Introduction to The Darwinian Doctor

by The Darwinian Doctor

Greetings and welcome!

My name is Daniel Shin, MD, and I’m a board certified surgeon in Southern California. Follow my journey as I build a real estate empire to break free from my student debt and golden handcuffs. 

My motto is “Intentional evolution, every day.”

Despite the high cost of living in SoCal and an annual spend of more than $300,000, I’m aiming for financial independence within the next 10 years. I’ll record this in real time here on the blog with my personal brand of brutal honesty and over-sharing.

You’ll also read about personal finance, doctor life, mindset and more at The Darwinian Doctor.


My childhood was characterized by financial scarcity.  By the time I entered high school, we had already lost our house to foreclosure and had times when even a meatball sub was out of reach.  

I took out student loans for higher education and over 15 years of schooling and training, I ended up over $300,000 in debt.  

The turning point

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.

Read about My Why: family, friends, and freedom.

So come along with me as I explore the world of personal finance, investing, and real estate on my journey to financial freedom.

It’s my hope that you’ll be inspired to make intentional “evolutions” in your own life to live your life to the fullest.

Personal Finance and Investing

Let’s start with a detailed look at my personal finances, and track the hard decisions surrounding debt repayment, frugality versus abundance, and investing for the long term.  

I’ll specifically devote a lot of attention here to exploring my golden handcuffs, and how I plan to use retirement funds and real estate investing to break free from the rat race in 10-15 years. 

Real Estate Investing

For a number of reasons like tax benefits and leverage, I’ve realized that my fastest path to moFIRE is via real estate investing.

I’ve committed now to building a real estate rental empire so it can do the heavy lifting in my investment portfolio.


I’m a firm believer that 80% of success is mindset.  Learn how to get your thoughts working for you, instead of against you.

Read about goal setting, gratitude, and time management, and use these tools to jumpstart your evolution.

Doctor Life

The choice to pursue a career in medicine is not one to be taken lightly.  Few careers require so much in terms of sacrifice and delayed gratification before the payout.  

Here I’ll discuss my own journey to becoming a physician, and try to impart real advice for others hoping to join these ranks. This area will also be for those who’ve come out the other side and are wondering what comes next.  

Home and Garden

How can I be the best husband, father, handyman, and gardener that my family deserves?  

How about how to nurture a love of science in your pre-schooler or grow a bountiful harvest of figs?

This section will keep it light and fun.


Photo by Marta Branco from Pexels

Do you want to live a long and vigorous life? Of course you do!

But it’s hard to know how to do this when the recommendations change every other month!

With a doctor’s critical eye, I’ll help to interpret the latest advice on how to eat and live.

“Stay focused,” they tell me.  “That’s too much to cover in one blog,” they say.  Screw them. Let’s do this!

— The Darwinian Doctor

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My eBook will give you the tools to get started on the path to financial freedom. Learn about my financial journey and the shockingly simple math behind financial independence. Then find out how to define your Why to fuel your success!

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A Darwinian Disclaimer

Since everyone is different, it may not be appropriate to generalize my doctorly advice to your own situation. Please run all medical, life, and financial advice by your own physician or financial professionals before applying it to your own life! Consider all information for your entertainment only!

Images and Copyright

To the best of my knowledge, the images used in this blog are either taken by my own camera, free stock photos, or considered allowable usage under "Fair Use" law. Please let me know if you believe otherwise.

Affiliate Policy

Affiliate Policy
As you explore the site, you may notice links to goods or services. I may earn a commision if you use a link to purchase any of these. While this blog is really just a labor of love and a creative outlet, if I can "keep the lights on" with affiliate links, all the better. Rest assured any reviews you read here represent my unbiased opinions, and there is no added cost to you to utilize the links. Please go here to read my full Affiliate policy.

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