You love science. You enjoy studying the human body and its amazing ability to adapt, heal, and restore.
You love critical thinking, problem-solving, and forward progress, but the practice of medicine is not a science experiment.
In medicine, you manage people with heavy burdens and complicated stories. You juggle laundry lists of problems.
You stare at suffering, in its many forms, in the face. And despite your greatest desire to be the “fixer” as a physician, you often fix very little.
Don’t get you wrong: You are fully capable of managing acute and chronic diseases.
You prescribe medication to tackle high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. You give antibiotics to cure pneumonia.
Yet, the root of many problems remains unaddressed, and for many, the unspoken generalized malaise persists.
Health coaching has pulled at your strings for years. As you listened to patients and addressed their concerns, the following questions circled in your mind and finally prompted you to take the plunge to become a health coach.
1. What is the real root of the suffering?
Have you ever noticed that your primary complaint is often not the real issue that brings you to seek care?
It is easy to get distracted by individual symptoms rather than the deeper problem that lies underneath.
What is the root of the suffering and how do you tackle it?
2. What barriers are preventing progress?
As a doctor, you suggest actions for improved health, but you seldom devise a specific road map or delve into individual challenges that may arise.
Anticipating obstacles and knowing how to navigate around them is critical for success.
3. How can you empower patients to create a solution and implement it?
Doctors give directive advice in patient encounters, but outside the visit, individuals are the ones who do the problem-solving and leg work.
How can you empower patients to create their own healthy solutions and put them into action?
4. How can help ease the suffering? What is needed for success?
What small step can be taken now to ease suffering? Often achieving a tiny task can change a mindset and build confidence and momentum for further progress.
What processes and support systems need to be in place for sustained success?
People need time. You need support, accountability, and community.
You need flexibility, healthy mindsets, and permission to fail before succeeding again.
You need skills in self-monitoring, self-management, self-care, and self-love.
Medicine has an invaluable and irreplaceable role in managing acute and chronic medical problems.
You are grateful for infections cured, diabetes and blood pressure controlled, and depression in remission from medication and other legitimate and needed treatment modalities.
But as a health coach, you tackle the elephant in the room:
Your mundane daily lifestyle choices and beliefs that weigh you down and deplete your vitality.
This elephant has been silent but deserves a voice. She deserves freedom and a new path.
As a coach, you help set her free.