Overcoming Student Debt | Drs. Nii & Renee Darko

KKH Trailer Wide


Singers: [00:00:00] Knock, knock, hi! Knock,

Will: knock, hi!

Hello, welcome to Knock, Knock, Hi! with the Glockenfleckens. I am your host, Will Flannery, also known as, better known as, Dr. Glockenflecken. 

Kristin: And I am your host, Kristen Flannery, also known as Lady Glockenflecken. Should 

Will: we change our names? Really? Okay, fine. All right. 

Kristin: That’s a ridiculous name. That’s a 

Will: bad idea.

Kristin: Then our children would have to change their names. Do you think they’d get made fun of in school? Yes, of course. It’s a ridiculous name. 

Will: I’m, I’m, I’m hoping that just what we do and what I do doesn’t already make, like, cause them to get made fun of. I don’t 

Kristin: think it does yet, but, but I feel like the potential is there for the high school years.


Will: shouldn’t it give them some, like, 

Kristin: I think right now it does [00:01:00] when they’re young, like elementary, even like early middle school. It’s been like a point of pride a little bit. Like they don’t get into like what you do, but just the fact that you have a YouTube channel, right? Like I think that is a little street cred, but then I think once you start getting into high school and kids want to like individuate themselves and like separate themselves from their parents, then whatever your parents do is completely embarrassing.

Will: Okay, well, um, we’ve got a wonderful show for you all today. Very excited. Uh, we have Drs. Nee and Renee Darko. They’re hosts of Docs Outside the Box podcast. We are on their podcast. It was a lot of fun. Oh, man, so much fun. They’re great. They’ve been podcasting since 2016, so they’re, they’re professionals.

Yes, they know 

Kristin: what they’re doing. They know 

Will: what they’re doing. They had all their, their tech and everything set up. You could just tell. Mm hmm. Like, it’s just like, you know. We 

Kristin: don’t know what we’re doing. And anything where it looks like we know where we’re [00:02:00] doing, that is due to our producers telling us what to do.

Let’s give ourselves a little bit 

Will: of credit here, alright? Alright. We show up on time to record, or at least I do. 

Kristin: I show up exactly on time. You waste about five minutes first. You were 

Will: one minute late today. Well, this 

Kristin: time I had an issue that I had to deal with. I’m just saying, right? 

Will: Only one of us is on time, 100 percent of the 

Kristin: time.


Will: all I’m 

Kristin: saying. Well, 

Will: we talked a lot about a lot of you know, if 

Kristin: I weren’t here doing all the things I am doing, When you complain that I’m late, then you would be late. 

Will: We had a wonderful conversation with, uh, Doctors Darko, uh, and Uh, it’s a lot of fun. I don’t know, I’m just trying to fill the This is 

Kristin: really, uh, this is the dynamic of this episode because it’s like two married peop Two married couples who podcast together and work together.

We also had a There’s bound to be some, some layers in those relationships. 

Will: We also had a really fun game we played today. It was so fun. So stay tuned. That was my favorite one [00:03:00] that we’ve done. Toward the latter half of the episode. Uh, should we get to it? Let’s just do it. Yeah, let’s go. Let’s jump in.

Alright, here is Drs. and Renee Darko.

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience or DAX for short. This is AI powered ambient technology that helps the physician be more efficient and reduce clinical documentation burden. It’s great to learn more about how DAX Copilot can help reduce burnout and restore the joy of practicing medicine.

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All right. We are here with the hosts of the podcast Docs Outside the Box, Drs. Nii and Renee Darko. Thank you for joining us, you guys. Thank 

Dr. Renee Darko: you. Thanks for having us on. Thank you for 

Dr. Nii Darko: having us. We’re excited to be here. 

Will: Renee is in the better podcasting recording studio in your [00:04:00] house. It looks like, uh, Nii got the extra.

Dr. Nii Darko: The overflow room. Also known as the dog house.

Will: Well, um, we’re excited about this. We got a lot to get into. You guys have a fascinating story, just kind of where you started, where you’re at now. Um, I’d like to, I start at the beginning with you. Um, you’re both children of immigrants. Is that right? 

Singers: Yeah. And, 

Will: and so, yeah. So how did How did your, your upbringing lead you to medicine?

Can we start there? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Which, which immigrant children don’t end up in medicine? 

Kristin: The ones that end up as lawyers? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Exactly. Yeah, for me. Um, so my parents are from Haiti and, um, They actually both were interested in medicine and actually did end up going to medical school in Spain. Um, yeah, they [00:05:00] did. Um, but 

Will: how did they get, how did they get to Spain from, how did that 

Dr. Renee Darko: probably an airplane, maybe a boat, maybe an airplane.

I think it was by plane. Um, but I guess back in those days, um, you know, like in the sixties and things like that, um, especially with developing countries. the question of, you know, whether or not they have opportunities there or not. I guess people would go to different countries to essentially get their education with the notion that they would come back to their native country and eventually practice.

What happened with my parents, was that my mom actually arrived a year after my dad in Spain, and her stepfather was actually a lawyer, and he was funding her medical education. Well, he subsequently died about a year and a half into her education. Um, and my grandmother, her [00:06:00] mother essentially had four other children to care for.

My, my grandmother actually was not educated at all. She was actually illiterate. Um, and so it was very hard for her to continue to fund that education from my mother out in Spain. And so, um, by then my parents had two kids. Um, I was not one of them, um, but they had two kids. And so my mother decided to leave Spain and go set up shop in the United States while my father finished.

Um, and then they sent the kids back to Haiti to be raised by my grandparents. But my father being the stubborn man that he was and is still. Um, decided that he was not going to finish because he had his obligations to his family. And one day he just literally popped up in Brooklyn, New York, without telling my mother that he was coming.

And she was like, what are you doing here? And he’s like, I quit 

Will: the drop. That’s 

Dr. Renee Darko: right. I quit. We’re going to set this thing up and we’re going to get our family together. Um, and [00:07:00] so. In the meantime, I was born in the United States, and eventually, my brother and sister were brought over, um, from Haiti. You say 

Will: set up, set up shop in the U.

S. like it’s, like, an easy thing to do. Yeah, you know. That sounds incredibly they hung up a shingle, you know, it was really easy to do, you know. So, you know, it’s a weekend, you know, they worked 

Dr. Renee Darko: on the weekend. 

Will: Nii, would you agree with the stubbornness of the, 

Kristin: Oh, this is a, you’re setting him into a trap.

Dr. Nii Darko: Like I just got into good graces with my father in law. You know what I’m saying? So I don’t know why you’re trying to mess do not 

Kristin: agree. He’s graceful. Yeah. 

Dr. Nii Darko: He’s not going to hate up to me. Not stubborn at all then, right? That’s what a good man does. He’s going to do this with his family, and that’s it.

That’s what he did. I podcast trap. Nope. Cut this up and put it on YouTube Reels, not gonna happen. 

Will: Now Renee, where were you guys set up there in the U. S.? So 

Dr. Renee Darko: we were in [00:08:00] Brooklyn, New York, um, so, you know, at the, at the time, like, we were Flatbush, Brooklyn became kind of like a hub for a lot of Caribbean immigrants.

Um, so that’s where my family started out. Eventually my parents moved out to East New York, Brooklyn. And that, that is not where a lot of Caribbean people were at the time. They are probably now, but we were kind of, you know, the first, if you will, in East New York, Brooklyn. Um, so yeah, that, that’s where we ended up.

That’s where I grew up, born and raised. So yeah. 

Will: And now, and now you, you were actually living pretty close to Nii, at that time, right? Yeah. You guys were like really very close geographically growing up and didn’t realize it for 

Dr. Renee Darko: Until we met. 

Will: So Nii, how did you get there? 

Dr. Nii Darko: So my story is not as, or at least the family situation is not as convoluted, but Um, my parents are from Ghana, West Africa, and my dad literally [00:09:00] came in the late 60s by a boat.

Took like three weeks. There you go. There’s that boat. Got here by a boat. There’s that boat. 

Kristin: You knew he was gonna ask. Right, 

Dr. Nii Darko: right. That’s why I tried to preempt. 

Will: What are the logistics? How do they navigate the boat? What was the, what was the timing there? 

