I Don’t Want to Earn My Stripes

Bye Bye Negative Thought #3: “I have to suffer in order to be relevant.”


Recently when being introduced, the MC shared that they had experienced severe burnout at least 2 times so far in their career and said, “Dr. Errin is a life coach for physicians in burnout, but she’s so young and just wait when you've been through it a few times.”

As part of my work on my business, I recently reached out to a colleague coach to share about my practice working with fellow doctor moms who want to create a sustainable work/life balance and ask for their help. They responded to me that four years in medical practice was just not enough time for other doctors to respect me. “You have to put in your time, earn your stripes.”

I TOTALLY DISAGREE


I don’t think we need to burn out multiple times or stick out a job in which we’re miserable for 20 years just to earn other doctors’ respect. Instead of putting younger doctors down, we should be saying, “Hey kid - don’t go the way I went. Let’s create a better way.”

I went through med school. I was a grade A resident. I am smart, driven and ambitious. And I now I realize that I want a life outside of medicine. If “earning my stripes” means “missing my kids’ childhoods, not connecting with my spouse, and being completely burned out and miserable for 30 years,” you can forget it.

There’s a quote from A League of Their Own that says, “It’s the hard that makes it great.” That is the premise of medical training. But here’s the thing: it would be fine if “hard” was just a short stretch of time. For example, when you’re in med school you were on a hard rotation for a few weeks - but then you knew it would be over and you’d move into something else, where there was a little breathing room.

But when is the “hard” ever over in medicine?

  • When you’re on vacation?

  • When you retire?

  • When you become an administrator?

  • When you quit?

A recent study found that if doctors are doing a passion project during just 20% of their work time, that was enough to negate burnout. The passion project might involve performing a certain procedure, working with a certain disease state or with a certain population type. Just 20% of time on the part of their job they loved the most made the other 80% tolerable.

We need to find a new way to create careers for doctors that aren’t miserable.

The change starts with us.

It starts with us getting clear on what we want and asking for it. If our employer won’t give it to us, we can find one that will.

That’s why I became a coach: to empower my fellow doctor moms to create sustainable work/life balances. It CAN be done. And if we don’t ask - if we don’t demand - that medicine enable us to be doctors AND parents, then it’s our fault if nothing changes.

If you’re ready to create a sustainable work/life balance, let’s talk on a free colleague-to-colleague call. Schedule HERE.


Please, throw your life away...now, let me explain

Bye Bye Negative Thought #2: “I’m throwing away my life if I...”

Have you had this thought? I’m throwing away my life if I…

  • Leave my practice

  • Leave medicine

  • Leave medicine before I pay off my student loans

  • Change careers

  • Do something that doesn’t require 7 years of schooling and then on-the-job training

  • Do something that doesn’t include the title “Dr.”

  • Choose a different career path that feels fun and exciting but doesn’t garner the same societal respect as medicine


What if we look at that thought, “I’m throwing away my life if…” in a different way?

Think about what we throw away: GARBAGE.

  • Where in your life do you feel like garbage right now?

  • Does your job make you feel like garbage?

  • Do the hours you work completely trash your body?

  • Does your boss make you feel disrespected?

What if you threw away the life that makes you feel like garbage?

Please, throw that life away. The life that feels horrible. The life that doesn’t allow you to be fully you. The life that isn’t serving you. Please throw that life away.

Any avenue that brings you happiness and joy is not a throwaway life. Any life that allows you to be more fully yourself and more fully present with your loved ones is not a throwaway life.

Here’s what I want you to hear, my dear friend: it’s okay to change.

In so many cases, “throwing your life away” can actually be the bravest, truest thing you can do.

I’ve done it.

I left my practice, even though they did not grant me a buyout of my noncompete clause.

I became a life coach, even though most of my doctor friends think it’s crazy.

And now I’m planning to leave my ER job, because I asked for some concessions that they refused.

I’ve “thrown my life away” a few times, but here’s what I’ve found:

The new version of my life is SO MUCH BETTER than staying where I was.

Every single time, it’s been better.

Do you have something in mind that excites you, but you tell yourself it would be “throwing away your life”? Sometimes you just need a neutral person to talk things through with! Book a free 60-minute colleague-to-colleague call. I’d love to talk to you about this!

Your options are LIMITLESS

Bye Bye Negative Thought #1: “I can’t do anything other than what I’m doing right now.”

SO many of my doctor colleagues and mom friends struggle with negative thoughts that make them feel trapped, desperate and defeated.

For example, many believe that the job they have now is the only job they can ever have in medicine and they just have to endure it - even when it’s horrible and sucking the life out of them.

I have a counterintuitive exercise I recommend that can work wonders on this totally false and negative thought.

