Overwhelmed… Overworked… Disillusioned… You went into medicine to help people.
Ever the mission-driven, compassionate giver, you are the one who is always there for others. You care about saving lives and making a difference. But it often feels like no one cares, no one is watching out for you.
You were always a Humanitarian, an altruist, an idealist…And You were going to change the world.
But now you ask yourself “How did I get here?”
This is not what you signed up for.
You find yourself disillusioned and compassion-fatigued, on the verge of burnout, practicing your profession on a faster and faster assembly-line, pressured to do more and work in less and less time…
You feel muzzled, like your voice doesn’t matter… No one cares what you think… You have number-crunchers who know little about the practice of medicine telling you what to do. This loss of autonomy feels like a slap in the face after you have worked so hard to get here.
You know you deserve better but you can’t figure out how.
Suffering in silence and shame, you feel betrayed, frustrated and stuck. You have spent your whole life training for this profession – sacrificing relationships, well being and beloved hobbies. And you feel a disquiet in your soul, you are busier than ever but bored.
Scarcity dominates your life. “Not enough” – Not enough time, energy or interest… Too Tired for real connection, friendships, exercise or even hobbies.
Not good enough – Frazzled at home, the house is a mess. You are barely mentally present for your family. You feel distracted and worry about being a good parent, spouse, partner or friend.
You are embarrassed to find you have no real friendships. You can’t be your true self in friendships because others are either intimidated by your being a physician. Or worse, they expect you to be the strong helper so your friendships become non-reciprocal one way-streets. You have missed so many birthdays and weddings, you feel isolated and alienated.
And worse, it feels like you can not be your true self in medicine.
You don’t have to leave medicine to enjoy your life. You don’t have to sacrifice your life to enjoy medicine.
You, as a healer, deserve a safe space where you can heal, align, connect and thrive so you can be the compassionate, excellent and brilliant clinician you are for your patients.
Imagine a place where you can really be vulnerable and authentic without fear of exploitation or judgment as weak or incompetent.
You do not have to wear masks and play tough or be perfect to protect yourself from heartbreak. You don’t have to wonder if anyone really has your back or truly cares.
You don’t have to suffer alone.
If you crave fulfillment and crave alignment with the ideals that brought you to medicine…
If you desire the courage to live the life you want and realize you are living someone else’s life, hardly recognize yourself in this autopilot mode and want to feel like yourself again but can’t remember the last time you felt truly alive and free, connected and filled with joy…
If you feel like a fraud teaching your patients about healthy eating, exercise, friendships and wellness but you barely have time to hit the gym, crave junk food because you are so stressed, feel frustrated because you can’t hide anymore, you are sleep-deprived and your sex life is practically non-existent…
If You crave work-life balance, are tired of Perfectionism and ready to strive for excellence instead…
If you feel stuck and need a coach to support you through a difficult season, want to reach out for help but going to EAP is not an option because you know you are not mentally ill and you can’t afford the liability of being on that list…
You have come to the right place.
“What would your life look like if you lived fully aligned with your ideals?”
As a physician and master of public health facing burnout while trying to balance the demands of professional life, motherhood and family life, I asked myself this question.
The answer came shortly after the death of my own father who was discharged from an ICU still comatose during a physician strike and the suicide of a family friend halfway through her intern year of PharmD residency.
These tragedies set me on a quest to seek a more authentic and wholehearted life aligned with my ideals. The answer was simple but profound.
“Live Your Ideals. Thrive in Your Calling. Change the World. “
What I do and Why
I am passionate about creating and holding safe supportive spaces for healers to live the ideals that brought them to medicine. I want to see physicians thrive in the calling they have sacrificed everything for. I believe that today’s physicians and helping professionals are the new under-served, marginalized and disenfranchized.
Unhappy physicians lead to unhappy patients. Today, physicians are facing epic levels of disillusionment, compassion fatigue and burnout. 9 in 10 physicians are not likely to recommend medicine as a profession. 1 in 3 physicians are facing burnout at any given time.