Dr. Nii Darko: The North Star. They were rowing. My dad was at the front of the boat like, you go yonder, keep going, and there’s like wind and water in his face.

Keep going! Right? Um, but he got here in the late 60s. My mom came afterwards. And then. I don’t know. Um, you know, we just kind of just lived a immigrant, you know, lifestyle in New York City. We grew up a little bit in Manhattan and then we moved to Queens, New York, which if you like were to take like a 30, 000 foot view is literally maybe about 15 to 20 miles from where Renee was growing up in East New York.

But as you, I mean, everybody knows it’s so dense. You might as well be in California, right? Like there’s just millions and millions and millions of people there, right? So. [00:10:00] Um, my story, the quest to becoming a doctor is I just watched a lot of TV when I was growing up in the 80s. You know what I’m saying?

Yeah, right. And I don’t, I don’t know if the audience, anybody from the audience remembers, if you guys remember, but in the 80s there was a lot of doctor shows on TV. 

Will: There was, yeah. You got ER, you got, well that was, that was 90s really, but yeah. Doogie Howser was 80s, I think, right? Yeah, yeah. So Doogie Howser was, Doogie Howser 

Dr. Nii Darko: was like late 80s into the 90s.

Um, obviously you had Cosby’s show, uh, Heathcliff Huxtable and stuff. There’s a little bit of some histories with that, but. That’s what I was watching, uh, Trapper John, St. Elsewhere, um, St. 

Will: Elsewhere, yeah. So, you 

Dr. Nii Darko: know, you’re watching, or at least I’m watching TV in this, you know, immigrant house and stuff and, you know, I’m just watching TV and then I see sports and all these different things and it’s like, no, like, that’s what I want to be.

I want to be a doctor. And um, my mom at the time was, um, she was a hairdresser transitioning into a nursing assistant. Um, and then my dad was working on like the, he would work on these check sorting [00:11:00] computers. Right? Like, so back in the day, you know, you go to, he would work at the Federal Reserve and it would take all these checks and make copies of it and do all the things, whatever.

He would go fix those. Um, so definitely not really a medical background, but for me, it was just watching all of those TV shows. And I was like, Hmm, like, this is really interesting. I think I really want to do this. So that’s my story. 

Will: Oh, nice. Um, and so, You guys met in med school now, right? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Kind of, sort of, right before, right before.

So we actually met. Um, probably about, what, four or five months before medical school. So we had both been accepted to Kansas City University at the time it was, you know, University of Health Sciences. It’s gone through so many iterations of names at this point, but we, um, we had both interviewed there and gotten accepted, and we had a mutual, a mutual mentor.

Who was actually really, um, [00:12:00] dedicated to kind of diversifying medicine, working with minority students. And so what he would do is he would look at the list of students who got accepted and those who were minority students and have them kind of contact each other before they went to school. And so Nii ended up calling me and we met over the phone.

Will: Oh, wow. Yeah. And was that, was that mentor the same person who, who got, uh, me, who got you into intramural basketball? Oh, no, no. In medical school? Was that? 

Dr. Renee Darko: If he were a real mentor, he definitely would not have gotten me into intramural basketball. 

Dr. Nii Darko: That story has so many different, like, that’s me fighting like discrimination and stereotypes at the same time.

Dr. Renee Darko: Yeah. 

Dr. Nii Darko: We can get into that whenever you’re ready to. And losing. But it’s, it’s amazing. 

Will: I think we’re, we’re, we’re in the part of the story where you’re in med school and uh, and so let’s, let’s get into it. So, 

Dr. Nii Darko: so this story is, is best told when me and Renee kind of [00:13:00] in combo tell it. So. Basically what happened is, I’m in med school, freshman year, studying, um, I was athletic in college, in high school, I ran track and cross country, um, but outside of that, not really.

And, um, you know, intramural sports. Not 

Will: a lot of, not a lot of ball skills, would you say? A lot. Not a lot. 

Dr. Nii Darko: None. A zip zettle. But nobody, nobody knows any of this stuff, right? So there’s intramural sports going on, you know, like your Saturdays, everybody would go play football or basketball, what have you.

Anyway, you know, one of the, uh One of our classmates just happened to come up to me and said, Hey, listen, like we are forming an intramural basketball team. Do you want to play? And I was like, uh, not really, I’m not that interested. And I’m like in the library studying. I’m like, I’m good. Thank you. So then maybe about a week later, they come back and he asked me, he’s like, Hey, listen, we’re going to name the team after you.

So you can’t say no. I’m like, what are you talking about? What’s the name of the team? He’s like, yeah, it’s called Knee Darko and the Token White Guy. [00:14:00] 

Kristin: Uh oh. 

Will: Alright. Okay. 

Dr. Nii Darko: So, like, my face is like this, I’m like. Well, I mean, I can’t say no, but I know that, you know, that’s a risk, that’s a 

Will: risk that was just 

Dr. Nii Darko: taken.

Dr. Renee Darko: Well, I mean, he’s the black guy from the East Coast. Of course he plays basketball, right? Right. Right. From Queens, 

Dr. Nii Darko: New York, you know? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Yeah. 

Dr. Nii Darko: So I said, Hmm, you know, the name is a little kind of, uh, it’s a little, you know, presumptuous, but it is kind of dope that he just said the name after me. I can’t let him down.

Yes. I’m going to do it. So I say, yeah, I’m going to do it. And this is like weeks to months before like the actual, you know, intramurals go on. So I, I forget about it. And then all of a sudden, like you start seeing like the schedules kind of show up throughout like in school. Right? Like you go to the cafeteria and the schedules are showing up and you go to like the study hall and the schedules are showing up and you see like, you know, team purple people eaters and team something else.

You see team me dark on the token white guys, it’s like, Oh [00:15:00] snap, like they really are doing this. 

Dr. Renee Darko: You would think that knee would pick up a ball at this point and practice a little, you know, but, you know, what I get myself into, who needs to do that when you’re the black guy from the East Coast, you know, 

Dr. Nii Darko: you already know, 

Dr. Renee Darko: it’s inherent.

Dr. Nii Darko: So in my mind, I’m like, okay, this is going to be a problem because, um, fast forward to like the day of. Rene, we’re going to the gym. Rene’s with me. She’s like, look, you know, I’ll go with you, support you and all this stuff. And I’m like, come pick him 

Dr. Renee Darko: up. Yes. Like come to his house. 

Dr. Nii Darko: I put my sneakers on and, um, you know, I’m telling him like, hey Rene, I got something I got to tell you.

And she’s like, what? I was like, yo, I can’t play. Did I say it like that? Like, yo, I can’t play. She’s like, what do you mean you can’t play? So how did you say it, Renee? 

Dr. Renee Darko: I said, what do you mean you can’t play? What’s, what’s, what’s wrong with you? What’s, you know, I thought something was wrong. Like, oh, I can’t write.

Like, I, I can’t play today is what I thought he was saying. But [00:16:00] he’s like, no. I can’t play basketball . I’m like, what do you mean you can’t play basketball? Can’t play . 

Will: Wow. 

Dr. Renee Darko: I’m like, me, God, no skills. Me. They named the team after you. What in the world were you thinking? 

Dr. Nii Darko: No, 

Dr. Renee Darko: I couldn’t 

Dr. Nii Darko: Was so I told, so I told her again how it happened in the library and I was like, well, I couldn’t say no.

And she was like, yeah, you’re right. You really couldn’t say no. So we’re getting, before we leave the house, I say prayer. That is not what 

Dr. Renee Darko: I said, but okay. 

Dr. Nii Darko: I said a prayer. I said a prayer on the bed. I was like, now I lay me down asleep, , you know, try to figure out these skills. We get to the gym. We get to the gym.

Everybody’s getting ready, warming up and everything and stuff. Renee goes to the stands and she’s in the bleachers and everything and you know, I’m meeting the team and stuff and you know, I’m just like, wow, how’s this? Maybe they’ll have me come off the bench or something like that. Oh yeah. And um, I think they had a starter.

You start, start, they have, you start, you’re 

Kristin: a starter, of course. Okay. You’re the, the headlock. You’re a 

Dr. Nii Darko: knee darko. 

