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#78 Proof! Coaching Works! with Adrienne Mann and Tyra Fainstad

In today's episode, I am joined by two complete and utter rock stars in the physician coaching space. Yes, I am chatting with Adrienne Mann and Tyra Fainstad. 

These two incredible young women physician coaches are the founders of Better Together Physician Coaching, and they have put in some amazing work to prove that coaching actually works. Listen in as they recount their personal battles with burnout and the quest for self-recognition that steered them toward the transformative effect of coaching.

I do want to say that you don't have to be a physician for coaching to work, and if coaching can work on female physicians, it can work on anyone.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about working with me as your coach.

"The coaching piece is in our growth and development of this program. I think if Adrienne and I weren't able to coach ourselves and like turn and give a real honest eye to ourselves in our behavior, we would have been self-sabotaged a dozen times along the way already." - Tyra Fainstad

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • How coaching alleviated Adrienne and Tyra's burnout and improve well-being

  • Insights into studies showing how beneficial coaching is

  • How group coaching sessions provide shared healing experiences

  • The broader cultural shift needed in medicine to support mental health and reduce stigma associated with seeking help

"My favorite version of me is present more often and is gentle more often with myself than ever before." - Adrienne Mann

Mentioned in this episode:

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if coaching with me is the right fit for you. Join me on a powerful journey to become your favorite you.

Listen to the full episode:

Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intentions. My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend.

If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Your Favorite You

I have another very special episode for you today. I am joined by two complete and utter rock stars in the physician coaching space. Yes, I am chatting with Adrienne Mann and Tyra Fainstad today. 

These two incredible young women physician coaches are the founders of Better Together Physician Coaching, and they have put in some amazing work to prove what we have anecdotally known for some time now, and that is that coaching actually works, and they have scientific data to back up this assertion in the form of randomized controlled trials and not one, but at least two articles and I'm sure more to come if not already published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which is also known as JAMA. 

The release of these articles and the data within them was a huge bone. Boom, it was a huge bone. It was a huge bone. Yeah, we're leaving that in. It was a total bone. It was a huge bone to the physician coaches and to the coaching space, and it just made us all so proud. 

So, I am absolutely honored that you both found the time to chat with me on the podcast. I coach all women with brains, so I do coach my fair share of physicians. But we are going to be speaking to other amazing professional women today, and I do want to first say that you don't have to be a physician for coaching to work, and if coaching can work on female physicians, it can work on anyone. 

So, okay, I'm going to both. Let you guys introduce yourselves, with the caveat that I will embellish your introductions if you try to downplay your amazingness in any way. So, who wants to go first? 


Challenge accepted. 




I'm going to start. So, hi everybody. I'm Adrienne Mann. I'm clinically a hospitalist. I work at a VA hospital in Denver. I'm an associate program director of a residency program here in internal medicine and together with Tyra I co-directed better together. 

I came to coaching a couple of years into my career after having some big dips into burnout both in medical school and residency, and then, after having one kid in residency and one kid in early career, came back to work without being able to really recognize myself in any of the work I was doing. 

I think I had chased institutional leadership and medical education leadership and becoming a really excellent clinician, and also trying to become a mom and figuring out how to stay in relationship with my husband, and like in none of those domains did I recognize myself when I came back from my second maternity leave, and so I came to coaching as a way to kind of get back in touch with my body and my health and learn some things through coaching that I did not know up until that time. 

So, I think I was, like you know, 36 and I was learning about feelings and how to name them and how to move through them. 


A decade before me. So, kudos to you for being an early adopter. 


Thank you. And I remember thinking, oh my gosh, I needed to know this as a medical student, as a resident and as a mom, like I needed this before, and so I had this idea that this could be a curriculum for women physicians in training. And I did not know that my dear medical school classmate, Tyra, was on a very similar journey to meet many, many hundreds of miles away, and then our paths would cross to build something really awesome that we're proud of. 


That's amazing. Is there anything that you would add Tyra to Adrienne's introduction of herself, because you know her better than I do? 


I could add so much. I think I would just also say that she is an associate program director of a really large internal medicine residency program here and she has developed and heads the well-being curriculum across all of those residents and is just a real expert in what she does before and after coaching. 


I love it, see. Okay, now it's your turn, Tyra. Introduce yourself. 


