Tag Archives: supporting doctors

Coaching doctors for support and motivation

Part of looking after yourself is about finding the right person to support you through some difficult decisions. 

A huge leap out of your comfort zone is making the first contact with a coach: it may seem as though you are  admitting not being able to find the way forward yourself.

Not at all: contacting a coach is about recognising what you need at this time and also deciding it’s time to  do the things you’ve been dithering about for so long.

Perhaps you’ve procrastinated because you want to be sure it will be the right  decision.  Can we ever know what is the right decision? Unless you have a go at the things you really want to do, how can you ever know whether its will be right or wrong for you? Go for it!! It’s important to do something and then if need be change direction as needed.

The value of working with a coach is unquantifiable: after just  a few sessions you will make huge leaps in what you think, do and believe about yourself and start to do things you’ve been stuck about for a long time.

This is what a recent client (consultant physician) emailed me after a few weeks coaching from me:

While at first, phone calls and e-mails seemed a funny way to discuss such personal matters, it really works. When I feel in danger of becoming a ‘I hate my job’ bore with my friends – I can tell you instead! Somehow you helped me to lift my head up above the endless cycle of asking myself the same questions over and over again, and help me to take control over my decisions. I think that you have helped me to gain a lot of confidence in myself over the last few months, and have helped me to do my work a lot better. While ultimately the decision is mine, it is lovely to have your support and encouragement. It is important to me that you are independent ,with no ‘angle’ on my decision, unlike my husband and parents (who would prefer me to continue in my work but are coming round to the idea that they would like me to be happy.) The hardest thing that you have started is to help me face up to uncertainty about the future. Well, if my boss seems happy to do that – he seems confident that he would be able to fill my job, then I should be. I find his confidence in his ability to replace me a little unnerving! 

Sometimes you realise that something has to change in your life:Coaching can be the catalyst you need! 

 

Coaching supports you

Find someone to support you

I’m coaching an established Consultant who works in a well known NHS trust.

With his permission, I want to tell you  what he has found useful about having coaching with me.
He contacted me because he wanted support and encouragement to develop a private medical practice.

He found that I:  listened patiently to his career ambitions which included a detailed discussion of how he could develop a private practice.

He writes: We discussed numerous issues including: work-life balance, ideal working day, impact on family life and money.
The solution to the development of the practice has emerged gradually over a number of sessions.
The main solution has been encouragement to push forward boldly, and to understand that a contented working life is not a selfish ambition but one that can result in benefits for all stake-holders (e.g. patients, colleagues, family) including myself.
He has, so far, achieved:
More courage to make decisions regarding NHS vs. private practice
 A successfully developing private practice at one of the hospitals identified as a possible site for work.
A great chance to discuss some of these issues, which are so often overlooked or simply not discussed in work.
What I offer him  is a confidential space to discover the way forward.
If you want support and encouragement to develop your private, independent medical practice;
If you feel stuck and want to talk then CALL ME
I won’t tell you what to do: I’ll listen to you and challenge you to think about alternatives you may not have considered before.

Enabling you to find your own Prescription for Change

Be a more confident doctor, now!

In your day to day medical practice, whether you are an independent medical practitioner or employed by the NHS, have you ever felt as if you don’t really know how you got to where you are today?
Are you a doctor who is lacking in confidence and wonders if someone will ‘find out’?
Would you like to find ways to boost your confidence so you can:

  • Do what you want to do for the patient when and how you want to do it without being challenged or doubts coming into your mind.
  • Be relaxed, comfortable and secure so that you are assertive about what you want for your patient.
  • Believe in yourself and your ability to deal with the medical situation and know when to refer to someone else.
  • Do as well as you can and also being realistically aware of your own shortcomings.
  • Set yourself achievable, realistic goals for your medical professional life, and for your out of work life too.

Coaching can enable you to achieve all of these, improve your confidence and encourage and motivate you to achieve what you truly want in or out of Medicine.