It’s called “Positive Jealousy”

Now, I know that you were warned as a child to avoid the green-eyed monster, and not to feel jealous because nice girls (or boys) don’t feel jealous; instead they’re gracious and grateful.

Well … positive jealousy can actually be an amazing tool to help you make your life better.

Here’s what I mean.

Last year, I was super jealous of my business coach Susan Hyatt. Susan was organizing fucking AMAZING retreats for women in glamorous locations all around the world - like France, Scotland, and Italy. OMG...I was so jealous! It looked amazing! I wanted to be there.

I had a huge shift when I realized I could use positive jealousy to identify what I wanted and create it for myself, instead of just feeling pissed off and sorry for myself that I didn’t have what Susan had.

I realized that I wanted to create retreats for women. I wanted to go to amazing places and have amazing experiences doing what I love. So I leveled up but I did it!

I just held my first Women in the Wild retreat, and it was a huge success! We had 31 women who came together for 24 hours for outdoor adventures, yoga, and personal development. It was so much fun.

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So I ask you, where are you feeling jealous? Maybe it’s that colleague or doctor friend who just got back from Mexico and posted fabulous pictures. Or it’s another friend who looks like she is having fun at work.

How might you channel that positive jealousy to create an opportunity or possibility for yourself?

How might you think outside the box?

Don’t let yourself take the easy way out. (“It’s easy for her to go part-time; her spouse makes a ton of money.” “My administrator would never agree to the arrangement she has.” “She’s always been brave and things come easy for her.”)

Admit to yourself what it is that you want in your professional situation!

Then ASK FOR IT!

If you want some pointers on how to ask, check out my new free guide, Asking for What You Need at Work.

And if you’d love to talk to someone about how to take the sting out of the thought “I can’t do anything other than what I’m doing right now,” book a free 60-minute colleague-to-colleague call. I’d love to talk to you!

Toxicity in the Workplace - You’re Not Imagining It

As doctors, we are trained to tough it out. Med school and residency are grueling on purpose. We make life-or-death decisions every day, and medicine is not for the faint of heart.

But today I want to address the fact that many, many medical workplaces are toxic - especially for female doctors. You are not imagining it.

There’s this little gem that I recently ranted about on Facebook:

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My first reaction was, OH NO YOU DIDN’T!!

The truth is that female doctors are paid less when all other factors are equal. And that is WRONG.

Here’s what’s even more upsetting: there are female doctors who agree with him. (One of them is a close friend of mine.)

We have been so brainwashed by the every-man-for-himself, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, toughen-up culture of medicine that we can’t even see when our own situations are toxic.

Let’s look a little deeper at the subtler sexism of Gary Tigges’s words - “most of the time, their [female doctors’] priority is something else...family, social, whatever.” There’s a TON of research on the fact that despite lots of growth in the past few decades, women still shoulder the bulk of “emotional labor” outside the workplace - cooking, cleaning, childcare, organizing the household, remembering to schedule pediatrician appointments, remembering who has pajama day at school, and all the details of family life that require attention. (And, oh right, growing babies inside our bodies and then giving  birth to them and feeding them to keep them alive.)

So yes. When you’re a mother/doctor/badass, your family IS a priority. And we should not be penalized for that.

Then there are the sexist situations that show up randomly in your workplace.

When I was in family medicine, my (all male) colleagues asked me to organize staff gifts at Christmas. (Before I came on board, their wives used to do it.)

When I walk into an exam room in the ER, people often ask me if I’m the nurse or student.

When staff uses my first name instead of Dr. Weisman

When nurses get out all equipment needed for an I&D for my male partners and leave me hanging saying, “Oh did you need help?”

There’s a lot that needs to change in medicine. And my rallying call to all you mother/doctor/badasses out there is this: we need to be healthy enough ourselves so that we can work for the sea change that medical culture requires.

Because things can’t stay like this!

I don’t want you to feel discouraged. I want you, today, to recognize that if you’ve encountered some of this toxic culture, it is NOT normal.

Good. Now that you know that, I want you to take some time for yourself today. Even if it’s a 10-minute break for a cup of tea, or a walk around the hospital, or a 15-minute cat nap in your car. Do something to rest and refuel. ‘Cause we need to be strong to make the changes our industry needs.

If you’ve been struggling with toxicity in your workplace, sign up for a free 60-minute colleague-to-colleague call. I’ve heard pretty much everything and I can help advise you on how to handle it (including when you might need to seek legal advice or file a complaint with HR).

Move Beyond Survival Mode

I recently talked to a client who said, “I try to read all these self-help books, but it’s like the material doesn’t even sink in.”

