End the Struggle and Remember Why You Wanted to Be a Doctor
Let's talk about the number one threat to your financial plan: physician burnout. Without career longevity, those financial plans fall apart. That’s where Physician Burnout Coaching can help. Studies show that as many as 50% of doctors are burned out at any given time. The joy and excitement they felt when they were accepted to medical school or when they matched into their chosen specialty are long gone. Things have become even worse during the COVID pandemic and beyond with pressure on physician incomes, increased isolation, and outright hostility toward healthcare workers. On social media and in real life, doctors are hurting.
We want to help. We’ve screened the universe of physician coaches out there, particularly those who specialize in helping burned-out physicians rediscover the joy of doctoring. We’ve found and partnered with the most experienced and effective program we could find. Thousands of doctors have benefitted over many years from the methods and information taught by family practitioner Dike Drummond and his colleagues at the HappyMD, so we’re proud to partner with them to offer this valuable service. If you feel your financial plan is being threatened because you're feeling burned out, this might provide some of the tools and skills for which you've been waiting.
How to Combat Physician Burnout
Strategies to Reduce Physician Burnout
At The White Coat Investor, we've created something different for those physicians who are feeling burned out. Why go through WCI to help combat physician burnout? Well, we have created three different options that you can choose to aid in your healing to get you back to the place, mentally and physically, that will allow you to be at your best and to make sure you continue onward with your financial plan. We feel confident that if you choose one of these tracks, which include a team of physician coaches with 10 years' and 40,000 doctors' worth of experience, you'll begin finding the skills you need to heal your burnout and return you to being the doctor you've always wanted to be.
Here are the options:
Burnout Proof MD – A Year-Round Support System
This was created for a small community of physicians like you who will benefit from semi-private coaching. We could not find any other program like this, so we sought out the most experienced coaching program available, and together, we bring this great tool to you. With Dike Drummond MD (The Happy MD), white coat investors now have access to an amazing group of tools and training. We consider it to be the best value in the industry. You'll have weekly two-hour live coaching with a small group of physicians to make sure that you are on the right track. The program begins with extensive online training to give you the skillset and background to become your best you. For those who can't virtually attend every live coaching session, questions and discussion topics can be submitted beforehand, and the sessions will be recorded. Between the training, weekly group coaching, and private community, you will have the tools and support you need. WCI will also throw in our Continuing Financial Education 2021 course for free!
“I learned about Burnout Proof MD from the White Coat Investor. The membership has changed my life.
I knew my work situation was terrible and burnout was affecting many of my staff members, my partners as well as myself. I didn't realize that I could retrain my whole approach to work, time with my family and life in general. Through coaching and the training modules in the ecosystem I have learned to be more present in all three areas.
I am surprised how much I love the support of the weekly coaching group. I look forward to seeing everyone on the group calls. I value their input and I like the team-support approach. Even on days where I don't share much on a particular call, I feel better just having listened to the others.”
“On the weekly calls we understand what healthy communication and group dynamics feel like, the power of other people's stories and journeys, and that it is OK to be not OK. Most of all, we are all learning and evolving by sharing our experiences in real time and real context. And it is lots and lots of fun and VERY authentic – no B.S. allowed.”
“I've found a group of friends that I enjoy connecting with. To hear their stories and struggles with the practice of medicine is eye-opening for me. Dike is supportive, encouraging, straight forward and doesn't hesitate to redirect you if you need it. I've become a better person, physician and I hope, a better leader because of my participation in Dike's coaching. For that, I'm most grateful.”
“I was burned out and dreading going to work every day. I had become the jaded and angry doctor that I swore I would never be when I was a med student. I was so afraid that work would never get better, so why try. I felt trapped.
The beauty of the program is the simplicity and that the stress relief steps can merge into a busy life almost effortlessly. With a full-time job that has Q4 primary call and 2 kids under 2 years old, I don’t have time to squeeze extraneous things in. Dike’s program is distilled down to manageable sections even I could find time for.
I have my sanity back. I am happy again. It was like waking up from a bad dream and finding out that everything could be and would be okay again. I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I started feeling better. Now I enjoy time at home and at work more. I have changed for the better and am one step closer to being the physician I want to become and have a plan on how to get the rest of the way there.“
“Now I feel significantly more aware, involved and empowered. I am stronger and calmer and better equipped for the future. With Dike’s coaching I have noticed improvements in all aspects of my life. In my relationships with my husband, children and at work with my colleagues.”
“With each call my self-identity as a physician became smaller and other parts of my identity became larger (i.e. I am not just a physician, but a runner, yogi, mother, wife, meditator, cook, gardener, etc.). Having someone point out things that are not working in my life, the things that I can’t see for myself, has allowed me to focus on what I want and then make it happen.
