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Sep 21, 2018

In this episode of The Doctor’s Life podcast, host Dr. Dianne Ansari-Winn sits down with Dr. Katrina Ubell for an interesting discussion on how to approach making the decision to either leave or stay in the field of clinical medicine, and the individual journeys that led to them each leaving behind their calling as traditional physicians to become full-time life coaches. Dr. Katrina is a pediatrician and a certified life and weight loss coach who helps others through her program Weight Loss for Busy Physicians. Through this conversation, Dr. Dianne and Dr. Katrina build on their own experiences to share how the paths of their journeys led them to clinical medicine, but has since ultimately led them to leave the field as well. Dr. Dianne and Dr. Katrina, who were both experiencing varying degrees of depletion due to their work life, give personal insight into how they came to the decision to leave the field of medicine while not leaving their calling to still give back and help others.

To begin the conversation, Dr. Katrina describes what her life was like at the point that she found herself handing in her resignation at a successful private practice she’d worked at for 10 years. As she recalls, she feared her work life was becoming too stagnant for her to grow. Similarly, she also found herself being viewed as more of an instrument in a “money making machine”, rather than as a human being amongst a community of fellow physicians. After wrestling with these issues she knew she needed to make a life change, for her family’s sake and her own wellbeing. As she and Dr. Dianne discuss, having had previous exposure to life coaching (and finding it interesting), she began to give serious thought to what it would mean for her and others if she chose to leave the clinical medical field and become a life coach.

Knowing how beneficial it would have been to their own lives as physicians, Dr. Dianne and Dr. Katrina urge other physicians through this conversation to begin the process personal introspection as soon as possible. They urge other physicians to take into account: what strengths they have, what they like or enjoy, how they envision their life in the future, and how their goals and strengths currently work together. The goal here is to enable fellow physicians to start asking the difficult questions they waited so long to ask, which prolonged their frustrations and personal/professional challenges. Dr. Katrina likewise shares how a lack of introspection and false assumptions had previously kept her from laying all possible career options out on the table, leading to her declining opportunities without giving them a real chance. Understanding how detrimental that was, both Dr. Dianne and Dr. Katrina discuss how it is possible to create your dream job instead of just settling for the jobs that already exist around you.

Dr. Dianne and Dr. Katrina resolve their conversation by encouraging fellow physicians to seek out a life coach who is neutral, one who helps to sort out what is important to you, will help you explore your thoughts and feelings, and move toward living a better, healthier life. Because of their personal experience in the clinical medical field, they both know the perceived drawbacks and reasons why busy physicians stay away from seeking out life coaching, but it is because Dr. Dianne and Dr. Katrina have been through the proverbial trenches that they know just how important it is to have someone in your corner, encouraging you and working with you to invest in yourself for optimal wellness.

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