56. Beyond Medicine: Stories of Growth and Empowerment Through Coaching 

In this episode of Doctors Living Deliberately, hosts Dr. Arpita Gupta DePalma and Michael Hersh are joined by Kimberlee and Kim, both non-physician clients who have been coached by Dr. Hersh or Dr. DePalma. Their discussion revolves around the practical tools these clients have embraced during their coaching journey and how they have positively impacted various aspects of their lives.

During the episode, Kimberlee and Kim share their transformative coaching experiences, touching upon the shifts in their thought processes, increased sense of control over life events, and the unfolding of their personal journeys since engaging in coaching. The episode emphasizes how coaching goes beyond one's profession, underlining the universal relevance and benefits of life coaching.

What you'll learn:

  • How our clients' everyday lives are positively impacted by the support and guidance provided through coaching.
  • Coaching has a trickle-down effect, positively impacting the lives of those around us.
  • How practical coaching tools can lead to transformative shifts in thinking

Featured in this episode: 

  • Learn the five essential tools physicians need to stop feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and trapped in medicine HERE.
  • Learn more about Dr. Arpita Gupta DePalma's programs with Thought Work, MD, including 1-to-1 coaching for individuals, group coaching cohorts for organizations, and her online self-study courses HERE.
  • Stand Up (for) Doctors Podcast
  • Kim Downey, PT on KevinMD
  • Tell us what you thought about the show! Leave us a review. 

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56. Beyond Medicine: Stories of Growth and Empowerment Through Coaching

Michael: Well, hey, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Doctors Living Deliberately. Thank you all so much for joining us today. And of course, welcome to my co host, Dr. Arpita Gupta DePalma. How's it going? 

Arpita: I am doing great. It's been a good day. How about you, Michael? 

Michael: Also, had a really great day. And very excited for our Kimtacular episode that we have slated for everyone today. And so, you know, a lot of people know us for being physician coaches and for coaching physicians. But the truth is, is that coaching kind of spans professions and genres and you and I, we also coach non physicians and we thought it would be really great to bring on some of our non physician clients to talk a little bit about their experiences. And it just so happens that they are both named Kim. And so you know, for the purposes of podcasting, we're going to have a Kimberlee and a Kim. And so welcome to the Kims. How are both of you? 

Kim: Good. 

Kimberlee: Thanks for having us. 

Michael: Absolutely. Thank you both so much for being here. So I think as we get started, why don't we start with some intros, and you can tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you found coaching. Kimberlee why don't we start with you? Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Kimberlee: Yeah, sure. Well, hi everybody again. Thanks for having me. Arpita was my coach. We're not doing coaching anymore together, but we did several sessions together a couple years ago. I live in Richmond, Virginia. I am a mom of two kids ninth grade and fifth grade. So 14 and 11. I work in corporate America, corporate America job. I am an executive in that company. Which recently just happened, but I've been sort of climbing in that company. So a lot of different responsibility. I'm married. And like any other working mom, probably just a lot of stuff going on all the time, mostly kids stuff when it's outside of work. I'm trying to find time for myself. 

I will say that Arpita and I have known each other for a while. We used to live in the same neighborhood before she moved. And so when I found out that Arpita was getting into coaching, she had so many wonderful things to say. I've heard her own testimonials about what it was like for her to have been coached and how she fell in love with it. How she loved it so much. It did so much for her that she was actually pursuing her own business of coaching. And I was at a point in my life where I was feeling well in the pandemic, maybe 2021 Everyone dealt with 2020, which was a shock and then we're all trying to come out of it in 2021. I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed just by life. I was feeling a little bit paralyzed to act. Meaning, you know, I just get up every day and be like, I don't want to do this again today. Not necessarily depressive state, but just like, oh, like, this things are hard and I can't think my way out of the box. And just hearing Arpita to talk about what coaching had done for her, that she was getting into it. It was just like, you know what, like this might be something I need to, to try out and to look at. So that's how I got into it. 

Arpita: Yeah, she did amazing too. I am so grateful and thankful that you were able to let me into your life to offer it to you. And I think you made some amazing strides. And I think the number 1 thing that I think of when I think of you is the perfectionism. That aha moment we had and I'll let you talk about that later. And as we get into it, but Kim, how about you? Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you found coaching.

Kim: Sure. So I'm married. My husband's name is Maurice. And we have two kids that are older than all your kids. Ours are 28 and 26. So they've left the nest and I'm a physical therapist by training. And I was working at a local elementary school, minding my own business when I got cancer. And I had surgery November 2020, and there were some unintended consequences from the surgery and some permanent complications, and it kind of started a domino of things, and then I got cancer two more times. So basically for two years straight, it was one thing after another, and I'm not exaggerating, it was constant. 

