I began practice in a physician-owned multi-specialty group in 1999 in Florida. I transitioned into becoming the medical director and primary physician for a startup indigent care clinic. We followed my husband’s dream of living in Alaska and my dream of being in academics in 2007. I managed somehow to make it 16 years out of residency before completely burning out (although there were unrecognized warning signs along the way).
When I burned out from being a core faculty member in 2015, I didn’t even know that was a term or condition. I just thought something was wrong with me – my personality just didn’t fit in academics. I had become impatient with people, couldn’t engage with my family in the evenings, lost meaning in my work, and small tasks seemed overwhelming. I attended the Brave Enough conference that year and learned concepts I’d never heard of such as unhealthy perfectionism, boundaries and prioritizing self-care. When a speaker shared about their burnout story, it was like looking in a mirror.
I healed over the following 4 years by joining a private practice that a husband and wife owned and had set up for the enjoyment of medicine, not for making a profit. I hired a physician coach to help navigate the next steps to fill the extra margin I had created and now ready to fill. She invited me to also participate in her 12-week program for other women physicians. This is when I saw and experienced the power of coaching. It didn’t take long for me see that coaching in academics was greatly needed.
The last few years have been some of the most meaningful of my own career coaching students, residents, fellows and faculty. I am so glad you are investing your time and energy for YOU! You deserve not to settle and find your own best answers.
I’ll be cheering you on along the way!