As a Physician Coach we really don't focus on Physician Burnout

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

I have a confession to make.

14 years ago I launched my physician coaching website here at Since that time I've devoted every hour of my professional life to helping my fellow Lightworkers avoid my fate.

I crashed and burned out of my family practice at the age of 40 and wandered in the wilderness for a decade before becoming certified as a coach and finding this path back to being a helper and healer to my physician brothers and sisters. 40,000 doctors later, its time to let you know a key to our success.


In all of my work as a physician coach, we really don't focus much at all on physician burnout.

We spend as little time as possible on burnout before we put it to its highest and best use.

  • Burnout is often the place where we first meet. You wonder whether you are burned out, type those two words into Google and bump into our body of work.

  • Burnout is a normal reaction to overwhelm in a Lightworker.

  • Burnout is a call to action. Left unaddressed, it can progress to a life-threatening crisis or turn into a chronic way of life.

  • Burnout is here to push you onto a path with more purpose - that is its highest and best use.

  • Your struggle and discomfort is motivation for you to finally stop being such a good resident - following the rules and doing what everybody expects of you - and begin the work to take back your practice. 


Once we identify the presence of burnout - it's critically important to immediately shift focus.

We acknowledge the presence of burnout - the current conditions you want to run away from - and then consciously shift attention to what you really want ... what you would run towards. We call it the big 180.

This counteracts the natural human tendency to focus on pain and problems - all the things we don't want - in times of stress. Even though this is a normal human behavior, it always gets us in trouble for a simple reason.

  • You can avoid everything you don't want and you still won't get what you want ...

  • Because the only way to get what you want is to figure out specifically what that is and go get it

So we immediately pull the big 180, stop focusing on burnout and focus all your efforts on how you will create a new reality that makes burnout absurd and you burnout-proof going forward.


We begin with the end in mind and focus on two specific outcomes from this point forward:

1) Building a more Ideal Practice. It all starts with your personal definition of your Ideal Practice - describe it in as much detail as possible. Your Ideal Practice Description becomes the target for your take-back-your-practice action steps going forward.

2) Building an extraordinary life around this extraordinary choice to be a Lightworker, a helper and healer, a physician in this one bright shining life. So that 20 years from now you have no regrets and a big smile on your face!


Sleeping-doctors-infinite-planeEver since I started coaching physicians, I have had a recurring dream where I'm walking on an endless backlit plane covered with sleeping bodies. As I tiptoe carefully between them, I notice movement on the horizon. Someone is yawning and stretching ... waking up.

I sprint over to them, stepping carefully over the sleepers and hold out my hand to help them stand up. 

Burnout is where you wake up and reach out your hand.

I am there to help you wake all the way up, stand on your own two feet and reclaim your power to bend the universe to your will.

From the instant we meet my intention is to begin with the end in mind, refocusing on what you want in your practice in your life. Releasing all thoughts of burnout and never speaking of it again.

With this new focus on creating your ideal future, we can render burnout absurd.

As I teach you the seven missing skill sets from your medical education, you can begin to put them to use one at a time - to build a more Ideal Practice step-by-step. That's right, you do need some new tools for this new task, things you were not taught in med school and residency. We've spent 14 years building that exact tool set.

And it also really helps to have a tribe of support - a group of Physicians just like you, all working to create their ideal practice.

This is how we can collectively heal the profession and begin to fight back against the current burnout epidemic.

  • One doctor at a time

  • One practice at a time

  • Restoring the balance between meaning and money for you, your team, your patients and your family.

We've supported over 40,000 doctors in this mission since we started in 2010. Here's what a number of them say about the experience.

I've been consistently amazed at the massive difference in your satisfaction that can be produced by the simplest of changes in your practice and your larger life. 

All the tools we teach were developed and perfected via our experience with thousands of one-on-one coaching clients. We've worked hard to make them easy to learn, simple to implement and effective every time you use them.

I can say with confidence that YOU CAN build a more ideal practice, restore your quality of life and get back in touch with your essence as a helper, healer and Lightworker
- and it can happen much more quickly than you might imagine. 


In the next blog post I will show the essential burnout proofing task for all employee physicians.

Morphing your job from a tilted quid pro quo to an equitable exchange of value.





Is now the right time to start taking back your practice?




Tags: Physician Coaching, stop physician burnout