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Death by a Thousand MyChart Messages

A pandemically full “in-box” almost caused this family doctor to “break up” with the career she loves. Dr. Borad’s “Death by a Thousand MyChart Messages” describes how she was able to reconciliate and re-find her joy in clinical medicine.

It was one month prior to the first COVID19 Omicron Surge when I thought to myself: “If I have to write one more note, sign one more order, or respond to one more MyChart message (the patient message portal within our EHR), I think I might leave medicine.”

This thought frightened me, disappointed me, and angered me. Why did I spend the last umpteen years preparing to become a Family Physician, only to end up feeling this way? How could medicine let me down?

My relationship with medicine turned from finding the love of my life to a tragic sudden break up (If you haven’t heard the Chris Stapleton song, “Cold,” take a listen. This is precisely how I was feeling).


I felt lost.

I had already spent hundreds of hours reading about burnout (also aptly described as "moral injury") and listening to every podcast under the sun, hoping to find my way back to the excitement I felt on my first day as an Attending Physician. And then I came across an article that discussed a few unique ways of addressing this “epidemic” of physician demoralization which included Coaching, mentorship, and peer support programs.1,2

Coaching stood out to me as I had already been considering it for a few years and by chance, I met a Physician Coach within my own department. It was time to invest in myself, and I did. 

Not only did coaching help me navigate and grow as a novice Clinic Medical Director and a Department Wellness Director, but it also brought back the joy of clinical medicine, consistently reinforced my "WHY" in both my professional and personal life, and drew me into a world of endless possibility. It also allowed me to "pay it forward" by bringing coaching (both formal and informal) to my colleagues in need and to our department.

Here are my takeaways from my coaching journey:

In the end, the only person looking out for you is…YOU.

Choose yourself.

Find a Coach.


  1. Effect of a Professional Coaching Intervention on the Well-being and Distress of Physicians

  2. The Business Case for Investing in Physician Well-being



A graduate of Pitzer College, Dr. Borad attended medical/osteopathic school at the Western University of Health Sciences and completed her residency in Family Practice at the David Geffen School of Medicine. She has worked as a practicing physician and Medical Director for UCSD’s Rancho Bernardo Primary Care Clinic for several years. In the Fall of 2022, she accepted a position within UCSD's Health Primary Care Concierge Medicine practice, where she can practice medicine in the way that she finds most rewarding: spending time with her patients and their families so that she can understand what brings her patients their sense of purpose. Her hope is not only to treat what ails them but also to help PREVENT disease from occurring in the first place.  

Passionate about physician and practitioner wellness, she is a free-lance faculty member at Practicing Excellence. This mission-driven organization is committed to supporting and developing healthcare teams that create enterprise-wide results in team wellness, patient connection, and leadership effectiveness. She is also a student at The Life Coach School, with a goal of becoming a Physician Coach herself to help colleagues avoid burnout.

In her free time, Dr. Borad enjoys playing the piano, songwriting, meditating, training to be a life coach, reading non-fiction, playing with her loving golden retriever and golden doodle, and attending concerts and traveling throughout the U.S. with her husband. She has also begun passively investing in real estate, applying the lessons learned from participating in the wildly popular Leverage and Growth Summit hosted by anesthesiologist Dr. Peter Kim, founder of Passive Income, MD.

This article first appeared on Dr. Borad's LinkedIn profile and was re-published with her permission.


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