I knew exactly what she meant.

When I was in the midst of my burnout, I couldn’t read self-help either! I was so entrenched in just surviving my totally overwhelming life that I could not create a way out of it.

If you’re in this space, I want you to know that you’re not crazy - and that life CAN get better.

Instead of trying to figure out your next move from an exhausted, overwhelmed, depressed, burned out place, I want you to step back.

You don’t need to make any decisions now.

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat Pray Love, she describes a time in her life when she was sobbing on the bathroom floor, saying over and over to herself, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. Please tell me what to do.”

And these words came into her mind: Go back to bed, Liz.

She described how these words were such a relief to her. She didn’t hear some magical message telling her whether or not she should divorce her husband. Instead, the advice from her wisest self was to rest up before she tried to make a big decision.

My advice to you is the same.

How can you make space for yourself today, or this week, so that you have the physical rest and mental clarity?

Do you need to go to your boss and take two weeks off to get your life together?

Do you need to request Wednesday afternoons off to go do that thing you want to do?

Do you need to come in 15 minutes later in the mornings so it’s not such a struggle to get your children to daycare/school?

Do you need to take sick time or vacation time or a sabbatical, so you can have some time to listen to that still voice in your heart?

Figure out what it is for you - how you’ll make space for your body and mind to rest so that you can discern your next right move.

And then do it. I’ll be right here, cheering you on!

If you’d like advice on how to request time off or a reduced schedule, schedule a free 60-minute colleague to colleague call. I’ll share with you exactly how I advocated for myself to get the reduced schedule I need for mental clarity, my life and my family.

Remember that You’re Not Alone

Our dread of Monday and our dread of work is often compounded by a feeling of isolation.

When I began practicing medicine 4 years ago, I was the only female doctor in Pike County, Indiana. The whole DAMN county!!!

If you’re feeling isolated as a female physician in what really is still a man’s world, know that you’re not alone.

Reach out to your female doctor friends from med school and residency. The culture of medicine often encourages us to keep a stiff upper lip, but just sharing our struggles can be a huge release valve for the stress we face every single day.

Locally, I helped start a “Women in Medicine” group where local female physicians come together every other month or so. At each meeting, we answer 2 questions: What has been your best moment since we last met? What has been your biggest struggle? GOD...it is so amazing to hear other women’s stories because I hear and see myself in them. If you don’t have this in your life, GET YOU SOME! If you are even remotely close to me, COME!

Join a Facebook group. I recently started a group called Mother Doctor Badass because that’s what we all are! We share our stories and encourage each other and right now, I’m running a 7-week series on work/life balance. It’s totally free to anyone who joins.

Even though life can feel so unbalanced, achieving a balance that works for you and your family IS possible! Stop going at it alone. If you don’t join my group (which I think you should and invite all your friends), JOIN SOMETHING! A crochet group, a group about dogs, one on naked yoga, WHATEVER. Just start making connections!


Listen to an empowering podcast. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of negative thoughts. Here’s a list of my favorite podcasts to lift me out of the sludge!

Susan Hyatt’s GO! Podcast: For an inspiring 5-7 minute Monday morning pep talk, listen to the first 160 episodes of this gem! She recently rebranded the podcast as the Rich Coach Club - still super inspiring and worth listening to, but listen to the back episodes for those short-and-sweet Monday morning pep talks.


Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert: These creativity consultations with artists who are struggling to create will inspire you to release your own self-sabotage and blocks and live your life more creatively, whether you’re an artist or not.

Talk to a coach. I’ve shared before that I chose to work with a coach during my own experience of burnout as a doctor, instead of a therapist, because in Indiana seeking mental health services can trigger a review of your medical license. (That is a topic for another day! As doctors we advocate for mental health services for our patients but get penalized when we seek help ourselves. This is crazy!)

In September and October I’m offering a limited number of free 60-minute colleague-to-colleague consultations. Bring me your toughest problem - whether it’s Sunday dread, work/life balance, or work expectations that are just completely unrealistic - and I’ll help you shed some light on it.

Remember: it’s HEALTHY to reach out. Shame hides, but there’s so much freedom in openness, honesty, and vulnerability.

Imagining Your Ideal Practice

So many of us absolutely dread going into the office, clinic, or hospital on Monday mornings (or whenever your work week typically starts).

We hate our jobs and believe “this is just the way it is.”

We stop imagining anything different.

Today I’d love for you to imagine with me. We’re going to imagine your perfect practice.

Side note: This only works if you actually DO it.  You can’t just read about it! The same way we go about doing a procedure for the very first time. You read about it, double checked in a different manual, watched your attending do it and then jump in and actually go. Feels awkward and uncoordinated but you complete it. Same with these exercises... get yo' paper and pen and write this out! :)


Let’s suspend disbelief for a moment and imagine that someone came to you and offered to pay you your ideal salary for practicing medicine in your ideal setting. What would that look like?

