrate the 100th blog post and the New Year, I’ve decided to reveal my identity.
When I thought of the best format for this identity reveal, I thought it would be fun to interview myself. So here we go:
Who are you?
Here in the US, we define ourselves by what we do for a living, so I guess I’m a surgeon. But I’m also a thinker, writer, real estate investor, father, and husband.
I’m married to the wonderful Darwinian Dr-ess and I have two boys. They’re three and six years of age. They’re super cute, but exhausting as well.
Where are you from?
I grew up on the East Coast in the 1980s in an era dominated by Madonna, the movie E.T., and the fall of the Soviet Union.
I did all my schooling in the northeast then moved to Southern California for residency training.
What’s The Darwinian Doctor blog about?
At its most simple level, The Darwinian Doctor is a blog about my journey to financial independence. More specifically, it’s about how a well paid yet indebted physician is using real estate to break free from “golden handcuffs.”
After a few years of practice as a surgeon, I felt handcuffed to my job and burnt out. I looked ahead to the next thirty years and wondered: “What’s next? What other goals and challenges are left to conquer?”
After much thought, I realized that I wanted more:
- More time with my family
- More opportunities to see my friends
- More freedom to enjoy all the wonders that life has to offer
I decided that achieving financial freedom is the single most important key to fulfilling these desires.
So here on the blog, you can trace my development from a traditional index fund investor in 2018 to an active real estate investor with a growing portfolio of rental properties today.
Why did you decide to write anonymously?
From early on, I decided to share an uncomfortable amount of information about our finances. For the first couple of years, I found anonymity really liberating. I posted freely about our true monthly spending, student debt, and my aggressive initial plan for financial independence.
Without the anonymity, I worried about running into a coworker in the surgeon lounge who knew how much money I had in my bank account. I also worried that my friends would judge me harshly for my life and money choices if they knew the nitty gritty.
So what changed?
A few things, I guess. First of all, the more I wrote, the more I got used to the idea of sharing my personal details with the world. Second of all, I got over myself.
I realized that the chances of my coworkers putting two and two together were pretty small. Most will never know or care that I write a blog.
I’m also in a good place professionally. I’ve had time now to establish an identity at work as a valuable member of our medical group. I’m well liked by my patients and have a track record as a skilled surgeon. I’ve contributed administratively as well, so now I feel like I have a solid foundation to reveal other aspects of my life to my colleagues.
Finally, I’m excited to share my story and convictions with more people. I want everyone to know that a bright future of financial freedom is within their grasp.
What’s the meaning behind your motto: “Intentional evolution, every day”?
This motto captures my approach to life and investing. I believe in continual improvement into the ideal, best version of yourself. This applies to all areas – your finances, your health, your relationships, everything. It’s a journey of a lifetime, but I don’t think it has to be overwhelming. It just takes small yet intentional changes on a daily basis to make massive progress towards your goals.
Evolution isn’t always perfect. It can be messy and it implies some trial and error. But with intention, consistency, and good mentorship, positive change is inevitable.
What do you want to say to your new readers?
Hello and welcome to my blog! I can’t wait to share my journey with you. I’m taking massive action to free myself from golden handcuffs and create a future of financial freedom for my family. I hope you’ll find my story entertaining and inspiring.
What do you think of my identity reveal? Comment below and subscribe to follow my journey to financial freedom!