Hey guys, welcome back to the podcast. I am Amanda.
And I'm Kendra.
We are so excited because you get to meet one of our amazing clients, Dr. Theresa Navarrete. We can tell you all about coaching, but sometimes it's honestly easier just to hear it from somebody's personal experience.So let's get into it. Welcome to the podcast, Theresa.
Thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you guys so much. Long time listener. First time guest.
We are so excited to have just a real life experience and everything that you've learned so share away, tell us, tell our listeners a little bit about you.
So, my name is Theresa Navredi. I am an ER doctor. I am married to an ER doctor. We live in the Chicagoland area. Between us, we have four kids and I also have a stepdaughter.
I have a non traditional background coming to medicine. I actually got my bachelor's of science in nursing and worked as a nurse for three years before working as a doctor. So I worked in a level one trauma center for two years and then I did travel nursing for a year in New York City and that's where I met my husband.
Came back to Chicago for medical school and training. I had my oldest in my fourth year of med school. One in residency and two isn't attending. I work somewhere between part time and full time, probably closer to the full time side. I am mostly in a community hospital. I do a few immediate care shifts and I just started picking up a few scattered shifts at an academic center where I trained actually.
And then most recently became interested in physician wellness and burnout.
Awesome. Well, that pretty much sounds like all of us. So thank you for setting the tone and being so relevant and authentic, Theresa. What was your situation like before coaching?
I was burnt out. I knew I was burnt out, but I didn't really know what that means. And that probably sounds kind of crazy, but like I sign out, you know, you'd sign out to your partner and we'd both be like, man, I'm burnt out.
This place is crazy. That waiting room is packed to the gills. I need a break. But even then I felt like I would walk away and be like, yeah, but I really feel that way. Like, I feel like they had a tough shift, but like, I just don't know how much longer I can keep doing this. And for me, I just enjoyed work less and I feel like on a number of levels, I had become more anxious.
I was always kind of risk averse as a, as a physician, I was the same way in residency, but as I practiced, as I was an attending, I would worry more about missing something about missing a symptom about missing a procedure And it wasn't really based on anything objective. And I think that's almost what made it more confusing for me is I didn't have bad cases.
I didn't have cases going to quality. I didn't have complaints. Nurses seem to enjoy working with me, but I would walk in and just be like, Oh, like I remember saying, I feel like I'm like one bad case away from leaving medicine. And like every ER doctor has their own, whatever that case is, whether it's a missed procedure or a sick kid or like whatever, just gives you palpitations, a GI bleed, like everyone has their own thing.
And I also just enjoyed interacting with patients less and that's what was kind of concerning is like I used to really like talking to my patients. I used to like learning about them and teaching them like this is what's going on and this is what we're going to do about it or this is why you feel this way.
And it started to feel transactional. Like I felt like I would walk into a room and my internal mood would just be like, what do you need out of me? Like, I just felt so drained. So instead of going in and being like, what's going on in my mind, I would think, what do you need from me to be happy with this encounter to like, you know, feel like you had a good experience to not complain and what do I need to just get a disposition and get you off my board?
Like it just became, I felt like I worked in a factory. And so I just didn't like it. And the combination of that, of like second guessing my skills and then just feeling like I wasn't even nice anymore, was I just felt like a bad doctor. And so I thought, man, this is it. I, I need a way out. I, I burnt out early.
I don't know what I'm going to do next. I didn't know if I wanted to stay home. Like I had that classic mom guilt as well. And I feel like that was playing into it. And then they played off of each other. Like, I don't even know if I wanted to stay home or if that just sounded easier and it's not easy and I know that.
And I was like, Oh God, staying at home is stressful to like, at least at work, people pretend to listen to me every now and then at home they're ages three to 10 right now. And so it's, it's not really easy there either. And along with that, then I felt guilty like I had all this education. I had all this training.
I took a spot from someone who wanted to be here who said they practiced their whole lives. So, I just didn't know what else to do. I didn't know where to go. I also was like, well, I did an ER residency. Like, I have to work as an ER doctor. So I either quit and I stay at home or I'm an ER doctor. Like there's no in between, this is the only thing available to me.
And so that's what I was dealing with before coaching. I guess it was a lot after I say it all.
I'm cracking up because you might as well just copy and paste your story. That is exactly how I felt too. 100%. Yep.