We have to take care of the needs of our healers and helpers.
Now Certified as a Personal and Executive Coach in Positive Psychology, I have dedicated the rest of my medical and public health career to serving physicians. Helping physicians and other helping professionals live their ideals has been the foundation of everything I do.
More than my dad’s death during a physician strike, the suicide of a family friend during her residency and my own burnout experience, there is an even deeper why for my work. This work is a platform for my mission to bring more wholeheartedness to medicine. I left medicine on the verge of burnout – I had to leave to save my life. Because I left without any safety nets, support or any idea of what my options were – I found myself unable to find work (overqualified), bankrupt, debt ridden with student loans, homeless, on foodstamps, physically abused, abandoned and isolated. I was on uncharted territory or so I thought because I wasn’t hearing any other stories similar to mine. Though I had been an award-winning humanitarian medical student with solid grades clinically and academically, I felt useless and worthless. The shame was almost unbearable. I have had to start my life over from rock-bottom using the Daring Way tools and Positive Psychology tools I eventually gained along the way. I decided I would do all I could to make sure what happened to me never happens to another physician especially parents. For me, this means reaching Physicians and Physicians in training and equipping them with the tools, support and resources they need to thrive, stay inspired and engaged as they make a difference in medicine.
My calling is to inspire others to cultivate and live their ideals and thrive as they make their positive impact in the world. I am gifted at seeing others’ superpowers (gifts, talents and abilities) and encouraging them to use them. I provide skilled teaching and training to help individuals or groups achieve specific goals, such as maximizing their career, improving relationships, overcoming fear, and achieving personal dreams.
Also certified as a Daring Way™ facilitator (Dr, Brene Brown’s work), I offer a unique blend of positive psychology and Daring Way experiential exercises to examine the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are holding my clients back and work to identify the new choices and practices that will move them toward more authentic and wholehearted living.
In person, or by telephone, I serve as a coach to support physicians and helping professionals in transforming their personal and professional lives.
I only work with idealistic, heart-centered, mission-driven, altruistic, humanitarian or visionary individuals who want to live their ideals and make a positive impact in the world. I am especially effective with:
Eclectic, Creative, Entrepreneurial, Compassionate Individuals.
Internationals, immigrants and Third-Culture Individuals
Individuals undergoing a career transition.
My coaching style is empathetic, insightful, direct, sensitive and nurturing with a strategic, values and strengths-based focus. For testimonials from my clients, please scroll to the bottom of the page or click here.
We will dig deep into applying positive psychology and the Daring Way (Brene Brown’s work) curriculum. Your newly learned ideas, strategies and tools will equip you for a wholehearted life and will transform how you live, love, parent and lead. You will also come out feeling more aligned empathetic, creative, courageous, inspired, confident, self-compassionate and reconnected to your true self.
Work with Me
Schedule a consultation session with me. This is an hour long, in-depth session ($200) rooted in positive psychology and the Daring required to assess your current needs and see whether we are a good fit for starting a coaching relationship. You will also receive a transcript of the assessment. Schedule your consultation session here.
If we decide to move forward with our coaching relationship, I require an initial minimum commitment of three months of weekly sessions. A three month pledge ensures that you are committed to making a concentrated effort and understand that lasting change takes time.
I have coaching packages, courses and retreats grounded in Daring Way and Positive Psychology. During the consultation session, we will select a coaching package best suited for your needs.
How long we work together depends on your current needs including your current focus, the pace that works for you, and your personal preferences. The goal of coaching is to create sustainable, self-generating, long-term change, and we will work together to create this in the most effective way possible.
You are more powerful than you know.
You can rewrite your own future.
My hero, Dr. Albert Schweitzer says “Grow into your ideals so that life will not rob you of them.”
So what kind of life do you want?