Then in October 2022, when I thought was finally going to be a routine visit to my incredible radiologist who I told the story other places, I showed up and he wasn't there. And when I asked what happened they told me that he died a month ago and I couldn't believe it. I actually said, are you joking? Because I thought I was going to see him any second. And they said no, and I asked them what happened and they said they didn't know. So in that moment I knew in my heart that he had taken his own life. And I did find out that was the case and it changed my whole life. 

And I had already been concerned about physician wellness cause I had found Kevin Poe, his site, KevinMD earlier that year. And I was reading every article. I was concerned about physician burnout. I was trying to find an inroads to work with my local health care system, and, but I think I had found Kevin because right before that, that would have been February, March. I was only on Facebook at the time, and Michael's blog Better Physician Life coaching showed up on my Facebook feed and it's a miracle because I wasn't involved in these spaces at all, so why it ever showed up, you know I don't know and also why I clicked on it. Like why would I click on something that said better physician life coaching? So but I did and it was his blog and even though it was intended for physicians It was so well written and then he put a music video at the bottom that just nailed it. You know like whatever his topic was. So I saw that he had been blogging for four months and I went back and I read every one I listened to all the videos And then I saw that he dropped them on wednesday. So every wednesday, it was like a little treat for myself I couldn't wait, i'd go to his site and click on it and i'd look forward to a reading. And then that December he shared a year ago, December now that he put a post that it was his year of blogging and again, I never reached out to strangers on the internet before, but I thought, well, why don't I just send to this better physician life coaching, like a private Facebook message. I just said, you know, congratulations on your year of blogging. And I told him how much I loved his blog. And then I used a couple of devotions for my women's fellowship groups and I love the music and everything. So he sent me the nicest message back and we kept communicating. And this was two months after my doctor died and I wasn't in a very good place. And some of it was the accumulation of of traumas and everything that had happened over the two years and this one more thing I was just devastated and he was so nice and I got kind of got the idea of what coaching is. I mean as a physical therapist just like you guys as doctors coach patients as physical therapists we coach patients to So I asked him if I could, like, pay him for one session to tell him the story. I thought maybe I'd feel better if I could just tell him the story because he seemed so nice. And he said, you know, that the first session is complimentary and he'd love to talk to me. And then it was actually New Year's Eve morning. He listened to me tell him the whole story. And we talked about other things and then we kept communicating a little bit and then I told him I felt like I was taking advantage of him uh, you know, because I wasn't paying him anything and he's like, you know, trust me, you're not, but he says, have you thought about coaching? I think it would be fabulous for you. And I was thinking, well, I have to do something. So I discussed it with my husband and then we started 12 sessions and the rest is history.

Michael: I mean, and I will just add to this that I mean, preaching to the the value of coaching. I also was not somebody who responded to random social media messages, you know, prior to coaching, and, you know, leaning into the discomfort of meeting new people. I mean, Kim's message was so warm. It's like, I've been reading all of your blogs, and I've really enjoyed them. And it was just so kind. And it just goes to show you, you know, we have so much skepticism about what it is like, you know, just to be putting ourselves out there. I know I had a lot of thoughts about putting my words onto the internet and not knowing who was reading them. And this was a prime example of somebody that I had not met before, reaching out to me. And it was so warm and I was happy, I was so happy to talk to Kim and as she was saying, the rest is history.

Arpita: Those are some amazing stories guys, like how you both kind of evolved and saw each, I guess the progression of it being presented to you and how you decided to be a little bit curious about what it is. And, you know, even though we have that a little bit of skepticism here and there about what this actually is, you were able to kind of overcome that and move forward. I guess let's talk about skepticism around coaching and maybe if either of you had not really been familiar or exposed to it prior to working with us when you first heard about it, what came up for you with regards to skepticism? Did you have any doubts? Like, what is this voodoo crap that they're working with here with their people? Like, what came up for you with it?

Kimberlee: I would say that I wasn't skeptical. It seemed like it would make sense, like you're coaches for lots of things, right? So it makes sense that you could have a coach for something to work out these kinds of other things in your life. So I don't know that I was skeptical, but I, I did have this feeling and I remember sharing with you when we first started working together. I was like, all right, let's do this. Like, I'm probably going to be a really bad client. I don't know what this is going to entail. I don't know how I'm supposed to show up here. So I had a curiosity and I also had this feeling like so I'll just say this isn't a good thing, I think that people should go to therapy and people should do all these things, but I've never been to anything, to a therapist or anything like that, where I was just, you know, working with somebody, and like talking one on one. So I was, had this curiosity and also this, a little bit of fear around, I don't know, like, I'm not prepped for this session, like, I don't know what I'm going to say, and I don't have questions in advance, and I don't know where this is going to go, and so like, am I going to be the kind of person who can think on the fly with you or whatever, I can actually get something out of this. Are you going to be like, Oh my gosh, you're the most difficult client. So I had a lot of those kinds of trepidations coming, but I wouldn't call it skepticism. 