That is probably a lot of our listeners out there. So that is the way to put words to it. Tracy, you have the exact words, you, you know, now, of course, you've been on your journey, but still you put words to it. And probably a lot of you listening today are going to have a little bit of a revelation here.
You're going to borrow a few of these words and be like, that's it. That is it. That is what it is. So thank you.
My heart's so happy because. I just felt like I was carrying that around and I was the only one in the world who really felt that way.
Of course, we all did. We were out of the how many thousands of ER docs and we're all like, we're the only one.
Yeah. No, actually join the club. Join the club. It's a big club. I think the last statistic was 65 percent of us state that we have feelings of burnout. So now we've taken the top spot for several years. So join the club. So, Theresa, did you try anything to feel better before you found Cochene? Was there anything that you attempted to do to alleviate these symptoms?
I guess looking back, I did, I mean, I didn't really do too many formal things. One of the things I did, I went to the physician mom group conference and that's where I met you guys. But I think my attempt in doing that was just to have some fellowship, like I was like, maybe I'll just be around other working mom doctors.
And figure out how they're doing it and how they're still working and they're momming. And so I went there and met you guys. The other thing I'd done is I went on a really cool wellness retreat. It's with a group called Wild Med Adventures. It's run by an awesome couple, Ben and Jenny, and Ben is a wilderness ER doc who does all these crazy adventures, like fishing in the Amazon, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
I mean, just like I'm not a very outdoorsy person, so nothing I've ever looked into before, but he had a post on EM docs. And said, so many of us are burnt out. You know, we usually do these very adventurous trips, which are awesome. But I also think maybe we just need like a retreat. So why don't you guys come to my home state in Kentucky?
I am going to show you all the right things here. We'll do some bourbon tastings and some horse racing, and we'll just talk about what we're going through. And I was like. Oh, that sounds kind of cool. So I ran it by my husband thinking he'd say like that. We're not doing that. He was like, yeah, why don't you sign us up?
So we both went and I think one of the things there is I realized wellness is actually a whole thing that it's not just like how people are feeling and the articles out there and all the posts on facebook from other doctors there was a wellness fellowship director and a wellness fellow from a program out in Massachusetts.
And I was like, wait, that's, that's a thing. Like there's a whole fellowship and, you know, chief wellness officers. And so then I knew it was kind of this own, its own entity. And that's when I really started looking into it and had gone to a burnout conference after that. And that's kind of what started, started this path, I think.
That is awesome. So many great resources there. We're going to have to. Thank you. We're gonna have to check some of those out.
Everyone kind of laughs when I say I'm going to a wellness retreat and it's bourbon tasting.
Yeah. It's not just vegan food and yoga. It's right. It's so much more. I will agree again, that everything you described during your episode of burnout is exactly what I was experiencing.
Just the, the loneliness, the feeling so physically and emotionally drained and feeling like I was just pouring, pouring, pouring out and like the picture was like down to drops. And it, it helps so much to me to know that it is, it's not just us individually, it's, it's many, many of us. It's not all of us.
I know. I know many people manage to get through their careers without experiencing this, but especially if we're high empathy people, we really care about our patients who care about our kids. It is, we're at higher risk for that. So. So what, what was it, Theresa, that made you decide to try coaching with us?
So at the beginning it was meeting you guys when I met you at the booth and you were like, no, we all walked away from medicine. Then we came back. I was like, Oh, that's an option. Like you can, you can recover from this. There's another side. I just thought it was like either or like you stay here and you just put your head down and you get through it.
So I met you, I got the package with the videos and the coaching and so. I, it took me a long time to do the coaching. So I made my way through the videos and they like resonated with me and they helped with the work dread and the idea of having your own back. And so it just fit, it made sense. And I was like, okay, this is, this is something that, that makes sense.
It speaks to me, but it still took me a while to make that leap. And to be honest, I think if I had not gotten the package where they were included, I probably would have still been like a quiet listener and like maybe called into some of the coaching calls, but not, not really stepped forward. But I was like, Oh, I paid for it.
I better just use it. So the very first call I, it was a little bit, it took me a while to schedule. Another thing that helped is that I had met a friend at the PMG conference who had done coaching. I met her at the very end and it was kind of a similar thing where there was like this very genuine moment of like, no, I am really burnt out.