Ask yourself these questions, and take time to come up with and write out your answers:

  • What would my perfect practice look like?

  • How would I feel working in my perfect practice?

  • What would be my practice's mission?

  • What patient types would I care for?

  • How would my typical perfect day go? (Include an actual schedule)

  • What is the culture that I want surrounding me?

  • What is your ideal amount of hours?

  • What does my vacation time look like?

  • When are your days off?

  • What other responsibilities would you gladly perform? (On-call? Nursing home rounds? Volunteer activities? Medical trips? Additional education or teaching?)

  • Where, in your perfect practice, is there space to grow?


Where can you make one small tweak this week to make your current position closer to your ideal position?

Can you trade additional responsibilities with someone?

Offer to focus solely on one or two patient types?

Make a small change to your schedule, like blocking of break time, lunch time, or time to catch up on charting?

How can you live your ideal practice’s mission in some small way this week?


I’d love to hear about your ideal practice and help you explore more ways that you can start bringing that flavor into your current role. SIf you’d love to take this exercise a little further and want help dreaming up more creative possibilities, I’d love to talk. Schedule with me HERE

I got your back!

Errin

A Creative Thought Exercise for Career Slumps

If you spend Sundays in a bad mood because you’re dreading Monday morning, you’re not alone.

But I want to tell you: there’s a better way to live, and I want to help you find it.


Often, our experience of Sunday dread is closely tied with the experience of feeling stuck.

We feel stuck in a job that we hate, and we have to keep doing that job. Because [we have to pay off our student loans, save for our kids’ college fund, pay the mortgage, support our spouse and family, etc…].

We can’t possibly change jobs because [we have a noncompete clause, we can’t change specialties without going back to residency/school, we don’t want to move, we don’t want to take a pay cut, we don't want to appear a failure…].

So we have locked ourselves into a circumstance that we believe we cannot or will not change.


As doctors, we are always fact collecting. We are obsessed with having the right answer -- because, of course, our patients’ lives often depend on it!

But that obsession with the right answer can backfire when we’re trying to create a fulfilling life. Because there is no right answer. There is only what works for us, and what doesn’t.

Yet so many of us are killing ourselves to fit into a certain mold of what it means to be a doctor, to be a wife, to be a mother, to be a good provider, that we can’t seem to see that the answers the world holds up are simply not working for us.

So let’s do a little creative thinking exercise...da da daaaaa


Imagine that you wake up tomorrow and the type of medicine you practice (family medicine, ER, radiology, surgery, Peds, Ob, whatever) can no longer be done.

The government has outlawed it. Your practice or your specialty is out of business, forever. Your hospital/your organization gone off the face of the Earth. There are no more family medicine offices; there’s no more surgeries; there are no more ERs. No more of what you do currently.

What would you do next?

What kind of medicine would you practice if you couldn’t do what you’re doing now?

In what kind of setting would you practice?

If you absolutely had to move tomorrow, to flee a coming plague, where would you move to and why?

If you were already rethinking everything -- location, specialty, setting -- what else would you change?

If you got to pick all over again, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?


The point of this exercise is to recognize how much we limit ourselves in our own thinking. How much we lock ourselves into a single course of action.

When truly, there are millions of paths.

Millions of opportunities for you to create the life you’re dreaming of.


 

If you’d love to take this exercise a little further and want help dreaming up more creative possibilities, I’d love to talk. Schedule with me HERE

5 Tips for a Happier Monday Morning

Let’s dive into 5 fun ways to make your Monday morning less dreadful.

1. Remind yourself “this is not my forever.”

When one of my administrators told me, “I hope you’ll stay with us for 30 years,” I wanted to start bawling and crawl into the fetal position! Feeling like you have to stay in a position until you retire can feel huge, immovable and impossible. But reminding yourself, “This is just my ‘right now’” can relieve so much of that pressure - your circumstance can and will change.

 

2. Reduce Contaminated Time

Brigid Schulte, author of the book Overwhelm, talks about the concept of “contaminated time,” from psychology. Contaminated time is when we are doing one thing but thinking of something else (or six other things).

Contaminated time is when you’re at work but stressing over whether you took diapers to daycare, or worrying about what you’ll make for dinner that night, or freaking out about your kid’s [insert thing you’re worried about for your kids today]. Contaminated time is when you’re home with your family but you’re worried about a patient or a situation with a colleague.

