Women constitute an increasing proportion of practicing physicians in our country. While we share many challenges with our male colleagues, we have stresses unique to being women in medicine. In most families, we continue to be the manager of our homes, the primary childcare provider and the one most responsible for elder care as our own parents age. Professionally, we feel frustrated when we are passed over for opportunities, our ideas are ignored, and we often feel invisible and powerless. 71% of women physicians experience a significant gap between their ideal life and the one they find themselves living (compared with only 46% for men). If you are feeling this way, you are not alone. And you do not need to be stuck in this gap any longer.
While unique individuals, women have always benefited from community. It is our natural inclination to connect with other women – to share our stories, learn from each other’s experiences, and discover ways of collaborating to make our lives more enjoyable and easier. Sadly, many women physicians find themselves isolated, too pressed for time to develop these relationships. We often feel we don’t have much in common with non-professional women’s circles in our communities. As an advocate for women physicians, I’m always touched by the delight they feel when in the company of other women physicians, where they feel safe and understood in sharing their deepest concerns and supported in imagining what they dream of in their lives.
As we attempt to juggle our many responsibilities, we need to know that the time and effort we devote to changing ourselves or our situations will be wise investments. Coaching has garnered widespread enthusiasm as an effective method of supporting change. Women physicians are especially suited to coaching, as the process provides insight, connection, focus, and accountability for change, all in a manageable format. Women physicians I have coached have developed greater clarity into their career and personal goals, changed professional situations, successfully moved into leadership positions, improved the quality of their relationships and emerged with a greater sense of confidence that has allowed them to transform old behavior patterns and achieve goals they had long desired. In the context of a group, coaching provides these benefits as well as a dynamic network of other women physicians who will encourage, support and inspire each other through the process and beyond.
Many women physicians find it difficult to prioritize ourselves- we often believe that our efforts must be directed toward caring for others, that any focus on ourselves is “selfish.” Nothing could be further from the truth. As we clear away beliefs and activities that don’t bring us joy or satisfy our own aspirations, we are better able to bring genuine love and concern to those around us. We also become a model for how to create a life from a place of passion and develop deeply satisfying relationships that enrich their lives. This may be the most impactful thing we ever do for our children and all who know us.
Having lived the challenging and demanding life of woman-physician-mother-wife-volunteer, and after coaching many women physicians over the years, I developed three unique group coaching programs, specifically for women physicians, that address specific goals. Read through the descriptions to find the one that would meet your individual needs. If you have questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to sign up for any of the programs, complete the box below it and I’ll respond within the next 72 hours.
Thriving Authentically as a Woman in Medicine:
Group coaching for women physicians to discover and create their ideal life
Beginning with an examination of each woman’s values – those principles and ways of being in the world that give meaning to her life –participants will gain a greater understanding of which aspects of their life reflect those values and which do not. We will explore the obstacles that prevent each woman from living the fulfilling life she desires and utilize several exercises to provide her with tools to diminish the power of those obstacles and to move toward the goals she has set. Concepts such as curiosity, perspectives, limiting beliefs and fear will be investigated in the context of each woman’s stated goals in order to further clear her path. Homework activities between sessions and periodic assessment of progress will be used to keep participants moving forward and to generate deeper learning for the future. The program will end with an assessment of each woman’s successes and plans for further progress.
What is included:
One 60-minute individual session prior to the program to develop each woman’s goals. Six, 90-minute coaching sessions will be held by phone, twice per month. One 60-minute individual session at the conclusion of the program to consolidate each person’s learning and define future directions
Who: 5-10 women physicians per 3-month program
Cost: $1000 for AMWA members ($2750 value)/$1250 for non-AMWA members
YES! I want to discover and create my ideal life. I’m interested in joining with other women physicians to explore new ways to thrive, while being myself, in medicine. (Please complete the boxes below and include your reasons for joining the group in the comments box. I’ll respond within 72 hours.)
Beating Imposter Syndrome: Group coaching for women physicians
who want to create their own definition of competence and success
Imposter syndrome affects up to 70% of professionals. Since women working in male-dominated fields are especially susceptible, these feelings can interfere with a woman physician’s career advancement, confidence, and joy in her life. Women physicians who suffer from imposter syndrome are surprised to discover that others are experiencing the same feelings – they often believe that they are “the only one,” and this exacerbates their distress. Examining this career and life-limiting experience in a group provides important validation of each woman’s experience, diminishing her sense of isolation.
Imposter syndrome takes hold when we have unrealistic ideas of what competence, eligibility, or deserving means. We will begin with an exploration of each woman’s beliefs about competence, exposing the ways in which she has undermined her confidence with these false ideas. She will then create new perspectives about her work and life that will provide a strong framework for sustained belief in her competence. Imposter thoughts are often triggered by specific events or circumstances in our lives; an understanding of the specific triggers for each woman will allow her to be more prepared if similar situations again occur. We will illuminate the negative stereotypes each woman has come to accept about herself or feels that others believe about her, and learn to replace these with more positive and empowering stereotypes. To shield ourselves from the pain of failure, we often invoke self-defeating strategies that allow us to justify and excuse the failure we anticipate. An awareness of our personal, “favorite” strategies will help us recognize and avoid them in the future. We will conclude with ten practices that are known to help sufferers deal with or squelch their imposter feelings when they arise and prevent them from occurring in the future.
What is included: One 30-minute individual session prior to the program to discuss the format, answer questions, and clarify goals. Four, 90-minute coaching sessions will be held by phone, twice per month.
Who: 5-10 women physicians per 3-month session
Cost: $600 for AMWA members ($1625 value)/$800 for non-AMWA members
YES! I’m interested in joining with other women physicians to explore my own imposter feelings and learn effective new ways to ways to work with them, so they don’t undermine my confidence, limit my career, or diminish the joy I want to feel in my life. (Please complete the boxes below and include your reasons for joining the group in the comments box. I’ll respond within 72 hours.)
My True Story group coaching program for women physicians
Women physicians are an impressive group of individuals. We survived long and arduous training programs, rise daily to meet the challenges of our work, and, even as our workload mounts and our professional satisfaction dwindles, we continue to be the manager of our homes, the primary childcare provider and the one most responsible for elder care as our own parents age. Professionally, we are passed over for opportunities, our ideas are ignored, and we often feel invisible and powerless. But these stories of powerlessness only serve to keep us trapped in lives that feel limited, disappointing, and uninspiring. Stories are powerful. When you change the stories you tell, you will change the life you live.
This program will help you free yourself from stories of limitation and allow you to step forward with authority, love and courageous self-leadership – to live your own True Story, where you engage confidently and authentically with the world, following your passions and experiencing the joy of contributing your gifts.
What is included:
Who: 5-10 women physicians per 6-month session
Cost: $1297 for AMWA members ($3000 value)/$1597 for non-AMWA members
YES! I am interested in exploring the stories that have kept me from living the life I truly want to live. I want to stop believing I am a victim, interrupt my continual striving to prove myself, and instead step into a life built on confidence in who I am and the gifts that I bring. I want to know and live according to my own True Story. (Please complete the boxes below and include your reasons for joining the group in the comments box. I’ll respond within 72 hours.)