Hi everyone. I'm Tyra Fainstad. I am a primary care doctor and I work here at the University of Colorado. Also, I'm the resident clinic director here and with Adrienne, created Better Together Physician Coaching. I came to coaching in an eerily similar way. I was in Seattle, Washington. 

That's where I did my residency and I stayed in my junior faculty dorm. There was a pretty classic approval addict of a medical trainee. I could play the game really well of collecting honors and really good letters of recommendation and I knew who needed me to be, or at least I thought I did and I kind of like kept my head above water doing this throughout residency, got all the accolades, got a chief year and then became an attending and all sources of external feedback stopped. 

And then at the same time I had two kids who were like terrible assessors of me. They were just giving the worst feedback. 


They were extremely colloquy and 10 out of 10 would not recommend it. 


Would not recommend it. It was awful, as I basically concluded that I was the worst at everything, because I was left with no internal compass, just this very loud inner critic and two babies screaming at me. 

And I really identify with what you said at the beginning, Melissa, about if coaching works in women physicians, it works in anyone. Because I came to this with a heavy amount of hesitancy, and I had a friend going through coach certification and offered me a free call as part of her certification and I just I rolled my way into it. 

I was like, “what even is life coaching? I'm a you know, allopathic medical doctor at the University of Washington. I don't believe in anything unless it's evidence based. But okay, fine, you can do this. 

One call on me and I have said this probably 100 times now, but it is more true every time I say it that more in my life and in my mind changed in that one conversation than probably anything else cumulatively before. 

So, I was totally hooked, my mind was blown, just like Adrienne's. I learned that I didn't have to believe my thoughts just because I was thinking that nobody told me that before. Nobody told me. I could just like counter myself. That was news and I was hooked. 

I got a ton of coaching after that and fell back in love with my job, fell back in love with motherhood and honestly with myself and, similar to Adrienne, was left with gratitude but also kind of a real disbelief that no one taught me these skills and a training. 

Yeah, it is possible that I know every step of the coagulation pathway, but I can't name and process an emotion ready to go into probably the most emotional field of all. Yeah, a lot, a lot of heavy emotions coming at us, and no one teaches us what to do with them.


Oh no, they teach us what to do with them. Yes, that's true. Stuff them down, ignore them, move to the next one. 


Yeah, put your mask on, Go meet whatever needs you to be. Yeah, so moved here. We have a mutual friend that connected us, and we created Better Together Physician Coaching with an aim to just sort of fix that. 


That's amazing, so amazing. Adrienne, would you add anything to Tyra's? 


Like she said. I would add so much she is one of the most reflective, tenacious and really genuinely compassionate people that I think I've ever met in my life. Like Tyra, has a very unique ability of like perspective taking and being in someone else's shoes and being able to see where they're coming from in a way that I think is just really special and powerful. Also, I look up to you, Tyra. This is directly to you. 

I look up to you so much as a clinician and as a mom and as a partner, because I see the work that you put into those things and really admire that in you. 


Definitely happening, Melissa. I feel like I could cry. Thanks, Adrienne. 


Yeah, this is the beauty of recognizing the bad asses around us, who make us better people just by getting to know themselves on a deeper level, like that is the power of coaching. I just want everybody to know.


I think that now is maybe a good time to call out this phenomenon that Adrienne and I have seen evolve in our partnership together, which is something that's not ever modeled for us in medicine is collaboration, and in a real, healthy, partnered way. 

And being alone wolf and being a hero is idolized and modeled a ton and, to start this off, I mean, none of this would have happened if we weren't doing it together. 

The name is almost ironic to a point, but truly the partnership really is what it is like a second marriage that we have had to develop has, I think, pushed us both to a limit in a way that's incredibly healthy and has forced some mind management. 


And I think it's interesting because from my perspective, I see this in the groups that I coach, and I'm sure you guys do too Like the, the toxic individualism and the thinking that you have to figure it out on your own and why haven't you figured it out already? 

And you know it's weak to ask for help. It's weak to you know show your vulnerability and weakness to other people and just time and time again that has been disproven anecdotally from where I stand. But now you know, with backup from you guys in terms of you know actually doing the real scientific studies. 

