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Blog Interview: Dr Errin Weisman - Family Physician and Burnout Coach Shares Pearls

Periodically, I interview a physician that will give you tips to enjoy medicine, find fulfillment, relieve stress, and more. (I'm never an affiliate for them. I'm always just a fan). Today, seemed like the perfect day to host Errin Weisman, DO as we are in the middle of the What is Physician Coaching? Series. Errin is a family physician in Indiana and a physician coach who leverages group coaching for the good of each individual. Read on to learn a little more about her and her pearls. 

Errin, tell us how you went from family physician to coach, podcaster, and wellness leader?

I don’t want to brag, but I am the face of physician burnout. About 8 years ago, I looked like I ‘had it all’: I had flown through med school as a high achiever, I was a resident, was making great money, all while raising my kids and living in a big house. But on the inside, I was so, so miserable. I knew that something had to change. I had never even heard of coaching at the time, but I found a coach online after a desperate 3am google search. The work we did together started me on my journey out of burnout, and I knew then that I had found a new calling, outside of being a physician. I wanted to bring physician coaching to the masses. I wanted to show other physicians that they didn’t have to ‘tough it out’ to be successful. I wanted to forge a different path and light the way for those coming behind me. Once I started writing about how I was feeling and the changes I was making to build a different kind of life for myself, it was like the floodgates opened. Hundreds of physicians were contacting me, saying things like, “OMG I thought it was just me!” and “Thank you for being so honest about your life”, and asking if I could help them. So I started a podcast, Doctor Me First, which is now over 400 episodes and gives physicians a platform to speak their truth. I also created the Burntout to Badass program, which coaches physicians and healthcare professionals from being burnt out to building a life, inside or outside medicine, that’s fulfilling and sustainable. I also founded, and am still growing, the Physician Coaching Alliance, which is a community where physician coaches share ideas, struggles, and wins!


What observations have you made about the trajectory of physician well-being?

Things were already bad, and then the pandemic hit. Physician well-being has never been more tested, and healthcare professionals are dropping out of the field at alarming rates. I have noticed that in the last few years, physician coaching has started to become more mainstream as a way of mitigating and preventing burnout in physicians, but it’s still early days, and the demand is still far outstripping supply. This is something that needs to be addressed at a systematic level - an individual physician having coaching will put a bandaid on the wound, but organizations need to change at their core because the way things are currently is unsustainable, and physicians are bearing the brunt of it. 


I know that many would benefit from your workaholic tips. Would you mind sharing your perspective and a couple of tips?

Work is my drug. This is something I have realized and come to terms with - I will always be a workaholic, and I will always need work to keep me going. I will always need to monitor my relationship to my work and keep myself in check. Some things that work for me are:

  • Getting out in nature, I love hiking a trail with my dog

  • Developing my hobbies outside of work. Team Weisman welcomed our alpaca boys to the farm last year, and we’ve recently started raising chickens

  • My hot tub was an investment but worth every penny. Find the things that bring you joy and do them! 

Your pivot back into medicine is a ray of hope for physicians (and patients) - tell me how that happened and what it’s been like.

I really missed working with patients.  It’s been amazing to get back to helping people. Getting that human connection and helping people in that way -, that’s why I became a physician in the first place. Now I am working in a much more balanced way and on my own terms, and it’s helped me and helped the people I serve because they get the best version of me.


Is there anything else you think would be helpful for the readers?

If you think you might be headed for burnout or are already in the dumpster fire - reach out. It’s hard to make that first step, but once you do, it is so worth it. You cannot fill from an empty cup, and if you are able to take better care of yourself, that will pour out to your patients, colleagues, and family too. 


Thank you so much for your insights and wisdom. Tell everyone how they can find you. 

You can find me on my 2 podcasts, Doctor Me First and Burntout to Badass, on Instagram @burntout_to_badass and @physiciancoachingalliance, and LinkedIn as Errin Weisman, DO.


Okay, next week, we will continue the series What is Physician Coaching? next week. We will be looking at the evidence around physician coaching, and, if time allows, discuss coach training options. Then we will wrap up the following week with how coaching works in academic medicine and the possibilities for the future. 

Have a joy-filled week! Tonya

Learn more about my hybrid coaching program for family medicine residencies.  


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