Contaminated time is extremely stressful. So when you find yourself engaging in it, repeat to yourself: “I’m just going to be here.” Just be with this patient in this moment. Just complete this chart. Just be with your child in this moment.

Just this.

 

3. Find someone to be your accountability shoulder.

This is a trusted friend, colleague or coach who is going to support you as you move to making changes in your life (changes that will reduce and eventually eliminate your Sunday dread!). This person is a combination of a shoulder to cry on when you’re tired or discouraged, and also an accountability partner who is going to push you to do hard things.

This person will pick you up when you’re down; they’ll cry with you; and they’ll also check in on your progress in a supportive, encouraging way.

As doctors, we’re taught to be very stoic and private with our emotions. It is key that you have an accountability shoulder (preferably, outside of your spouse) who can support you in your journey. I can certainly be that person for you!

 

4. Set boundaries to keep good things in.

We often talk about setting boundaries to keep things that we don’t want out. We need to remember that boundaries also keep good things in (like a fence for your dog … or your toddler!).

Setting boundaries with your time allows you to keep the good things in your life that you love. If you’re asked to be on yet another committee at work, remember that you’re setting a boundary (perhaps, ‘no more commitments’) so that you can keep the good things in your life in place.

If the room mom for your son’s class asks you to bring cookies, offer to give her a check to cover dessert. And don’t feel guilty!

 

5. Put your action steps into practice.

If you haven’t read the previous post, "Beating Sunday Dread: Finding More Joy in Your Current Situation", go check it out! I walk you through a process for identifying the source of your dread and addressing it at the root cause. Once you do that, you’ll generate some action steps that are guaranteed to reduce your dread. Go to it!

 

If you’re stuck in the Sunday dreads, I want to help! I’m offering a colleague to colleague call specifically on the topic of Sunday dreads. Sign up HERE

Beating Sunday Dread: Finding More Joy in Your Current Situation

Peel back the layers

The first thing we’re going to do this week is peel back the layers.

We’re going to recognize the source of all this Sunday dread.

It’s not “I have to go back to work tomorrow.”

What is it about work that’s causing you to feel so much dread? Don’t let yourself off with a glib answer here. Really pinpoint the specific things that you dread dealing with.

For example, maybe you’re thinking, “I’m so busy. My schedule is just insane.”

Or maybe you’re always behind in your charting and you feel like you’ll never catch up.

Okay: when your schedule is full or you’re behind on charting, how do you feel? Maybe you feel overwhelmed and out of control.

Identify the root cause, and how it makes you feel.

 

Address the root cause

Once you’ve identified the root cause, we can start addressing it!

Because we can totally fix feeling overwhelmed and out of control! In my own practice, I used to build breaks into my schedule. The office staff knew that if they wanted to book a patient during those times, they had to come talk to me or my nurse first. I partnered with my nurse and she helped me hold boundaries.

I also created more control and less overwhelm for myself by using rituals at the start and end of the day. At the start of the day, I take a moment in the car to become Dr. Weisman, to step into her shoes. At the end of the day, I text my husband that "Coming home" and then sit in the driver's seat and say to myself, "I'm really coming home" which signifies to me stepping away from Dr. Weisman and back into my role as Errin and Mommy.

If you struggle with charting, consider some additional solutions to you doing it all on your own. Can you get a scribe? Can you use voice notes? Can you have a nurse do pre-visit documentation? Are you over-documenting because of some other deeper fears?

 

Plan your action steps

Once you’ve come up with some next steps, plan them out. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor, ask a nurse to do pre-visit documentation.

Communicate these frustrations to your boss AND present them with the couple of action steps/options for solving them. He or she will appreciate you already doing the heavy thinking and will be more likely to help you. Also take the initiative to make changes that you can WITHOUT asking if it's not necessary.

Because remember: there’s a doctor shortage! Healthcare needs us, good doctors. It’s in your employer’s best interest to keep you happy, thriving and flourishing.

During my own burnout, I realized that I hated my office and felt very uncomfortable in it. It wasn’t decorated according to my taste. Once I realized this, I brought in more things that made the space feel comfortable to me. I hung a large picture of my family in every exam room. So many of my patients commented on that photo -- they felt a deeper connection to me, and I was happier every time I walked in not only did I see my patient, I got to see my loves too.

 

Work your plan

Follow through on what you planned to do.

There are going to be obstacles -- some from other people, and some from yourself! You’re going to worry about pissing off your nurse or what people will say if you start making changes (like bringing stuff from home in). Do it anyway! 

 

If you’re stuck in the Sunday dreads, I want to help! I’m offering a colleague to colleague call specifically on the topic of Sunday dreads. Sign up HERE

Using Sunday Dread as an Indicator

Find small moments you don’t hate

It’s easy to think general thoughts like, “I hate my job so much.”

