Part 1 – Coaches Featured on the PNC Podcast

Podcast listeners ofter ask about engaging a physician career coach. They have heard that coaching can substantially improve the chances of finding a nonclinical career.

Today's episode is Part 1 of my discussion of physician career coaches and how to hire one. 

I have spoken on the podcast in the past about what coaching is, and how it differs from mentorship, online courses, and other career resources. I have interviewed approximately 40 coaches. Most of them are career coaches.

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Which Physician Career Coach Is Suitable for You?

We'll start by listing the career coaches who have appeared on the podcast. As noted in the discussion, some of them have special expertise that can be helpful. I have included a link to each episode below.

A coach is an expert who is hired to help you solve a certain problem, for example, to find a new job. – Dr. John Jurica

Physician Career Coach Guests

Here is a list of the 23 physician career coaches, who are physicians themselves, who have appeared on the Physician Nonclinical Career Podcast:

  1. Michelle Mudge-Riley
  2. Heather Fork
  3. Maiysha Clairborne
  4. Laura McKain
  5. Dike Drummond
  6. Starla Fitch
  7. Marjorie Stiegler
  8. Jarret Patton
  9. Mike Woo-Ming
  10. Dianne Ansari-Winn
  11. Michelle Bailey
  12. Errin Weisman
  13. Francis Yoo (soul coach)
  14. Jonathan Vitale (home-based careers)
  15. Jattu Senesie
  16. Yvonne Ator
  17. Ryan Bayley
  18. Randall (Randy) Cook
  19. Nerissa Kreher (pharma)
  20. Stephanie Freeman (locums)
  21. Mario Mendoza (biotech careers coach)
  22. Nana Korsah
  23. Charmaine Gregory

[BONUS Physician Coach: Andrew Tisser. He has interviewed me twice but has not been a guest on the PNC Podcast. I plan to bring him onto the podcast soon. – JJ]

Nonphysician Coaches

Here are two, very capable nonphysicians who coach physicians:

  • Charlotte Weeks
  • Marsha Caton

As you can see, the number of experienced physician career coaches is large and growing. Luckily, a career as a physician coach is fulfilling and popular.

Next Week's Episode

Part 2  of this discussion will be presented next week. In it, I will list the three directories that offer lists of physician coaches. And, I will describe my advice on how to find, evaluate, and hire your own coach.


A physician career coach can be a valuable partner in your career transition. In the past, coaches were sometimes difficult to find. Now there are many well-trained and successful coaches available. Therefore, it is often worthwhile to hire a physician career coach to help advance your career.

NOTE: Look below for a transcript of today's episode.

Links for Today's Episode:

“Iconic” Physician Coaches
“Recently” Discovered

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Transcription PNC Podcast Episode 215

How Do I Hire a Suitable Physician Career Coach or Consultant?

John: Today I want to respond to listeners who send me emails asking about coaches. I get a lot of these really. Usually there are questions encompassing one or more of these concerns - Should I use a coach? Where do I find a coach? A coach is expensive. What do they usually charge? Do you recommend certain coaches?

I've spoken on the podcast in the past about coaching and how it fits in with mentors and online courses. And in the process of doing the podcast, I have interviewed approximately 40 coaches, although not all of them were career coaches, which is what I'm focusing on today. And some of the coaches also came on to talk about a topic completely different from coaching. So, we'll get into that in a little bit.

Since I'm not a certified coach and I don't provide regular coaching myself at the present time, I don't want to lead you as strained to your decision to hire a coach. But after observing my coaching colleagues, what they do and the great results they get, I do have some opinions about whether to engage and how to engage a coach.

Now, the first thing I want to do is define this topic of coaching, what is coaching. Just giving people advice is not coaching. Being a mentor is not the same as being a coach. And I've written about that and talked about that before. And in a nutshell, a mentor is usually free, usually informal, it could be ongoing. And a mentor is usually there to provide free direction advice, have you avoided landmines, and is really geared towards your growth and development long term.

A coach on the other hand is usually a paid person who may have certain certifications, who is engaged to help you solve a certain problem. Just like an athletic coach, a swing coach for tennis or golf or pitching coach or something like that, they're usually going to focus on a certain thing. What we're talking about is coaches who are focused on careers mostly. Although in the physician world, we have burnout coaches, wellness coaches, life coaches, business coaches, professional coaches, career coaches. There are probably at least six other designations. And many of these actually overlap quite a bit.

But let me quote something I pulled off the Physician Coaching Alliance website. I hope they don't mind. It's a definition that incorporates part of the International

Coaching Federation or ICF. Let me read that to you.

"Broadly a coach supports his or her clients as a work through a problem or issue. More specifically, a coach creates time and space for an individual or group to increase awareness and clarity around their habits and strengths to move towards a more idealized vision of themselves.

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as "partnership with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today's uncertain and complex environment".

A coach is different from a counselor, mentor or therapist. A coach guides a client through a process of self-discovery. However, the client, not the coach, is in the area to be coached on. The coach is there to act as a mirror for the client".