A Doctor’s Dilemma

Life is full of decision-making and there are many times in a doctor’s life when you have to stop and ask yourself: ‘Which direction shall I take now?’  in relation to your career path or to issues in your personal life. This is the doctor’s dilemma.
It may seem difficult to make that necessary decision because you are so engulfed in the ‘what will people think of me if I do this rather than that?’ mindset.  There may be well-meaning senior colleagues who talk as if they know what sort of life is best for you and as they describe how they see your future you inwardly cringe and wonder how they could possibly believe that they know what you really want.

Stop finding reasons and take the action you want to take….

No-one can foretell what the future will bring for you, that is why making some decisions about your life is such a dilemma for many doctors: however when you find yourself saying or thinking along the lines of:  ‘if I had my time over again I would definitely have made a different choice,’ then you have a strong clue about what you could or even should be doing with your life now.  So think back to a time when you took a leap into the unknown or decided to do something a bit scary and recall what it was that gave you the push to do it. Maybe you took a deep breath and jumped or maybe you wanted to prove someone’s judgement about you as wrong, whatever it took you took that apprehension and just did it.
Since you have started to think about alternatives and other possibilities about your life, you have already started on a journey of change and even with your dilemma about which path to take it’s important to make a choice without endlessly procrastinating.  Even if you decide to stay where you are things will be different because you have been considering other possibilities. That means that something will have changed in your present situation too. You may have discovered a way to improve it or may become more determined than ever to explore new ways. Project your thoughts into the future perhaps a year or several years ahead and imagine your life if you continue as you are or if you make the changes you are considering.
Can you imagine how the future you would look back to the today you and remember how great you felt afterwards and how pleased you were with yourself for being courageous enough to take that first step?

Confidential, one to one, on the telephone…. Can I help?

What makes a doctor stressed and what can they do about it?

Doctor, you may feel stressed because of what you perceive as an  excessive workload, so you work very long hours.

You’ve noticed how this pattern affects your  home life, especially your relationships with your family and friends.

You’ve experienced the stress of keeping to government targets, especially when this means you have to persuade patients  of the importance of  having screening tests or examinations.  Although this could result in discovering pathology it also means an increase in time  spent with each patient, investigations and subsequent treatment.

Unrealistic demands from patients raise your level of stress too. These means time taken to explain why what the patient is requesting is not indicated. Sometimes you may give in and then feel the stress of doing something which may not be in the patient’s best interests.

There is, too, the ‘gremlin’ sitting on your shoulder, nudging you about possible  litigation and asking you whether you’ve done the right thing, in case  the patient decides to sue you.

When you feel well and unstressed  you can deal with all of these things in a relaxed and professional way, but what can you do to move from stress to confidence and calmness?

Ways to reduce your stress levels are simple. The strategies listed below may
seem like common sense and some of them are just that. They are probably things you know already and may even be advising your stressed patients to do these already.

  • Stop caffeine: this has a huge effect on stress levels. Limit caffeine to one cup or less a day and notice how your  stress decreases.
  • Learn to relax. Do this at least once a day. Arrange to have a gap, a 5- 10 minutes each day, when you can sit quietly. This could be when you take a break in the middle of the day, or  in your office between patients.  It’s fine to do this sitting in a comfortable chair.  Close your eyes and start with your feet, think about each area of your body, and  consciously tense the muscles and then relax them.Take relaxing breaths whenever you feel the stress rising. Take a slow breath in, to a count of five,  as you think about breathing in relaxation, then a slow breath out as you think about breathing out any tension in your body.
  • Do some regular exercise: walking for 20-30 minutes each day either from your car, bus or train, to your place of work, or by going outside  in your lunch hour  not only to have something to eat away from your desk and patients but also to have a walk. 
  • Eat more healthy foods, which means eating more complex carbohydrates and cutting down on sugar and other simple carbohydrates. Eat a Mediterranean type diet, with more fish and less saturated fats

However simple as they seem to be, they work. So take yourself in hand and resolve to try the  five strategies until they become new automatic habits for you. To become automatic you may have to repeat something new for 21 days. So make a chart with these five habits listed and tick them each day  you succeed in doing them.. You could also log your level of stress each day on a scale of 1 to 10 and notice the improvement.

Want some support while you change?  Find out about coaching.

 

Making changes: you have to take action and stop procrastinating!

