I’m Michael Hersh, MD.
I am a practicing gastroenterologist and a coach for physicians. When I became an attending in 2009, I hit the ground running. I was excited to build my practice and engage with patients. I joined a small multispecialty group and took on as many leadership opportunities as I could find. If you had a committee that needed a young, eager physician, I was your guy. My position in the group blossomed and I became a well-respected physician in my community.
Everything changed in 2014, with the birth of my daughter. I went from having all of the time I needed for everything I wanted to do, to realizing that every patient and committee meant trading valuable family time for my career. I slowly backed away from the leadership roles, but the extra time quickly became filled with patient care. The more I tried to slow down, the faster everything seemed to be moving and the less control I had over my day. My family grew even more with the birth of my son in 2017. I stepped away from other activities outside of the home, but was never quite able to untangle myself from the complexities of patient care.
The Arrival Fallacy
Like so many other physicians, I had fallen prey to a mutual fund company and needed to figure out my finances immediately. In my journey to learn as much as possible about finances, I found the solution to my problem: The financial independence community. I devoured all of the information I could find and pursued FI like it was my only job. I knew that if I could achieve FI, I would finally get to live the life I wanted. I could finally carve time out of my day to be with my family. I did all of the things. I listened to podcasts, opened up all of the right accounts and found a fee-only financial advisor who told me I was on the right path. But nothing changed. I was still working just as hard as before.
Something Has To Change
While scrolling on social media one day, I came across an ad for physician coaching. I was not completely sold on the idea, but it seemed interesting. I decided to give it a try and listened in on a complimentary group coaching call while driving home from work one night. As I listened to the physicians on the call, I was surprised at how much their stories resonated with me. When the call ended, however, I was still not convinced about the power of coaching. The following day, the physician coach reached out to see if I wanted to arrange a one-on-one session. I politely declined with the following explanations/excuses:
- I am not sure I have anything to "coach"
- As someone striving for FI, I have a hard time investing money in myself
- I am definitely an introvert and find it hard to open up
- I'm afraid I am too set in my ways to actually make a change
Then, I typed out the words that would change everything: Something needs to change, but I don’t know where to start. When I saw those words typed out in front of me, my decision became clear. I took a huge leap of faith and invested in myself. I can honestly say that I have never made a more important investment. Ever.
Coaching. Changed. Everything.
We all have a story. In fact, I have been telling you mine. Coaching turned my story on its head and showed me that I am more in control than I had ever truly understood, believed or imagined. My reasons for not wanting a physician coach turned out to be the exact reasons I needed a coach. Through coaching I finally learned how to prioritize the most important people in my life, rediscovered my love of medicine and learned how to embrace discomfort, fear and failure.
Once I saw the power of physicians coaching physicians, I knew I had to be a part of the solution. If you are a physician struggling with burnout, moral injury, overwhelm or balancing family and career, physician coaching is an incredible solution. It can help guide you through the important thought work necessary before making a big life change. Physician coaching worked for me and it can work for you too. My goal is to show physicians the way to a better physician life.
When was the last time you stopped to think about what you want in life?
Learn how to live your best life today, while preparing for the future you always wanted with the "Design Your Life" goal setting guide.