Podcast Episode 24 – “Championship-Level Business Strategies from a Super Bowl Champion Physician” with Dr. John Michels

Dr. John Michels

Episode 24 – What does it really take to run a business?  What does it take to be a leader?  How do you do all of your work and help grow a thriving practice?  These are important questions for any physician.  This week, we get a chance to have some of these questions answered by Dr. John Michels, a physician entrepreneur with a very unusual path to medicine.

Dr. John Michels won the Super Bowl as an offensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers.  He unfortunately suffered a career-ending knee injury in the next year.  Undeterred, he pivoted his career plans and became a physician!  Now, he is an interventional pain specialist who brings the same championship attitude to the procedure suite that he used to bring to the football field.

If you’ve felt inadequate to be able to serve your patients or lead your team, you’re not alone!  Dr. John Michels had to start an entire career over from scratch!  From Super Bowl Champion to medical student, his attitude remains the same: serve your team, serve your patients, serve your family.  This week’s episode is a phenomenal discussion for anyone who wants to know what it takes to be a physician leader.


“As physicians, there are always new things we can do to get better at our craft.”

 – Dr. John Michels


Listen to the episode and leave a review on Apple Podcasts


Meet Dr. John Michels

Dr. John Michels

John S. Michels, MD is a former first-round NFL draft choice and Super Bowl champion with the Green Bay Packers. After an injury ended his football career, he decided to take his experience as a patient and use it to drive his passion as a doctor of interventional pain management.

Dr. Michels is recognized by his peers and patients for his compassionate and high-quality medical care. He has received numerous awards, including Top Doc in 2017 and 2018, the Healthgrades Honor Roll, and Super Doctors Rising Stars Edition, a recognition he was awarded three years in a row. He has also been honored with the Vitals Compassionate Doctor Award and the Vitals Patients’ Choice Award.

You can connect with Dr. John Michels  at johnmichelsmd.com



This week’s featured blog post: Physician Leadership Lessons from a Super Bowl Champion


Physician Leadership Lessons from a Super Bowl Champion


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Free Resource: 32 Easy Ways to Recognize Your Team Members

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Most physicians and dentists come out of training programs with a huge amount of personal debt and little to no idea of how to actually run a clinical practice.  This Facebook community is for anyone who wants to learn more about how to manage their business more successfully and master their personal finances.



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Show times

  • 00:00 – Introduction to episode 24.
  • 01:22 – Subscribe to the podcast, and please leave a review!
  • 01:49 – Join the “Business and Personal Finance for Physicians and Dentists Facebook Group”
  • 02:14 – Check out the amazing resources available at the website at www.thescopeofpractice.com.
  • 03:19 – Introduction to Dr. John Michels
  • 04:25 – Welcome to Dr. John Michels!
  • 04:45 – Dr. Michels had originally planned on a long NFL career followed by a career in the ministry.  Unfortunately, he suffered a career-ending knee injury that prevented him from being able to pursue a career in the NFL.  After many surgeries, he decided to pursue a career in medicine.
  • 05:59 – Dr. Michels had a significant age gap with his classmates.  But, when you’re in the trenches, those gaps don’t matter as much.
  • 08:02 – Dr. John Michels got an opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl as a senior at USC.  
  • 09:17 – Professional football was much more difficult to play than college football, according to Dr. John Michels.  Everyone on the football field is the best person that you’ve ever played against.
  • 10:30 – The challenges of going up to a new level was similar in going to each next stage of medical training.
  • 11:49 – There are always new things we can do to get better at our craft.
  • 12:33 – One of the goals of higher education is to learn how to think critically, how to be a problem solver.
  • 13:13 – We have to be able to make decisions in medicine, based on accumulation of knowledge and experience.  Then, you have to have the ability to adapt and course-correct if you’re things are going wrong.
  • 14:20 – Dr. John Michels was a rookie left tackle playing on the Super Bowl championship Green Bay Packers team with Brett Favre.
  • 15:14 – Every game brings nervousness, but once the game is on, your training kicks in and you just get the job done.  It’s the same in the medical profession.
  • 17:25 – The nursing staff are the ones who protect the physician’s blind side.
  • 18:27 – As physicians, we need to cultivate a culture where team members feel comfortable speaking out when something may be wrong.
  • 19:31 – One of the hallmarks of a phenomenal physician is that he or she makes everyone on the team better.
  • 21:43 – When you’re having fun, you perform better.
  • 22:55 – No one is having a worse day than our patients.  It’s our job to help the patient feel happy.
  • 25:35 – Your staff will tend to absorb your attitude.
  • 26:10 – Reggie White was the next door neighbor for Dr. John Michels.  He held himself to a standard of excellence and wanted everyone to have the same attitude.
  • 28:16 – Our attitudes may influence our staff’s attitudes for decades, and those ripple effects may go for decades.
  • 28:55 – The practice of medicine is all about teamwork!
  • 30:55 – As an NFL player, it was very difficult to pay attention to your finances.  It was common for people to struggle with money or lose all their money because they just weren’t very skilled at managing money.  
  • 34:45 – Financial security is an illusion.  We have to live beneath our means.  
  • 37:34 – Working with active athletes is challenging.  There is a lot of politics associated with active athletes.
  • 39:21 – Patients want us to feel empathy for them.  They want to feel like a human being.
  • 39:52 – Dr. John Michels relates that his experiences with his post-surgery rehabilitation shaped how he practices medicine now.
  • 41:00 – Innovation is a big part of what drives us in medicine.  Technology is advancing rapidly.
  • 44:18 – Never believe the hype!  You’re not as good or bad as others say you are.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re more important than you are.  Stay humble in everything you do.  Maintain a servant’s mindset.  Leave everyone better than when you found them.
  • 47:01 – Dr. John Michels is looking for new and different ways to make a difference in other people’s lives.  
  • 48:39 – Signing off with Dr. John Michels.
  • 49:18 – Summary of the episode.
  • 50:41 – This week’s free resource: “32 Easy Ways to Recognize Your Team Members.”
  • 51:31 – signing off


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Ryan Inman - Financial Residency

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