You can rewrite your own future and live the life you really want – a vibrant life aligned with your ideals, connected to the ones you love, fulfilled and thriving in medicine, and making a positive impact in the world.
You deserve a life that is fully aligned with your core ideals. You deserve to live authentically and wholeheartedly. You deserve to thrive while living your dreams. I am committed to working with you to ensure you live the truest and highest expression of who you are. Hope to speak with you soon!
Yvonne Whitelaw, MD, MPH, CDWF
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” – Dr. Albert Schweitzer
Dear Yvonne, it has been my pleasure and honor to work with you these last few months. I sincerely appreciate your help, and I have considered our work pivotal in allowing me to gain the mindset needed to take the next step in my writing career. The focus on values and strengths has allowed me to work around my struggles with confidence, and the focus on service and sharing my voice with the audience with whom my message resonates has been particularly powerful. I have a feeling that the benefits of our time together will continue to unfold and manifest in different ways in the months and years ahead, but that we have planted some important, necessary seeds. So thank you, and yes, I would absolutely recommend you with the highest degree of confidence and without reservation to any other physicians who could stand to benefit from your services. Thank you for your brilliant coaching.
– Dr. MV, (MD) Psychiatrist, Writer, Mother
I sought Yvonne’s help when I was in a fork in the road regarding my profession. Her suggestion to take a unique personality test I hadn’t heard of in the past gave me insight into myself and clarity regarding the best path for me. Yvonne’s insight helped empower me to confidently decide my next steps in my career. Yvonne is smart, intuitive, and has a huge heart. There is no doubt in my mind that Yvonne’s work will continue to change the world, one professional at a time.
Dr. Kerry Petsinger, (Ph.D) Physical Therapist, Mom and Founder of Your Streamlined Life
Before working with Yvonne I was burnt out with lack of passion for my calling and stuck in a toxic work environment. I knew I needed to make a change but didn’t know how. I was stuck in the “couldn’t” and “shouldn’t’s”, and unable to allow myself permission to pursue something different. I came to know of Yvonne’s services through Physician Mom’s Group and decided to book a session. At the very first session, which I just expected to be introductory and mostly a telling of my story, in addition to being an excellent listener, Yvonne taught me breathing exercises and started immediately giving me professional feedback and plan of actions. It gave me confidence in her expertise and that progress WOULD be made. She remained caring and supportive throughout our coaching relationship. She taught me to look deeper past what I wanted to do or not do, but WHY? What were my driving forces? My core values? My strengths? I gained the strength to leave the toxic relationship (my job) in a way that aligned with my beliefs, on good terms. Her voice (even when not on the phone) became a guiding force for many personal difficulties I happened to be going through at the time. “What would Yvonne say?” became a common thought causing me to reflect often. I would wholeheartedly recommend her sessions, I believe anyone could benefit from her expertise and guidance. I wish she would expand her services to non-physicians as well! – Dr. A. S, (MD.) PM&R Physician, Mom, Designer and Writer
More In-Depth Testimonials
What was going on in your life before booking a session? I was struggling with figuring out how to bring more balance into my life. I wanted to create more space for reflection, meditation, and writing, but didn’t know how to do that in the midst of my busy practice and family life.
What brought you to book a session? I admired the work I saw Yvonne doing with physicians, and wanted to see if working with her could help bring me closer to my personal goals for myself.
How was your experience during the session? I worked with Yvonne for about six months. Every session began and intended with meditation. I also had homework in between sessions. I felt that Yvonne helped me to clarify my thoughts, values, and strengths, and helped focus my decision making to align with my values and strengths. Yvonne is smart, kind, empathic, funny, and well versed in Brene Brown’s work and many other areas of positive psychology. She integrates her knowledge with her innate wisdom and experience to help you see things that you couldn’t otherwise see clearly for yourself.
