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Burnout Coaching for Doctors

Coaching for Doctors

who need a burnout prophylaxis that works - and a strong dose of career fulfilment

Take me to the details...

The workload is unrelenting right now.  And while you’re resilient enough to keep everything together and get the work done – your personal life and wellbeing are suffering as a result – and you feel anything but thriving. 

Even though things are slowly changing, the culture of medicine means that maintaining your own health, happiness and wellbeing has always been a challenge for a variety of reasons – such as the workload, the growing sense of moral injury or the rigid bureaucracy just to mention a few! 

This is even harder if you don’t fit the ‘norms’ of the system, are more empathetic than your peers and have a lot to juggle in your personal life as well.  

Yes, you’re juggling a LOT – but that’s not new.  What’s worrying you more is the fact that you no longer feel like yourself – you’re tired, irritable and are always distracted by your work.  

And the cliched advice to make time for self-care, be more resilient and get better at saying no is only making you feel worse right now.  

And that’s not to mention the guilt – the paradoxical guilt of doing too much AND never feeling like you’re doing enough plus the the guilt that comes when you think about leaving it all behind to go and do something else….

But, the reality is that it’s unlikely that the working conditions and the culture aren’t going to change drastically anytime soon.  

 

  • Stress less – feel calmer and in control of your priorities at work and at home 
  • Start being kinder to yourself, unhook from perfectionism and drop some of the pressure you put on yourself 
  • Prioritise what really matters to you outside of work  – your relationships, family and your health
  • Build better boundaries with yourself and others
  • Discover how to put your wellbeing front and centre – even when you don’t have the time or the energy
  • Break the cycle of burnout you often end up in 
  • Feel confident in your ability to handle the challenging politics and personalities at work
  • Learn how you use your strengths and values to your advantage
  • Understand what you really want from the next phase of your life and career – and begin to put this into action 

About me

I’m Rachael, I’m a portfolio GP and an EMCC accredited coach. 

I’ve been coaching since 2020 and specialise in supporting professionals like you to avoid and recover from burnout, reprioritise their wellbeing and thrive in their lives and their work, while continuing to find the success that they want in their careers.   I specialise in this area based on my personal experiences with these navigating these challenges.  I’m nearing completion of my MSc in positive psychology and coaching psychology and prior to this have completed ICF accredited coaching training.  

I continue to work in the NHS and also work privately as a GP with a specialist interest in menopause and women’s health as part of my portfolio career – which gives me a wealth of experience that supports my coaching work.  

I qualified as a doctor in 2013 and then as a GP in 2018, and since then have worked as a salaried and locum GP across a variety of practices and out of hours settings, as well as working in the private sector.  As well as my coaching business, I also teach yoga and somatic movement classes locally.

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INTRODUCING...

My coaching experience, together with my professional development in the field of evidence based psychology and wellbeing has led me to establish five spotlight areas when it comes to creating meaningful wellbeing while navigating a big career.  Each of these 5 spotlight areas form part of the Shine Bright coaching framework.

Spotlight 1: Self Belief

Build your belief in your ability to create change and move forwards with confidence.   Grow your trust in yourself to make difficult decisions and stay true to what’s important to you. Set boundaries that support you without being overcome with guilt.  

Spotlight 2: Energy

Regain control of your time, energy and motivation – by working with yourself and your body – not against it.  Identify what a energy-first approach looks like for you and give yourself permission to make it the fuel of your success –  and notice your energy levels soar. 

Spotlight 3: A kinder relationship with yourself- mind & body

Discover how you can work with your nervous system to get out of the constant fight/flight/freeze response and instead feel calm, in control and in tune with yourself.  Learn tailored Somatic Restoration practices, so you can soothe and support yourself and your nervous system -even in times of high stress.  

Learn to support and nurture yourself with compassion so you can break the familiar patterns that keep you hovering on the edge of burnout –  seeking validation in your work, perfectionism, procrastination and people pleasing. 

Spotlight 4: Self Connection

Instead of constantly exhausting yourself trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations that are placed on you (by others AND yourself), begin to understand who you are underneath it all – understand your strengths, values and needs so you can align your decisions around these.

