Discovery and Coaching
Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the links below to get your questions answered.

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Meet Our Coaches
Each is a real-world physician - together we have 176 years of clinical experience - AND an experienced executive coach

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What is a Discovery Session?

Let’s start with what a Discovery Session is not. Your Discovery Session is NOT a one-hour sales pitch. This is the biggest concern of most physicians when they learn about this free consult. “You’re just going to pitch me coaching for an hour … right?"  

The simple answer is NO – not by any means. The Discovery Session is just as we describe it -- a No Cost, No Obligation, Completely Confidential one-hour session with a Certified Physician Burnout Coach.

We have over 2100 hours of experience coaching doctors and have trained over 25,000 doctors for over 130 organizations to recognize and prevent burnout. We are proud to share this 10,000 hours of experience with you in our Discovery Call with No Obligation or Cost.

The goal of the Discovery Session to provide you with an Action Plan for a way forward - specifically matched to your exact circumstances. By the end of the call you will have a step-by-step, written Action Plan to address your current situation in detail. The call will help you see patterns and choose actions that are often invisible before this important conversation. 

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Why do you offer these Discovery Sessions?

Back in 2011 when we launched TheHappyMD.com – there was no site on the internet where physicians could obtain advice and support for burnout. In fact, if you Googled “Physician burnout” in 2011, all you would find is page after page of prevalence studies … completely useless if what you really needed was urgent help and support.

We built the website to be highly visible on Google (we have been the #1 listing for “physician burnout” for six years now) and to offer immediate access to qualified physician coaches for any doctor in need of help. Since each of our coaches have been through their own personal experience of burnout - in a very real sense - we’re offering you what we wish had been available to us back when we were most in need of help and support.

A key piece of our Mission is to be immediately available to physicians like you - as a living, breathing human resource to help you get unstuck. We were the first – and we remain the only – website on the internet where you can directly book a free session with a Certified Physician Burnout Coach for urgent support.

We have over 2100 hours of experience coaching doctors and have trained over 25,000 doctors for over 130 organizations to recognize and prevent burnout. We are proud to share this 10,000 hours of experience with you in our Discovery Call with No Obligation or Cost.

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How does a Discovery Session work?

Discovery calls are usually by phone and occasionally by Skype. All of our coaches are based in the USA, so most calls for physicians outside North America are via Skype. The Discovery Session call lasts about an hour.

First, your coach will ask enough questions to understand your situation thoroughly. You and your coach will each take notes on the call. The more information your coach gathers, the more specific their recommendations will be.

Next, you will build a build a step-by-step Action Plan for a way forward – working as a team. Your coach will email you a copy of their notes at the end of the call. We promise you will learn things in this conversation you cannot see right now -- from your first-person perspective inside the whirlwind of your life and practice.

At the end of the Discovery Session, your coach MAY ask you if you would like coaching support to walk this Action Plan – depending on if they feel:

  • You are a good candidate for coaching – you are coachable
  • They feel the two of you are a good match and would work well together
  • They are certain your personal situation is something they can help you with

If all these points are true … your coach will ask if you would like coaching support on this Action Plan and tell you about our Coaching Packages. No selling. No pitch. Just an invitation to engage a coach on your support team … if you feel coaching would be right for you.

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You are going to try to sell me something … right?

No.

The Discovery Session is about you. You book it. You keep the appointment. The call will be 100% about your situation. No Cost, No Obligation, Completely Confidential. You get a customized Action Plan from a fellow physician who is also a Certified Physician Burnout Coach -- absolutely FREE.

At the end of your call … the two of you can make a decision on whether or not continued coaching is appropriate. If you are a good candidate for a coaching program, your coach will simply ask if you would like a coach to support you on your action plan going forward. No pitch, no hard sell. You decide whether you would like the support of regular calls from a profession coach and a physician peer.

If your coach offers you the option of ongoing coaching -- and you decide to hire them as part of your support system -- you purchase a coaching package with payment in advance of your first call.

The Discovery Session and your written Action Plan are completely No Charge, No Obligation and CompletelyConfidential.

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What are the benefits of having a Coach?

We believe the primary benefits are twofold:

1) Get Going and Keep Moving:
You will make the changes you are seeking much more quickly with a coach than trying to get traction all by yourself.