Arpita: So, can I add to that then, like, how did you discover it to actually work since you weren't sure what you were getting into when you were starting these sessions with me, you know, and not sure how they were going to go? What did you discover as we started working together?

Kimberlee: Well, I discovered what I discovered with how I discover lot of things by thinking like that, which is that I was probably overthinking it made it really easy. And there wasn't a lot of like prep, I didn't have to be prepped and ready. And, you know, you mentioned perfectionism already, I didn't have to be like overly prepared or really ready for it. That, you know, really, we're just having conversations. You were helping me by the questions you were asking think about things differently and so that it wasn't as scary as I thought but it might be you just put me at ease I think with the whole thing. So it was a lot more comfortable. Was especially after the first one, then knowing what to expect in the next one. It just got comfortable right away, which I think it's a lot with new things that you try and you're not sure how it's going to go. So. 

Arpita: Yeah, good. How about you, Kim? Tell me what your knowledge base around it was and what your thoughts about coaching was prior. 

Kim: Sure. So I think I had again, like a general sense of obviously when you hear the word coach, you know what a coach does. And again, like I said, as a physical therapist, that's, you know, what I do with you know, with my patients in all honesty. The couple trepidations I had is one is, was financial because I had stopped working as a physical therapist. And I was like, well, you know, is this something that I should be spending money on? But it's helped me so much there you can't put a price tag on that and it's been worth every penny. And the other trepidation I have, which I honestly share with Michael, is he's like, 11 years younger than me. And, and I have a brother who's 10 years younger than me, and I'm like, okay, you're a little bit younger than my baby brother. And I felt like, you know, if he lived locally, and I had a GI issue, he's a mid career male physician. I would trust to help him to help me with a medical thing, but I felt like I should know more like about life than him. And it felt like a little bit funny. And I'm just sharing these things because there could be other doctors that could really, really benefit and say, you're like a 60 year old guy or man or woman, right? And you're thinking, well, he's younger, you know, what could he know? And like he said, he just sat there so confident the way he is now. And he was just sure that he could help me. And he said that we don't have to have experienced everything that you've experienced to be able to help you. He's like, I don't have to have had cancer, you know, to help you. And just like, I haven't had to have the things that my patients had to be able to help them. So, and then since I already knew I had been reading his blog for a year and I already knew everything resonated with me in the very first session we had, he sent a takeaway after that and it was helpful already. So I just decided that I could trust him to help me and he has. 

Michael: And I'll just piggyback off of what Kimberlee was just talking about. So, Kim, sometimes you have a very good idea about what you want to talk about, right? And then the moment we start chatting, things just kind of go in a different direction. And I think what you and I have talked about and what we've explored together is that, you don't ever have to cover the exact thing, because as we say, all roads lead to Rome. And even if we don't talk about the exact thing that you came prepared to talk about, most of the time we get there. It may not be with the exact path that you had laid out in front of you when you showed up to the session but almost always we get there. And so it's kind of this interesting thing, because I agree, just even in my own coaching, sometimes I show up with an idea about what I want to talk about and then, you know, I just go off track, and I explore something else, and it inevitably helps the thing that I thought I was there to talk about.

Kim: And or I'm the opposite of Kimberlee where I might come with a whole list, or I want to tell him this, this, this, and this, and then I'll say, but I really want to talk about this, but then he'll be like, whoa, whoa, whoa, and he'll feel like we have to talk about one of the first things, and I'm like, oh man, but he's usually right. He's always right, I should say, always. 

Arpita: He's not always right, Kim. He's not always right. 

Michael: My wife would agree with Arpita. 

Arpita: I'm teasing. I'm teasing. Well, I think I would love to hear now and with Kimberlee, it's been a while since we've coached together. And so I think it would be really interesting for our audience to hear if you reflect back to your life prior to coaching, how it changed after we coached and which tools maybe or things that you've kind of carried forward that you feel are really impactful that you're still utilizing today. Can you speak a little bit about that? 

Kimberlee: Yeah, sure. And I will say like as I prepared to be on this podcast today I did think about gosh, it's been a few years and like how am I still employing what you know Arpita help me learn and you know all of these things and am I considered a success story? Like I'm like, am I still doing it? Because it's been a while. But as I was reflecting, one of the things I was thinking about is I, there are several things that I think I still use today that I learned that seems so basic and so simple. And so even sometimes I tell other people about, well, of course, because I have to think about this, this and this and I say, but that just makes sense, right? Like, everybody thinks like that. No, tell me more about that. Not everybody thinks like that. And so I realized that I have employed more of those tactics you know, into my daily life, even though it's been a while since we've coached together.