Spotlight 5: Your future

Build Purposeful Pause and Play into your days and weeks – create a compelling ‘opposite world’ to work and the drudgery of day to day responsibilities – so you have something get excited about instead of collapsing in front of the TV – and a compelling reason to get off the laptop.  

Gain clarity on what you want from your future life and career beyond burnout – and create a road map towards making this happen – so you can embrace your ambition and purpose, without sacrificing your personal wellbeing.

How it works:

Shine Bright 1-1 Coaching

3 month programme + integration period, based on my unique coaching framework

BEFORE WE START

SESSION 1

SESSIONS 2-5

SESSION 6

PLUS

You’ll have access to me for optional weekly ‘office hours’ on email or whatsapp, where you can reflect on challenges, celebrate successes and feedback on progress. 

After each session, I’ll signpost you to resources to explore in your own time, alongside any other relevant resources, which might be a worksheet, coaching framework book or podcast recommendations, or journaling prompts.  These are bespoke to you and you’ll have access to these after we’ve completed our work together. 

You’ll learn several self-coaching techniques so you can put our work into action long after our sessions have ended

I use an evidence-based coaching approach which involves a combination of practical action and deeper, more transformational change.  As part of this, I use acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) principles which is a particularly helpful approach in coaching around burnout and career dissatisfaction.   

We’ll work in partnership towards creating the inner and external changes that you wish to see.  I’ll encourage you to consider alternative perspectives, challenge your assumptions, patterns and invite in new ways of thinking and doing. 

Being coached shouldn’t feel like a walk in the park – but equally you should feel supported and empowered.  

Our sessions are led by your priorities and progress, rather than a set programme or course, although we’ll use the spotlight areas of the Shine Bright framework and my personal coaching philosophy to support you.   

At the end of each session you’ll reflect on any actions you want to take, decisions you want to make, or things you want experiment with out in the ‘real world’ as a result of what you’ve explored in the session.  

Between sessions, you’ll have access to relevant tools, resources and psychometric questionnaires to support your progress 

As well as our time together, you’ll also have support from me between sessions when needed to hold space for the challenges and celebrations of week by week change, plus accountability if you need it – so you’re not alone through this process.

Why choose me as your coach

  • You want to work with an experienced coach who has completed rigorous and academic coaching training.
  • You’d like to work with someone who understands the unique challenges of a career in medicine.
  • You want a whole-person approach – you’re open to going deeper and exploring your beliefs, values and identity – not just your surface level actions and behaviour.
  • I offer an integrative coaching approach, meaning I use a variety of approaches (rather than a set coaching model) to suit your individual needs.   I’m also trained in using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) processes in coaching.
  • Maybe you’d like to work with a coach who understands the challenges of neurodiversity and is experienced in coaching clients who identify as neurodiverse
  • I practice ethically and in line with EMCC guidance.

This is for you if:

  • You’re able to commit to working together for 3 months +
  • You’re looking for a coaching approach, rather than prescriptive advice
  • You’re able to make time in your calendar for 75 minute sessions twice a month (Mon-Fri) – either on zoom, telephone or in person in South Manchester
  • You appreciate the confidentiality, discretion and flexibility that comes with seeking coaching privately rather than via your trust or local leadership hub

This is NOT for you if:

 

  • Your stress or burn out is currently at a level where you are feeling too anxious, stressed or exhausted to be able to attend our sessions and explore this work together – I highly recommend contacting Practitioner Health and/or your own GP if this is the case.
  • You are looking for mental health support or therapy – again Practitioner Health or your own GP will be better places to support you with these.
  • You’re looking specifically for in depth interview preparation or someone to write your CV – I do not offer these services.

Ready to take the next step?

LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED

I imagine you’re here because you’re wanting and needing something to be different. And I'm committed to supporting you to make that happen.

I believe in taking the time to listen and get to know you, even before our first session, so we can cut below the surface level frustrations and challenges –  and instead go deeper to establish what’s really true for you. 

Complete the enquiry form and we can arrange a time for a no-obligation chat about what's going on for you and how coaching could help you to move forward

Work with me

When you're unsure...

 I know that because you’re proactive and self-motivated, you’ve been doing what you can to improve things…listening to podcasts, reading books and maybe even doing online courses that have promised results.  You’re doing your best to exercise and eat well, and maybe you’ve been doing yoga and using meditation to try and manage your stress.  But it doesn’t seem to have had the impact you would have liked.  