I don’t really think I could place a dollar amount/value on it. For me, it has been life-altering in a way few other supportive relationships have been.“
“Almost immediately I noticed little changes in how I felt and interacted first with my family and then with my staff and patients. The stress relief wasn’t confined to the office, it spilled over into my entire life. I have my sanity back. I am happy again.”
“Within two coaching sessions, I began to feel more hopeful that I could learn a different set of skills to help me from feeling overwhelmed and burned out. It was invaluable to me both as a individual and as a physician.”
“I was surprised that in such a short time, I could begin to accept I am not perfect and that this is OK. I can learn from these experiences and be an even better doctor. It takes a load off and now the real work can begin.”
Burnout Proof MD is the best value available for doctors. It includes online materials, weekly group coaching, a private support community and the resources to help you have the skills and knowledge to reduce burnout and create more happiness at work and in all aspects of your life. Click the link below to get more information and view a recorded webinar that will give you all the details and make sure this is the right fit for you.
Private Coaching – One-on-One Coaching for Burnout
For those who prefer a completely private experience, we have a list of top-notch, curated physician coaches who can offer you coaching at a 1:1 ratio for as long as you need. Prices will be determined by each individual coach, but the money you spend will be well worth it. If you opt for this track, WCI will also throw in our Continuing Financial Education 2021 course for free!
Pam Pappas MD, MD(H) is a certified physician burnout prevention and leadership coach, integrative psychiatrist, author, mentor, and facilitator. Her medical practice provides integrative psychiatric care for adults with depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress-related health conditions. Through coaching, she helps doctors transform the stresses of medicine into their own unique paths of wholehearted living and working. This process benefits their individual and family lives, their medical teams, and their organizations.
Mark Jaben, MD is a physician wellness and burnout prevention coach and a board certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Mark has practiced Emergency Medicine for over 30 years, working in a wide variety of settings in the US and New Zealand. This has included both clinical work and a number of administrative and teaching roles.
Penelope Hsu, MD is a board-certified pediatrician and certified professional coach. Her current practice includes clinical pediatric care, private coaching and delivering leadership development programs for hospitals, health centers and agencies working to achieve a balanced, sustainable work culture. As a first-generation Asian American, who experienced her own burnout during residency, Penelope is focused on helping physicians reclaim the balance, purpose and passion in their lives.
Harjot Singh, MD is a keynote speaker, author, and a leadership consultant. He helps doctors and leaders master skills never taught in training so they can lead for success and live with joy.
Jackie McParlane, DO is an Emergency Physician and former Emergency Medicine Program Director with over 20 years of direct patient care experience. She is also an Integrative Medicine Practitioner, certified physician burnout coach and trainer.
Susan Leggett-Johnson, MD is a certified executive coach, board-certified internist, very experienced physician executive, mom and a woman of color in healthcare who plays an active role in addressing diversity, equity and inclusion issues in medicine. Susan is an expert in helping physicians recognize and recover from burnout and develop leadership skills especially if they are in a named leadership position.
Online Coaching – WCI-Curated Courses
WCI is proud to offer a number of burnout course products that will still offer you plenty of value. Check out these courses today:
Created by WCI, this course contains the material from our most popular “Fire Your Financial Advisor” course plus a new section on Physician Wellness and Burnout Prevention. The Physician Wellness presenters include Dr. Nisha Mehta, Dr. Fahd Ahmad, Dr. Dawn Baker, Dr. James Turner, Dr. Bonnie Koo, Dr. Jordan Grumet, and Dr. James Dahle. This material qualifies for up to 8 hours of CME/CE credit.
“So, I have you to thank for re-igniting that spark, which has led to getting our financial plan in order. And, I’ve even taken your advice on how to channel some of that financial energy after I’d done most of the big things: teach others. Last month, I began teaching a personal finance curriculum for my department’s residents! Hopefully, we can all take what you started to reach more and more physicians!”
Get a proven formula to find a much better job, now! Dr. Dike Drummond, of The Happy MD, will help you make a step-by-step action plan to find, interview, negotiate, and onboard yourself and your family into a new and much better practice.
“This new job is a much better match for my ideal job description and a dream I have had in the background for a long time. I will be doing work I enjoy, with people I trust and the six figure signing bonus is great. How do you put a price on sanity?”
Dr. Dike Drummond, of The Happy MD, will help you become the eye of the storm in your workday—calm, centered, focused, and present no matter what is going on around you—with a single breath-centering technique research-proven to be effective in practicing physicians.
“The program has given me back a sense of control in my life. It brought me back to being present with each of my patients. I feel like a healer again, not just someone who writes out prescriptions and makes referrals. I am still surprised that it doesn’t take any more time in my already packed work day; in fact it keeps giving me back time I would have normally wasted on worrying.”
