My journey to coaching

I’ve been asked to tell how I ended up in this physician coaching space a few times over the last several weeks. So, I decided to do some reflective writing about my journey.

 

There were four major experiences that overlapped and culminated in the creation of Joy in Family Medicine Coaching Services, LLC.

 

First, my own personal burnout story which reached the pinnacle in March 2015.  Mine was mid-career in timing (11-20 years out).  I was absolutely loving academic medicine and all the many hats I had to wear.  I really felt like overall I was doing a good job.  Retrospectively, I aimed for perfection in each area and relied on external validation.  I hadn’t yet started viewing perfectionism as something I could dial up or down depending on the task.  I was 100% perfection-oriented on every task. That led to working through each and every lunch time, developing lectures at night, and foregoing socializing with colleagues as...

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Self-care as a busy physician

Self-care can consist of many things.  Good nutrition, exercise/movement, mindfulness, meditation, prayer, reading, spiritual practice, connection with others, gratefulness, giving, setting boundaries, getting out in nature, relaxing, play, restorative sleep, pampering, goal setting/prioritizing, vacations, scheduled alone/down time. Basically, self-care means taking time to improve and prioritize your physical, spiritual, and emotional/mental health.

 

Many of the self-care items above can lead to rejuvenation in the short-term. The definition of rejuvenate: a transient verb that means to make youthful again; give new vigor, to restore to an original state.  Synonyms of rejuvenation: revitalize, freshen, recharge, refresh, renew, repair, restore, resuscitate, revive. 

 

Which areas are you neglecting? Which of those areas will benefit you most? Which will feel the best even if you can't imagine fitting them in? Rejuvenating self-care can take...

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Cultivating relationships during residency training

Many residents cultivate friendships during residency, others cultivate more intimate relationships, and some cultivate their marriage relationships. One thing is certain, personal relationships take more effort during training due to the demanding hours and stress. They also can suffer without that effort. 

 

One of the most important things my husband and I did during medical school and residency was learn how to carve out time for ourselves as a couple.  I know this is a common thread for all parents no matter their professions, but we were definitely on the overloaded/swamped end of the spectrum. I love the analogy of a marriage being a garden and the need to tend it so weeds don’t take over and it doesn't die off due to neglect.  

 

On the day to day, we used a strict bath and bedtime for the girls in order to save space for ourselves.  After the kids were tucked in, we had time to chat, watch a movie, conquer the original Myst or Zelda,...

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