That's the end of the quote from the Physician Coaching Alliance. I think it's a good definition and it's kind of the classic version of a coach, which is almost like a therapist. It's more than mentoring. It's distinct from consulting and it's not therapy. But notice how the definition includes language that sounds like therapy. It makes it sound like the growth is going to come from within the coachee, it's not coming from advice or a direct list of things to do by the coach. As you get more directive, I think that fits the definition of a consultant a little bit more than of a coach.

But anyway, the other thing is that therapy is used to treat an illness obviously, and coaching is used to actualize a client, assist them in reaching a professional or personal goal or help them overcome a problem. The terminology can get confusing at times because you may have heard there are career coaches, consultants and career strategists. And I'm not sure whether that moniker makes much difference really. People will use it in different ways. And I guess I wouldn't be too concerned about that.

What is important is whether you can find a coach, if you decide to use one that really aligns with what you need, your personality and has the skills to help you advance your career. So, you need to use one that aligns with your values basically, and also has a personality that aligns with yours.

One of the things that I can do that might help you to find a coach is to provide you a list of the coaches that I've interviewed, because I can't vouch for them to some extent. And the other thing is if you're looking for a coach and you'd like to hear the philosophy of a coach, or at least hear them talk and see them and or hear their voice and get a sense of how they relate to people in a conversation, then by all means that might be helpful as you're looking to select a coach.

I've got a list I'm going to go through today. I've checked and confirmed that each of them is still coaching, at least until recently. You never know when things are going to change. And for each of those that I mentioned today, I'm going to put a link so you can go and link to that episode and listen to it if you like.

I think listening to the interview will help you to learn a little bit more about that coach or consultant. And realize again that during the interview, we may not be talking about coaching specifically. We may be talking about a topic that is tangential to coaching because some of the coaches are experts in different areas, and that's why I brought them on the podcast. But invariably, we're usually at least talking a little bit about the kind of coaching they do and what they look for in terms of aligning with their clients when they are coaching, but not in all cases.

So, here's a list of the coaches I believe you might check out after maybe listening to the podcast episodes. I apologize before we get started to anybody that has been on my podcast once or maybe twice even. I don't think I missed anybody that has been on twice, but if you're a coach and you're doing career coaching and I didn't include you is because I'm under the impression maybe that you're mostly doing wellness coaching or burnout coaching, or some other version of coaching. So, I'm happy if you contact me, call me, or send me an email at Let me know that I missed you, and I will be happy to add you on my blog. I'd be happy to mention you in one of my upcoming podcasts, let's put it that way.

So, here's a list of about 20 or so that I can go down and just make a comment about each one. And let's see if this rings a bell, or if any of these would relate to you and work with you in a good way.

Michelle Mudge-Riley is one of the longest working coaches around. These are all physicians the next 20 or so that I'm going to list after Michelle Mudge-Riley. I don't think she does a lot of individual coaching now. She does at least two or three online or live conferences a year. Physicians Helping Physicians - is her website. She has been around a long time and she has helped a lot of people.

Heather Fork, she is iconic also in coaching. She has been doing it for at least 10 years. She has been on my podcast at least twice. She and I are pretty good friends. We have a lot in common. She creates a lot of good things and I refer her to people all the time. She has gotten into podcasting lately. I think Michelle Mudge-Riley also has a podcast. She has something that she sells for helping you write a resume, which is awesome.

Maiysha Clairborne, of course. I've had her on my podcast two or three times. She has her own podcast. She has done a lot of coaching. She does consulting, she does courses. She is an expert in basically branding and Facebook Ads and building an online business. She's got a new podcast that I mentioned an episode or two ago. She is a great one to look for resources, although she still does some one-on-one coaching. She also teaches people mainly doing coaching and or NLP, which is Neuro Linguistic Programming and mind mapping, she calls it. There is a lot going on with Maiysha.

Laura McKain, the founder of the Physician Nonclinical Careers Hunters Facebook group. She is doing coaching now more than ever because she retired from her pharma job. Although I think she's still doing consulting. She's got the Facebook group and she's expanding that and really spending more time on that. She's an expert in resume writing and she does a lot of that with people. And I actually have a recent episode just released a week or two ago with her.

Dike Drummond. He has been on the podcast once. It's been a long time, but he was fascinating. And most of you know him as The Happy MD. He also tends to associate with other coaches that are on his list of referrals where you can go at his website, which I'll talk about in a minute. He is a coach that focuses on really helping physicians stay in their practice. Most of his coaching clients have been able to stay in practice. Now they may have changed to a different practice, different location or different type of practice but he has been very successful and he's well known. He's been around for a long time.

Starla Fitch is another physician coach for physicians who's been around a long time. I've referred several people to her, so you can look her up. She is often in the Facebook group interacting with many of these people that I've mentioned so far.

Marjorie Stiegler. She hasn't been around quite as long. She does some individual coaching, I believe. She has courses, she is devoted a lot to careers though, and she focuses a lot on pharma careers.

Jarret Patton. Jarret is a great guy, a great coach, and a great physician. He tends to focus on those things that are related more to the legal or license related. If a physician really is forced to stop practicing for some reason, although he works with everybody really. He has written a book "Licensed to Live". His podcast is "Licensed to Live". He had a conference in Philadelphia recently where I spoke. Again, listen to his podcast. He's one that will do some individual coaching as well.