So those were just such beautiful introductions, and I knew I was crying as I was writing the questions today, just so you know. So crying is welcome here on the Your Favorite You podcast, so if you need to feel some feelings, feel free. 

So, my next question you guys have already answered which was what led you to seek out coaching for yourself in the first place, and I think that your answers are pretty much the answers that I get from so many of the amazing women who I work with. 

Where they're like I checked all the boxes, I did everything I was supposed to, I was a good girl the whole time. I got all the gold stars and then, like I was like this is it? And I stopped getting the gold stars because I wasn't in school anymore. 

You know so much of what you guys have related is going to be so relatable to my people, so thank you so much. So, tell me, what led you guys I mean I know you knew the magic of coaching and you knew that physicians needed it, and you knew that female physicians especially are a special group to the three of us because we are female physicians but what led you to do the pilot study on just over 100 female residents? 


Nobody told us we couldn't. That's the best answer. Honestly, it was an idea. Tara and I had both kind of been applying for different grants to give us a little bit of time and a little bit of money to build this idea. And we thought it was 2020. It was like January, February 2020. 

And we were kind of like writing up these grants and thinking how could this look? And we work at an academic institution, and we thought maybe we could get like 10 to 20 people to get together a couple of times. 

But very quickly, with pandemic evolving, I thought, God, what if we just did? We thought this could exist entirely online and asynchronously and there's nothing to say, we can't do it. And then we thought maybe 10 or 20 folks would sign up. 

So, we sent out some recruitment emails and word of mouth, got around to a friend of a friend in this other program and this other program and by the end of a couple of weeks, 100 people had signed up. And we thought like I can just remember we were having this conversation, and we were like why don't we just randomize them and do an RCT? Like why not? And then we did so good. 


That's so amazing. Okay, so, remembering that my listeners run the gamut from having their own articles in JAMA to not knowing what a p-value even is, can you guys summarize the results of that pilot study? 


Yeah, sure, and so to just lay out what a RCT or a randomized clinical trial is kind of the real big push to do that. 

I think was also knowing that we're in what's considered sort of a soft science in academia and the gold standard, like the academic trade, is randomized controlled trials, and that means that you give one group a thing and you don't give the other group the thing, and they have to be a similar group, that you can look at them and say these groups are the same as each other. 

They all wanted the thing and half of them got it and half of them didn't. So, you would see a lot of this in drug trials with placebos. We didn't have a placebo, so we just randomized them to either receive our coaching intervention at the time it was 2021, it was January, so sort of spring of 2021 and half of them were randomized to receive it and the other half that did sign up and were matched in all other ways did not receive our coaching intervention. 

We then waitlisted them and gave them the coaching later on after the session. 


I can imagine how mad I would have been if I had signed up and you would have been like no, not I know we were managing a lot with emails. 


Thank you so much. You're so important and you're going to help the well-being of the whole field and all this at the time. But yeah, it was a kind of a bummer for the control group and so then we delivered pre-tests to everyone in the very beginning, measuring dimensions of well-being, so burnout and self-compassion and moral injury and posture syndrome, and these are surveys that have been developed over many, many years and distributed across many, many types of people and sort of shown against themselves and other surveys to be valid or real. 

So, they're measuring what they think they're measuring. Everyone was doing really poorly and then we gave the coaching intervention to half of them and then surveyed everybody again and we were looking for changes in those scores compared to each other.


And, importantly, we had a statistician on our team at the time who had told us actually 100 people in this study really is not enough to see the difference you're looking for with the tool. You're looking for it in the Maslach burnout inventory. 

Actually, you probably need more like 5 or 600 people to move the needle even one point across this time in residence, just because residents are historically so hard to move the needle on. 

So, we thought, oh shoot, well, we don't know if we can coach 500, yet like, let us just try this out, and we know it won't work. We resurveyed them at the end, and we had actually dropped their Maslach Burnout inventory score by four points in the intervention group compared to our control participants. 

So, that was very exciting. It tells us that we had a really powerful intervention that was able to move the needle. Even if we weren't technically powered to find a difference, we found an overwhelming difference. 


That is so incredible. I fit. I know you guys. I think you might have talked about that at the position coaching summit, but I had forgotten that little detail, so that makes it even more incredible, so awesome. 