One of the things that I think I still do often is when I am feeling a certain way, overwhelmed or stressed or disappointed or angry or all the things like the thing that I know and that I really, the epiphany I had was with you in our coaching sessions is that I have control over all of these feelings because I control my thoughts and my thoughts are what leads to these feelings. And so I can sit in that feeling and I can feel it, but like, I also know that I can change that feeling by like inspecting the thought that is causing that feeling. And so it really has been life changing in that it changes the way I argue with my husband. It changes the way that I react to my children when they make me get mad or have like an immediate emotional reaction to a thing. It changes the way I manage my stress. So, you know, when I'm feeling whatever it is that I'm feeling, I can say, and sometimes I'll say like, I'm just gonna sit in this. I, I know that I can change its feelings, but I'm gonna sit in it for a minute and just like, I just needed that time. It might be a day, it might be an hour, like, you know, whatever length of time that is, but I also know that the world isn't happening to me and making me feel this way. I have more control over how I'm feeling right? So I think the biggest difference has been because I know that by changing, by examining the thought and being able to change the thought, I can change the feeling and then drive different behavior, even when I'm sitting in whatever feeling it is, disappointment or stress or overwhelmed or whatever. I'm like, I just feel more control over the situation because I know that when I just want to do a little bit of the work to examine the thought and change the thought, I will change the feeling. And it's an empowering feeling because. The world isn't happening to me. The world is just happening. And then I'm happening on the world, right? So that is the thing that I'm using all the time to change the way, like I said when, you know, my husband says a thing, or we're arguing, or whatever, I can sit there and be like, what am I reacting to? I'm not necessarily reacting to his words, I'm reacting to what his words have caused a thought in my head, which creates a feeling, right? So like, how do I re examine what's been said, and how do I change the thought around it? So I think that's been a huge thing that I still carry with me. 

Not to mention, like I said, I'm a busy mom with full time job and kids and all of the things. So I was actually doing this today and thinking of you where I was planning out my week and what are the things I need to get done this week? And does my calendar realistically have the time to get those things done? Like, where do I slot in the meal planning? What's happening each different night? All of those things. So some of those very tactical things you also helped me with. Are still things I used to this day. Like every Sunday I sit down and look at what's the week look like? What am I trying to get done? Is it realistic? What do I have to repurchase or rearrange? So those are things that I'm still doing. There's probably other things, Arpita, that you're, you're like, disappointed. You're like, you should also be doing X, Y, and Z. But like, those are the main things.

Arpita: I am never, never disappointed in my clients. And I would say, hell yeah, that's a success story. That's all I, I would have to add to that. Is if you're questioning whether or not it's success story, I think you know it's a success story for sure. You know, it's just living an intentional life and being happy with what you're wanting to create by how you're showing up and noticing just having that awareness of all the things you just said, like, that doesn't come easy. It takes work. So that's amazing. I think the one other piece I would love for you to talk about a tiny bit is also about like, I remember you talking about your kiddos and his performance specifically with regards to when there was lack of performance, the awareness and the ahas you had around that. Do you mind talking about that a little bit? 

Kimberlee: Yeah. So, I think that we got into this conversation. I don't think I was even trying to talk about my kids and their performance when we first got into this conversation, which goes to what Michael and Kim were talking about when you, like, think you want to talk about one thing, and then you end up talking about something else that, like, gives you an aha about something else. So I think, you know, what I had started to talk to Arpita about was, you know, I, I think that one of the realizations I had in the pandemic, like, you have lots of time to think and all of the things is that I don't think that I'm a perfectionist in the sense that like, I mean, I don't have those tendencies, but when I thought about, like, fears and driving fears, I thought, like, my fear isn't, I don't have to be perfect at everything, but my fear is in disappointing others. So if I am not living up to whatever I think somebody else wants of me then I have this feeling of like I'm lacking or I get kind of overwhelmed and like, you know, I'm not realizing somebody else's expectation of me. So this is a little bit of a tangent, but this is sort of how we got into the kids performance stuff, which is you know, I was talking to her about this fear that I have disappointing others. So one of the brilliant things she said was, well, how do you know that those are their expectations of you? And I was like, well, I don't I've never really been like, is this what you expect of me? So I'm just I'm making that up and then putting that on them and then really thinking I'm going to let them down, really probably letting myself down because I didn't really ask them what their expectation was. I just sort of made it up and put it on them. 