What benefits did you gain? During my work with Yvonne, I established morning and nighttime rituals that supported my well being, including meditation, journaling, gratitude practices, and limiting social media. I also became more conscious of when I needed to set boundaries in my life and say no. I became more focused on working from a place of alignment with my strengths and values. I also became more comfortable with being honest and vulnerable in my writing, and sharing my writing via social media and other platforms, which previously was very challenging for me.
Would you recommend a session to others? Yes, wholeheartedly.
Thank you Yvonne for everything!!!! Let’s please stay in touch.
– Dr. MV
What was going on in your life before working with me?
Feeling dissatisfied, disgruntled, discouraged, disappointed, and distraught. Having felt dishonored, discarded, rejected, neglected, ignored,and betrayed, I needed emotional justice and safety to be my most authentic version of me as a doctor but more than a doctor. Professionally, I had retired from the practice of Gen Obgyn in practice, accelerated my graduate studies to full time in my Exec MPH program AND decided to explore leaving a very abusive and traumatic fellowship program after being a doctor for 10 years.
What brought you to book a session?
I felt I was going nowhere really fast, like a hamster on a wheel….pursuing goals and dreams that were not authentic to me. I needed help to do better. I also felt I needed someone to trust and believe in ME.
How was your experience during the first session?
I felt that finally someone understood me and offered insight, wisdom, and understanding about the origin of my above dis-comforts and dis-eases. Instead of pointing blame at me, Yvonne affirmed my goodness, my authenticity, my truth, my intentions, and my vulnerability. She said things to me that I had NEVER heard another fellow physician say to me. She created an emotionally safe and sacred space and relationship for me to exhale and inhale with ease, with joy, with confidence, and with peace. I was no longer alone and I was no longer the disruptive physician or trouble maker.
How was your experience for the duration of your coaching relationship?
Sacred. And I am crying ….
Accepting. Affirming. Breathtaking. Inspiring. Therapeutic. Liberating. Transformative. Empowering
Yvonne accepted me as I am and held me accountability to my own values and provided the resistance with empathy and love to never give up on me. Even in my darkest and scariest most vulnerable moments, she did not bend to my doubt. She believes in ME and holds space for me in my good, bad, and ugly times. I felt secure and safe to be me in my multiplicities, complexities, and vulnerabilities. And she never ran away. She never gave up. She was brave enough to walk alongside me during my journey. That’s the most powerful act of humanity and selflessness. Agape love.
What benefits did you gain from the sessions?
Clarification and articulation of values. Self acceptance. Self love. BRAVING. BIG. Skills to be stand up strong in my beliefs while still demonstrating compassion and courage. Identification, clarification and articulation of strengths. Utilization of my values to inform my decision making and relationship building in personal and professional matters.
Utilization of my strengths to celebrate myself MORE and to amplify my values and passions. Alignment of values, strengths, and passions to my career planning. Forgiving and honoring myself daily. Forgiving others and finding the good in others. Practicing empathy and gratitude daily. Flourishing in my own authenticity, vulnerability, transparency, and truth. Viewing the world through a lens of abundance and gratitude. Creating and maintaining my blog. Setting aside time for me to participate in affirming rituals and activities. The exercise where I write down my triggers, write the messages in the triggers (aka the lies), and write down my truths (there may one more part)
How would you describe Yvonne’s coaching style?
Physician-Centered. Democratic. Holistic. Empathetic. Collaborative. Participatory. Love Centered. Solution focused. Zen-like/meditative. Mindful. Wholehearted
What worked for you? What was your biggest aha?
Everything. I would do it all over again….and again with enhancements so I could continue to grow upward and onward…from Glory to Glory
Would you recommend a session to others?
With the utmost love, gratitude, joy, peace, and enthusiasm. Everyone deserve a Dr Y relationship and experience.
Anything else you would like to share?
I pray God’s continued peace, love, grace and mercy upon Dr Y, her family, and her expanding territory. I love you
Karen A. Scott, MD, FACOG
Sexual and Reproductive Health Epidemiologist
Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology