3 months post identity reveal | Blog + life update

by The Darwinian Doctor

It’s been 3 months since my secret identity reveal. How has my life changed, and how’s the blog doing? Find out below!

January 2021 was a big month for the blog.  I revealed my identity and shared it widely on social media.  

It was equal parts frightening and freeing.  On one hand, I worried that my blog’s style would backfire after my reveal.  By this point, I’d already documented a lot of very personal details on the blog.  In this much read post, I broke down with brutal honesty the cost of choices like my Tesla Model 3, a doctor house, and even eating organic food

I pictured patients disparaging our choice to send our kids to private school.

I also pictured colleagues at work doubting my dedication to medicine as they found out about my blog or real estate investments.

But I wanted to come out into the light

By late 2020, the blog was starting to pick up steam and gaining readership.  I wanted to continue the momentum, but felt hamstrung by my anonymity.  I became convinced that to take the blog to the next level, it needed a real name and face behind the writing.  

In my everyday life, I also wanted the freedom to talk about the blog with my friends without the cloak and dagger of anonymity on my mind. As the blog became more intertwined with my identity, I felt that to deny it was to deny myself.

So I ripped off the veil of anonymity with an identity reveal.

Now, about three months later, how’s it going?  Let’s find out. 

The workplace

My fear about the effect of the blog on my workplace was really overblown. 

I quickly realized that no patients of mine are reading my blog.  Honestly, they’re not my target audience, so I’m not surprised.  

I did have a couple of random encounters with physicians at work where it became clear that they knew about either my blog or my real estate investing.  These were actually pretty fun.  

In one case, I had a conversation with a physician about his impressive portfolio of single family homes in SoCal that he’s collected over the years.  The other physician name-dropped my blog in passing, but it was in a positive way.  

Blog growth

The exponential growth of the blog has continued since my identity reveal.  In the last 4 months, we’ve had more pageviews than the first 24 months of the blog’s existence!  

The Darwinian Doctor pageviews

My newsletter subscriber list on Mailchimp has also grown about 60% since my reveal, and continues to grow at a much faster rate than before January.

Mailchimp audience growth

Are you subscribed yet?  If not, what are you waiting for?  

I think there are a couple of specific things driving the growth.

More effective use of social media

Now that I’ve revealed my identity, I can use my social network to share my content.  This has driven a lot of my blog’s growth recently.

My personal Facebook page, for example, has become a big conduit to my blog. I’ve been expanding my friend network like crazy, which has led to all sorts of interesting conversations and connections.

Formation of the PhREI network

Another perk of being out in the open is that it’s easier to find and talk to other physician finance bloggers.  In January, I reached out to Ian Cook at Carpe Diem MD and Jordan Frey at the Prudent Plastic Surgeon.  Together, we formed the Physician Real Estate Investor Network (PhREI Network).  This is an educational collaboration of physician bloggers that use real estate as a primary investment vehicle.  

It’s been a great opportunity to nerd out about real estate, trade interesting content, and expand our networks.  

Personal happiness

Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve had a big increase in personal happiness as a result of the reveal.  While I’m delighted about the growth in readership, I feel more stress now to produce great content and keep the blog growing.  

I can’t really complain, though, because I feel my overall happiness level is pretty high. Even as I struggle with work-life balance, I feel like I’m making progress. I’m slowly working towards the right mix between my professional, family, and business lives.


Before the reveal, I could have just let the blog fade quietly into the night.  Only a few people would have asked me what’s up.  Now… well if history is any guide, my friends probably still won’t care. But I’ll care!  I feel there’s more at stake, and I hate leaving a project before it reaches its highest and best outcome.

So onwards and upwards!  


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3 years ago

Congrats on the growth after the reveal. I still remain semi anonymous just because some of the content I write I don’t want my daughter stumbling upon just yet (the divorce stuff mainly). Originally I wanted to keep it hidden from my workplace as well but people started realizing it was me and coming to me (mainly because of posts like my waterfall property). It was pretty cool they were reading my blog without me telling them about it.

3 years ago

I do a lot of career related advice in my blog. And that includes talking about the people who worked for me and those I worked for. Some of those people were my clients over the last five years when I ran a lucrative consulting business in retirement. So I preferred anonymity. Plus my blogging is intentionally nonprofit, just a fun hobby, so growing it doesn’t provide any intrinsic value. And I don’t do social media of any kind, nor do I intend to take that up as a hobby. So far my brother, my son and one couple from my church are the only ones I know who have figured out who I am. My wife and my other kids know I blog, but don’t know which one is mine. I like it that way, I already have to consider my brother and son when I write since they might be reading it, I find that constraining enough.

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