Dr. Renee Darko: So Renee, you want 

Dr. Nii Darko: to take it from there? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Oh, I [00:17:00] mean, they have him starting. I don’t know if you, I don’t know if you guys ever watched The Office, but 

Will: yeah, 

Dr. Renee Darko: there’s a point at which Michael Scott forms a team and he picks Stanley because Stanley’s a black guy and Stanley starts dribbling and Stanley has this dribble that one hand is like this and the other hand is out like this and Stanley’s dribbling.

Yeah. That was knee Darko. Knee Darko can’t dribble. I 

Will: was gonna, I was gonna ask at what point did everybody know, realize, okay, this guy’s never played basketball in his life. 

Dr. Renee Darko: About a minute into it. 

Will: Right away. It didn’t take long. About 

Dr. Renee Darko: a minute into it. Because I was trying to 

Dr. Nii Darko: front. I was trying to front by trying to run to office.

Oh yeah, you go. Like, I’ll hold the basketball. You go there. You go there. Move, move, move. And then I pass. And get away. Then they’re like, No, you pass. You do something with it. I’m like 

Dr. Renee Darko: Yeah. Can’t dribble. Dribbling like Stanley from The Office. And, but That’s 

Will: awesome. 

Dr. Renee Darko: He has to admit, I was there and I [00:18:00] was cheering him on.

And I was, you know, I was cheering him on like, come on, Kobe Bryant ain’t. So it wasn’t a cheer, it was 

Dr. Nii Darko: a jeer, a jeer. Take the C H out. It was a J. It really was. So as I’m playing and I’m getting my butt whooped, literally, there’s a chant that’s going across the entire bleacher saying, Kobe Bryant, 

Singers: Kobe 

Dr. Nii Darko: Bryant.

And I’m like, damn, it’s like that? 

Kristin: Kobe Bryant ain’t, okay. And did you, uh, Renee, were you the one that started that chant? Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. That’s clever. I like it. I 

Will: like it. Were you guys a couple at this point? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Uh, yeah, actually. 

Will: Yeah. Yeah. Alright, good. Yeah. We’re 

Dr. Renee Darko: kind of messing 

Will: around, 

Dr. Renee Darko: if you will, but yeah.

Yeah, yeah, 

Will: sure. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Did you win the 

Will: game? Was it like, what was the outcome of this? I wasn’t 

Dr. Nii Darko: paying attention because they benched me and then I was upset and I was like, forget this. I think we left. Actually. I twisted my ankle. I twisted my ankle and then I got benched I get this. I was upset. 

Will: It’s like now, and then they had to change the name.

[00:19:00] They were just Token White Guys. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Token White Guys. Absent the Darko, Token White Guys. 

Dr. Nii Darko: So I’d like to say I was fighting racial stereotypes from the get go. And losing. That’s right. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Losing. Or maybe winning in this case. I love 

Will: it. 

Kristin: Yeah. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Yeah, 

Kristin: I don’t. That’s rough. 

Will: And this was first year, right? So I’m sure that probably didn’t come up at all like the next several years of med school.

Yeah, they’re like, no, 

Kristin: we’re good. We don’t need to ask him. You 

Will: were done with intramural sports at that point. Um, so, so you went on, uh, to, to finish med school. Uh, so Nhi, you did trauma surgery. 

Dr. Nii Darko: Yeah, yeah. I went the general surgery route and then I did a general surgery and then 

Will: trauma surgery. And then Renee, you did OBGYN.

Dr. Nii Darko: Absolutely. 

Will: Now, we, we just had match day. You know, this is today just, just 

Dr. Renee Darko: today 

Will: when we’re recording this recording is on match day. I’m seeing all the tweets, like all like the, you know, it’s so much excitement. So what was your match day experience like? 

Dr. Nii Darko: [00:20:00] Yeah. So our school, like, because we didn’t own a hospital, our school sent out a majority of people to like different hospitals and so forth.

So, um, it wasn’t like. You know how like every you should like, you know several days from now on Friday Everybody will be able to open up their envelopes and have this we didn’t have that you just go to the computers and check it Out and that was it 

Will: just like that was that was mine too for ophthalmology.

It happens like two months. Yeah, it happens two months earlier so I was just like I had to clear the room like I couldn’t be no one could be in the room with me I had to like just sit there in either my joy or my despair like by myself 

Kristin: That’s his entire memoir in a nutshell 

Will: I Need I need to just Just accept, let, let, let the, whatever emotion it is, just like, let, I don’t want to project that onto anybody else if it’s not good.

And then if it, if it all turned out okay, He’s got to 

Kristin: have total control over anything where an emotion [00:21:00] might pop out. 

Will: But you, but you clearly, you two wanted to, You wanted to match at the same place or location, right? No, that wasn’t a Yeah, 

Dr. Renee Darko: that wasn’t a thing. Oh! No, that wasn’t a thing. 

Kristin: So we, 

Dr. Renee Darko: so 

Kristin: Was there a rough patch in there?

Dr. Renee Darko: Our relationship is very, um You know how Facebook put, it’s complicated? Yeah, we weren’t as complicated before it was complicated, right? Yeah. So our relationship, we, we were together, but we weren’t really together, together. Together! There’s a 

Will: lot of heckling thrown in, obviously. Okay. This 

Dr. Renee Darko: is your fault.

But yeah, I mean, we were in a relationship, but it wasn’t so serious at that point. That we were, you know, considering a couples match. There was a point at which we spoke about it, but that was kind of after the fact. I would, you know, I had, I had said to him and he always says, Oh, you just want, it’s a couples match with me.

I’m like, no, I didn’t stop sweating yourself. [00:22:00] But, um, we did have that conversation kind of after the fact. Um, what if we had couples match? What, what would that look like? But that wasn’t. Even, uh, that wasn’t at least a thought in my head and I don’t think it was a thought in his when we were matching. 

Will: So where’d you end up going?

Dr. Renee Darko: So I went to New Jersey. I ended up at Robert Wood Johnson in New Brunswick. 

Dr. Nii Darko: I ended up going to Morehouse, uh, in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Will: Okay. 

Dr. Nii Darko: Interesting. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Same 

Will: coast, but you know, pretty far away. Yeah. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Yeah. 

Will: Well, you clearly, you persevered through the distance. Yeah. You know, so which, what, what, what, how was. I guess that clearly, like, there’s lots of challenges associated with that.

So how did you navigate that? 

Kristin: Well, not just the distance, but they’re also in residency. There’s no time, you’re exhausted and 

Will: you, you guys were living at the hospital, you know, and clearly probably having just a wonderful time. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Oh, absolutely. Cause you know, surgery and [00:23:00] OB, not at all malignant programs.

I’ll just, I’ll just leave it to you like this, 

Dr. Nii Darko: probably, I’d say like a, I’d say like six months into my, the worst part was six months into my first year, one of my chief residents like asked me if I had taken a shower. And it was literally like, I was there all the time. And it came to a point like for three days, I didn’t take a shower because I would get there at like five in the morning, get home by like 10 o’clock at night.

Dr. Renee Darko: Do 

Dr. Nii Darko: it all, do it all over again. Excuse me, rinse, wash, and repeat. And um, the thing that was difficult for me is I’m very close to my family, very, you know, family oriented. And at this point, you know, being in New Jersey, living, excuse me, living in Queens, and then we moved to Jersey. What ended up happening is after college, I kept getting farther and farther away from my family.

And, um, it just, you know, it becomes tougher sometimes, right, because you just want to see them. So I think for me it was just you add on the pressure of being away from family, the pressure of you have student loans, the pressure of trying to get through a surgery [00:24:00] residency, the pressure of being the first osteopathic medical student at this residency program, um, and trying to handle a relationship.

It was tough for me. It was really tough. Um, and I’m pretty sure there was some bouts of some depression during that time. 

Will: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I’d have to agree. Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, so did you, how many times did you even see each other? Like over residency. So, 

Dr. Renee Darko: yeah, we would see each other at least four times a year.

That’s kind of how the next, what, four years. Cause my residency was four. His was five. 

Singers: Yeah. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Uh, lots of breakups, lots of breakups during that time. I’m done with 

Singers: you. 

Dr. Renee Darko: I’m done. It’s the truth. Yeah. Lots of breakups during that time, but we saw each other on average four times a year. 

Will: Oh man. I can’t imagine that.

Kristin: That’s, that’s a lot to do with all at once. I’m thinking like, 

Will: would we have made it? I don’t know. 

Kristin: Oh, who knows? 

Will: [00:25:00] For the 

Kristin: sake of 

Will: my survival, I hope that we would have, but, um, my God. 

Dr. Renee Darko: That would have been a different story. That’s like a 

Dr. Nii Darko: Back to the Future episode right there, right? Yeah, right? It absolutely is.

If I wasn’t there, would you be erased from the picture in the future? 

Will: Right. I’d be slowly I’d be slowly disappearing from this podcast. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Like a butterfly effect or something. My goodness. 

Kristin: Yeah. It’s weird to think about. 

Will: So, so you, you finished training after like, it was somewhere between like, you know, six and 20 years, um, with an incredible amount of student loan debt, which a lot of, uh, a lot of, of us can attest to that.

I mean, I, we just had one, mine was, I had one 300, 000 sum, but with two of you, I’m sure it’s double that, right? Um, and then, and then you’re practicing, now, now, you guys have, you’ve stepped away from your medical [00:26:00] careers at this point. No! Is that We’re still But not, not completely. No, I mean, sorry, practicing.

Like, seeing patients you’re still doing? Yep, yep. 

Dr. Nii Darko: We still see patients, yep. 

Will: Yep. Oh, you do? Yeah. Okay, alright. Okay, sorry, I had 

Kristin: I take no responsibility. I know, well, I 

Will: had, I misinterpreted what I was reading here. As you just 

Kristin: heard, he does things on his own, so we do our separate research. He needs the room, guys.

Will: Alright, so you’re still seeing patients, but I guess you are, you’re taking on other things, right? You’re, you’re kind of Which is part of what your podcast is all about, you know, docs outside the box, you’re exploring other parts. So tell us about the origin of that, you know, how you, why really you went from, you know, just clinical surgical careers to doing more.

Dr. Nii Darko: You know, I think, I think for us, it’s, it’s a long story, but I’ll keep it short for the show. I think the big thing is, You know, when we both wanted to be doctors, we had in certain, we had it, we envisioned it a certain way, [00:27:00] right? There’s the um, the zeal, there’s the um, naivete, so to speak, and there’s the, I want to, you know, heal the world one patient at a time.

But then I think as we get towards the end of our training, you start to get more mature and you start to realize like the healthcare system really, um, to some extent doesn’t really allow that individuality, I think, right. Those individual dreams. And I think we started to see that in addition to the student loans that we had, we’re like, wait, all the things that we wanted to do individually.

As well as some of the things that we wanted to do together. Probably not gonna be able to do that because we have so much debt. And also now we’re on someone else’s schedule. Um, in terms of like, when we can work and when we can’t work. And then we started realizing like, hmm, that’s not what I thought about when I was in Queens, right?

Like when I’m watching Doogie Howser or whoever, that’s not what I saw on TV. And I’m pretty sure Renee has something similar to say about that. But I think for us, we were able to pinpoint [00:28:00] some issues that really were a major problem. The number one thing was the loans for us. The loans really kept us having to do what we had to do.

Um, so 

Will: Rene What was your number? What was your number combined? We were 662, 

Dr. Nii Darko: 000. And that’s just student loans. And that’s just student loans. Yeah. 

Kristin: That’s not a mortgage or any, any other stuff added onto that that you got to do. Car payments. 

Dr. Nii Darko: Yeah. 

Will: So you’re looking at this big number and you’re like, what are we going to do?

Yeah. You know. 

Dr. Nii Darko: And we both have MBAs and we don’t know what to do. So that’s even more of a, of a issue. Do you see what I’m saying? I think there’s a little bit of like, man, like how is it that two docs got their medical degrees and we got MBAs, we don’t know how to save our money, we don’t know how to budget, and we damn sure don’t know how to invest.

What was all that extra, you know, that job? If 

Kristin: anyone should know how to do it, it should be you guys. Right. 

Dr. Nii Darko: Should. You know. 

Kristin: Should. Right. 

Will: Right. How much of that loan debt was the MBA? Right. Yeah. At least a quarter. Exactly. Part of it. At least a quarter probably. [00:29:00] That’s expensive. Yeah. And so, so you got to get, I mean, so you, you, you started, now you’ve started several businesses, right?

You’re, so you’re doing these other things. Tell us about those. Actually, you know what? Let’s take a break and then let’s, let’s come back and we want to hear, you know, what The things that you’re doing.

Hey, Kristen. 

Kristin: Yeah. 

Will: AI tools are everywhere now. 

Kristin: That is true. And they’re here to stay. That’s 

Will: right. Well, have you heard about precision? 

Kristin: What is this? This is 

Will: great. This is the first ever EHR integrated infectious disease AI platform. 

Kristin: That sounds useful. Infectious disease. 

Will: It’s a hard field. You got to figure out when to start antibiotics and try to decrease resistance and how long to keep the patient.

It’s, it’s really tough. 

Singers: Yeah. Well, 

Will: this is an AI tool that automatically highlights better antibiotic regimens. It empowers clinicians to save more lives while reducing their burnout. To see a demo, go to precision. com slash KKH. That’s precision spelled with an X instead of an [00:30:00] E. So P R X C I S I O N dot com slash KKH.

All right, we are back with, uh, with Drs. Renee and Nia Darko. So we were just talking about your, um, you know, what you’re doing outside of, you know, seeing patients. And so tell us a little bit about that, uh, and, and how that’s helped you tackle that. 662, 000 loan debt. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Well, it’s really funny actually, because the business that helped us the most with tackling the debt was actually us being doctors.

So, what we did was, Well, you would hope that, you would hope that was the case, right? Yeah. Yeah, that the profession pays for itself. What a novel idea. 

Will: Right. That’s the idea. Right. 

Dr. Renee Darko: What a novel idea. But, so, when I graduated from residency, um, or right before I graduated from residency, I learned about locum tenens from an attending [00:31:00] of mine.

What I noticed was that she was the only attending that was never on call. And she essentially had her own schedule and she, you know, dictated what she wanted to do. And I realized after speaking with her that there was this thing called locum tenens and that you could navigate your career in the way that you wanted to.

So when I graduated, I actually moved to Georgia where Nii was in Atlanta, did a health policy fellowship out there, but I was doing locum tenens on the side and so I covered for a private practice doc who was a solo doc, um, and so she wanted to, I think, go to India or something like that, um, and so I would cover for her either when she traveled or just to give her a break on weekends.

And it was a great thing. So after I did that particular stint of locums, I ended up doing a longer stint in Idaho, um, essentially increased their black population by 6 percent by myself. But you [00:32:00] know, you gotta do it for the culture. And, um, and so I ended up doing locum tendons that way. And because I was independently contracted, I started realizing, wow, like, not only can I make my own schedule, but I can make a lot more money doing this way more efficiently and nobody can tell me, you have to work.

Um, so me eventually got introduced to Locum Tenens and we ended up starting, you know, our own LLC. Um, and through the LLC, not only did we work, but we ended up hiring other doctors to work. And through that, we were able to do passive income with the other doctors who were working as well as the active income that we were bringing in through the agency and the money just started going.

So how did that work? Were you just 

Kristin: like coordinating for those doctors or what was the, okay. Yeah. 

Dr. Nii Darko: So in essence, uh, we, you know, negotiated a contract between the hospital. And the doctors, [00:33:00] it’s just that the doctors didn’t want to deal with all of the minutia. That goes along with doing that, you know, like 

Kristin: lots of logistics, 

Dr. Nii Darko: didn’t want to start their own business.

They didn’t want to, there’s just certain things that just didn’t want to do. They’d wanted to show up at work and get some extra cash and get paid and they were asked us actually to do it for them. We said, yeah, sure. We’ll do it. Yeah. You know, I can’t play basketball, but I can figure it out.

Will: So, so we said, well, that wasn’t another side gig for you is basketball. Okay. All right. 

Dr. Nii Darko: Even though I love that, I love watching basketball, right? Nick’s fan to, for life. 

Will: Oh yeah. 

Dr. Nii Darko: But, but yeah, so we started doing this where, you know, we would talk to the hospital and we would do the schedule as to fill up the holes, um, to get these doctors working as locums there.

