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Interview Series: Physician Coach Alexis Small

Today's interview is with physician coach, Alexis Small. She has extensive experience working with physicians as a recruiter and physician liaison. Now she works closely with physicians on a more personal level, as a physician coach helping physicians deal with burnout and helping them create the lives they want to live, clinical and nonclinical.

It wasn't until I began my own entrepreneurial journey that I began to consider career and life coaching into my life. While personal development books and internal reflection can go very far, having a coach that's right for you, multiplies your growth 10-fold. I hope you reach out to Alexis through her website (PurposefullyConnected.com) if you resonate with anything she says in this interview. 

Begin interview:

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

Personally, I am the wife of a pastor and the mother of 3 sons.  Professionally, I have spent approximately 20 years in healthcare.  Up until 3 months ago, I have worked with physicians throughout my career.  I was in pharmaceutical sales for 13 years, a Physician Liaison for 2 years and most recently recruited physicians (psychiatrists) for a little over 4.5 years.  Three months ago I transitioned to the education nonprofit world to support students. I also launched PurposefullyConnected.com to help physicians connect with the right people/organizations to land nonclinical jobs.

2. How did you come to work with burned out physicians? 

While I was a physician recruiter I wrote an article entitled, “When Should Physicians Seek Career Advice” that was posted at nonclinicaldoctors.com, run by Dr. Heidi Moawad. - http://www.nonclinicaldoctors.com/medical-career-strategies/-when-should-physicians-seek-career-advice.  Physicians started calling and emailing me for guidance and assistance.  Dr. Moawad also referred some physicians to me.

3. How can a coach help a physician?

 I actually do not consider myself to be a physician coach.  Since I offer a very specific type of assistance – helping physicians connect directly with hiring decision makers to transition from clinical to nonclinical work – I consider myself to be more like an “agent”.  I accomplish this by walking physicians through my D.R.E.A.M.™ Job process to determine in which area they most need my assistance and/or guidance.

  • Discover your gifts, talents, skills and passion
  • Research career options
  • Explore available opportunities
  • Apply yourself
  • Making it happen

Physicians can visit https://bit.ly/2AO3P7e to request a copy of my “How To Land Your       

     D.R.E.A.M.™ Job” Checklist, which explains the D.R.E.A.M.™ Job process in more detail.

4. There are so many coaches out there, how do physicians pick the right one for them?

Most physician coaches focus their work on the “D” – helping physicians Discover their gifts, talents, skills and passion.  The physician should consider whether the “coach”:

  • Has experience working with physicians
  • Enjoys helping physicians find the best career/job fit
  • Understands the healthcare landscape
  • Is adept at navigating the recruiting/hiring process
  • Has your best career interest in mind

 5. When does a physician know that it may be the time to seek the help of a physician coach?

In my article entitled “When Should Physicians Seek Career Advice” I suggest the following:

  • You don’t know what to do
  • You don’t know how to do it
  • You don’t have the time do it

6. What are tips you can share for any physician dealing with burnout?

  • Seek support/guidance.
  • Identify the specific source of the burnout (i.e. seeing patients, EMR/EHR, managed care, schedule, etc.).
  • Explore options to remedy the burnout (e.g. exercise, prayer/meditation, changing careers, etc.).
  • Choose an option to address the burnout.
  • Take action!

7. How can a physician decide if it’s time to find a nonclinical career versus needing to deal with burnout, but staying in the same career?

It depends on the source of the burnout.  If the source is directly related to practicing clinical medicine, then it may be necessary to pursue a nonclinical career.  If the source of the burnout is related to working, in general, then the physician may be able to identify ways to address the burnout while remaining in a clinical position.

End Interview.

Don't forget to check out Alexis' website at PurposefullyConnected.com and pick up some free valuable resources such as "How to Set Clear Expectations and Reasonable Goals for Your Career Transition”.