I don't know how much longer I have in this career and what I'm gonna do with that. And so she ended up living in the same area just a little bit north. And so we would meet up and she had started working with a coach and she's like, it's so helpful. You have to do it. And I was like... Oh, fine. I finally made that first call.
And you know, when you talk about this is such a common message, that is what was so amazing on that first coaching call is I just felt like I was like, but all this stuff is wrong. And Laura, you were the first coach and you said a lot of our clients feel this way and as cheesy as it is, it's like I was able to take a breath.
I was, it was like a weight was lifted. And again, I know that's so cliche, but I was like. Oh my gosh, you know, I was like, I knew you weren't going to sit there and be like, well, that's ridiculous. Or like, yeah, maybe you need to work on your skills. Like I knew that's not what was coming, but I was so surprised by the relief I felt of just hearing you are not alone.
There are other doctors that feel this way. They are good doctors. And this is a common feeling. And that, I mean, I think I will remember for a long time, if not forever, just that feeling of being like, Oh my gosh, you heard all that and you weren't like. Ooh, I'm going to call.
Like, we're so hard on ourselves. It wasn't even anything crazy. It wasn't like, I completely missed this procedure. It was like. I am sometimes nervous. I'm going to get a difficult airway or a sick kid and I'm going to freeze or I'm not going to get it on the first pass. It was like such a common thing, but I was so afraid of how that was going to be perceived or that other docs say they feel this way.
But then when I really put it into words that they'd be like, I mean, I worry about an airway sometimes, but I don't feel like I worry about freezing or something ridiculous like that. That's just, you know, again, how we feel. We just. I often don't have time or space to be that transparent and that vulnerable, honestly, to say I've spent a long time in my training.
I was going to say pretending to have these skills, but like, you know, acknowledging that I have these skills and trying to, to assure my patients. Yes, I can do this. And my attending that, you know, I, I kept having to, to carry that, I guess. So, to be able to say, like, yes, I can handle this airway, but sometimes I'm worried that I'll get in there and it'll be a little bit harder, which, again, as a feeling we all have, but saying it out loud was like really sometimes. I don't know, you know, yeah
Yeah, medicine is not a place where we are encouraged to be vulnerable and to be honest being vulnerable in the current state of our medical system sometimes will get you burned. So we don't that's why it's so important to have a safe space To talk to somebody about these sorts of things, because now we've coached enough people that we all are feeling this.
Oh yeah, yeah. And you're, again, you're not alone in that experience of relief. Part of why we love doing what we do so much is it's universal. Like, every doctor who comes to us is the same. Like, the relief is visible. It's like, yeah. Finally, there's a place I can talk about this and somebody is going to get it and help me feel better about it and help me stop judging myself so hard. I mean, yeah, so I, yeah, that we love, love, love that about what we do. So kind of describe what that first one was like, what, what would you, what would you tell other people considering about what the coaching sessions are like, if we're not calling ABM and we're not like, yeah, tell you how to do your job.
Yeah. And ABM plaintiff's attorneys, no one else is on the call.
I mean, really it is, it's a leap of faith and it is anytime you're vulnerable. I had talked about everything that first call about feeling anxious about having that work dread. About wondering how much longer I could do this. I also was going through a lawsuit from my, the beginning of my second year in residency.
It was a baseless suit and I wasn't dropped from it, which was surprising considering my involvement. And because of that too, I was surprised by how stressed I was. Cause I was really kind of a peripheral player, but it. It played, especially looking back at it now, it played a lot into how I was feeling and that second guessing.
So I had talked about that during that call. I mean, man, there was a lot going on. And one of the other things too, is I was like, I don't know why I'm more anxious now or why I'm more concerned. Like, I'm 6 years out of residency. I haven't had bad cases that are like going to a review, you know, a bad performance case, I'd had cases where patients had decompensated, but I don't, I don't know why I'm feeling this way now.
Like, I don't know if it's a matter of, I didn't know what I didn't know, and now I've seen more. And so now, you know, when I think about a procedure, I'm like, man, like I'm that airway, it's not always as straightforward, or I'd seen more patients who seemed fine, and then all of a sudden they dropped their pressure.
And now I'm worrying that I'm missing something. I had talked about feeling like if I had a patient decompensate, which is not uncommon in the emergency department, given that people come thinking they're having an emergency, I would have this feeling of, oh my gosh, their pressure dropped. I bet if my partner had this, they would have caught this.
Like this patient would have been fine. This is something that I did. This is something that I missed. And so just being able to talk about that with someone objective as well, that I didn't feel like you had to pad my ego or. Or really on some level, it was almost helpful that you didn't know my, my performance.
You hadn't worked with me. Was was helpful. It was it was a different perspective. And what I've told people about coaching in the past is it's interesting because it's not like there's anything that other people haven't said before. There's something about the framework of thinking about your objective circumstance.
That's often what I try to bring myself back to. Like, what is the objective circumstance here? You know, like, take everything else away from it. What would What would you say about this situation if it was in court and no one was able to give their opinions? And things like, you know, everything I talked about before feeling like, oh man, this patient, this patient dropped their pressure.
I would talk about it with a partner or my husband and they'd be like, well, yeah, they were septic. Like that's what happens. And then you gave fluids or you did the presser and. That's what happens in this disease process. You know that I would have done the same thing, but it just wasn't clicking. It's like I could hear all of this reassurance and, and everyone doing the right thing and trying to help me, trying to help me feel better.
But I still was like, it just wasn't, it wasn't clicking. It's like, I couldn't get it into the part of my brain that believed it. I would be like, yeah, you're right. You're right. That was just, that was a GI bleed. And that's what happens. And they go quickly and you do the best you can. But I would just be like, But if my partner had seen it, right, but I bet my attending, you know, back in training totally would have known what to do and would have wrapped this up.
And so having your, your own back and, you know, and learning to, to walk forward with that was super helpful in this. And again, it's just, it's something about the framework of coaching and, and walking through and looking at you know, there were times where I would describe a case like that. And when you would say, but is that true?
Yeah. And it, like, makes you stop and pause because, you know, we're so sure that all of our, our bad feelings are true and that this must be the case and I'm sure everyone else sees it this way, you know, like something like, yeah, you had a GI bleed and, and that you had to give blood and you felt like maybe that was your fault because they shouldn't have needed blood.
You should have magically stopped the GI bleed faster. Is that true? Like, do you think other people could magically stop a diverticular bleed? No, I guess not. It's just that like pausing and, and really making you think through all your thoughts about it. And it, I'm not going to lie. It sounded so woo.
I was like, know if this is going to work. And I'm like, decently crunchy, you know? But I don't know. But for whatever reason it did, I would be like, Oh, that is right. You know, GI bleeds get sick. That's why everyone kind of fears a bad GI bleed because. They can go down fast, you know, whatever case it is.
Yeah. Yeah. That's, it does sound woo, but it's actually based in science. It's, you know, we talk about our, one of our favorite clients who has now coached herself as a psychiatrist and she's. It's just like this, this is like cognitive behavioral therapy, like, which has lots of research behind it and coaching does too now.
So it feels woo, but it, it feels weird cause it's like magic how quickly it works, but it's not, not woo. So what were some of the biggest ideas or takeaways that helped you? I heard you mention having your own back. That's one that is super helpful to us, especially when we're experiencing burnout. Anything else that was a big takeaway for you?
I mean, having your own back was a huge one for me and that, that made a difference in how I practice and how I. You know, how I get through a day at work. One of them, when I was like early in on this and had that first call of like, I don't know if I should stay home. Maybe I should go into real estate.
Maybe I should like develop a product. I don't, I'm going to be a consultant. I've heard people talk about it. I don't know what that means or like how you consult or who wants me to consult, but like, maybe I'll do that. Was like working. Stopping to work and staying home with your kids is totally an option, and it's something that you can do, but you have to choose it.
You have to decide that that is what fits your needs right now and speaks to where you're at in life, and you have to choose that because that's what you want to do. You can't do it because you feel like you can't do medicine. And again, it was one of those things where it was like a subtle twist. It was like, you know, the outcome might be the same.
You might leave clinical medicine right now and decide to stay at home. And that is fine. That's a great choice. That's a really hard job. And it's one of the most important jobs out there. And that's fine, but you have to choose. This is what my, this is what I need right now. This is what my family needs.
And not from a place of, well, I don't think I can cut it. And I think it was that switch. In acknowledging the fact that I can do both, but also just like the agency and the autonomy of like, you get to choose. You're not being chased out of medicine. If that's what works right now, then do that, but don't do it because you feel like you can't do this because you can.
