After a few years of practising as a staff emergency doctor at a busy academic hospital in downtown Toronto, I couldn’t explain away the lack of joy and meaning I found in my work. I was making a lot of money, getting promoted, and winning awards. My resume was perfect, but I was angry and bitter. It wasn’t until a patient told me that I was a mean doctor that I started to pay attention.
At the peak of my burnout, I went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, also known as "the Way of St. James." The solitude of those six weeks gave me clarity. When I returned, I hired a career coach. I discovered photography. I started writing again. I became a mother. I learned to simplify my priorities.
I learned to say no.
In my burnout recovery, I got rid of the head trash stories that limited me for so long by learning about shame resilience and the power of vulnerability. I developed a deep understanding of my core values as a learner and connector. I learned to trust myself rather than external validations of success. Then I built a system of habits to align my energy with my dreams.
My work as a burnout coach for doctors is deeply influenced by Dr. Brené Brown’s research on shame and vulnerability. Her work gave language to the emptiness I was feeling inside. Even during a pandemic, her lessons remind me that I don’t need to be a superhero mom and doctor. I am tired and often angry. And that’s okay.
I'm still in medicine, but I'm thriving beyond medicine. I found my way.
As your coach, I will help you find your own way too.