As an expert careers coach for doctors, I specialise in working with doctors in difficulty. This could be anything from helping a doctor to cope with their current role through better understanding their own needs, making requests of their employer, supporting a doctor to get back to work after a period of ill-health or physician burnout, or helping doctors with career problems relating to their current job, choice of specialty, or even career change for doctors. Many doctors in their mid 50s are interested in a later life career, or a portfolio career, and I help mid-career and senior doctors to improve their careers through confidential professional development coaching and mentoring for doctors.
Help for Doctors with Career Problems
Doctor’s careers are unusual careers. Many doctors decide on their career choice as an adolescent and once they are on the medical career ladder they want to keep going to maintain their identity, professional status and their income. Doctors have worked hard to make progress through years of training and having concerns about your career choice as a doctor is a really difficult life experience for many if not most doctors. Many doctors feel a sense of shame, loss, guilt and fear if they are experiencing health, personal or professional issues. Seeking help for doctors with career difficulties is always a better solution than trying to cope on your own: I can provide support and help at this difficult time.
Support for Doctors in Difficulty
I provide support for doctors in difficulty, helping them to understand themselves and their needs in relation to their careers and their working lives. Doctors wellbeing has been a passion of mine since the mid 90s when I led a working group in my local hospital to improve the health of staff and I still feel highly motivated to support individual doctors in difficulty.
Career Counselling for Doctors
Most of the doctors I work with have had very little careers counselling for medics or careers advice for doctors over the years. Most have never really had the opportunity to understand themselves and their needs, and how their needs have changed and will continue to change over the years. Careers advice for consultants and senior medics and careers counselling for GPs tends to be quite limited in terms of availability for more senior doctors: a senior doctor in career difficulty can feel very isolated, alone and afraid of the personal and professional consequences of being unhappy in their career choice.
Help for Doctors
Although I mainly focus on helping doctors to improve their working lives, I am often asked to support doctors as a life coach for doctors. As well as providing medical leadership coaching for doctors in senior leadership roles, I do undertake some life coaching for doctors where it is relevant to their career and for doctors wellbeing. This may include some aspects of health coaching for doctors such as learning strategies for doctors stress and burnout prevention as I specialise in doctors emotional wellbeing, based on my early degree in psychology and understanding flourishing and positive psychology. I use a lot of applied CBT in my work with doctors in distress to good effect.
The Upward Spiral
I use evidence based methods to help doctors in difficulty to take action to make the changes they need to move up the ‘upward spiral’. I tend to see my clients 4 times over a 3-4 month period and I love seeing them get into action and taking control of their lives, health and careers. Many clients continue to work with me over the years, or let me know of their success and progress, it’s always a pleasure to see a doctor in distress become a person who knows who they are, what they stand for in the world, and who is getting more of what they need in their working life.
Dr Fiona Day (MBChB, FFPH, Dip Occ Med, ILM 7 Executive Coaching and Mentoring) is a Medical Leadership and Career Coach and helps mid-career and senior Doctors and Professionals to improve their careers and working lives, using evidence based psychological theory and behaviour change science. Download a free career planning workbook and find out more at www.fionadayconsulting.co.uk; to explore working with me please book a confidential half hour Career Consultation here.