Yeah, oh gosh, we were so thrilled. We also, I think, we got statistical significance in self-compassion and in imposter syndrome in that group. Yeah, and we actually resurveyed those intervention participants a year later, so after the coaching group had ended. And I mean talk about not being powered because at that time these are residents, so many of them graduated and we didn't keep their emails because we got far in advance. 

Yeah, but even within the limited response rate that we did have, we were able to show that those in the intervention arm still had more self-compassion than those in the control group at 12 months. Everything else trended in the right direction as well. We just couldn't hit statistical significance with those, oh my goodness. 


And I mean, I think you guys have alluded to it, but it's so important, I think, to note that this pilot study was done in 2021, when we were still in the middle of a global pandemic and nearly everyone in medicine was demoralized and questioning their life choices, like what have I done right and your guys' opinion. 

Why does it matter that physicians and really all people in general have reduced emotional exhaustion, reduced imposter syndrome and increased self-compassion? Why does that matter? 


I mean, actually we're looking into that question specifically with a whole lot of. So that study led to a much larger study that we did the following year. We elect in a thousand women physicians trainees across the country. 

And so now we have this database of a thousand women, young women, physicians. 

They're all burnt out, they all have all these other problems and we're asking questions like does it does burnout predict any other badness, like, say, leaving your job or wanting to leave your job, or is moral injury driving things like low self-compassion? Is moral injury perhaps predicting your feelings about your institution? 

And so we're able, we actually have asked some questions about well, how do you, would you, would you recommend your training program to a current medical student or would you take a job here if you were offered that job and are able to show that absolutely in fact, I'm just getting ready to submit this paper behind you on my window right here that absolutely, the more burnt out you are, the more likely you are to leave your job before you even finish graduating, which is nuts. 

The more likely you are to tell a medical student they shouldn't go to your institution, the more likely you are to even leave your specialty or medicine altogether within the next two years. So, it really matters for the workforce, for patients, honestly. 


Also, I mean in my mind, like on a bigger scale. It matters for the experience of the person, because existing in your body, in a job where you're not in compassion with yourself, where you're emotionally exhausted and depersonalizing your patients or colleagues or whatever I mean because that experience is hard and because we want people not to be experiencing that. 


Right. Well, I mean, we don't want them to be leaving medicine. We also don't want them to be leaving the world. You know, I don't know that a lot of people who are listening to this podcast realize the rate of physician burnout, the rate of physician suicide and the negative connotation that goes along with admitting that you need any help with your mental health when you are a physician. 

Like I think we're getting better at recognizing that but certainly when I was in training and for the past you know, 20 years that I was in practice there was definitely a stigma associated with admitting that you needed any help whatsoever managing your mind, managing your life. 

You know you were just supposed to pretend that everything was okay and keep going and, like I said before, stuff it down and move on to the next thing. 


So, yeah, it's so important to be moving the needle away from that, because that's not helping the physicians and it's not helping our patients and it's not helping, right? 


Well, yeah, I mean, I'm going to be 51 in a couple of weeks and I'm like we need it so many people to stay into medicine, in medicine, so that they can take care of me when I get older, right, listen, it's a totally selfish reason, right? So, that's amazing. 

Okay, I love how participation in your coaching program is optional, meaning it's up to the individual participant to decide if they want in and when they want in, and that no one is being coached against their will. I also love that it's anonymous, against speaking to this stigma, against seeking help for your mental health and medicine. 

So, you've kind of alluded to it, Tyra. But what's next? Like, I saw your website. You're working on getting this out to other institutions so that they can start coaching at a med student level, which I think is incredible and I see that you're looking at helping all the advanced practice providers too, because they're definitely a part of the culture of medicine, which is amazing. So, tell me more about what's happening. 


What's next? We want to be serving more people than we're serving. So, this year we're really excited. We're at, I think, 44 institutions across the country, and one of our big missions is that we think that this resource that Better Together or coaching in general should be a thing that's an investment on the part of the institution or the leadership of a group, but a thing that's harnessed by the individuals in a way that works for them. And so, thanks for bringing up the bit about flexibility. 

Our job isn't to make life harder by having more expectations that people feel like they can't meet. Our job is to give people opportunities to explore themselves and understand themselves better and learn tools that help them engage in their world in a way that makes more sense for them and is aligned with their values. 

But we really feel strongly that institutions and groups sponsor that. So, our big goals for the next couple of years are to increase the footprint, increase the number of people we serve by partnering with new institutions across the country, and we do that by them hearing about us through people like you. 

So, I think that's like that's the main thing we're working on is getting the word out. 


That's awesome. 


Yeah, and so specifically what she means is like a hospital might subscribe to Better Together and offer it to all of their doctors, and then they pay for their doctors to have access to that, just like you would with a magazine subscription for like your waiting room or whatever, and then if they want to join, they can. 

And what we found is actually the stigma, for engaging in the coaching program is way less than, say, getting a therapist. Sometimes we'll joke about it being like a gateway to a therapist or psychiatrist, just because once you get in and you realize, oh, life is so much better here when I'm looking at my mind, and so I think having that accessibility in such an anonymous way is really important and in that way that they sort of subscribe for all their people. 

That means that the head of the hospital or your boss or whoever it is, doesn't get to know necessarily who it is that's taking advantage of it or who they're paying for, because that would be also incredibly stigmatizing. 


Yeah, that's so awesome. I love it, I love it. 


The other piece I'd add is that I think and I like dug my heels in around this and I remember in 2021 when we first did our first randomized control trial, thinking like, okay, we just need to do this one and then prove ourselves and then it'll be done, and like we'll build it and they'll come and we don't have to do any more research because it's done, it's researched.


Now, I mean, one study has led to 10 others, and we did that larger RCT we a randomized clinical pilot in faculty or attending physicians or regular doctors is under review right now. We did 160 attending doctors here at the University of Colorado and we also ran RCTs in seven medical schools across the country and over 500 medical students and in almost 200 APPs or advanced practice providers in two institutions. 

And so, I think a real mission underneath Better Together has been having a solid evidence base and providing that to the coaching community. I mean, I can't tell you how many people have thanked us for providing the evidence. That then makes it more accessible for their people and it almost feels like a core purpose that we have is to keep going. 

Now that we have the means and the will, oh yeah, so I think, getting it? Probably not in RCTs Thank you for now because they're incredibly hard and incredibly resource intensive. But we're doing qualitative studies and we're doing, you know, these baseline, mediator and moderation analyses and we're looking at all sorts of sections of wellbeing and how coaching can serve them, building various curricula and what are our coaches bringing? 

And there's just so many questions that can be answered with real science that I think will help the entire coaching community, not just physicians who need coaching, but coaches across the world that are asking what are the issues right now, today, in 2024? What's coming up? Where are people getting stuck? 


Yeah, so good. I know every time you guys post something I immediately post it on my social media and I, like flex, have met you both in person and you know it's I'm just like in awe and so proud and you know just so happy to call you guys colleagues. 


So back at you, sister, like I see you out here. 


Thank you. I know I was just coaching one of my amazing one-on-one clients who's a pediatrician, and she is relatively early in her practice and has two little kids and a husband, and you know she was saying how, when she was in residency, this was before you guys were doing any of your stuff, but they were kind of mandated to do this wellness program where they were forced to meditate and I was like, how did that work for you? 

And she was like, honestly, I just wanted to go home and sleep. And I was like, yes, I'm like that is probably what you actually needed at that moment, instead of a forced meditation from your institution. 


I mean, god bless them for trying, right, I mean, but so maybe I'm so glad you bring that up because I think it brings up this like interesting idea of like what well-being means to different people is different, and for I think there's an interesting discussion to be had around, like whose job is it to define that and whose job is it to provide that? 

And I think where we land is that a kind of place where those two things are integrated right, Like responsibilities for residents and physicians and anybody in any jobs. Well-being should rest somewhat on the environment that the institution provides and also somewhat on what the individuals bring to create the culture of that place. 

But, like mandating meditation, are honestly even mandating coaching? As I know that coaching isn't right for people who aren't ready for coaching and that really diminishes what the people who are here to get coached can get out of it. And so, helping people to define what is wellness, what is like well-being, look like to you, what are the ingredients for you that are different than the ingredients for someone else? 

Like what do you need to be able to do to define that and then go after it and achieve it, and how can I support you as a leader, as an institution or whatever? Like that is the important conversation to have not like yoga for everybody, forced meditation and like a puppy van that comes around on like Friday afternoons in the summer. 