So that was a really subtle difference and looking at it that for some reason was like, whoa, wait, that's true. And again, because staying at home is not easy. So it's not like, Oh, you can, you can stay at home. Probably need a woman do. It's like the easy way out. Like it was an acknowledgement of like, it's not easy if that's what you want to do, that's fine.
But that has to be because you've consciously made that choice after evaluating everything. So that was a big one. Like. Whatever your next step is, real estate, consulting, rock climbing, just make sure that it's yours. Because you can do this. Put me back in the driver's seat. That was helpful.
I love that. I love that so much. And I loved, I loved your comment earlier where you were like going to work. People listen to me. And that is one of my favorite things about going to work. It's like, I asked somebody to do something and I say, please, of course, and they do it like right then it's like, stuff happens, it's, it's amazing.
So that is a, that's a definite benefit from not staying home full time because you, you really don't get that much at home where you're staying home with kids.
I always laugh when I get to work and you hear like a screaming kid in the hallway. I'm like, I did not leave work or I did not leave home to come listen to screaming kids.
Right. And then, as you know, I mean, like a good portion of our adult patients act like toddlers anyway. And I'm like, listen, that's right.
Looking at the objective circumstance was a big takeaway from coaching and just like, okay, stop. Stop right here. What is happening? You know, even again, those patient encounters of a patient seemed upset that I was going to discharge them or I wasn't getting an MRI. I, I would like doubt myself, like either clinically, like, are they right?
What if they're right? What if they need an emergent MRI of their toe and I'm missing it? Or I'd be like, am I a bad doctor? You know, like that, obviously that's always a thought, like, what am I doing it that they're not accepting what I'm, I'm telling them. Am I not being empathetic or like, you know, trying to see it from their perspective.
So I would kind of try to stop myself and be like, okay, wait, the circumstances that they feel like they need a CT right now. Is that true? And it, you know, it would just let me stop the spiral a little bit instead of either feeling defensive or feeling like, Oh my gosh, what if they're right? I would just be like, okay, I'm just going to slow down and think of this in a stepwise fashion.
So that is something that has helped me. And then the, another thing is. Acknowledging your feeling. And again, it sounds so cheesy, but even things like being anxious during a shift. I remember hearing like, if you just acknowledge the anxiety. So we had like, you know, you get that call, EMS is coming in, it's a code or resuscitated arrest.
And so you're like, Ooh, okay, this is going to be a tough one. And so for a second, I was like, Oh, that's my anxiety. Okay. I was kind of expecting you to be here. It's okay. I'm trained in this, you know, we're, we're going to do what we, the next best thing. It's like frozen, take the next, you know, do the next right thing.
And so again, I was kind of surprised at the relief I felt being like, Oh, that's my anxiety. So instead of fighting it, just being like, I am anxious because this is a really critical situation and it's normal to feel anxious. And so I'm going to take a deep breath and do what I was trained in instead of spiraling and being like, Oh man, what if it is tough? What if it's, what if it's like one of those weird arrhythmias where you're like, I don't know, they're not coming out of it like the algorithm says they should be. What if everyone's looking at me and I don't know what the next best thing is. And maybe it's not even because of me.
Cause it's just not every, every heartbeat doesn't read the textbook, but what does they look at me and they think I'm an idiot. And then I feel like I'm not an idiot. This is a weird, this is a weird rhythm, but I'd be like, no, we're not going there. This is a crazy situation and I'm going to take a deep breath because this is what I was, I, this is what I was trained to do.
And I am the one in the room right now who knows, knows what call to make. And I'm just going to have my back and do my best. So again, it was that kind of woo thing of like, just acknowledging it instead of trying to push it down or say like, I'm not anxious. I know what I'm doing. I'm, I'm very confident, but saying like, no, you are confident.
You're well trained. You're a great doctor and it's normal to be anxious in this situation.
I love that. You, yes, you just put into words so, so many important lessons, and I know that you're going to help people because of it. So we met Theresa before that was thinking she had to leave medicine, that was second guessing herself, that was criticizing herself.
And one thing that you said that also resonated with me was, people would tell you, no, you, you did exactly the same thing that I would do. But it was that internal voice. That was what I couldn't escape. Like it expected perfection. It didn't matter that it was a reasonable thing to do. My inner voice like wanted it to be perfect every time and was relentless if it wasn't.
So how does your life look different now after coaching?
