“Life-altering in a way few other
supportive relationships have been”
I had recently left a toxic practice with poor leadership. I was burned out emotionally, physically and spiritually (as were 2 other female partners; we all left within 3 weeks of each other). I tried to stick it out at my old job for two years hoping the leadership/circumstances would change. I worked with a life coach for from 2010 to 2011 and although she was nurturing, supportive and helpful in many ways, she was not a physician. I think when I really hit bottom, her inability to understand my life as a physician was a limitation. There was a point where I think she could not figure out how to help me.
Although I was in a markedly better work environment with less call, four months into my new job I still intermittently found myself with a negative mindset and feeling like I was still at risk for spiraling downward. During the initial Discovery Session (within minutes) you succinctly distilled my problem to its core essence: “the rescue fantasy. ” Although I couldn’t name it myself, I recognized the truth when you stated it.
Taking an inventory of my life as it was and focusing on those activities outside of medicine that really bring me joy really helped. Recognition of all those things outside of medicine that I love to do resulted in being more present in the moment both in and outside of work.
With each call myself identity as a physician became smaller and other parts of my identity became larger (i.e. I am not just a physician, but a runner, yogi, mother, wife, meditator , cook, gardener, etc) . Having someone point out things that are not working in my life, the things that I can’t see for myself, has allowed me to focus on what I want and then make it happen.
Within 2 coaching sessions, I began to feel more hopeful that I could learn a different set of skills to help me from feeling overwhelmed and burned out. It was invaluable to me both as a individual and as a physician.
I don’t really think I could place a dollar amount/value on it. For me, it has been life-altering in a way few other supportive relationships have been.
One aspect of the coaching that I really like is that you are out-of-state. Since to some extent I am a public figure and everyone knows everyone else, I would not have felt comfortable trying to find support within my own state for fear of some breach of confidentiality. I have felt really free to be completely honest and candid with you in a way that I might not have otherwise been with someone locally.
You have a laser-like ability to identify problems and then come up with simple straightforward solutions that are easy to implement and incorporate into everyday life ; you do this with a lot of humor which I love.
As a physician, you understand the pressures and can easily relate to stressors that might cause a physician to feel overwhelmed and burned out. You are able to break down goals into small achievable tasks and persist in keeping a forward momentum towards them. I love the real-time coaching notes that celebrate the victories, learning and future tasks.
Most importantly, I feel like you are really present during the coaching calls, are interested in my growth both as a person and physician and are as excited (if not more than I ) to celebrate all of my success.
~ C. B. MD
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