Without time, energy and motivation it’s really hard to do this work on your own.  Particularly as the traditional approaches to building confidence (‘fake it till you make it’) and stress (‘just start saying no’) can sometimes make meaningful change harder than it needs to be.  

And maybe you’ve even had some therapy which has helped in lots of ways, but you’re finding it hard to take the practical and tangible action that’s needed to take control of your situation.  

Maybe you’re not doing anything wrong – maybe you just need to do things differently.  

And I know that you’re nervous about investing in yourself.  What if things don’t change?  What if I’m too busy?  What if now’s not the right time?  And I know that it’s entirely normal to feel like this – because our brains don’t like change…and in lots of ways the fearful part of us would rather stay exhausted, anxious and lacking in confidence – than take action towards making a change. 

And so I invite you to consider…what’s the cost of continuing as you are?  What’s the impact on you, your career, your relationships?  

And what could you gain from taking action towards making the changes that you dream of?  Of restoring your energy, your self belief, your alignment with who you are?  What could be different for you if you felt calmer, confident and in control? 

FAQs

What is the difference between coaching, counselling and mentoring?

Coaching is a process that takes place in partnership with clients to help guide them towards their inner wisdom and possibility.  A coach does not tell you what to do but instead supports the client towards internal change or transformation.  It is generative and future-focused.  Coaching works on the premise that clients are “creative, resourceful and whole” and do not need fixing or healing.  

A true coaching conversation will feel different to a conversation that you might have with a friend, colleague or even a mentor.  It is not a coaches’ role to give opinions, answers or solutions, but instead to guide the client through their own process.  

In contrast, counselling and therapy focus on healing difficulty, trauma,, and upset within an individual’s past or present.   

A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on their own experience. Mentoring may include a combination of advising, consulting and coaching. 

Consulting is the provision of expert and specialist advice in a particular field – this is different to coaching in that it usually consists of giving direct recommendations and advice.  

I'm signed off work with burnout - can you help me recover

I’m so sorry to hear this – I hope you are getting the support that you need right now.

If your burnout is severe enough that you are currently signed off work then most likely you’ll need a) time to rest and recover b) a medical assessment by your own doctor/occupational health to exclude any co-existing mental health issues and c) counselling/psychological therapies.  It’s unlikely that you will have the physical, mental or emotional energy to get the full benefit from coaching or take action towards longer term life changes right now and therefore it wouldn’t be ethical for us to work together in this capacity at this point.

However, once you are on the road to recovery and are ready to look at taking action to break your burnout cycles and making wider changes in your life and career then this is the perfect time to explore coaching to get clear on what you want to change moving forwards and take action to make this happen – with professional support along the way.

I’m happy to work with clients who are concurrently working with a counsellor/therapist as long as your therapist is aware and feels this is appropriate. I will communicate with your therapist as appropriate(with your consent only).

If you are unsure as to whether you need a coach or a counsellor/therapist right now then feel free to get in touch and I am happy to advise.

I've seen you are a doctor, do you offer medical advice or opinions in our sessions?

I keep my coaching and my medical work very separate and I politely ask you to respect this boundary. Whilst my experiences across my career naturally inform each other organically,  I do NOT mix the two.

I do NOT offer any medical advice, guidance or opinion within coaching sessions, or outside of coaching sessions – e.g by email, social media or casual conversation.

I cannot work with you if you are a current or previous patient, or if a family member is a current or previous patient of mine.  I will ask you to confirm this as part of our contract of working together.

No advice on my website, blog emails or social media is intended as medical advice, opinion, guidance or recommendation and should not be taken as such. Please see my website disclaimer for more details.

Are our sessions confidential?

Yes, confidentiality is a critical component of the coaching relationship, and I take this very seriously.    The only time that I would consider breaching confidentiality is in cases of disclosure of potentially significant risk to yourself or another person. I would usually discuss this with you in advance, should this situation arise.  

I'm very busy, how much time do I need to allocate?

Sessions last approximately 60 minutes.  

Most clients find it helpful to allocate an additional 30-60 minutes a week to allow themselves to explore suggested resources and actions that may arise as a result of our sessions. 

Do we cover specific topics in each session?