What Is Physician Coaching?
Physician coaching, as a general rule, involves a physician coaching another physician through some aspect of their lives. Most commonly, it is due to an episode of burnout. However, it might also involve experiencing a malpractice lawsuit, becoming a physician executive, running a practice, or even starting a non-medical business. If a doc is coaching another doc, it's physician coaching. It usually involves changing mindset and eliminating negative ways of thinking that are keeping the doctor from doing their best at whatever it is that they want to do.
What Are the Benefits of Physician Burnout Coaching? (Does a Coach Work?)
There is precious little data on this topic. Anecdotally, both physician coaches and their clients speak of amazing, life-changing breakthroughs that have helped combat and manage their burnout. They frequently cite increased motivation, comfort, and confidence. Remember that a coach doesn't do anything to you or for you. They can only help you do something for yourself. If you are ready to make some real changes, a coach can aid you in that transformation.
Some of the best data on the topic came out of a JAMA article in 2019 about the effects of physician life coaching on burnout. The study took 88 internists, family physicians, and pediatricians and put 44 of them randomly into the “coaching group” who received 3 1/2 hours of coaching over six months. They were allowed to get coaching on whatever they wanted. This is what they discussed:
At the end of that six months, the coaching group had the following benefits:
- Emotional exhaustion scores decreased by 19.5% (increased 9.8% in control group)
- Burnout symptoms decreased by 17.1% (increased 4.9% in the control group)
- Overall quality of life increased by 20.3% (increased 1.5% in control group)
- Resilience increased by 4.2% (increased by 2.0% in control group)
Coaching did not seem to help:
- Depersonalization scores
- Proportion of physicians with high depersonalization
- Job satisfaction
- Measures of engagement and meaning at work
So yes, coaching works. However, the process is highly dependent on you wanting it to work. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
Is a Burnout Coach Worth the Money? How Much Does It Cost?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is all over the board. The coaching intervention in the study above cost about $1,400 per person for 3 1/2 hours of one-on-one coaching ($400 an hour), and that was several years ago. That is certainly on the low end of what you should expect to pay. There are numerous options in the four-figure range, but that is usually only for a limited time period of a few months. If you need ongoing help, it is going to cost more.
Here at the White Coat Investor, there are three different options for physician coaching. Online courses have the lowest cost but are oftentimes not enough by themselves and private or group coaching is required. We feel that Burnout Proof MD is the best value available in the coaching world and provides the right mix of online tools, community and group coaching. Don't be afraid to invest in yourself.
Remember, physician coaching is not going to be cheap. I know some physicians who are paying as much as $60,000 a year for their life coach and some business coaching programs that charge $150,000-$1 million a year. Most of them say it is worth it, but there is obviously a huge psychological incentive to not feel like you are wasting your money after such a significant purchase. A non-physician, non-executive coach can also be much cheaper, as little as $200-$1,000 per month, but most physicians want to be coached by someone who has been in their shoes.
But is it all worth the money? Consider a doctor so burned out that he or she is ready to quit tomorrow. If that coach can help them recover and design their ideal life and practice and help them to stay in the career another decade or two, what is that worth? Millions of dollars. So investing a few thousand to make millions can obviously be very worthwhile. The same principles can apply to business and other types of coaching. If your business grows 30% faster with a coach than without, what is that worth? Like most business investments, the return on investment cannot be known upfront.
At The White Coat Investor, though, we feel you'll get plenty of value by making this investment in yourself.
Is a Coach Just an Expensive Therapist?
Some burned-out doctors also suffer from depression and anxiety. Many physicians prefer to engage with a coach rather than a therapist to avoid stigmas associated with mental health issues and to avoid licensing and credentialing issues that may come up from seeking mental health care. While coaching may help with these conditions, this is not really their role. Both coaches and therapists help you to correct maladaptive thought processes, but if you have serious mental health conditions, we recommend you seek out professionals who specialize in treating those in addition to or instead of a coach who also happens to be a physician.
Are You Burned Out? Who Should Consider Physician Coaching?
Coaches and other advocates would say everyone should have a coach. Certainly, those struggling with burnout, which may be as much as 30%-50% of doctors, are highly likely to benefit. If you find yourself struggling with balancing home and work, achieving what you want in your career, starting a business, or building a practice, chances are good you can benefit from meeting with a coach. Many coaches even offer an introductory discovery session, where all you have to lose is your time.
Not Ready for a Burnout Coach, But Looking for Other Resources?
Coaching represents a commitment, not only financially and time-wise, but also in the form of a commitment to change your life. If you are not quite ready to make that, we would encourage you to seek out other resources until you are. These may include books, blogs, and online courses such as the following: