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Equipping Women in Medicine to Unapologetically Own Their Value,
Recognize Their Strength, Balance Their Life
Time: 3 AM
Location: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the hospital
I’m at the bedside of a 26 week preterm baby who is having difficulties. After medical interventions are implemented, all that is left to do is wait. Wait for some evidence that she is responding.
During the wait I hear it. I hear that voice inside me asking, “How did I get here again?” It’s not the first time. It’s certainly not the last time that I hear the inner whisper tugging at me. For years I’ve been trying to silence it, but it is persists.
It’s not that I don’t know how I got here. It’s that since my arrival I have had this feeling that there is something else I am meant to do. I’m a physician in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I’m passionate about the preterm and term newborns who need medical attention. I can’t imagine working in any other field of medicine. But the challenge is the 3 am telephone call to the parents, waking up mom and dad to say that their son or daughter is not doing well. Uncertain of the outcome, do I suggest that they make the trip to the hospital?
Like all doctors, I took the oath to do no harm, yet here I am delivering unbearable news to moms and dads about their baby’s health. This is not really what I had signed up for. I struggled with this for years, seeking guidance from colleagues and mentors who didn’t seem to have an answer either.
I struggled with it alone. I carried it with me, along with the rest of my life that looked great on the outside but really wasn’t working either.
My dream life as a doctor had turned into a life of mere existence. I’m divorced, raising 2 beautiful children as a single mom. Working as a hospitalist allowed me to be mom by day and doctor on nights and weekends. But there’s little time for anything else. I wonder what about me? When will it be my turn?
I work in a culture where the doctor is supposed to have all the answers, yet I had none. The years of studying and training and experience do not provide me with the answers I need to live the life that I had dreamed.
I work in a culture of medicine where doctors are not supposed to be vulnerable and yet here I am. Vulnerable. Who do I turn to for help? Very quickly it’s apparent that the world’s perspective of doctors is that we are strong and knowledgeable and almost super human.
The Shift Occurred …
I discovered the world of coaching. Or coaching found me. Either way it was a match.
I was looking to hire a life coach, someone to help me figure out where I had gone wrong and how to fix it. As I researched coaching, I was led to become a certified professional coach at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Everything changed. I released the need to ‘fix things’ and allowed more flow into my life. After certification I hired my first coach who ushered me on the journey of self-discovery and how to live again.
Life coaching blended beautifully with medicine and influenced how I show up for my patients and their families. I learned how to engage without feeling drained. Life became a journey of continual learning and experiencing and engaging and learning some more.
One client was a mom with a history of previous pregnancy losses, who gave birth to her daughter at 29 weeks gestation. Her experience was masked by her previous losses. Through coaching she learned the power of release and how to powerfully engage in her life again.
Fast forward, she has a beautiful daughter. Whenever we connect, she doesn’t thank me for my participation on the medical team during her daughter’s 12 weeks in the NICU. Rather, she is grateful that I said yes when she came to me for help. She shares that coaching with me was exactly what she needed to change her life, love her daughter before she was convinced she would make it, and be a wonderful mom.
I created and facilitated NICU 101: Parents as Partners Support Group at the local hospital and presented at parenting expos about the NICU experience.
Understanding the value of coaching and wanting to share it with other medical professionals, I created and facilitated the coaching workshop series, Best Life for Medical Professionals.
This journey, our journey, of walking alone, trying to figure it out by ourselves inspired me to create Nurturing MDs.com a coaching company equipping women in medicine to own their value, recognize their strength, and balance their life.
I coach Women in Medicine because…
It is time for us, women in medicine, to have the strategies, skill set, and support we need to have it all, a career in medicine and a life we love. Unfortunately we suffer in silence, not wanting to appear weak or less qualified. Even as doctors we experience the ‘I’m not good enough or something must be wrong with me syndrome’ when in fact everything is right with us. All we need are the next steps in our personal and professional expansion. Doctors who coach with me get that.
Are you ready for coaching?
My ideal clients are women in medicine who are ready and willing to explore the ‘When’ questions in their life:
When will it be my turn?
When will I start a family?
When will I pay off these student loans?
When will I stop second guessing myself?
When will my colleagues see me as an expert?
When will I have the schedule that honors my career and my home life?
These questions are entry into the deeper exploration of who you really are behind the scrubs, the white coat, and the stethoscope. It’s the journey that medical school and residency didn’t prepare for you. There can be a life beyond medicine. If you think your When may be Right Now then schedule a free Discovery Session at Stephanie@NurturingMDs.com to get started. Type My When Is Now in the subject line.