Dr. Wener is owner of Conscious Health Meditation + Wellness, Chief Wellness Officer of TransforMD International, and Chief Executive Officer of Conscious Anti-Racism. Specialties include: physician wellness, anti-racism education, and hospital medicine
What are you currently doing professionally?
While practicing, I specialized in hospital medicine. Now, I split my time between promoting physician wellness through meditation, retreats, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)/tapping, and leading anti-racism education.
Actually, I started out on a very traditional career path. I earned my medical degree at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Washington, Seattle, and then I worked as a hospitalist at Rush in Chicago for 10 years.
I was a very anxious, typical type A, perfectionist and I never had any interest in meditation or spirituality until I faced extreme burnout. I learned about conscious health meditation, which not only helped me navigate through burnout, but also changed and improved my life in so many other ways. After several more years in a successful and fulfilling practice as an academic hospitalist, I went to India for three months to train in meditation. Through this experience, I decided to transition out of clinical medicine to focus on physician wellness, which includes teaching meditation in the live setting. I also have a CME-accredited online meditation course called The REST Technique, which has been really effective when introduced in workplace wellness initiatives.
I strongly believe that there is no quick fix when facing significant career stresses. When I learned about EFT/Tapping while attending a women’s medical conference and then benefitted enormously from this method as a client, I went on to become a tapping practitioner, too.
My anti-racism journey began in earnest in 2016, and over years of intensive self-reflection and education, I formed Conscious Anti-Racism with Dr. Maiysha Clairborne. We published a book in 2020, created a CME-accredited online course, and now offer live training for healthcare organizations. To learn more about my services, go to: https://www.jillwener.com.
Was There a Specific Instance or Individual who Influenced your Career Choices?
I’ve already mentioned Dr. Clairborne already. When I moved back to Atlanta after my meditation teacher training, I had no idea how to go about starting my own business.
Since Marjorie Stiegler, a close medical school classmate, was already a successful entrepreneur, she helped me get my own business off the ground. Then, we decided to combine our superpowers in a really unique way to help women physicians looking for more from their professional lives, and that’s how the TransforMD Mastery Retreat was born. Now, we lead a powerful, transformative retreat each January in Cancun, which is one of the highlights of my year. Our 3rd annual event is January 2022; to attend, explore HERE.
Are you active in any AMWA initiatives?
I am new to AMWA, and I hope to get involved in DEI and wellness initiatives within the organization.
What challenges have you faced in your medical career?
Facing the fallout of extreme burnout was the biggest challenge that I have faced. I was fortunate to find meditation when I did, which absolutely allowed me to enjoy my patient practice for several more years before moving away from clinical medicine.
I was also lucky to work in an environment that supported my non-clinical work in the faculty development space, so I was able to be autonomous and creative. Another challenge I have faced is perfectionism, which has also been helped by meditation.
Given Your Lived Experiences, What Advice Would You Share With Women in Medicine?
I tell women physicians that “You are powerful and unique, and the world needs your voice and your talents. Allow yourself to be human and to ask for help. Don’t settle for anything less than what you want, and know that there is a whole world of incredible tools and modalities that can help you, even if you weren’t taught about them in medical school.”
For me, learning to meditate led to the biggest positive shift in my life. I had no idea that someone “like me” would value meditation or get the benefits of a meditation practice. Yet, it has allowed me to see a whole other world outside of what I had been taught through my entire medical education and training, and it was so freeing; plus, it made me a better doctor and educator.