2) Comfort and Confidence:
The comfort of a supportive relationship you can count on - from a fellow physician. Your coach can see solutions to the issues you face - at work and home - solutions that are invisible to you from your position inside this whirlwind.  You can schedule a call whenever you need a sounding board and some support.  Your coach has your back and that makes all the difference.

Get Going and Keep Moving:

When you talk to your coach – usually every other week or so – the first task is to extremely clear on what you really want in your practice and your larger life. This Ideal Practice Description is the target for your change efforts going forward. Together you work on getting more of what you want and less of what you don’t want, one step at a time.

On each call you get a second opinion and a fresh pair of eyes on the areas where you struggle. You tweak your Action Plan, choose this week’s new action and schedule your next call. That simple set of actions helps you produce the changes you seek much more quickly than you could do all by yourself.

Taking just two hours a month to work ON your life – with a burnout expert – rather than struggling just to survive the whirlwind IN your life – makes all the difference.

Comfort and Confidence:

Most physicians have no personal experience of a truly supportive relationship with another doctor. In Med school and residency, we often compete with each other -- rather than become close friends.

In practice, we are so busy that doctors rarely spend more than a coffee break with other physicians during the average day, even if we work on the same wing.

When we are struggling, our programming ensures we NEVER tell anyone – remember the Prime Directive “Never Show Weakness”.

It is extremely rare to be in a supportive, collaborative relationship with another physician where it becomes clear that they have your back. Your coaching calls are a safe and confidential place to discuss any challenges you are facing – at work and at home – and get fresh advice from a fellow doctor who also happens to be a Certified Physician Burnout Coach.

Your relationship with your coach develops over time and provides a level of comfort and confidence that is difficult to describe. You are not alone any more, trying to figure this out all by yourself. Your coach has your back. They always have your best interests at heart. You can relax, knowing that you can schedule a coaching call any time you wish -- to get help and support with any issue in your life.

Coaching will also help your primary relationship. You can stop talking so much about work and burnout with your wife, husband or significant other. Your coaching calls provide you with professional support so you can just get back to being a good partner in this most important relationship.

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What is a Certified Physician Burnout Coach?

All the coaches here at TheHappyMD.com satisfy the following criteria.

  • They are each successful physicians - together we have 176 years of combined clinical experience. In most cases, they still see patients.
  • Each coach has their own personal experience of at least one episode of burnout with a functional recovery.
  • They are professional coaches and graduates of a coach training program certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
  • Each of our coaches is also a graduate of the Physician Burnout Coach Certification Training Program developed by our CEO and Founder here at TheHappyMD.com – Dike Drummond MD.

Dr. Drummond used his 2000+ hours of physician coaching experience to design the certification training. Our coaches invest three months in lectures, review of burnout client case studies recorded by Dr. Drummond – with client permission - and multiple mock coaching sessions with Dr. Drummond -- to attain the official Physician Burnout Coach Certification.

The coaches here at TheHappyMD.com also continue to participate in twice monthly phone coach training sessions with Dr. Drummond so that our coaching community is continuously upgrading our collective knowledge base.

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How do I know if coaching will work for me?

That is a great question. The answer depends on how prepared you are to change the way you practice medicine and live your life. You must understand that your coach is a trusted advisor you can bring on to your support team. Your coach does not do anything to you - or for you - to force the changes you are seeking.

YOU are the one who must take New Actions -- in Your Life and Your Practice -- in order to step out of Einstein’s Insanity Trap.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself – is it time to stop tolerating your current situation and make some real changes? Your coach can accelerate your transformation and be a tremendous source of support along the way – when you are ready to change.

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What if I want a coach, but don’t like the one on my Discovery Session?

If you share a Discovery Session with a coach and feel you would like coaching support – but the chemistry with this coach is not adequate – we can help you schedule a new Discovery Session with a different one of our coaches. This second Discovery Session is also no cost, no obligation and completely confidential.

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What does coaching cost?

Our coaching packages begin at $1600. Please see the detailed discussion below regarding price, value and return on investment.

Please remember that the Discovery Session is completely separate from a paid coaching call package. Your Discovery Session is No Cost, No Obligation, Completely Confidential and supplies you with a personal, written Action Plan for a way forward.