And, um, you know, we would do with the travel, the hotel, and we would do the time sheets and the invoicing. And it sounds a lot because it was. But it was, for me, it was so fun. [00:34:00] Like there were times where, you know, I would talk to a doctor and say, Hey, you didn’t, you didn’t do your timesheet. Or, you know, maybe there’s like a discrepancy between something that the hospital said and the doctor A is there and is not getting it.

And he, or she writes to me or calls me and says, I don’t understand this. I, how do I do this? And. You know, it was literally me, like, finishing up a case and going to talk to administration saying, hey, we have a problem A, can I have a solution, and they give me the solution and I call the doctor back and say, hey, here’s your solution and go from there.

And a lot of times people would say that has to be crazy and hectic. And I was like, no, actually, I really enjoy it. I really enjoyed the problem solving aspect of it. Um, so we thrive in that. 

Will: I’m curious, uh, what negotiations with the hospitals are like, are those tense? Are those, I imagine they’re very, you know, especially, well, maybe it’s gotten easier over the last couple of years just because everyone is, is, you know, dying for, for staff, right?

They’re, they’re. Everybody’s short staffed, so maybe, maybe you, you, [00:35:00] you have a little bit more leverage now. I don’t know, you let, tell me, what, what has it been like, you know, doing the negotiations? I think 

Dr. Nii Darko: initially what we found that it was very difficult, um, mainly because it was hard to get the hospital or the hospitals to take us seriously as doctors who have their own companies.

Now, there’s already locum tenants companies or independent contracting companies out there. But when the hospital is talking to, you know, a, an already established company, a business with logo, staff and so forth, they have no problem having a negotiations discussion with them. But when it’s one or two doctors who form their own company, what we found out is that the hospital oftentimes doesn’t take us as seriously, at least that’s our impression, doesn’t take us as seriously, and oftentimes would try to talk us out of working as locums and try to work and try to figure out something that was either a per diem situation or an employer, such employer, employee situation, which greatly benefits the hospital.[00:36:00] 

And we were like, no, we’d like to stay in this situation. And these doctors that we represent, we’d like to stay independently contracted. Um, and as Renee said, the pay is much better, but you know, for the doctors who aren’t paying attention or who are listening, there’s a lot of advantages to being in essence a free agent constantly.

Mm hmm. And I think that when you have business with business, you need, or at least with the hospital business, the number one thing that you need is availability and consistency. So you have to have people who are employed. Where, on the other hand, you have doctors who more or less nowadays are like, Look, I put in all the work, I put in all the studies, I put in all the sacrifice, I don’t know if immediately jumping into being employed is the way to go for me.

And that oftentimes can cause an issue. The hospital needs consistency, whereas the doctors nowadays need their independence. And that can be an issue, and that’s where we come in the middle and say, Hey! Let’s find a way. Let’s heal the world. Let’s be we all the world and figure out a way to make this work 

Kristin: Yeah, everybody what they need.[00:37:00] 

Will: So what’s the downside then? Because otherwise, you know, everybody be doing locums if it’s just you know, everybody’s gonna get paid more is it Is it less stable in terms of location of where you’re working? Is it, you know, 

Dr. Nii Darko: I’ll just hold on. I’ll let Renee, I’ll let you cook for a second. I’ll just say this.

I’m, I tend to be the person who knocks things out the park. So I’ll go, I’ll give my take and it’s crazy. But in essence, actually, I feel like every doctor in the United States should be independent contract. 

Singers: Yeah, I do. I know 

Dr. Nii Darko: it’s a jump and it’s a reach, but I actually think every doctor in the United States should be independent contracted.

The reason why is because the healthcare system. These big corporations, they’re in one type of business and doctors, in essence, I kind of feel like are in a different type of business, right? They kind of have two different interests and I think the best way for everyone to be happy is for everybody to walk in as two separate entities, let the hospital provide all of the monies to get the staff and to get, you know, the facilities [00:38:00] and then the doctors literally bring in the brainpower and then go from there, but that’s.

100 years down the road. But so Renee, go ahead. You, you should have it. No, I, 

Dr. Renee Darko: I, I actually agree with that. I think the trend, like the transition, however, right, you’re still going to have the employed doctors, um, who are going to need to be employed because of so many different reasons. But I, I actually agree with that, that, you know, it should be a B to B kind of thing, right?

A business to business type of relationship between doctors and hospitals. So, um, yeah, I guess maybe a hundred years down the road it will be, but for now, you know, everybody can’t be so the downsides to it in the system that we are currently in right now is, you know, is there work certainty, right? If people are going to be employed by hospitals, What happens when the hospital fills its staff, right?


Will: Right, then they won’t need you anymore. Right, they won’t 

Dr. Renee Darko: need you anymore. [00:39:00] And what does that mean for you in terms of where you live? Do you have to travel? You know, does your lifestyle really accommodate you traveling to go to work? Um, I’m of the belief, however, that even though we’re in the system that we’re in, that if you are a locums, if you’re someone who really, really, really wants to do locums, No matter what your lifestyle, you can find a way to do it.

There are so many different ways to do it. Telemedicine is, you know, is, is big in locums as well. Like, so there are so many permutations that you can do this thing. 

Will: Well, I, I mean, I I’ve certainly, I beat the drum to, you know, physician ownership in healthcare. Like, I think we need more of that. Right. And this is a way to, to get more physician ownership.

And so, yeah. Yeah, hopefully it won’t take a hundred years. I’m thinking, you know, About 200 years with doctors. Yeah, 

Kristin: right. It 

Will: is a 

Kristin: very slow moving, It is. 

Will: [00:40:00] It’s very challenging. I mean, it’s also going to take legislation. It’s going to take, you know, to pry some of that power away from corporations, um, non physician corporations and things.

Um, yeah, I love what you’re doing. Uh, so, uh, you know, thanks for taking that on. Um, tell us about the, let’s go to the podcast now, um, Docs Outside the Box. So, so what was, uh, what made you want to, I mean, obviously Nii was just searching for something he was good at, um, you know, 

Dr. Renee Darko: one basketball, 

Will: right? Clearly that’s not going to be his future.

So, so was, was, what was it about podcasting? What did you, How’d you guys come up with this idea and how are you feeling about it now? 

Dr. Nii Darko: So woof, that’s a, those are a load of questions. 

Kristin: Wow. You got time? Let’s get into it. 

Will: So do It takes more time than you think, right? Yeah, it takes way more time. Like, that’s what we’ve learned.

Dr. Nii Darko: Yeah. So now we’ve been podcasting since, what, 2016? And the reason I started it was me and Renee were trying to pay [00:41:00] off our debt. At that time, and we didn’t know how to do it. So we were listening to podcasts. We were going on, you know, different websites and YouTube channels. And we started realizing that we were really getting advice from people who had literally half the degrees that we had or no degrees, but we’re in debt.

Um, but they had a certain level of authority, um, mainly because they had a podcast or they had a YouTube channel. And it’s not to say that their information wasn’t vetted, it was vetted. Um, but I just really was interested and I was like, wow, like, these two people are like a teacher and a principal and they’re paying off all of this debt.

And we are listening to them. Like I said, we have MBAs and we’re like taking notes from what they’re doing. So during that time, you know, I had, I still have, uh, some colleagues in medicine who were doing some really interesting things that you won’t learn in medical school. Right? And I said, like, I would love to interview these folks and kind of just put it on wax and see what people think.

And that’s what I started doing. It took me about two years to kind of get started because I was a little bit scared and so forth, but [00:42:00] You know, 2016 April was like the first episode where I interviewed a woman who, she trained in the United States, she’s from Atlanta, Georgia, is an OB doc, and decided to, you know, take a year off and travel the world with her husband, who’s an anesthesiologist.

And they went all the way around the world and they got all the way to Australia and New Zealand and was just like, we ain’t leaving. Right? We ain’t leaving for A, B, C, D, E, F reasons. And one of the 

Will: I’ve been to Australia. I can understand why. 

Dr. Nii Darko: Exactly. We too. We have too. I can totally understand. And one of them being, Hey, like the medical system here, at least for the side, for doctors is pretty favorable, you know?