So that was a big aha for me. And then in that we also, I was expressing probably as a tangent and maybe not even as part of the coaching session. I was probably venting about my kids performance in school and all of the things, you know, Arpita started talking about. Well, like, just like how I am putting these made up expectations of what I think other people want of me and letting other people down. Like, it was this idea of like, you know, that letting my kids performance almost be a reflection of me and my reputation. That their performance is a reflection of my performance and that what they do is a reflection of what I would think would let other people down if it were me doing those things. Right? So again, and we sort of got into this backwards way where I didn't even want to really talk about that. I wanted to talk about something else and Arpita helped me see that some of my frustration with my Children's performance, I think this was a school issue. Probably still is. If you ask me like last week, we had another thing around it. But, you know, It was really just around, like, hey are you frustrated because of the performance? Are you like, are you feeling the emotions you're feeling because you are letting that be a reflection of you and your performance of what you expect of yourself and what you think others expect of you versus like letting this performance be his lesson and how you can help him through that and to learn from it versus carrying the extra emotion that you layer on top of that, which adds extra frustration and extra stress because you're, you're not letting it stop at just being his life lesson, his thing that he's learning, you're now letting it affect you emotionally because you have layered onto it these expectations of this is a reflection of me as a mom or as a person or the kid that I'm raising. And so it was really an insightful conversation that just led me to, like, really inspect, like what is it that is really bothering me in all of this? And is that why I'm reacting with the frustration, with the stress, with the overwhelm that I have? 

And so that's another thing I would say, this is a little bit out of order, but one of the surprises that I had around coaching was that every aha that I had in all of our conversations seemed so obvious to me after I had the aha, like it was like, Oh, like, of course, of course that thing or of course that that makes total sense. And it was such a simple conversation. I feel like that led to that, that kind of new thinking and that new frame and new perspective. And so it wasn't magic. It was like such a simple conversation, but having somebody who knows how to bring that new thinking out of you, like you weren't solving my problem Arpita, you were helping me come to my own thoughts and conclusions around the solution. So like different things I was thinking about and without having you as an independent person in my life, being able to just ask the right questions that helped me think in new ways. I would never have, like I said, that I couldn't think my way out of the box before we started talking. And so, I was surprised at how simple the process was, but how impactful, like, the results were after our conversation.

Arpita: Wow. That's a lot of goodness right there. I will have to say, I mean, you, you explained how it works from the heart, truly your experience of it. And I think that's very important for people to hear because people don't understand how it works and it's there's no rhyme or reason to it. It's just having the guy that will ask you this thought provoking questions that make you consider other perspectives that you otherwise wouldn't because our brains like to do what they always do. They like to stay comfortable and cozy and in the way that we like to think as we know it. So. So, yeah, I don't want to jump up, but I'll ask Kim, do you want to answer the same question? Do you have like, tell me what's coming up for you with that? 

Kim: Sure. So if you ask me the differences after coaching, my husband's perspective. He says that I'm more easygoing. So that's quite a big win. And Michael, just helps me with so many things. I had a lot of things to process and accept. And if I share a few of my best takeaways, it's because it resonates with me right now, like if when I tell you these things like these big points a few years ago, wouldn't really have meant anything so they might not resonate with everybody else because that's not what's going on in their brain at this moment.

But for me, a few of them one was don't get stuck in the how. And Michael said, when we have big goals or dreams, we frequently get stuck in trying to figure out how we'll accomplish the task at hand, rather than focusing on the end result, focus on the things you're already doing and want to do, and the rest will fall into place. And that's been really big for me, even as I'm trying to find ways to support physicians. Like, in a way, I don't know what I'm doing, but I know what to do every day. And so that was one really big takeaway. 

And another one was I can't control other people's actions, all I can do is try to help. And that was, like, really, really huge and deep for me to really process and believe that and accept it. And then another one was be careful about judging yourself for having a particular feeling. Kimberlee had spoken a little bit to this. When it felt like it was taking too long. And he says, what if it just takes as long as it takes? What if judging yourself for the feelings you have only makes it worse? And what if you were just arguing with reality and not allowing yourself to heal in your own time and on your own schedule? And that was so huge because I kept thinking I should feel better by now and then I would feel like guilty and bad that I was feeling bad and that only made it worse. So after we had that session that we talked about it, and he said that, then even though I still felt a little bit, I was like, it felt a little better that I wasn't judging myself on top of that, and then I started to feel better. So those were a few of the really big takeaways that have really impacted me.

Kimberlee: Kim, like, that's amazing. And I will just say, like, to that feeling, that thought connection, like, but that made me think about one of the things that I think Arpita that you asked me to do was like, write the thought down. And then, you know, so I just did it. My husband and I had an argument last week and I wrote the thoughts down and I wrote my feelings down. And then I looked back at the thoughts and I was also like asking myself, like, is the thought that I have like factual? Is it like based in reality or is it some like skewed version of reality that I put on it? And it just allows me to be a little more objective about like, if that is not factual, it's an skewed version of reality, like, how do I turn it into something that is a fact? And then how do I feel about the fact versus like, how do I think about the way that my brain skewed it in a way that makes me feel guilty or makes me feel worth right? So I just think that's so helpful. 

Arpita: I think that's interesting that you say that too, Kim, because part of it, it's kind of funny that it always revolves around our husbands, right? Not no offense Michael Hersh, but like, we get into these cycles. I caught myself yesterday. I'm like, I'm kind of being an ass. Like, why am I so pissed off? And I had to go back and think of like, what am I thinking? And my thought was, he never has time to do anything. Like there's shit piles all over the house. When are we ever going to get this house cleaned up? It's getting worse and worse and worse. And then I was like, you have no compassion right now. The man is like studying for exams and like really busy with this. Can we like, show up with some compassion instead? Well, my thought was he doesn't have any time to spend with me, right? The underlying thought was that and that was making me feel hurt. And rather than feeling hurt, I got angry instead. Right? So it's really fun to when we start doing this work to go back and write down the thought and then write down maybe the thought that's underneath that thought to find out why we're feeling the way we're feeling and it can, like you said, we can choose to shift it then to be the way we want. How does that apply to you with your wife, Michael Hersh? 

Michael: Not at all. Not at all. 

Kim: Well, a few things Michael has said he would ask, is that true? Is it really true? How was the opposite true? How is thinking that way serving you? 

Michael: All great questions. And Kim, what I'm going to highlight for you is you led off listing off those three things that your biggest takeaways from coaching, questioning whether or not those points would resonate with anyone else at any point in time and it sparked off this really fascinating conversation because I think that those three points are so relevant to all of us. And I know what you have been up to and how you have kind of been working, right? You were talking about not getting stuck in the how and how you're, what you really wanted to do is help physicians. Do you want to tell people what you've been up to and what you have done since starting to work together?

Kim: I sent michael this whole list of all the things that I had accomplished, you know in just those 12 weeks and I mean i'm not gonna read it because it was like, you know, but it was everything from finally stopped running laps around a track and you know where to stop ruminating about something. And that was huge. Like for two, I was like, where have you been for two years? You know, you could have saved me two years of HE double toothpicks. But I had, you know, joined some writing groups and, you know, different things like that. But Michael was my first connection on LinkedIn, just a year ago, April, I had less than 150 connections and none were doctors. I asked him, you know, is LinkedIn a helpful community? And he said, yeah, I think so. So he showed me how to make a connection. I didn't even know how to do that. And then Arpita, I'm sure that you were my second connected because you guys started your podcast when I was still only on Facebook. And I loved the first episode. I thought you did a great job. I thought they were so professionally done and I learned something, even though I'm not a doctor, they were human things that you guys are talking about. So I reached out to all of you. So because Michael connected with me and then you did, and then I connected with your guests. And now I'm connected with like over 4, 000 doctors. So I joke around that I've traded a caseload of patients to worry about to a caseload of doctors and it's 100 percent true. Like now I just think about my doctors all the time. I don't have patients and I think about my doctors. 

Michael: Kim has created a phenomenal community on LinkedIn of over 4, 000 doctors. She is connected with more doctors than I am, which is so incredible. It's amazing. I'm going to also sell some of your accolades. You have also published multiple articles on KevinMD highlighting so many other physicians that are doing amazing things. And you started your own podcast.

Kim: Right. Well, and as far as even the article, it was when I was having a really hard time still, you know, processing doctors death and Michael way back a year ago, February says, why don't you write something down? Maybe you'll feel better. So I took a whole day and I wrote out the whole story and then I sent it to him. And he said, this is really good that he thought I should submit it to Kevin MD where I had been reading his for a year, but it never crossed my mind that I would submit something myself. So he helped me edit it and then Kevin accepted it and then there was an opportunity to do a podcast and I was really scared and he told me do it scared. I had never done a podcast before. And then now like he's accepted at least 11 articles and there's more on the way because now other doctors have asked me to collaborate with them. 

And then even some people will tell me, oh, you should have a podcast or something like that, but I barely have a website and my husband is, you know, helping me build one. And Michael's like, you don't need a website. He goes, you can just go on YouTube. So, he might have said that October 10th, and by October 31st, I was interviewing Dr. Todd Otten. I was only gonna do one episode a week. But there's over 60 doctors waiting to be on, so I didn't want them to wait over a year, so that's why for the first few months anyway, I'm dropping two episodes a week, just so the doctors don't have to wait so long. but they, every single one of them fills my heart, you know, and they're amazing doctors doing amazing, interesting things. And I get to share that, you know, with the world. And they're talking about just like your podcast, talking about important things that are important to doctors. And it's just, yeah, beautiful. 

Arpita: Oh my God. I love the energy, Kim. I absolutely love the energy. That's all I have to say. 

Kim: Thank you. Bye 

Michael: I was just going to say, Kim, you have not mentioned the name of your YouTube channel, so I just want to give you an opportunity to plug it, right? Stand up for doctors.

