What happens when you do nothing about burnout? The short answer is that not only does it start to affect every area of your life (your wellness, your health, relationships, and even your waistline and finances) but it actually becomes worse and sends you in a downward spiral.
How do we know this?
Dr. Tait Shanafelt, the guru of physician wellness, co-authored a study which was published in JAMA back in 2019. It was a randomized controlled study where they took 88 primary care physicians who were experiencing burnout and randomly assigned them to be either in the control or intervention group. For the intervention group they gave them 6 coaching sessions with a professional life coach and compared pre and post surveys.
The results were impressive. Those in the intervention group had a nearly 20% decrease in high emotional exhaustion and 17% decrease in overall burnout. Also, quality of life and resilience scores improved in this group, too, showing that professional life coaching is an effective way to reduce emotional exhaustion and overall burnout as well as improve quality of life and resilience for physicians.
Meanwhile the control group, who received no coaching, had an increase of nearly 10% in emotional exhaustion and 5% increase in Burnout.
What this means is that there is a cost to doing NOTHING about burnout. When we do nothing about it, we get more emotionally exhausted and burnt out and spiral further.
That’s why in a 2021 Medscape survey, among physicians who reported burnout:
- 70% it had a moderate to severe impact on their life
- 69% said they “felt depressed”
- 13% reported thoughts of suicide
This spring there was another study published in JAMA looking specifically at women physicians which also showed that coaching works especially well for women doctors.
Why Coaching is a Sign of Strength
I know you may be skeptical about coaching and if it can really work for you if you’re feeling burnt out, but we have multiple randomized clinical trials (the best type of data out there) published in JAMA show that professional coaching for physicians makes a significant difference on reducing emotional exhaustion and burnout and improves overall well-being.
Now I also remember when I first thought about enrolling in a life coaching program; I thought it perhaps was a sign of weakness. But then I realized it wasn’t that at all. In fact it’s a sign of strength and leads to success. It was a way to take my life from average to great!
Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, athletes and all successful professionals have coaches. Truly, the physician community is lagging in this regard.
We are high-achieving, high-functioning doctors who deal with life and death on a daily basis, not to mention lots of other sad things. If entrepreneurs and athletes need coaches, of course all doctors do as well. What I love is that it puts you back in the driver’s seat and truly turns you into the CEO of your life.
The evidence that coaching works is compelling and with 56% of women physicians reporting burnout right now, we felt the need to help our sister docs and provide you with a coaching program similar (if not better, in my humble opinion) to what was being offered physicians at Mayo. (In fact, I would argue that community physicians, who oftentimes are unsupported and isolated and infrequently have mentors, need coaching even more.)
Our Physician Wellness and Empowerment Program
We created our coaching program, the Physician Wellness and Empowerment Program (PWEP), to be just 12 weeks long because we know you want relief from burnout, overwhelm and exhaustion fast. In our program you actually get way more coaching than what was provided in these randomized clinical trials.
You get 12 weeks of weekly group coaching and 12 sessions of private coaching and weekly recordings where we teach you strategies to improve your time management, your charting efficiency, self-care routines and relationships. We also show you how to get over imposter syndrome, have lasting confidence and how to step into your power and ask for what you truly want both at work and at home.
Our program has truly changed lives and careers and helped women physicians get out of burnout and feel like a new person. Women physicians come to us feeling so burnt out BUT leave feeling empowered and back in control of their life.
They feel empowered to:
- schedule their time intentionally and work more efficiently
- ask for what they need to do their jobs
- ask for and get raises and promotions
- Improve their relationships
- Leave toxic work situations or relationships
- Stop charting at home
- No longer turning to chocolate, wine or Netflix to cope
- Stop overworking
- Schedule their time intentionally and work more efficiently
And the best thing one of our participants said is it not only got her out of burnout but gave her a way to combat it for good.
How amazing would it be to finally have a way to combat burnout for good so that you can finally enjoy the career you worked so hard to have?
Enrollment for our program closes mid-January.
We’d love to help you end burnout starting now. Learn more at womeninwhitecoats.com/empowerment!