Practice finding small moments that you don’t hate, whether it’s seeing a favorite patient, drinking your coffee with a colleague in the morning, or carving out a short lunch break. Cling to those little bits of goodness.

 

Get control of the situation

I used to see Sunday dread as something that happens to me. My recurring thought when thinking about my job was, “I have to do this, but I hate it so much.”

When I finally began to realize that, "I don't actually have to do this job that I hate." Major shift for me.

I started to think about what I really wanted and needed, and I started to ask for it.

 

Be ready to change

When I started asking for what I wanted and needed at work, those requests were denied. At that point, I recognized that I had to change, and I had to be willing to walk away to preserve my happiness and sanity.

I was terrified of my noncompete (I know many of you are!). I asked my employer to rescind the clause; they refused.

And then I left anyway. And hear me: it was okay. I asked doctor colleagues for referrals and I found a different job pretty easily, without having to relocate my family.

My noncompete is now expired. I did it!

 

Sunday dread is an indicator

When I was going through burnout, I thought Sunday dread was going to be part of my life for the next 30+ years of my career. (I actually felt intense dread pretty much every night of the week about going to work.)

Now, I know that it’s an indicator that it’s time to change. When Sunday dread starts creeping in, it’s simply guidance from your inner wisdom that the job you’re in is not right for you.

If you’re stuck in the Sunday dreads, I want to help! I’m offering a free colleague to colleague call specifically on the topic of Sunday dreads. Sign up HERE

Overcoming the Sunday Dreads Series

You know the feeling of Sunday dread. (Maybe it starts on Saturday for you...it did for me at times!)

You’re dreading Monday morning. You feel that lead weight in the pit of your stomach or that heaviness on you. You’re short with your spouse, you snap at your kids, you start feeling depressed and anxious. Your brain starts going a million miles a minute, thinking about the week ahead. One doctor I talked to will wait until her family is in bed every Sunday night and then does job searches on LinkedIn for hours.

In case you think “everybody lives this way,” I just want to say, gently, this is not normal.

This is not all you were meant for.

There’s a better way to live, and I want to help you find it. Over the next few months, I will be launching a blog each Sunday to help you overcoming the Sunday Dreads & building a life you love every fucking day!

Noncompete Countdown: 0 days to go!!

Today is the DAY!  My one-year noncompete expires!

And yes, we are having a party. Let me rephrase, I am throwing myself a backyard FIESTA surrounded by friends and family to commemorate telling my old contract to SUCK IT!

Let me share a letter I wrote to my non-compete:


Non-Compete,

This is my official notice that today, you no longer have any power in my life.

I remember finding out about you when I received that employment contract. I had been warned against you and even asked for you to be removed. They said, “No” so I acknowledged your presence and I signed up for you anyway.

Little did I know what type of anguish, power and turmoil you could bring to my life.

But now, as I look back exactly one year ago from when your terms started...You weren’t as important as you felt. You were just words on a page, placed in a document to control and scare me. Your paragraphs were a small fragment blacking out in a whole huge spectrum of work that I could do in this world. The people behind you used your presence as a weapon to bully me, make me feel insignificant and trapped.

So thanks for representing the last set of chains attached to me holding me back from a life of well lived. You may not know it but for you helped me find the work I’m truly meant to do.  

Today, as I celebrate your expiration, I will also be working with my state medical association to stop your colleagues from residing in contracts of my colleagues. Because your clause hurt me, my patients, my colleagues and healthcare as a whole.

Bye Bye Felicia!

Errin Weisman D.O.


Don’t let fear hold you in place. You were meant to be free.

A noncompete is not a stumbling block. It’s simply a challenge.

And when have you ever let a challenge stop you? I’m guessing … never.

So tackle this challenge head on, sister. I believe in you!

If you want to talk about how to leave a job well (even if you have a noncompete), let’s set up a time to chat HERE

Noncompete Countdown: 3 days to go!

One thing that held me back for a long time from leaving my past position was this fear that if I left, I was a failure.

Doctors do not fail.

We survive med school. We survive residency. We heal. We save lives. We give birth to our own children and then go back to work four weeks later all in the name of medicine.

We are tough and we do not fail.

So making a change in direction, leaving a practice, moving to a different specialty, redoing a residency, taking a different position...all of these may appear to be choosing to ‘fail’ (as we see it). All of it can be paralyzing.

But here’s how I like to look at it now: for me, leaving was FAILING FORWARD. I was “failing” at family medicine, maybe (or really, just recognizing that that particular job, that particular office, was not a good fit for me at this stage of life...or maybe ever!) … but I was taking a step forward. Staying there would truly have been failing in place … failing to find a job I loved and staying STUCK in the same place.