Kim: Yes. Thank you. So I came up with the title because I feel like, you know, doctors need to be supported. And part of what I'm trying to do is just educate patients, educate the population on how things are for doctors right now. And then we need to stand up for doctors. So when I'm interviewing doctors I'm also saying that you guys need to, like, you guys are doing raise your voices and stand up doctors. And that's why I actually, so the technical name has four in parentheses. Because it's stand up doctors when I'm interviewing doctors, but I'll be interviewing patients as well. And just in general, we need to stand up for doctors. 

Michael: And this has been a tremendous transformation, right? Because when you and I first started working together, you were very focused on your local community, and you have taken this focus to help your local doctors, the ones who were taking care of you, and you've kind of shined a spotlight on the whole physician community, and it really is quite amazing to see how you have taken the coaching and your energy and all of your passions and parlayed it into all of these different endeavors. So I just, you know, kudos to you. It really is, has been incredible to watch and I'm so excited for you. Well, there are people out there that might be curious about coaching, and they're not really sure, and so, Kimberlee like, what would you say to somebody who was thinking about coaching, but really wasn't sure about it?

Kimberlee: Well, I guess I would say, if you're thinking about it at all, that means that something, you need something, something needs to change. Because if you're thinking about it at all, it means that you want something more, you need some help, you know, just breaking through kind of maybe the monotony or, you know, trying to, like, get to a different level, trying to make progress on a thing that you're stuck on. So, if you're thinking about it at all, I would say, what's the harm? Like, give it a shot, like, talk to a coach, even with an introductory conversation. I think Arpita and I had kind of an introductory conversation before we set up some more sessions and even that was very helpful and impactful. So I would say, just set up an introductory chat, even 30 minutes, 45 minutes. Like if you're like, I don't think I'll get anything out of this fine. But what did you lose? Like, if you're thinking about it at all, you're looking for something to shift. So what's 30 or 45 minutes of your life talking to somebody to see if it could be helpful. You know, I think that you have nothing really to lose except for 30 or 45 minutes and we're set in the grand scheme of things.

So I would say just go for it.

Michael: What about you, Kim? 

Kim: Well, I would say a couple of the same things as Kimberlee was saying is if you're thinking about it you might want to change something. And I know in talking to a lot of physicians that there are real and perceived obstacles sometimes to physician seeking like therapy and sometimes this can be like a window or a door because sometimes you need coaching, sometimes you need therapy. Sometimes you need both. Sometimes either one. But if you're not comfortable or ready to you know, pursue therapy. To just check out coaching. You know, I think there aren't the same obstacles. There shouldn't be any stigma with getting any help, but I think coaching doesn't you know, share quite the same. I think we're making progress. We're making strides and you know, seeking help for your mental health. And also what I was just thinking about is our church has this slogan, if no one will die, give it a try. And it made me think that churches and physicians could have a lot in common as you get stuck in your ways. And we'll say in church, this is the way we've always done it or something like that. You know, if somebody tries to, you know, suggest that something changes a little, but so sometimes we just go with that. So no one will die. Give it a try. 

Michael: I love that. That's great. And I think the point here and Kimberlee you were kind of referring to this earlier is that when we are kind of stuck in the monotony of life, it's kind of like we're stuck in a dark room with our thoughts and sometimes coaching just kind of cracks the door open and sheds a little bit of light And sometimes all you need to blow the, the door off the hinges is just that little bit of light showing you that there is possibility, that there's opportunity and so much kind of, that you can sort out for yourself. So many doctors are sitting back waiting for the system to change. But the truth is you don't have to wait for the system to change. And a lot of times if you make the changes, the system is forced to change alongside of us. And so I think there's, there's so many benefits to it, you know, and obviously, you know, I'm, amongst friends here. We all kind of have seen benefits of coaching. 

Kimberlee: and I think I would just say, I think most of us can realize that, you know, realize the benefits of diverse perspectives, right? Of fresh eyes. Like you talk about that a lot. Like I need to, I need to go to sleep and look at this with fresh eyes in the morning. I need somebody else to look at the thing I'm working on so they can give me a fresh perspective. And so I think one of the beautiful things about coaching is you can talk to your friends, you can talk to your parents, you can talk to your kids or, you know, your, your spouse or whoever it is. Like you can talk to people who are close in your life about these things. They know you, they have history with you, there may be some bias there and like how they want to talk with you. They may have trepidations about telling you something real because, you know, they are trying to preserve a relationship. I think one of the things that's built into coaching is somebody with an objective perspective who, you know, is able to provide a fresh perspective on the things that you're sharing, who doesn't necessarily have the state and like, sort of, you know spinning something one way or another, right? So we can all realize the benefits of fresh perspective and diverse perspective on other parts of our life, in our business, in our work life, whatever it is, like, it's the same thing when you think about, you know, how you're trying to, like, break out of the monotony, right? Like, it's the same thing about just invite diverse perspective, fresh perspective, right? It will lead to new impact, new imagination, new ideas. And if we can recognize the benefit in other aspects of our life, hopefully, because like Kim said, I know there's stigma around doing that with your mental health or exploring that with your mental health. But I think there's logic in saying if it benefits every other aspect of my life, how could it not also benefit mental health 