So many doctors would like to have a different sort of life. Do you sometimes dream of a life, yes, as a doctor, but with the time to do the sort of work that inspires you and has a huge benefit for your patients? Yet instead you have to deal with the reality of busy clinics, demanding patients with not much wrong with them while others who you would dearly love to have the time and energy to treat and give the benefit of your expertise to, are side-tracked because you have to keep going to get the work done each day.

Take your first step!

Perhaps at first you were so thrilled to have qualified after all those long years of study as a medical student, that you were even glad to suffer the lack of sleep and heavy work load of the time you spent as a junior doctor, yet always dreaming of when you would become a consultant and then at least you would have the life you dreamed of.

Yet perhaps it hasn’t quite worked out the way you hoped. You are the victim of your own success. Even though you are highly intelligent you just don’t seem to be able to make the changes you know you want to make. You succumb to the ‘emotional blackmail’ of colleagues asking you to do extra work, or the opportunity to do extra private work, because you know you can genuinely help people with your expertise and you hate the idea of letting people down by saying ‘no’.

You are juggling too many plates in the air and are becoming more and more stressed as a result.

There is an alternative: you could:

  • discover how to free up more time
  • start to put yourself first for a change
  • do the work you love, yet on your terms
  • change something in yourself
  • actually take the actions you know you have to take
  • stop procrastinating
  • become highly motivated

How can you achieve all of these?
Be highly self-motivated, make your plans and take action. You already know what you want to do so ‘just do it.’ But you’ve been like that for years so what would give you that push you need to actually make that difference and initiate the changes you want?

Find someone who is ‘on your side’, supporting your ideas, motivating you to take action, acting as a sounding board, challenging you to think through what you plan so you so you develop the strategy best for you.

Find out more about COACHING

Time management: is it something you struggle with?

Attention doctors, physicians, registrars, junior doctors, private medical practitioners:

Time Management mistakes nearly every doctor makes.

Do you struggle to get things done through the day? Do you wonder what’s happened to the time and feel upset at how little you get done?

Do you notice that some of your colleagues seem to cope much better than you do with the amount of work there is to do each day?

What might happen if you carry on like this?

  • You are less and less efficient in relation to your medical work.
  • You forget about the life you had before you worked as a doctor.
  • Your friends and family complain that they never see you.
  • You take most of your holiday to unwind.
  • You regret becoming a doctor….

BUY NOW

But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are simple strategies you can adopt to take you to a place when you can:

  • leave work at a reasonable time
  • be able to relax and enjoy life away from work more
  • feel happier at work and get things done more efficiently and effectively
  • learn simple ways to make a difference in your life.

Here are the strategies you’ve been waiting for :

    • 3 reasons why doctors struggle with time management
    • 7 mistakes doctors make in relation to time
    • Simple ways to ways to overcome these
    • Benefits of managing your time more effectively

 

Time Management Mistakes nearly every doctor makes

Get it now for less than the price of a cup of coffee!!

 BUY NOW

What is your way to leave work behind you when you go home?

One of the challenges of being a doctor is worrying so much about what’s happened during the day that you may find it very difficult to ‘let go’ when you go home.

Do you worry about whether you’ve made the correct diagnosis, arranged the appropriate investigations and explained the procedures in a clear and unambiguous way to your patient?

Is there a little ‘gremlin sitting on your shoulder nagging you about whether you’ve been a proficient  doctor and done everything you have to do for that patient?

Don’t worry you are not alone! There are hundreds of other doctors who experience a similar sense of anxiety when they leave work and start to go over in their minds what happened during the day. And it’s not only worrying about one patient: those feelings you may have of not doing as much as you could do may be multiplied many times.

As a result you may begin to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. So what could you do?

You could develop a simple ritual to do before you go home so that you tell yourself that you are washing all that ‘stuff’ away.

You can do this simply by washing your hands and telling yourself that all your worries and anxieties are going down the drain with the dirty water. I used to do this and found it very effective.

When you do this or something which is relevant to you, then you will be better able to relax and enjoy your hours away from the patients and return next day feeling fully refreshed and ready to face up to the new challenges the new day will bring you.