I was born in Adelaide, Australia at a young age and emigrated to Canada when I was 6. I always knew wanted to be a musician of some sort, as my parents convinced the oldest piano teacher on earth (Mrs.Standon, who used to beat the side of the piano with her cane to keep time), that I was ready to take piano lessons at the of 4. I’ve been a musician ever since, playing in numerous professional bands, recording original material, working as a session musician in the lower mainland in various genres on various instruments- piano, guitar and trumpet, and of course teaching high school music for 21 years, most of it at Langley Christian school, but also in Africa (Senegal and Uganda). My wife Juanita and I have 4 beautiful children of African-American descent through adoption, and we live and work in Langley when we aren’t travelling, which we love to do as often as we can. I graduated from Brentwood College in 1990, from the University of Alberta in 1994 with a Bachelor of Music Education with specialties in instrumental and choral conducting, trumpet and piano performance, a double major in French, and I received my CPC-P designation with HIPAA certification (Certified Professional Coder- Physician) from the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) in 2010, after about a year of on-line and software training.
In 2009, still loving my work as a music teacher and professional musician, we were faced with the lifestyle challenge of a single wage earner living in the most expensive city in Canada, when the opportunity to become a franchisee contracted medical biller became available in the United States. To make a long story very short, at or around the age of 40 I re-trained and began my billing business as a means of supplementing my teaching/professional musician income. As a paperless business, where the vast majority of my work is conducted on-line and via telephone, I’m able to work from anywhere in the world, which I do while we travel.
I think it’s safe to say that as high school students you understand the role of a teacher, because you interact with them every day. What you may not understand is what brings people to teaching, and what the heart of teaching is. There is a bit of teacher in all of us! As a musician turned teacher I was able to turn my passions and skills into doing something that I love. And, as you will find out quickly once you move into adulthood, the greatest joys in your life will come from doing something that you love in service of others, which is teaching and being a musician at its essence.
The second part of my talk will address my work with Physician Billing Partners (www.physicianbillingpartners.com), which is basically running the business side of a medical practice, something we (and the physicians and practices I work with) think far too little about. If you are considering a career in medicine, you must also understand that you are, in many respects, a self-employed business owner.
Lastly, I would like to talk about what brings me from musician/teacher to business owner. From a statistical viewpoint, many of you will change careers at least once, through various circumstances within and beyond your control. And while some of you have a clear trajectory of where you want to head in life, you may get there and you may end up somewhere else, and likely the road along the way won’t be as straight as you think. I’ll share a bit of my personal journey and hopefully leave you encouraged as you look to life and a career after Brentwood. The article attached will give you a bit of a heads-up.