My Journey

I decided I wanted to become a doctor when I was 14 years old.  I thought that the most meaningful thing I could do with my life was to help people navigate the ups and downs of life and achieve their goals.  In medical school I took a year off to work in substance abuse programs.  I taught Motivational Interviewing and learned how much more powerful my impact could be if I put my patients in the drivers seat and empowered them to make the health decisions that were right for them.  That is when I learned about coaching in healthcare.  I read everything I could about it but at that point there was hardly any research being done.  So I put that on super slow simmer in the very back of my brain.  

I chose to specialize in family medicine to be that navigator I had always wanted to be.  And being a primary care doc, caring for the underserved, accompanying my patients on life's roller coster was really meaningful work. I delivered babies, watched them grow into amazing kids, wrote scholarship letters, helped people quit smoking, celebrated marriages, beating cancer, sobriety. It was incredible and joyful and it was also very heavy.  Heavy because of the lives and struggles of my patients but also because of the brokenness of our healthcare system.  And as an optimistic, empathetic young doctor who did not yet know how set healthy boundaries, I burned out really quickly.  Ironically, even though I had done a study on medical student burnout it took me 6 months to actually recognize the signs in myself.  Thankfully, once I noticed I kicked into high gear and took massive action to change EVERYTHING.  I channeled the right thoughts, lined up 3 new part-time jobs because I realized I wanted more diversity, quit the job I burned out in, and found amazing work-life balance.  Since then my wife Laura (also a family physician) and I have had 2 kids and we've had to re-assess multiple times along the way. 

I eventually decided to transition out of primary care (that was a big identity adjustment for me) and hatched a plan to become a certified life coach. The research had been slowly amassing over the years.  It was becoming obvious that coaching prevented physician burnout and improved resilience and quality of life and that it wasn't just for helping people survive or climb out of a rut.  Coaching is also something highly functioning people use to launch themselves to the next level.  And then the next and the next after that. Just like in athletic coach.
But I wasn't quite ready for coach training yet.  I had found 2 new passions -- a new clinical focus (whole-foods plant-based diet) and paying off our loans.  I started helping people with weight issues, diabetes and high blood pressure take their bodies back and get rid of medications just by switching to a whole-foods-plant-based diet.  Even my dad jumped on board, got off both of his blood pressure medications, decreased his fasting blood sugars from the pre-diabetic range to normal, and lost weight in just a few days!  (Please don't try this on your own if you are on any medications.  It requires guidance, close follow up, and coordination with your healthcare team.)  Every single client I've helped turn plant-based has asked me the same question, "why haven't any of my doctors told me about this?"  The simple answer:  they don't teach us this stuff in medical school!  My second new passion was debt elimination.  Laura and I doubled down on this and I'm super proud to say that we are now finalizing payoff of our collective $400,000 in medical school loans in less than 5 years.  Whew! 

And as if that wasn't enough, the absolute icing on the cake was the final realization of my dream -- becoming a life coach.  In the process of coach certification I grew more personally than ever before.  And now as a certified coach I continue to grow and cultivate my own dreams while helping others.  So, after that very long story, YOUR DREAMS are exactly what I am offering to you.  What are your dreams?  And what are you waiting for?