So you guys did not pay me to be on this, but like, I feel like coaching has been career saving. I mean, I have such a different perspective now. I am not actively looking for an exit plan. I still have tough shifts. I still have tough patients. I still have cases where I am anxious, you know, where I'm like,
oh, gosh, what, what if this patient decompensates? What if I catch something? I feel like I missed something. I mean, like, I think so many of us are afraid of missing something, which, I mean, let's be honest, you're going to like, you can't be perfect. And you just hope that the thing that you miss was like a really small, insignificant piece of the puzzle.
But that constant fear of like, What if I don't catch something in time? So I still have those, those moments, but I feel like now I have tools that I enjoy my job again. You know, I have thrown myself into wellness, both for myself, I've talked a lot with people I meet about like, Nope, this is a thing.
It's not just you. You're not a bad doctor. This is burnout. I think burnout and wellness are such burnt out phrases and we've heard it over and over. And it's unfortunate because the meaning behind it is true. It's just that we've talked about, you know, Physicians are burnt out and 65 percent of you are physicians.
So, you know, clearly if you're listening to this, you probably already feel some level of burnout, but even people who don't, I'm like, listen, it's one out of two. So if for some reason you escaped it, that is awesome. But I promise you one of your partners or one of your med school friends is feeling this and they kind of need to hear it too.
They need to hear that this is a thing and, and you're not alone. So, you know, I met with the, we have a chief wellness officer at our hospital and I met with her and I was like, I want to, I want to get involved with this, I want to do it. And so I'm on the wellness committee and had kind of sat and sat through a lot of those meetings and then I went to a burnout and healthcare symposium in LA at the beginning of this year, like last winter.
It was a great conference. It was again, just being around my like minded people, you know, and talking about even what was interesting about that one. It was like an institutional approach, you know, I mean, like there was a speaker from press gaming who was like, you can't focus on patient satisfaction without thinking about provider satisfaction.
And I was like, man, thank you. Hit home and Chris Ganey. Yes. Oh, I feel like even on an institutional admin level, you can't really argue with that. Like I can't be my best self to a patient if I close the door, I'm rolling my eyes and grumbling about what else is going on during work day. So I was, it was like minded people, both in an admin level and then some other, some other minion docs like me.
And so I met with the CWO and I was like, I think we should have a conference. And she was like, okay, you want to do it? I was like, Oh, I feel like, you know, I'm not, I'm not a person in this space. I don't, I don't have a podcast or a coaching group. Like there are so many established people in wellness that I was so intimidated.
And then, you know, another kind of coaching. Coaching thought I was like, well, why not me? You know? And so that's kind of been one of the other things that I will think either during a shift or just in cases like this where I'm like, I mean, I was burned out. I know a lot about it. I've gone to conferences.
Like I don't have any crazy accolades, but sure. Like we need to bring this message to the people. And so that has become more of my I don't know, focus. What, what drives me is. I have made it through a lot of this, still working on a lot of it, but I'm not alone. And I feel, I know that there are other doctors like me out there.
And so I just want to, I want to let them know that they're not alone. You know, the AMA has that, had that study or came out with that statement that one out of five positions is looking to leave their current practice in the next two years. And some of those are positions who are retiring early or who just need a change in their practice.
But some of them are really good doctors. And so once I was able to have my own back, I was like, man, I am a really good doctor and I almost left. And that would have been a loss to patients really. And it would have been a loss to me because I have a lot more to offer to this field and this career. And I almost left, you know, and so there are so many other doctors who still have a lot to give.
They just, they need the tools to get there, which almost makes it sound like I'm saying like they are lacking something, but it's, it's like, we just need to bring this healing. We need to bring kindness back to medicine and say, it's okay. You're not a superhero. You actually can't do more with less and sleep less and, you know, not go to the bathroom.
There's really nothing that different about you physiologically that you can do all of this. And other people shouldn't be expected to. So, yeah, there was a lot of thoughts.
I am so proud of you, man. You are amazing. I'm telling you. I am so proud.
I truly just being able to have this space to have these conversations and say, like, you are not alone. There are other people. And then be like, man, we need to get this word out to them. I know.
Yeah, we, we've actually had somebody who was like, well, I don't understand why you're saying I need to do something. It's obviously the system so, and very resistant to try something like this. What advice would you give them?