And um, so they decided to, you know, when they got back to the United States, they just basically put all of their resources in trying to get back, um, to Australia and practice. So they were my first interview and like, that did well. So we’re, we’re talking 2016. This is still like the wild, wild west of podcast.

Right? Right. Very early, early. There is no video portion of this for the most part, right? It, it’s all [00:43:00] audio and then it’s 

Dr. Renee Darko: on Skype, like the super on Skype, . It’s all Skype, Skype way back, 

Dr. Nii Darko: you know, and, uh, it’s, it’s just crazy. Right? Fast forward now where it’s, it’s completely different now, right? Like it’s literally almost like the streaming wars were podcasting.

This is the main form of communication, right? It’s just, it’s everything has changed. Everybody has a podcast, but not everybody’s a professional. Right. And that’s the part that I think is the state of podcasting right now is. You know, in essence, you know, you have a lot of, um, there’s a lot of folks who brought a lot of money in.

Um, and if you don’t put that money in the right place or put it behind the wrong people, you may get really bad responses. And the reason why I say that is, you know, for example, like you have a whole bunch of money towards Amy Schumer. But if Amy Schumer is not a podcaster, you know, can she really podcast, right?

I’m not talking about like the Joe Rogans, I’m not talking about you guys, I’m not talking about like the people who are consistently going, I’m talking about like, if you put the money towards a Meghan Markle, like, they don’t podcast! [00:44:00] You know what I’m saying? So I think, in essence, like, it kind of inflated the market.

And now we’re seeing a contraction. And now really at this point right now with podcasting, what we’re seeing is, is you got to let the cream, well, the cream will always rise to the top. So we, we’ve iterated our podcast multiple times from just, just interviewing people to now it’s me and Renee talking about our lifestyle.

And we’re at a point where now we just talk about what it’s like to work as locums docs, what’s it like to pay off debt, what’s it like to invest, what it’s like to raise kids. Um, what’s it like to, you know, have so many different things that we’re going through as independent doctors, um, and kind of give that perspective to people.

Um, so that’s kind of where we are right now as we transition to YouTube also with our podcast, but the podcasting scene 2024 versus where it was in 2016 

Kristin: Yeah, I mean that eight years on the internet is a lifetime it is yeah 

Will: And it’s what you said about just evolution and change, you know allowing [00:45:00] Your podcast to change, uh, you know, if it needs to change is something that we’re learning now, right?

Because you do, you have to evolve a little bit. You have to, you know, bring in new things and try new things and not be afraid to do that. And that’s the 

Kristin: fun of it too, is you can be flexible and you can try out new ideas or you can do a, you know, 

Will: if it sucks. Okay. Well, but that’s what the 

Dr. Nii Darko: audience wants, right?

Because if they want it straight and to the narrow, they would watch TV. Right? And the fact that they’re coming on YouTube or the fact that they’re listening on a podcast, they want something different. They want somebody who sounds like them or is from a similar background or it’s kind of, you know, it’s just not going to have it all together.

And it’s just part of this club, right? Like I’m in, I’m on the end before everybody else finds out about it. That’s the dopest part for me about podcasting is that I know I don’t have to be perfect, but I still got to put on a good show for people. And that’s what you guys are talking about also. Yeah.


Will: And you can always edit things out. There you [00:46:00] go. 

Dr. Renee Darko: That part right there. So in 

Will: honor of your podcast, uh, Docs Outside the Box, uh, I have devised a little game for us to play. Woohoo! For a few minutes here. Now, basketball, right? 

Kristin: No, no, no, no ball, no ball, 

Will: no ball related here. I’m 

Kristin: with you on that one.

I’m like, I don’t throw something at me. It’ll just hit me in the face. So 

Will: this is called, this is called outside the, out of the box questions, out of the box questions. These are, these are questions that we got from indeed. com. Okay. That are listed as out of the box interview questions. 

Singers: Okay. 

Kristin: Oh, 

Will: Alright, interesting.

So, uh, we’re just gonna go through some of these. I’m gonna ask you guys, I’m gonna interview you. All right? I don’t know what job, what, what job should it be for, 

Kristin: uh, um, ? 

Will: It’s maybe, maybe since match day just happened. Me on the spot. It is, it’s, it’s, imagine you’re interviewing for residency, which, oh, I wanna be an ortho resident.

Dr. Renee Darko: Look at my [00:47:00] hammer. 

Will: There you go. There you go. Okay. All right. Renee, we can start with you. Describe, these are out, out of the box interview questions. Okay, so I can answer out of the 

Dr. Renee Darko: box, right? 

Will: Oh, you can. However you want. You’re trying to get the job here. All right. Um, first question. Describe the color blue.

To someone who can’t see. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Well, it’s like red and purple. Except you take out the red and now you don’t have purple. And so then you have blue left. There you go. As someone who has 

Will: has treated many a colorblind patient. That is an awful answer. 

Kristin: And 

Will: the survey 

Kristin: says They’re like, what’s 

Dr. Renee Darko: purple? That is the hardest question ever.

Will: I guess you could describe I would just say cool. What about, like, 

Dr. Renee Darko: water? [00:48:00] 

Will: Like, cool, that’s good. Yeah, like, imagine with water. Or like, the feeling of blue. Yeah. Like, what does blue feel like? Yeah. Yeah. And I don’t know because I have trouble with my feelings. 

Kristin: Yeah. Don’t ask him. Kristen, 

Will: what does blue feel like?

Kristin: Well, I think it feels like, um, like a fresh, crisp breeze. If you’re talking about like a light blue, I think, uh, uh, like more of a moody, darker blue is maybe like, um, you know, cozy and, and, uh, Not warm, but not cold, just like nice and calm and cozy. It’s the feeling of 

Will: getting into, getting into cold sheets.

Kristin: That sounds awful. 

Will: That leaves pet peeve, 

Dr. Renee Darko: by the way, getting into cold sheets. 

Will: We’ve had this conversation before. 

Kristin: No, I’m not into cold sheets. I want them to be nice and warm. I like getting into cold sheets and then your 

Will: body heat makes them warm. And 

Kristin: then I like getting in about 15 minutes [00:49:00] after you do and stealing the heat that you generated.

There you go. Alright. 

Will: All right, let’s move on. 

Dr. Nii Darko: I’m nervous. 

Will: All right, knee, knee. All right, who would win in combat? Spider Man or Batman? 

Dr. Nii Darko: Oh, it’s easy. Batman. Really? Batman wins everything. Batman is the man. He’s the best. Batman’s 

Will: his 

Kristin: favorite. I mean, they are from New York. I’m gonna 

Will: need some more, uh, uh, Dr.

Darko here. I need some, I need some, some reasons why Batman. I’ll back you up. I’ll back you up. 

Dr. Nii Darko: So I can’t bloviate and put, I thought, figured if I gave like such a strong answer, you wouldn’t ask for the underling. I’m 

Dr. Renee Darko: not buying it. I’m not buying it. This is not an ortho residency interview. 

Will: I know what Spider Man can do, but we all know what Spider Man can do.

Batman is 

Dr. Nii Darko: the ultimate detective and he has all of the resources. Initially, probably he’d get his ass whooped by Spider Man, but eventually he would figure it out. And he would, he would, he would win. Batman is the man, I’m telling you. He [00:50:00] is the greatest superhero out there. He is, he would figure it out.

That’s why I strongly believe Batman. 

Dr. Renee Darko: I agree with that. And I’m going to say, because I think that Batman would figure out a device, right? Because he’s like Well, he’s not actually the engineer, but he’s like the idea behind the engineer. I think he would figure out a way to create like a web machine so that he could be on par with Spider Man.

Kristin: Yeah. Even the playing field. He’s 

Will: the unlimited resource. He’s a billionaire. 

Kristin: And let’s be honest, that’s the kind of people who always win. There you go. 

Dr. Nii Darko: You next, you know, you have Spider Man in his factory making like silk from this, you know, one of my sweatshops and he’ll make stuff for Wayne Industries.


Will: on. You put Spider Man out of business. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Right. 

Will: That’s what you’re saying. 

Dr. Renee Darko: That’s right. From the work. 