I mean like that's great. 

Right, yeah, what we were offered was pizza and subs. Like, let us give you food to make you feel better. The other thing that I think bears mentioning is, like Tyra said at the beginning, one of my favorite things. I don't want to force coaching on anyone for sure. 

I agree 100%, but I love taking someone who's a little bit skeptical and showing them the magic because you know they, they. I love a healthy bit of skepticism. I am very cynical and skeptical by nature, and I love seeing the transformation when I was able to put down that cynicism and skepticism and just kind of go all in on it. So, it's kind of this both, and that we play with a lot in coaching. So, I just wanted to bring that out. 


I mean you want to talk about the most cynical people or the most skeptical people. It is residents, like it is the resident physician who has an 80-hour work week that they have absolutely no control over, and we're probably sold a false belief that their delayed gratification was going to pay off and they are now on this high-speed train towards attending hood where they really see like it's not going to pay off. 

That is cynicism and I think you know we coach now all of these different groups of trainees and physicians and appies and residents remain probably the trickiest group. Their moral injury is the highest, their suffering is off the charts, and they have a degree of rigidity around it. That is justified. I had it also, but I love it just like you. It's they're the. They're the best. I think our hearts are solidly in the resident camp for a reason. 


I love it and I love that you're taking it down to the med student level. I mean this. I can remember being so upset when I figured out that my thoughts created my feelings and that nobody had told me. For you know, 47 years and I was like this is magic, like everyone needs to know about this, which is what made me pursue, you know, my coaching career, and I was like I have to, like I felt this call to share the magic with everyone. 

So, okay, ladies, I don't want to take up too much more of your time, so I have another question for you. My coaching program and my podcast is called your favorite you. So, for each of you, how has coaching helped you each become your favorite version of yourself?



That's so fascinating that the first thing my brain was flooded with was all of the areas where I'm my least favorite me, and, and, and I'm getting there, don't worry. And I think that my openness to that and my vulnerability with that is becoming my favorite version of myself.


The coaching piece is in our growth and development of this program. I think if Adrienne and I weren't able to coach ourselves and like turn and give a real honest eye to ourselves in our behavior, we would have been self-sabotaged a dozen times along the way already, and so I think it was necessary that we both got a lot of coaching before we came to this and continue to get coaching throughout this journey, and I have been pushed to my edge so many times. 

I know Adrienne has two in the best ways and the worst ways and in ways that really have. I mean that question in an interview where it's like what are your weaknesses? And all of us just say, oh, such a perfectionist. Where is a badge of honor? 

I can tell you my real weaknesses. I can tell you about half a dozen of them right off the top of my head, and they're not pretty and they're not badges of honor, but the fact that I can do that is actually something that I'm proud of, and I'm not I have like getting chills that I'm saying this, but I'm not scared that Adrienne's going to leave me, even if I talk about them with her and I think I would have been three years ago and so that's something that I'm really proud of and really grateful to have Adrienne walk this path with me around. 

This is for sure my favorite version of myself, and it's not because it's the prettiest. 


I love that answer because that's my favorite version of you. Like my favorite me isn't the one that you think is your perfect you. I don't remind you of that. 


The next time I mess up, the next time I send an email to chat. This is your favorite version of me, remember. 



Oh my god, this is a really hard question and I've been trying to think about, Melissa, how I'm going to answer it. 

The hardest work I continue to do and what brought me to coaching was around my relationship with myself and specifically my relationship with my like physical self, my body. 

Also my relationship to myself as a, as a mom and as a like parent who makes mistakes sometimes, and I find that through coaching and a lot of the work that I'm just continuing to do in those domains like I like myself as a mom and I like myself as a human being in a body right now in ways that I don't think I have in like maybe my whole life, and I was sharing with a group call I was hosting the other night, just like around. 

I can't remember what it was about. It was about purpose and living into that and like one of the things I'm working on is being okay with myself, which seems like it should be a very low bar, but for me is a thing that I still negotiate with myself about a lot, and my favorite version of me is present more often and is gentle more often with myself than ever before, so I'm promised that. 


Yeah, the gentleness is so important we are sold a bill of goods that harshness is the way to improve ourselves, and it's just so not true, and I talk about it all the time. And I think medicine keeps us from connecting to our body? 

