My Transition from Physician to Physician Marriage Advocate & Coach
Since the tender age of five, being a physician is all I ever wanted to do with my life. I thought of little else from that time forward. Until, I was eventually accepted into medical school in 1986 at the age of 27. I started into family practice in 1993 when I was 34. My story is an interesting one and will be told, I promise, at another time. Though I have been a physician for 31 years, I have been a marriage advocate for much longer.
Today, the practice of medicine is not the same practice of medicine I knew back in 1993. That year, I finished my Family Practice residency and returned to my home area of Wheeling, WV. I settled into a small-town family practice in McMechen, WV not far from my home in Wheeling. Treating patients in my office was not only how I dreamed it would be, it was better! I went on house calls and enjoyed being the “old time family doc”. Getting to know families through multiple generations from birth-to-death was not only a joy, but a privilege. Spending quality time with patients without quotas to fill and administrators to please seems like centuries ago. Those were the “good ole days.” I was living the dream! MY dream.
Years went by as well as the “good ole days." As we have watched the erosion of the doctor-patient relationship, we have watched it become corporatized, replaced with cookie cutter treatments where one size mostly fits all, and where third-party controllers reign supreme. We spend less face-to-face time with the patient, and sadly, more time with EMR and the computer screen. A random google search leads us to believe that physician marriages are on par, if not better, than the average marriage in society today. I’m not convinced. While they may have some merit, one must question whether the right questions were asked. I saw in my parent’s marriage. I come a family of physicians, where my own dad was a doctor, and I saw in my parents’ marriage years of infidelity, lying, narcissism, and abuse in multiple forms. I saw it among the other physicians he associated with, and it was abhorrent to me. I wanted something different.
My own marriage has been fraught with challenges and many obstacles that could have broken a weaker marriage. My wife, Vanessa, knew what we were in for when we dated and later married. We met in the middle of my first year of internship. Vanessa was understanding of the long hours on call during those training years. She was raised in a family-owned business. She was used to hard work and had a WIT (whatever it takes) attitude. We were both equally determined to make our relationship work. We used concepts and tools that have not only allowed us to survive, but thrive. We want that for you too.
For the past 25 years, our life’s work has been supporting the institution of marriage by volunteer coaching for non-profits. And, though being a physician was first and foremost my career of choice, I was called in a different direction. Transitioning from a physician to a marriage coach has been a very natural one.
It is both rewarding and challenging, very much like a marriage. The rewards come from spending more face-to-face time with people. It is great being my own boss again and working with my wife. The challenges come with my steep learning curve with technology. Gratefully, I have Vanessa helping me with that. Supporting and helping physician marriages is equally rewarding and fulfilling and make the challenges worth it.
It is really hard to put into words the passion we have making a difference in our colleagues’ marriages. The concepts, tools and the coaching program we have has been life changing. It has been for so many, and can be for you too. We believe our proprietary marriage, sex and relationship coaching program is not only life-affirming, it is also life-saving, and most of all life-transforming. We are dedicated to teaching our colleagues how to transform their marriages and relationships.