career transition and life coaching for physicians

My Coaching Approach

My coaching philosophy and approach have been equally influenced by my coaching training and my own life experience. These dual forces shape my work with clients in unique ways which set me apart from other coaches.

My training and certification in professional and organizational coaching at the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara provided me with a rigorous academic and human systems theory approach to coaching. Accordingly, you can expect me to adhere to a traditional coaching approach in my interactions with you. By this I mean that I will use probing questions to reach an in-depth connection with you and an understanding of your concerns, needs, and goals. As we proceed in our work together, I facilitate your progress towards your goals by making use of dialogue, questions, focused reading assignments, journaling questions, and other techniques to increase your own knowledge and self-awareness.

I do not believe that good coaching is synonymous with giving advice, or counseling. Rather, I believe that by asking the right questions, and listening deeply, I help you tap into your own wisdom. You can expect me to challenge your assumptions, provide you with resources when appropriate, and motivate you to achieve your goals through feedback, encouragement, and gentle accountability.

My own life experience sets me apart from many career and life coaches. It is this rich experience which makes me an ideal resource for practicing physicians, physician-in-training, and other healthcare professionals. The very fact that I am a physician means that I understand at a very deep level the unique and complex challenges and stresses that characterize careers in today’s healthcare environment. Would you trust someone to coach you in your professional career decisions or your important life decisions who wasn’t a physician?

23 years in academic life. I have spent 23 years in academic faculty-based practice at Stanford University, and fifteen additional years on the voluntary clinical faculty at UCSF Medical Center. I have also spent 19 years in private group radiology practice in a busy 400 bed hospital.

I am perhaps the only career and life coach serving physicians with such extensive experience in both academic and private sectors of healthcare. This experience serves me well in attending to the concerns and needs of healthcare professionals at all stages of their careers and training. I have assisted academic physicians seek and successfully negotiate new leadership positions, private physicians seek and obtain part-time jobs, new full-time jobs, and new careers both inside and outside of clinical medicine, and have helped physicians-in-training clarify their professional path both within and outside clinical medicine.

I believe the coaching process should be client-driven. I will encourage you to identify and formulate your own priorities for the coaching process. I will also encourage you to select a duration for the coaching process which meets your needs and is realistic. Unlike psychotherapy, your CPPR coaching will be a process which is forward-directed and time limited to create your new life vision. Thus, the direction, focus, and duration of our work together will be selected by you, the client, and not be me.

You can expect me to listen intently. You can expect me to challenge your thoughts and assumptions, help to clarify your values, offer my feedback and observations about you, and help you identify and overcome your sources of resistance, your “boulders”.

Between our coaching sessions, you can expect me to assign you “homework”. This may consist of selected reading assignments, written exercises which I will provide for you, or journaling questions to probe your attitudes and values. I will sometimes use standard career assessment tools. As with any process of personal growth, the value you derive from the homework is in proportion to your personal effort.

My coaching approach results in a close bond between us. I will give you my very best effort. I expect the same in return. To be successful my clients must learn to trust me and more importantly to trust themselves and their own intuition. They become open to new ways of problem solving and are willing to put away their ego for a rest.

I believe that struggle is an intrinsic part of personal growth. Nothing changes without struggle and pain. In coaching you can expect to wrestle with issues and struggle for solutions. If the issues were easy, you would not be seeking coaching! As your coach I am there to be there for you, supporting you, encouraging you, and asking the key questions which help to move you forward. I am there to provide synergy, novel approaches, new resources, and accountability. If this sounds like the approach you are seeking, please contact me to learn more about how to get started.

Finally, I walk my talk. I can help you resolve issues relating to stress, burnout, career/life imbalance, and career transitions from a position of prior personal experience. I have transitioned from academic practice to private practice and back to academic practice successfully. I have transitioned from full-time private practice to part-time private practice, to part-time academic practice successfully. In the process, I have reduced my clinical practice income by 70% and have survived to tell the story. Along my path, I have confronted my own burnout, revived a failing marriage, and learned how to manage my own balance for optimal health and happiness. Finally, I have carefully planned and executed my own retirement from clinical practice in a way which has yielded great satisfation, joy and meaning. You can learn from my life and career experience!