You're right, you are a hundred percent right. It is the system and oh man, wouldn't it be great if we could change that one day? It's just not around the corner, I don't think. And so you can't change the system, but you can change you another, you know, another thing I worked on in coaching was like kind of that idea of having your own back.
I now feel like I set my own priorities during my shift. Like I cannot pick what metrics they need, they need me to fill, but. I know what I need to do to feel like a good doctor at the end of the day. And so I might not see as many patients as my partner, or I might not bill as many RVs. I mean, like I know from an admin standpoint, if someone was listening to this, they'd be like, Ooh, that's not my top hire, but I'm now okay with that.
I'm like that waiting room and ER, we are taught it is your job to empty the waiting room. You don't know who's out there. You don't know who's sick. And I now look back at it and I'm like, yeah, we don't know. So like. We need to fix this. It's like the royal we like I always joke with my husband It's like when you know as a nurse when when a doctor says like did we get urine on room 36?
I'd be like, you know, you do not collect your and we did not so it's that same royal we of like, man, we have really high luck without being seen times. We need to get them back. Like, no, that is the situation. So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to build more space? Are you going to hire more?
It's not a me problem. I am happy to be part of the solution. Like, again, I am not going to refuse to see patients. I am going to treat each of them really well though. And I'm going to treat them with what, how they need to be treated. Like if you come to me with symptoms, you deserve the same amount of time that I should be spending with you when there are 50 people in the waiting room versus one in the waiting room.
Like, I can't change medicine. The same thing with like, you know, when your hospital gets full and they're like, we have no beds. Are you sure you need to admit this patient? I'm like, listen, the medicine is medicine. The physiology, I know that it's a 23 hour abs for antibiotics. But that's what good practice is.
So that's just what I need to do. I'm not changing my practice for the hospital situation again. Happy to be part of the situation of part of the solution. Like, I will be on a committee. I will, like, talk about what's happening in the year. So we can come to a solution together. But that is not my job to fix it.
I mean, even to be like, Cynical about it from a like worried about malpractice. Do you think I could sit in front of a jury and be like, yes, your honor. Typically I would admit this patient for cardiac abs and get a stress test, but you don't understand. We had no beds. Yeah. I had nowhere to put her. No one cares.
And if that was your grandma, you would want them admitted. So yes, you cannot change the system. Hopefully one day, collectively, we can try to bring that awareness, but it's not coming anytime soon. And so at least now I don't have that same stress of being worried about what the system is doing. I am just gonna do what I know I need to do.
And the coaching part allows you to work through that where you now have your own back. You're like, no, I am not guided by, I don't determine my worth from your metrics. I determine my worth from like, can I look myself in the mirror at the end of the day and lay my head down on the pillow and say, I did my best today.
I treated my patients like I wouldn't want my family member treated.
I love that. Yeah. It's true. Medical system doesn't change quickly, but yet if we reach one by one by one and keep the good guys around. I mean, if we're all leaving, then it for sure, isn't getting better, you know, right. Do you have any last thoughts before we wrap up?
Oh man. I had so many thoughts
Perfect. I loved them all. Yeah. No, really just give it a try.
I guess a few closing thoughts. Talk to each other about this, you know, share these podcasts, share the other podcasts that are out there. There are so many great voices talking about. About being burnt out or moral injury or whatever we need to call it, that it feels more authentic, but talk to your partners and listen, because we are out there.
And you're, you're not alone in this. And if you, if you are considering coaching, go ahead and give it a call. That's the other thing. I mean, I know you guys have like a consultation call. You kind of have nothing to lose. I mean, like worst case scenario, you sit down and you're like, that didn't really hit and that's fine.
Like, that's okay. Maybe, maybe it's not your thing, but it really can be the first step in just. Finding a way through this and finding a way to change your perspective because you are not the problem. The institution is the problem, whether it's your, your hospital or the institution of medicine. But you, you are in control of, of how you feel about it.
So give it a shot.
Awesome. So thanks for coming on today, Theresa. Thank you for sharing your journey. Thank you for making it so authentic and relevant. I know our listeners are going to connect this has been a great episode and we're super excited that you made time for us and to come on and share your story. So thank you, thank you, thank you. And watch for a never before offer coming to your inbox this black Friday, visit our website, www.thewholephysician.com to get more information. So until next time you are whole, you are a gift to medicine and the work you do matters.