Will: Private equity Spider Man. You just, you just get in. Do Spider Man better than Spider Man can do. Exactly. Rough, tough scene for Spider Man. Oh man. All right. All right, Renee. [00:51:00] What is the animal you most identify with?

Dr. Renee Darko: That’s easy, come on. The animal? How is that easy? You think of me as an animal? Like, what the hell? Uh oh, tread carefully. Easy, 

Will: easy, easy. What 

Dr. Renee Darko: is the animal that I most identify with? Oh my god. I think I’m a, I think I’m a bird. Maybe like a, what’s like a really high flying, I’m an eagle. Yeah, I’m an eagle.

Yeah, I think I’m an eagle. Predator bird. I’m a predator bird. I think, yeah, I think I’m that because I’m definitely not prey. Mm mm. 

Will: Yeah. 

Dr. Renee Darko: No. 

Will: How’s your, how’s your eyesight? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Well, I do wear glasses.

I’m an eagle with glasses. I’m an eagle with glasses, but yeah, I think I like to hot, you know, fly high and I don’t take no mess from people and I will put you in your place, literally like pick you up and put you in your 

Will: place. There you go. I 

Dr. Nii Darko: like it. 

Will: Nia, what would you say? That 

Dr. Nii Darko: [00:52:00] is easy. I’m a hippo. 

Will: I’m a hippo.

What? Who 

Dr. Nii Darko: says that? Because, think about it, like a hippo 

Will: Hippos are terrifying. You 

Kristin: got four teeth? They’re very dangerous. That’s true. 

Dr. Nii Darko: But like, you know, hippos, they wade in the water sometimes to get their prey and stuff. But then, you know, 

Kristin: like throw their weight around 

Dr. Nii Darko: when they get out of water.

They’re real clumsy, right? That’s me, right? 

Kristin: Okay, i’m 

Dr. Nii Darko: clumsy with a lot of things. I have to have renee help me with a lot of things because i’m very clumsy He’s lying and um at times it has a temper 

Singers: Okay 

Dr. Nii Darko: You know, so Which makes, you know, the podcast really fun. 

Kristin: Yeah. You 

Dr. Nii Darko: know, but I would say I’m closest to a hippo.

Kristin: I can appreciate a person like usually on that, on that, uh, I think, you know, as an interviewer, what I’m learning is, is, um, he’s not going to be, you know, he’s not vain or arrogant or something, because most people would answer that in a flattering way, right? You choose an animal that’s like, paints you in a good light.

A hippo is a bold choice. Yeah, 

Will: it’s good. I [00:53:00] like it. I like that answer. Alright, Renee, if a movie was made about your career, who would play the lead character? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Ooh, who’s the most beautiful woman on the planet? Who would 

Will: play you in a movie about your life? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Who would play me? Um 

Will: Oh, maybe we should have Ne answer this.

Oh, yeah. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Yeah, Ne. Who would play me? 

Kristin: Who 

Dr. Renee Darko: would play me? 

Kristin: He’s really regretting ever talking to you. He’s like, why in the world 

Dr. Nii Darko: is this happening? Yeah, with basketball, if you shoot like, you know, I love the Knicks. Right, right. 

Dr. Renee Darko: Yeah. Answer the question. 

Dr. Nii Darko: I think so. So it has to be who would play, who would play Renee?

Kristin: Yeah, and the story of her career. 

Will: Or life, or just, you know, who comes to mind? Who do you think? I think Rene 

Dr. Nii Darko: would want like, Viola Davis to play her. 

Kristin: [00:54:00] Ooh, 

Dr. Nii Darko: that is a good choice. I think it’s a good answer, Viola Davis to play her. Yeah, I 

Kristin: mean you can’t do much better than Viola 

Dr. Renee Darko: Davis. That’s true. This is true.

Will: Yeah, she is a force on screen for sure. And 

Dr. Renee Darko: probably off screen too. 

Will: Same, same question to you, Renee. Who would, who would play Niamh?

Dr. Nii Darko: Renee, I don’t wake, this takes work, you know, to wake up like this. So represent me right, please. Oh, really? 

Dr. Renee Darko: Oh my God, I was thinking, I was thinking about a cartoon character. Um, but I will go with the obvious and it’s what everyone has said. For many, many years. And that is Taye Diggs. Oh 

Kristin: yeah. I can see 

Dr. Renee Darko: that.

Will: Are you happy with that, Ni? Are you good with that? I’ll put up with that. 

Dr. Nii Darko: I think he more looks like me though. 

Kristin: That’s a good, solid choice. He 

Dr. Nii Darko: more looks like me. 

Kristin: Whatever. He looks like, yeah. 

Will: All right. And then final question. Uh, Renee, would you rather fight a horse sized [00:55:00] duck or a hundred duck sized horses?

Dr. Renee Darko: This is easy. I’m going to go for the hundred horse sized, wait, the hundred duck sized horses. Yeah. 

Singers: Okay. 

Dr. Renee Darko: I’m going to go for that. You know why? Yeah. Cause like, so now, now I’m in the ring and I, like, I see myself with these horses and you know what I see the weakness would be with those horses? Horses have long backs, right?

They got long backs. So I would just stomp them, you know, and just keep stomping them on the back in the middle. So that they would be like, you 

Kristin: see what I’m saying? You’re really missing out if you’re only listening to this on audio and you didn’t get to just see that. At one point 

Dr. Nii Darko: she wanted to be a veterinarian.

No, I didn’t. 

Will: And then she was asked, she was asked this question in interviews, and it didn’t, it didn’t pan 

Dr. Nii Darko: out. Weightless, weightless, rejected, rejected. 

Kristin: I mean, she did say she’s a predator, so. This is true. Yeah, yeah. Checks out. 

Will: I personally [00:56:00] think a horse sized, one horse sized duck. 

Kristin: Yeah. 

Will: No, that would be tough.

I think that would be tough. A horse sized duck. That’s a, that’s a big ass duck. Yes. Like that’s, and ducks can be, ducks are mean, too. They’re brutal. And they have the wingspan, they have the wingspan. The, the beak was going to be enormous. That’s just 

Kristin: like, 

Will: cause they’ll, they have range, right? You won’t be able to get to them.

And then the 

Kristin: wings and 

Dr. Renee Darko: they could slap you with them. I think, I think though, if you did that, you’d have to go really close to their neck and then just like uppercut them. You know what I mean? That’s 

Kristin: true. Yeah. You have to go really close to the neck. I thought you were about to say just snap it.

Strangle. No, you can do that too. Strangle that horse sized duck. We’re all getting cancelled. 

Dr. Nii Darko: This is your neighborhood OB, guys. This is your neighborhood 

Kristin: OB. 

Will: Oh, man. Alright, well, thank you for indulging me. I wasn’t sure I would hire you for anything, but, you know, it was worth it. I think I would 

Kristin: hire Renee if I needed to take somebody out.

Yeah, there you [00:57:00] go. I’d be a great bodyguard. Yeah, 

Will: so tell it tell tell the people what they what you want them to know about you and and where to find you and Before we go plug some things here. 

Dr. Nii Darko: Hey, listen guys. We are Docs Outside the Box podcast Listen, we talk like this every day not every day, but every Tuesday And everywhere you can get your favorite podcast we’re talking about Google Google won’t exist anymore, but YouTube music YouTube, all of that stuff, that’s where we’re at.

And we talk about money, we talk about medicine, um, and then we also talk about pop culture. Um, so we’re very, very, those are things that we’re very passionate about. Um, and we always, oftentimes, you know, talk about it from our plate, which are people who didn’t have, uh, or excuse me, had a lot of student loan debt, didn’t know how to invest it.

Um, and then we also talk about what it’s like to kind of just have, you know, your own agency and kind of just be in charge of your life and how to figure all that stuff, all the different iterations of your mind so that you have to go through. That’s what we talk about on our show. Um, 

Will: yeah. [00:58:00] And we were, and Kristen and I were on your show and.

And had a great time. And so definitely check it out. Docs Outside the Box podcast. And you have a YouTube channel as well now. Um, and then you’re also working on a locum tenens course. Is that right? You’re kind of still building that up as well. So, um, 

Dr. Renee Darko: yeah, we actually are building a locum tenens course, um, right now as we’re building it, um, if you want, in the meantime, um, you can go to our YouTube channel and look at our locum tenens course.