Arpita: I just want to just reemphasize, I think I think, Kim, it was you that had mentioned, like, when you were listening to the podcast, like, even though it was meant for doctors, that the tools and the nuggets that we talk about resonated with you. And this is not just for doctors. This is for everybody. And I, it was funny. I was at my sister in law's house today and my, my daughter was there as well. And we were just talking about something related to coaching and mindfulness and how we approach challenges and obstacles that come up for us in our life. And Serena was like, yeah, and I've actually kind of been able to pick up things second hand from just hearing mom talk and how they live and whatever. And I'm like. Yeah. Actually, Serena, you're not picking it up secondhand. You're picking it up. It's firsthand. Like you are lucky now because you are getting to implement these tools and how you carry yourself throughout your life. And you're going to be able to get to do that firsthand for your kids as well. So that trickle down effect is so impactful for anybody in our lives. So I just wanted to revisit because it's yes, the title doctor's living deliberately. And we do primarily coach physicians, but we coach everybody who is willing to consider an open perspective and have an open mind with how they can change because this work really can change the lives of anybody who really wants to do it.

So thank you guys for coming on today. Any final words or any other thoughts that you want to share with our listeners before we wrap it up for this episode?

Kim: I would just say that I've talked to a number of physician coaches now and I've had some on my podcast. I'll be having more on my podcast, including you, Arpita, and you know, the most important thing is just finding, I think, a personality match, right? It doesn't matter, like I said at first, you know, Michael didn't look like anything that I would think that my coach would look like, right? But yet here he is, you know, and it couldn't be a better match. And you need someone that you can trust and you know, and someone that's going to be honest with you. And every single coach that I've spoken with, like I won't trade Michael for anything, but I would trust and could trust any of the coaches that I've met and they, you know, established boundaries and confidentiality and all that. So it's a safe, comfortable thing that you could do. And I just have to say that my whole life is different now. I wasn't doing any of this, you know, like I called him. I mean, we had the first call because I was devastated about the death of this doctor who I just thought the world of. And now through coaching and him helping and supporting me on an ongoing basis, my whole world is different. My whole life is different. So I there's. No words for the gratitude that I have. So thank you, Dr. Michael Hersh.

Kimberlee: I would just add so I'm somebody who likes to have control of my life and I don't like it when things feel out of control. And so if that resonates with anybody who's listening to this, I would say that one thing that Arpita, your coaching did for me was help me feel more in control. Again, I said it earlier, like, The world doesn't happen to me, the world happens, and then I impact, I make the impact that I want to have. And so, I think it is very empowering, it is a way to take control. And if you're lucky enough to get Michael or Arpita as your coaches, you should definitely go for it. , if you even are thinking, maybe I should check it out or should I check it out? I think even that hesitancy in that question means you should at least check it out and see if it's for you.

Arpita: I agree a hundred percent. 100 percent. And it is personality. I would say, in terms of physician coaches, I think there's well, over 300-400 physician coaches now, which still, if you divide it by 50 states, it's not very many per state. So it is personality based. You have to look at the people and who resonates with you. So do a couple of discovery calls with various coaches that you think might be a good fit and then pick the one that your gut and your heart tells you is a good fit and go from there and just trust the process, go all in, be vulnerable, be open. And that's, you're going to get out of it, what you put into it in terms of being able to show up fully and as yourself.. So. All right, Michael Hersh, any final words? 

Michael: No, think I just want to say a deep, deep gratitude. Thank you both so much for being here, for sharing your stories, for being vulnerable, and for allowing everybody a little window into what your life Has been like and what it's like now. It has been an honor to be a part of this conversation. Obviously, Kimberly, it's been great, you know, getting to hear your story and the impact that Arpita has had on your story and to Kim Downey. You know, just a sincere gratitude for all of your support and all of your kind words. And it really has been incredible to watch all of your progress and all of the things that you're accomplishing really has been amazing. And so thank you for letting me be a part of that journey. 

Kim: Well, thank you. And I do have to say I could not be more honored for you guys to have me on here today. It's like being asked to be on your favorite TV show. You know, like I've seen every episode. It's my favorite podcast. And when Michael asked me, I'm like, me? So anyway, I could not be more honored you know, to, to support both of you.

Arpita: Thank you guys. Yes, I can't even reiterate what Michael said. He said it so well. Thank you both so much. And thank you for putting the time and the investment in yourself because you're, you're biggest asset. So, 

Michael: well, a fantastic episode. Thank you both again so much and thank you to our listeners and we'll see everybody next time on the next episode of Doctors Living Deliberately. Take care. Bye bye.

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