My family and I are currently living in the San Diego area, and I work as Clinic Medical Director at an FQHC in a rural area outside of the city, where I also completed service through the National Health Service Corps.
Like many of you, I’m an idealist at heart and want to make a positive difference in the world. Prior to medicine I used to work running volunteer programs for at-risk youth. I then lived and worked in Quito, Ecuador at an international development organization working with USAID in Ecuador, Haiti, and Sierra Leone, and later as a high school biology teacher at an American school in Quito. After trying those fields first, I was ready to commit to my childhood dream of becoming a physician.
In residency and my early years as an attending, I gave what felt like everything to become the best physician I could be. I was striving to serve my patients with 110% of what I had to give; trying to address nearly all the needs of every patient in the short 15-20 minute visits we were allotted. Working at a federally qualified health center, my patients have complex medical and socioeconomic needs that make my line of work both rewarding and challenging.
Like many physicians, I became disenchanted with medicine and experienced burnout and moral injury early in my career.
I was struggling to maintain work-life balance, and was not showing up at home as the husband and dad I wanted to be. I was always preoccupied with work or my “never ending to-do list.” Unconsciously, I was blaming my job for my discontent, blaming myself for not being able to be an “efficient” physician, and even believing that I wasn’t a good husband and dad because I couldn’t seem to find a way to get home earlier after work. At times, I felt powerless and that I lacked autonomy in my career. I felt trapped in a dysfunctional healthcare system.
Through physician coaching, I transformed my life and became empowered to craft a sustainable career path.