Uh, playlist. So if you, you know, are just thinking about doing locum tenens, um, and you want a whole bunch of episodes on that, I think we do like six episodes in our playlist. So check us, check us out on YouTube. 

Will: Awesome. Well, thank you guys for joining us. This is a lot of fun. Thank 

Dr. Renee Darko: you. Hey 

Will: Kristen, notice anything different about me?

Kristin: You look the same as always. 

Will: Uh, I’m covered in mites. 

Kristin: Well, you don’t have to tell 

Will: everyone 

Kristin: that. 

Will: Maybe you need a [00:59:00] mite too. What do you think? I, 

Kristin: I Prefer to be mite free. You know what these things 

Will: are? They’re demodex. I 

Kristin: know. They’re enormous. 

Will: Have you ever had red, itchy, irritated eyelids? 

Kristin: No, but that does sound very uncomfortable.


Will: could be caused by one of these little guys. Now, they’re a lot smaller in real life. 

Kristin: Well, that’s comforting 

Will: at least. But it’s, it’s, they’re called demodex and it’s uh, yeah, it can cause problems with the eyelids. They’re mites that live on your eyelashes. 

Kristin: Just chomping on all that goo. 

Will: Now it might seem gross, but they’re not.

You don’t wanna get grossed out by this, 

Kristin: okay? All 

Will: right. You gotta get checked out. 

Kristin: That is very sensible to your eye. Go 

Will: to your eye doctor. Ask about deema d blepharitis. Alright? That’s really what you gotta do. Or db if you wanna be a little shorthand with it. 

Kristin: Yeah, make it sound like you know what you’re talking about.


Will: To find out more, you can go to eyelid check.com. Again, that’s E-Y-E-L-I-D check.com. To find out more information about these little guys, 

Kristin: tell ’em Dr. Black consent check. That’s 

Will: right. Deem aex blepharitis.[01:00:00] 

Did you ever get any, um, uh, any interview questions along those lines? 

Kristin: Along those lines? No. No, mine were all pretty, pretty standard. 

Will: some of those sound like interview questions you’d get for, like, residency. They always try to throw you off a little bit. Really? I was thinking, like, at 

Kristin: Google, right? Like, I mean, those are harder.

You always 

Will: get, like, the random interviewer who’s just, like, wants to be, you know, And, uh, well, 

Kristin: I do, I mean, there’s, there are some things you can learn from those, right? Like, it’s more about, like, what kind of a person are you instead of, like, what kind of skills do you have? I like the color How do you think?

Will: I like the color blue, to, like, describing that to someone who can’t see. Yeah. That’s a, that’s an interesting, lets you, really, I guess, to explore your thought process. 

Kristin: Right, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. 

Will: I would have, uh, Bombed that question for sure. 

Kristin: Yeah, 

Will: you you did pretty well though. Well, thanks. Yeah, but you’re always thinking about color and things 

Kristin: yeah, and it’s just it I don’t know that feels like a I don’t know like like someone who’s [01:01:00] good at poetry would be good at that.

It scratches 

Will: the right part of your brain. 

Kristin: It does 

Will: It’s I don’t think I have that part of my brain 

Kristin: No, I mean again, it’s all very connected to like emotions, you know, like you have to allow yourself to feel Yeah Oh, 

Will: well, tell us what you guys think of the episode. Um, we had a lot of fun with that one.

That was, they were, they were really entertaining. 

Kristin: Yeah. And you know what? It’s really good information that they talk about on their show. So definitely check that out too. 

Will: Yeah, absolutely. Uh, there’s lots of ways you can reach out to us. Email us knocknockhigh at human content. com. We’re on all the social media platforms.

You can hang out with us and our human content podcast family on Instagram and TikTok at humancontentpods. Thanks to all the listeners leaving feedback. We love seeing those reviews. It’s great. If you subscribe and comment on your favorite podcasting app or on YouTube, we can give you a shout out like at Julia Benford 6500 on YouTube said your guests have such great personalities and accomplishments.

Also, shout out to Lady G for her interview skills. [01:02:00] 

Kristin: Oh, well that’s very nice. Thank you. We do 

Will: have very knowledgeable guests. We do. And you are very good at interviewing people. Well, You always ask the questions that like, like, make me feel like I’m not very smart. 

Kristin: You’re welcome. 

Will: Yeah, so keep that up, please.

Uh, full of video episodes are up every week on my YouTube channel at Deaglock and Fleck. And we also have lots of fun videos. Cool perks, bonus episodes, where we react to medical shows and movies. Hang out with other members of the Nug Nug High community. We’re there. We’re active in it. Early ad free episode access.

You get Q interactive Q and A live stream events, much more. We just had some live shows and you know, Patreon members got a little perks with that. Uh, patreon. com slash Glockenflecken or go to Glockenflecken. com. Speaking of other Patreon community perks, new member shout out to LA Hiker. Hello. for joining us.

And shout out as always to the Jonathans, virtual head nod to you all, Patrick, Lucia C, Sharon S, Omer, Edward K, Steven G, Jonathan F, [01:03:00] Marion W, Mr. Grandaddy, Caitlin C, Brianna L, K L, Keith G, JJ H, Derek N, Mary H, Susanna F, Jenny G, Jenny J. You 

Kristin: do it every time! Jenny, 

Will: you’re gonna have to just do it. Just change your name to whatever the J stands for.

We have to just start saying Jenny and 

Kristin: then any Jenny that comes after is just, they get the last name. 

Will: Mohamed K, Aviga, Parker, Ryan, Mohamed L, David H, Jack K, Medical Meg, Bubbly Salt, and Pink Macho. 

Kristin: We got to meet Bubbly Salt at one of our recent live shows. We did it. Speaking of the Patreon perks. And we got to meet Pig Macho at one of them as well, and some of these others, but those two names really delight me.

Will: Yes, we love, we love meeting our, our, our patrons. 

Kristin: Yes, it’s so fun. In 

Will: person. It really is a lot of fun. Patreon Roulette, random shout out to someone on the emergency medicine tier, Bella E. Thank you for being a patron, Bella, and we are your, thank you for listening. We’re your hosts, Will and Kristen [01:04:00] Flannery, Special thanks to our guests today, Drs.

Nea and Renee Darko. Our executive producers are Will Flannery, Kristen Flannery, Aron Korney, Rob Goldman, and Shahnti Brooke. Editor in engineer Jason Portiz. Our music is by Omer Ben Zvi. To learn about Knock Knock High’s program, disclaimer, and ethics policy, submission, verification, licensing, and HIPAA release terms, go to Glockenflaggen.

com or reach out to us at Knock Knock High. It just makes my mouth hurt. 

Kristin: Okay, I think we’re legally required to say program, disclaimer, and ethics policy, submission, verification, and licensing terms, and HIPAA release terms. You can go to 

Will: Glockenflaggen. com or reach out to us at Knock Knock High at human content.

com with any questions, concerns, or fun medical puns or limericks. Nang Nai Kai is a human content production.

Singers: Goodbye!

Will: Hey, Kristen. 

Kristin: Yeah? 

Will: What do you think about my Dax co pilot here? He’s 

Kristin: very cute. Almost as cute as mine. 

Will: Oh, he’s great. He just sits right there. 

Kristin: I know. 

Will: Can I tell you about Dax? 

Kristin: Yeah, tell me. Oh 

Will: man, it’s [01:05:00] fantastic. The Dragon Ambient Experience from Nuance. They call it Dax co pilot. It’s cute. Yeah, he helps with documentation burden, reducing burnout.

In fact, 80 percent of patients. Say their physician is more focused using the DAX copilot. That’s, that’s huge. That’s pretty good. We all want to be able to connect more with our patients. 

Kristin: Right. 

Will: And all the documentation we have to do now, it makes it almost impossible. 

Kristin: Yeah. Easy to burn out. Absolutely.

That’s your job. And 

Will: 85 percent of patients say their physician’s more personable and conversational. 

Kristin: I like that. 

Will: I want to, I need help being conversational sometimes, and DAX is one of those things that can help you get there. So, uh, to learn more about the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience or DAX Copilot, visit nuance.

com slash discover DAX. That’s N U A N C E dot com slash discover D A X.