Yes and no.  My coaching sessions are bespoke for your individual needs. We will probably agree to explore some particular issues or topics in advance of a session, based on your individual needs.   We will work together (co-create) the sessions so that they are both helpful for you at that moment and what is currently evolving for you, whilst also keeping your bigger goals and intentions in mind.    

What availability do you have? Do you offer evening sessions?

My coaching days are usually Wednesdays and Fridays, although this can be variable due to other commitments.  I can offer limited evening appointments on Wednesdays.    I aim to be flexible where possible.  

How do I know what to talk about?

This is a commonly asked question – but usually, in reality, the nature of the coaching container means that clients always know what they want to discuss in a session!  Even if you feel like you don’t have much to bring to a session, it is my role to support you to identify what is most helpful for you to address at that particular point.    This is where a more embodied coaching style can be beneficial. When we don’t have much to say, there is often so much going on on a deeper level that the sessions always uncover so much more than we expect or anticipate.  

Can I email you between sessions if I need support?

You can email or send me voice notes at any time between sessions if you have questions or would find a “check-in” helpful.  I will respond within 48 hours Mon-Fri (usually sooner) by voice note via the Voxer app (a secure app for sending and receiving voice notes). 

I have a successful career and don’t want to leave my job - is coaching with you right for me?

100%!  I work with clients from a wide range of backgrounds – including solicitors, doctors, teachers, start-up founders, corporate professionals, wellbeing practitioners, as well as creative business owners.   Purpose and potential for some people means looking at alternative career options; other clients already have a career they love, but come to coaching to support them to avoid burnout and prioritise their wellbeing, so they can feel more confident in stepping up to the next level and the creating impact that they desire, without burning out.     

I also work with clients who are very happy in their professional work but want to find more wellbeing,  in the rest of their lives.   Our work together supports you to thrive by prioritising your wellbeing, avoiding burnout and identifying your unique vision and purpose  – and gives you the tools to help you in making this a reality.  

I want to make a change in my career - can you help me with my CV and improve my interview techniques?

If you are looking for traditional career coaching and guidance then I’m not the coach for you.  But if you want to work out how to balance your wellbeing with your work, discover what brings you meaning and fulfilment and explore that itch for something more and start stepping up and playing bigger in your career – this is what I help you with.  My clients often find the embodiment practices I facilitate help them far more with their leadership skills, public speaking and challenging professional scenarios than traditional approaches do.  

Do you offer business coaching?

 I work with lots of business owners to help them break their burnout cycle, prioritise their wellbeing and look after themselves as human beings so they can step up and do amazing things in their businesses.  Our coaching might also look at your strategy and business plans in terms of how it can support your wellbeing.  

We are our own best resource, so my clients have reported significant successes in their business as a secondary result of investing in coaching.

Will you give me homework between sessions?

The nature of our sessions means that each session will likely result in you wanting to take some action! You will be invited to choose one or two intentions or actions you want to take before the next session to support your process.  

If appropriate, I will offer suggestions of practices, experiments and resources/worksheets.  

You will have access to pre and post-session worksheets to record key intentions and areas of exploration that arise during/from our sessions.  

Do you offer face-to-face coaching sessions?

Yes, I offer face-to-face walking sessions , depending on availability.  These usually take place in Chorlton or Didsbury.  

Other locations can be agreed upon for face to face sessions in or around south Manchester on an individual basis.

Can I record our online sessions?

Yes, you are welcome to record our sessions for your own personal use.  

I’m not in a position to invest in one-to-one coaching right now, what are my options?

I recommend signing up to my weekly free email letter, where I share my writing, inspiration and resources to guide you in prioritising your wellbeing so you can embody your inner power.  

From time to time I may need to video record coaching sessions as part of my ongoing training and development.  I will offer these sessions at a significantly reduced rate in exchange for being filmed, potentially with some requirement to cover certain topics and provide feedback.  If you are interested in this, please drop me an email at rachael@purposeandpotential.co.uk and I will contact you if/when such an opportunity arises.

I also offer a small number of hours every year as “pay what you can”/ reduced rate for women from under-represented groups experiencing financial hardship.  Drop me an email if you feel this applies to you.

Have another question I’ve not answered here?

Feel free to email me at rachael@purposeandpotential.co.uk or book a free coaching consultation call if you want to discuss directly.