The reason we point this out is a very strange behavior we see over and over from some physicians – they won’t book a FREE Discovery Session because ongoing coaching costs money. We still have not figured that one out, but it happens every week. (if you can explain the logic in this behavior, please use this contact form and fill us in, thanks)

That is like going to Baskin Robbins and refusing even a taste scoop – except we are not talking about ice cream here. Burnout can put your career and your income at risk if you don't turn things around. There is no reason to  NOT book a Discovery Session for a second opinion from a qualified physician coach.

So here is our suggestion. If you are feeling stuck and looking for some help finding a way out of this place, book a Discovery Session no matter what. Talk to one of our coaches and get your personal Action Plan for a way forward. That is like Baskin Robbins giving you the whole cone for free.

Know this too before you read on. You may not be a candidate for coaching at this point in time.

At the end of your Discovery Session, each of you has a decision to make.

Your decision:

- Was the Discovery Call helpful?
- Do you like your coach? Do you feel there is chemistry and that you would work well together?
- Would you like a phone coaching session once or twice a month to support you in this transition – or are you more comfortable going it alone?
- Is the investment in coaching worth the benefit to your life and practice?


Your coach’s decision:

- Are you a good candidate for coaching – are you coachable and ready to begin making some changes?
- Do they like you?
- Do they think there is chemistry and that you would work well together?
- Is your personal situation something they are confident they can help you with?

Only if all the answers to all of the above are “Yes” –  will your coach will discuss our coaching packages with you -- so that you are aware of coaching options to support your transition going forward. 

No pitch, no hard sell, no pressure.

Most physicians have never worked with a coach and have not had the experience of a supportive relationship from a fellow physician. Coaching is a support option you have probably not considered before. At the end of your Discovery Session, you will have had a direct experience of working with a coach -- most likely for the first time. If you would like to continue to receive coaching support, we will tell you exactly how to make that happen. 

We do not offer single coaching calls outside of your initial Discovery Session for a simple reason – they don’t work in the vast majority of cases. Coaching helps you get different results by helping you develop new habits. New habits take some time to build, tweak and seal into place, so our smallest coaching packages are four calls.

Our coaching packages are called “Trailblazer” because you will be blazing your own trail in this transition, not following in someone else’s footsteps. Your coach helps you find and walk your own path forward. Trailblazer Coaching Packages come in two sizes.

4 Call Trailblazer Coaching Package - two to four months of support

12 Call Trailblazer Coaching Package - six to twelve months of support

Each Trailblazer package includes the following – in addition to the coaching calls above:

  • Unlimited email access to your coach between calls
  • Lifetime access to the One Minute Mindfulness Online Training Program – teaching you a single breath method of becoming the Eye of the Storm in your office day
  • Your copy of Stop Physician Burnout – the reference text to burnout prevention for the busy doctor
  • Your copy of Transitions by William Bridges – this is an extremely useful and grounding book for anyone approaching a life transition
  • 20% discount on any TheHappyMD.com products and live trainings for life

Coaching occurs in 50 minute calls, by phone or Skype. Most coaching clients use one or two calls a month, however, you can work with your coach as often as you wish. You can purchase additional Trailblazer coaching packages when you complete your first one.

Your investment:

  • 4 Call Trailblazer Coaching Package - $1600
  • 12 Call Trailblazer Coaching Package - $4000

We accept online payment with all major credit cards. This is the best way to begin coaching immediately. We can also accept mailed checks. Payment in full is required in advance of the first coaching call.

Please note – your Trailblazer Coaching investment is a fully deductible business expense under Professional Development and a legitimate use of your CME/Professional development benefits. In some cases, your employer may also pay for your coaching directly.

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How do I know if coaching is worth it?

Here are a few of the common ways doctors figure out what coaching is worth to them. Before you choose a method to answer this question, make sure you have all the information you need. Here is what we mean.

Each of the methods below presume you have experienced a Discovery Session, know what talking with a coach feels like and have your written Action Plan in hand.

Only when you have investigated coaching to that depth, do you understand enough about coaching to perform the evaluations below:

Evaluating what coaching is worth:

1) Prospectively on the upside:
You have an experience of working with your coach on a Discovery Session now. Ask yourself two things:

a) What would it feel like to have a conversation like your Discovery Session twice a month, to be building an Action Plan and changing what you are doing -- safe in the knowledge that your coach has your back and the two of you will be talking again in two weeks?
b) Then imagine the steps in your Action Plan are getting done – you are actually checking the boxes.

If those two things were true, what would that be worth to you?