Now I'm going to list Mike Woo-Ming here. Mike and I kind of see eye to eye on this next topic I'm going to talk about for a minute. He likes to call himself more of a consultant than a coach. It's a fuzzy line. And I think I tend to fall on the consulting side more than the coaching side, meaning that I think both of us tend to want to get into the "how to" make changes and "how to" move your careers forward.

And particularly for him, careers involved in entrepreneurship and starting your own practice, cash-based practices, things like that. And if you need a plan, he's going to tell you the plan to follow and the process to follow to be successful. Now that's a little bit different from a classically trained coach who will use more of a therapy-like approach in terms of asking you questions and getting you to think more and to develop your own "Aha" moments. But again, all coaches and consultants do a little bit of both.

Mike Woo-Ming also has a directory I'm going to mention in a minute. His resources can be quite helpful. I don't think he does a ton of one-on-one coaching, although he does a lot of consulting still, depending on how you wanted to define that.

Dianne Ansari-Winn actually is another one that has been around for years. She has written a book, she has been coaching for a long time, and now she is teaching others how to coach as well. I had her on the podcast not too long ago.

Michelle Bailey. Now I'm moving more into the physicians who are a little bit in that second wave of coaches. The first 9 or 10 are concerned to be more seasoned. They're not really that old, but this next group is really some more recent physician coaches. Now they're all very experienced. We're talking anywhere from three to five years and they've been around and done a lot of work, but I'm moving into that. Michelle Bailey is one who was a pediatrician. She has been on the podcast and she's certainly working with individual physicians and working on their careers.

Errin Weisman is an excellent coach. She has at least two podcasts that she does. She also runs a directory or a group of her own. I guess I shouldn't say it's hers. I'm not sure exactly the structure of it, but she happens to be the CEO of it right now. And I'll talk about that in a minute, but she's an excellent coach and she's got a great, like I said, a podcast or two.

Andrew Tisser. He has been on my podcast at least twice. He's definitely a career coach. He does a lot of work with physicians moving from burnout to overcoming the mindset issues and really moving out of clinical medicine into nonclinical. But he'll help physicians with any kind of transition related to their career. Many of these physicians will do that.

I have to mention Francis Yoo. He calls himself a coach of the soul. He definitely helps physicians' transition. He tends to spend more time on finding meaning in life and that kind of thing, but he definitely can help you if you need a coach to help move you from a really unfulfilling and unsatisfying career to one that brings you more joy.

Jonathan Vitale is another one. He is actually trained as a therapist. I think he's got a degree and maybe is even licensed as a therapist in the past. But he uses that knowledge and his work as a family physician to help physicians. He's got a large Facebook group. He tends to focus a little bit more on home-based careers, which is what his Facebook group is about, but I think he can help with almost any career transition.

Ryan Bayley, I've known him for two or three years. I have interviewed him and was introduced to him by Michelle Mudge-Riley. He's a physician who has been doing a lot of professional and business coaching for physicians, but he also does career coaching. And he also addresses burnout and provides training for hospitals and large institutions to help prevent physician burnout. But he's definitely an advocate for physicians.

Randall Cook, or Randy Cook. I met him through the DPN, the Doctor Podcast Network. He's a fellow podcaster and he works at a coaching company. So, you can look up his episode and if you like what he does, you can contact him. I think he's definitely taking new clients.

Dr. Nerissa Kreher. She's in the pharma industry. She tends to focus on that, but she's an excellent coach and she has courses and coaching and different programs for physicians who want to move into pharma. As does Mario Mendoza, although he calls himself a biotech careers coach, but a lot of that is in pharma. And he does an excellent job as well. You can listen to his very interesting story.

Stephanie Freeman. She's a career coach. She tends to focus a lot on locums. And you'll find that if you listen to the episode. She is really a promoter of locums as sort of a lifestyle choice and an alternative for physicians, but she'll help anybody that needs career assistance, career strategies.

Nana Korsah. Another doctor nephrologist who has done a lot of different things. She has been coaching for several years. And so, you might want to listen to that episode.

Charmaine Gregory. I interviewed her way back three or four years ago. She is still speaking and coaching and writing and podcasting. And I think she falls more in the category of wellness and life coach, but she also helps with career transition.

I've also interviewed at least two people who are coaches for physicians who they're not physicians. One is Charlotte Weeks. I think I've interviewed her at least twice. She's also presented in my Nonclinical Career Academy. Basically, she is a career coach and resume expert. She has got multiple certifications. She has helped many physicians, but she also helps other professionals. If you go to that episode, you can get all the details or in the show notes.

And then Marsha Caton. She is a recent guest who is a PhD and works in pharma and she helps physicians and other professionals move into pharma jobs if they're not already in those. And I assume that includes people like pharmacists and other PhDs, but definitely physicians are her expertise. She's got a particular way to help physicians make that transition.

Those are the main ones I can really think of today. And you know what? I actually have a whole lot more to say on this topic, and I think it's going to go too long. So, I am going to stop at that point. And then I will pick this up in episode number 216 a week from now, and I'll finish it up.


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