For sure it keeps us from our chin to the top of our head and it rewards us for that. So, getting back in touch with your human being, like the actual body that roams the earth, is like that's, I think, the most important work that we can do. If you guys have not listened to it, I'm going to toot my own horn on my podcast about another podcast episode. 

But I had my boys, who are now 18 and 21, on the podcast earlier Well, it's almost been a year ago now and I titled the podcast mom, fuck ups, part one, because I knew there were going to be parts two and parts three, you know, because I'm going to continue to be their mom, I'm going to continue to fuck up. 

And I knew, as soon as we got off recording the first one, that we would all be like, oh, we forgot to talk about that one, you know, and of course there were those things. 

So, I wanted to give us space to be able to record again and again and, yeah, like just loving yourself as a mom and knowing that you can screw it up over and, over and over again, and really all we need to do is to love these little creatures that we have created, and which is sometimes so easy to do and sometimes so hard. 

Like it's just I just love helping people with that. So, okay, is there anything else that you guys think would be important for their listeners to know that we haven't touched on, or really anything that we've already said that you think bears repeating? 


I have a question, Melissa, do you do groups? Do you coach? I want to share a little bit about what I think we've learned about the power of group coaching. Yeah, I love it because I know it's really tricky and my first experience was also in a group coaching program, and I think it took me a very long time before I ever raised my hand and got coached in front of a group. 

I want to talk about the power that you have when you're the very brave person who comes to a group coaching call and share something that you're going through because the chance that you were the only person going through that thing is effectively zero and the power that you have in sharing that and being open to having Melissa hold in your story can really touch other people in ways that I don't think we know, and so maybe you know that because you've been on a group call and you've, like, received the power of somebody else's coaching, but it's a really, really. 

I think that that is the way we achieve self-compassion is by seeing somebody else who we can feel compassion for and then being reminded that we are also them and they are also us, and that, therefore, compassion must also be extended in the direction of yourself. 


I always say we can spread this compassion shit on everyone. 


So, I think I want to say, like if you've been scared to raise your hand, or if you've been nervous about joining a group coaching program, I think it's so much more powerful for many reasons. I'm not going to say more powerful than one-on-one, although maybe I should like. I think that they're tremendous power. 


We can say that we have the data to say that there are lots of one on one similarly styled studies, RCTs, that did not have the same effect that our group only at that time it was a group only coaching program had. 


So, get yourself in some group coaching, not only for you but for the other people who learn and grow because of what you share. 


Yeah, if you're motivated by altruism and by giving back, if you can't do it for you do it for all of them. It's so powerful. We know that it works also because it is a minority of our participants that are brave enough to raise their hands. A majority of them are listening as sort of passive viewers on the call, and we know that their scores increase too. So, something really powerful is happening in group coaching. 


I love it. Thank you so much for sharing that. I agree, appreciate every word. 

Thank you, guys, both so much for being here. Thank you for your contribution to medicine, thank you for your contribution to the well-being of so many physicians and, like I said earlier, I'm just so honored to have you as guests of the podcast and so proud to consider you friends and colleagues. 


Thank you, Melissa, we're so happy to be here.



Thank you for having us. 


Yes, you're so welcome. 

Alright, guys, come back next week for the next amazing episode. We'll see you then. 

Hey, everybody, don't go quite yet. I want to let you know all the ways that you can work with me.

If you've been listening to this podcast and maybe especially you have listened to episodes where I interview my clients, and you are thinking like the older woman in the diner in the classic Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal film, When Harry Met Sally... In the film, Sally is proving a point to Harry by faking an orgasm while in public at a diner. Sally finishes, so to speak, and then takes a bite of her food. The older woman in the next booth says, "I'll have what she's having." If you've been thinking, "I'll have what she's having," this is your sign from the universe to schedule a consult with me.

I have a few spots available for one-on-one coaching with me. This is a space where I am laser focused on you and your brain for six months at a time. I will also be doing consults with women who want to join my next group coaching cohort, which will likely start in the spring of 2024. The way to contact me is to go to my website,, go to the Work with Me page and click book now to schedule your consult. I will look forward to hearing from you. Let's make 2024 your year ever as you become Your Favorite You.



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