2) Prospectively on the downside:
Imagine that you do not hire a coach and you do not make progress on your Action Plan. Imagine instead, everything about your current situation continues completely unchanged for the next year. How would that feel?

What would it be worth to avoid this fate?

3) While you are in action:
Over time, as you are working with your coach, look for the change in the way you feel and for new actions and results in your practice and your larger life. Simply ask yourself if the changes you are experiencing are worth the investment you are making. Double check your answer by getting feedback from your spouse or significant other.

4) Economics and financial ROI:

One way of looking at purely monetary Return on Investment (ROI) in coaching is to imagine that dealing with your burnout successfully could be a career saving move for you. If the little voice in your head is saying, "I'm not sure how much longer I can keep going like this," then coaching may make the difference between quitting medicine all together and enjoying the remainder of your years in practice and the monetary rewards it provides.

If this is your situation, then your investment in coaching could be responsible for returning your entire future earning potential to your bank account.  

In this situation, an appropriate ROI calculation (in %) would be:

ROI in % =
(Your Remaining Lifetime Earning Potential / your Trailblazer Coaching Investment) X 100 

Where your Remaining Lifetime Earning Potential
(#Years you would like to keep practicing  X  last year’s take home pay)

ROI in % =
[(#Years you would like to keep practicing  X  last year’s take home pay) / $4000] X 100 

Example:
(15 years X $140,000) / $4000 X 100 = 52,525%  Return on Your Coaching Investment

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Do you offer a guarantee?

When doctors ask this question, what they are usually asking is "do you guarantee that working with a coach will help me in my situation 100% of the time, or you will give me all my money back?" The answer to that question is no. We do offer the remainder of your coaching investment as a refund if you feel coaching is not working for you.

We do not offer a guarantee on coaching for one simple reason -- success in making the changes you seek is 100% dependent on you - not your coach. No matter what you discuss on your coaching call, if you do not then go out and take new actions, it is impossible to get new results in your life or your practice.

Your coach cannot take action for you. Your conversations will give you new insight, new coping skills, new action steps and an accountability partner in this transformation. However, you must take responsibility for your new actions or change will be impossible.

If you are coachable and open to new ways of seeing your situation and take the actions you commit to on your calls, you will succeed. It is completely up to you.

We do offer the unused portion of your investment back if you feel you would like to stop coaching at any time, for any reason. Just let us know and will refund the remainder of your coaching package investment, no questions asked.

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What is the success rate of coaching?

First, let's define success. Let's stick with burnout coaching for an example. 

Burnout Coaching Success Criteria:

- Resolution of the symptoms of burnout
- Provide you with the ability to recognize your specific causes of burnout
- Construction and deployment of a personal burnout prevention strategy
- Deploy and actively manage changes in your practice and life that eliminate current burnout causes and actively prevent burnout in the future
- New awareness of burnout and its causes that equip you to recognize impending burnout much more quickly in the future
- Preservation of your physician lifestyle
- You reach a new state of wellbeing, happiness, contentment and sense of a clear connection with purpose in the your life and practice

In our experience, 70% of physician burnout coaching clients will recover, without changing jobs, over the course of 6 - 9 months with regular coaching calls.

The remaining 30% of physician burnout coaching clients will recover with a single job move - ideally with coaching support for the job search and onboarding process.

In our experience all physicians can and do recover from burnout if they remain coachable, keep their coaching call appointments and take new actions between calls. As long as you are moving in the direction of a more Ideal Practice and/or more Ideal Life ... recovery is assured.

We make this assurance out of our experience of working with dozens of physicians who were in dire straights when we first met and still recovered to go back to work again ... and happily so.

We have worked with physicians on disability leave, receiving psychiatric care and medications, carrying diagnoses of depression and PTSD, even with their license suspended and under supervision from their state medical board -- wondering if they would ever be able to care for patients again. All of these doctors have recovered with the support of coaching, their larger care team of medical professionals and additional support from their practice leaders and partners.

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What kinds of coaching do you provide?

Use this link for a page with full descriptions of the types of coaching we provide to physicians.

Here is a simple list.
- Burnout Coaching
- Leadership Coaching
- Job Change Coaching and OnBoarding Coaching
- Disruptive Physician Coaching
- Entrepreneur Coaching

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Do you have any coaching or Discovery Session testimonials

So glad you asked. Use this link to see what our clients are saying.

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