FAIL FORWARD, friend. Keep failing, keep moving forward. Do NOT fail and stay stuck in place!

If you want to talk about how to leave a job well (even if you have a noncompete), let’s set up a time to chat here: https://buff.ly/2PpehFn

Noncompete Countdown: 6 days to go!

On August 31, my noncompete ends!

Guess what, doctor colleagues?

  • I did not die.
  • My family did not starve.
  • We did not have to move.
  • I still practice medicine.
  • I still can pay my student loan bills.

If you are MISERABLE in your job and your noncompete is the only thing holding you back, I’m here to tell you...it does not need to be a deadstop in your world.

If you let it, it can be an opportunity: to think creatively, to try something new, to stretch yourself as a doctor … and to find happiness.

Aren’t those things totally worth facing even with a little bit (or lot of bit in my case) of fear?

If you want to talk about how to leave a job well (even if you have a noncompete), let’s set up a time to chat here: https://buff.ly/2PpehFn

Bye Bye Noncompete Countdown: 10 days to go!

On August 31, my noncompete ends!

AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!!

When I was practicing in my previous practice, my noncompete clause had so much power over me. It felt like a prisoner’s chain strapping me to the boulder of unfulfilling work, misery and burnout.

I didn’t want to relocate my family and I felt that I couldn’t afford not to work there. How the heck was I going to find a job?

It wasn’t until I had a huge epiphany...my non-compete were just words on a page, placed in a document to control and scare me. In reality, those paragraphs were a small fragment blacking out in a whole huge spectrum of work that I could do in this world.

Still being scared, I asked my organization to release me from my noncompete clause, and they declined.

In the end, I left anyway. I walked away still dragging this feeling of baggage behind me but determined to drag this load forward and not let it hold me back! (Just like dragging those obstacles in Spartan races)

And guess what? The world didn’t end. I networked, I looked for opportunities, I consulted with attorneys and other colleagues who had been through this. I started speaking openly about searching for a new job.

I got so many offers!

I took a job in emergency medicine (outside my non-compete) with a private physician group (also outside my non-compete) and guess what again? I have been so much more happy this entire year.

If you’re scared of your noncompete clause, I’ll just say: it doesn’t have to own you. I’m now celebrating this last set of chains being stripped away that no longer has the power to hold me back from a life of fulfillment.

I want to talk with you about how to leave your job well (even if you have a noncompete) and move into a life well lived! Let’s set up a time to talk! Click HERE

 

Be Moana, Not a Flower: You are Never Stuck

Welcome to another day of burnout recovery week! It sounds like we're going to AA or something. But really I'm talking about recovery from burnout in your professional life. I truly believe that you can have a job that you love to go to. It can be sustainable for your life and you can stop taking vacations just to get away from the office.

Today, we're going to talk about feeling stuck. For me, there is no worse feeling then when I feel like that I am stuck. I HATE NOT being able to move from a situation or figure out how to make it better. I get frustrated and grouchy when I feel like I'm pinned in the corner. I'm like a caged animal that just wants to come after your jugular and fight my way out of it.

But guess what I've learned. It's not about fighting your way out of a situation. It's about shifting your mindset to realize you aren't really stuck. Instead of thinking you're locked in a box, maybe you just need to turn the handle and step out!

Here are my suggestions on how to remind yourself that you are really never stuck:

“You are not a flower, move your ass.”

Have you seen the social media square that says "Bloom where you are planted"?

Well I'm going to be honest with you, I hate that graphic.

To me, it's like saying, "Well...your situation sucks but just stay there and do your best."

Yes, we have to make our situation the best that we can. However, when we give up trying to change our situation...that's accepting defeat.

That's accepting that you are stuck in a situation and limiting the possibilities that it can change.

So, I say pull up the damn roots and move out of that garden!

Maybe it's in your practice? Maybe it's time to change locations where you live? Maybe it's time to prune out some relationships in your life that are not healthy?

No matter what it is, stop “just dealing with it” and commit to making a change!

“Your job does not define you”

As a mother of three young children, we have a lot of Moana in our lives. But that’s ok because I think it is a WONDERFUL movie. I catch myself singing “this does not define you...This is not who you are...You know who you are.”

If you don’t know, Moana is a girl who will lead her people after her father.

"I can lead with pride

I can make us strong

I'll be satisfied if I play along

But the voice inside sings a different song

What is wrong with me"

She's loves her island but had a deep yearning for the sea, “it calls me.”

Like Moana, we all have things we are committed to and that we do love (our island, our people) but we have the one little part deep down inside of us that we can't get off our minds, it calls to us.

We see others doing or experiencing that thing we secretly desire. Don’t get caught in the mindset that you are stuck where you are. Because that yearning, it means something. It is hard to step out on it. Just like it was scary for Moana to jump in a boat and sail the ocean having never been off her island. But the payoff…..it’s priceless.

 

Listen to Moana’s Gramma Tala:

You are your father's daughter

Stubbornness and pride

Mind what he says but remember

You may hear a voice inside

And if the voice starts to whisper

To follow the farthest star

Moana, that voice inside is

Who you are

TOP EXCUSES WHY YOU CAN'T CHANGE

Quitting your job image.png

I've heard all the reason why you can't make changes. Hell, I've even spoken most of them myself. Let me tell them to you and why it's just not true…

 

“I’m stuck in this position because I am participating in a loan repayment program.”

Yes, those agreements have some penalties for not completing them: immediate or full repayment, increase in interest rates, an added penalty. So what!

Take the hit and get out. Why stay miserable for a 16% interest rate or 10k? Isn't feeling better WORTH it!

Get creative on how to pay the penalties or additional interest and GET OUT FROM UNDER THIS ENSLAVING CONTRACT!

Ask help from someone who has been in a similar situation to you and see how they handled the potential penalties. (ahh-hhmm...been there...maybe I can help!)

Ask to be released from the contract. (You never get what you don't ask for.)

Find a position that is willing to take on these burdens as part of your signing bonus. Or ask your new company/group to take this on as part of your compensation model.

Think: Are these penalties really that bad or am I making them bigger than what they really are?

No matter, do not let these burdens keep you in a place of darkness, feeling trapped or indebted.

 

“I can't leave my job because I really love some of my patients.”

Best advice I ever got on this topic was… ‘There's always one more patient. You have to learn to walk away.’

We do become really attached to our people. I have wept with patients, for patients and because of patients. At the end of the day, you cannot do this because of other people. Live your life and work your work for YOURSELF. You can't be fulfilled if you living your life for other people who aren't even in your family!?!

Your fulfillment must come from inside of you and your passions.

You will continue to touch lives no matter where you go and what you do.

Sure, you will miss these current relationships. But you will also make new relationship.  

You may be missing out on helping and curing patients you may never have interacted with if you stay where you are now. That's a food for thought!!!

 

“If I quit, then I'm a failure at medicine." -or- "If I quit then I'm just not cut out for this." 

Did you get through medical school?

Did you get through residency?

Did you pass your boards?

Where in the hell do you see any failure in that?

Just because a job doesn't work out, it doesn't mean that you are inadequate or incapable of being a wonderful physician.

In no way are you an absolute failure because you recognize that where you're working is not aligning with who you are as a person! 

This is where I get clear about the difference between a job, profession and career. Your job is where you go, who you work for and what you do on a daily basis. Your profession is the occupation or trade that you received trading/education in. Your career is your life's work. It's the combination of all jobs, occupations, skills, knowledge and experience. It's the journey.

My career is to help others. My profession is physician and life coach. My job is currently an EM physician at a small Indiana hospital.

You can change jobs. You can change professions. Your career is lifelong and about walking your journey. Job changes are just part of the path! It's not FAILURE, it's just adaption.

My definition of true failure: "You only truly fail if you give up all hope and never take another step forward, never try again or give another chance."

 

“I don't know what else I could be besides a doctor.”

Physicians are some of the most intelligent and creative individuals that this Earth has.

Whatever we trap ourselves in the box of thinking that there is nothing else that we can do besides practice medicine in the exact same way that we are doing now then we lock our creativity and intellectual power out.

There is not only the decision to stay or go. There are literally thousands of different opportunities that you can pursue by just being you.

Do you like writing? Write content within medicine, blogs for patient education, blogs for companies, write something totally out of the healthcare realm, like a fictional novel or children's book. 

There are no limits when you discover what the desires of your heart and start dreaming how to pursue them.

I hear, "I just want to help other people." Well, you can help others WHILE not practicing medicine. You can help people and practice medicine in a totally different way. You can help people and practice traditional medicine but do it the way that is sustainable and invigorating for you.

The key here is you must stop putting yourself in a box with limitations and start opening your mind up to the infinite possibilities of what you can do with your skills, your creativity, your intelligence, your passions, and your desire.

I hope this was helpful to shift your mind frame from "oh that can't happen" to "HELL YES." Let's make it happen. I want to be your coach. CLICK HERE to schedule.

If you want more information about how I change my practice or what I'm doing to help other positions change their practice, hang out with me on social media!

Check out my program DOCTOR ME FIRST on how you can live a life that goes from just surviving to thriving.

Be well!