Physicians with Young Families Group

Are you trying to juggle your challenging career as a physician alongside your role as a mother?

The AMWA Coaching Community is offering a 6-month facilitated discussion group for women physicians with babies and/or young children who are seeking strategies to help you manage a demanding career and busy family life with greater ease.

  • The group will meet on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm ET / 6:30 pm CT / 4:30 pm PT.
  • Dates: In 2021: 11/3  and 12/1, and in 2022: 1/5 , 2/2 , 3/2, 4/6
  • If there is sufficient interest, additional cohorts can be added at other times during the week.


How Might This Coaching Program Help You?

If you are a woman physician with a young family, it is likely that you feel overwhelmed, stretched very thin, and pulled in many different directions as you strive to succeed both in your medical career and in your role as a mother, provider, and family manager. You may feel that you have to be everything to everyone. But have you ever considered who you are and who you want to be for yourself? Or how to find the time and energy to add that to your life?

If this feels like you, you are not alone!

The desire to be the best version of yourself in every role is not unique, yet women in this situation often feel very alone and believe that others do not experience the same conflicts. In your pursuit of excellence, you may struggle with a sense that you are not meeting your own or others’ expectations. This causes the real and well-known phenomenon of mom-guilt. This is not a benign situation not is it limited to feelings of guilt and being overwhelmed.

The effort to integrate your personal and professional life can create considerable strain.1 Woman with work-home conflicts are known to experience burnout at higher rates, leading to dissatisfaction, depression, and anxiety, which often leads to a decision to cut back on your work hours or leave medicine completely.2 In fact, this struggle to find a work-life balance leads to a higher chance of reducing your clinical hours within the first six years of completing your medical training.3

This innovative coaching program will allow you to gain ideas and support from professional physician coaches and other physician moms who are encountering similar issues. We anticipate that participants will develop a strong sense of community that will continue to provide mutual support long after the coaching program ends.

How Does the Coaching Program Work? 

Groups of 8-10 participants will convene once a month in facilitated groups led by a professionally trained coach. Each session will last for 75 minutes and begin with a 10-minute overview of a common issue that will lead into group discussion, role-playing, and story-sharing.

The six-month group coaching program fee is $250, which is heavily subsidized as a benefit to AMWA members. As we have a few spaces left, any non-members who enroll in this group will be automatically enrolled in AMWA but will be asked to commit to renewing membership for at least one year to access this exclusive price. (The retail price is estimated at $4000.)

Program Objectives 

Participants can expect to gain support from each other as you:

  • Discover strategies that help you juggle a busy and challenging career while raising a young family.
  • Recognize that you do not have to do everything yourself and identify which tasks and responsibilities you can outsource.
  • Explore ways to manage that creeping self-doubt by introducing self-care to fuel your inner confidence.
  • Establish boundaries to bring your more personal and professional freedom.

Session Discussion Starters:

  1. First session: looking at current situations and experiences. What are your challenges, resistances, and fears? What is currently working for you? What would you like to achieve by being part of the program? 
  2. Parental and professional guilt
  3. Outsourcing and delegating tasks
  4. Primary relationship equity – negotiation and sharing of jobs at home
  5. Time for self care/self wellness and what that means
  6. Challenging the belief that despite taking care of everyone else, women physicians need to look after themselves too. 

Physician Coaching Faculty

Karen Tindall BDS (Hons), WPCC, ACC.

Dr. Tindall is an internationally certified professional life coach and founder of Balanced Doctor, a practice established to support busy physicians who are combining demanding careers and fulltime parenting. Calling on her firsthand experience in clinical practice, she understands what it means to juggle both a career in medicine and a busy home and family life. Dr. Karen is a speaker, writer, and podcast guest covering work-life fit, personal organization, time management, and productivity.  Dr. Tindall is co-chair of the AMWA Physician Coaching Committee and leads the Physicians with Young Families Program. She pursued a career in dentistry, qualifying with a degree from the University of Newcastle, UK, with Honours then completing postgraduate training at the University of Oxford. Dr. Karen was a family dentist before moving into orthodontics for 12 years. Website:

Diane W. Shannon, MD, MPH

After experiencing paralyzing burnout as a primary care physician, Dr. Shannon made the hard decision to leave practice and pursue a career in writing. Her focus for 20 years has been drawing attention to clinician burnout, system inefficiency, and patient safety problems. She is co-author of Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine, which was published in 2016. Her personal experience with burnout and her desire to support clinicians motivated her to become a certified coach three years ago. She now helps clinicians gain clarity on their goals, increase their bandwidth, overcome barriers, and improve their professional and personal lives.  Dr. Shannon attended Williams College, Jefferson Medical College, and Harvard University. She completed training in Internal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston and practiced general internal medicine before making the shift to writing and coachin

Elisabeth Fontaine, MD, Dip. ABLM, FACLM, BOG, ACC, Telehealth lifestyle medicine physician

Dr. Fontaine is certified in both obstetrics/gynecology and lifestyle medicine. After practicing as an Ob/Gyn for 27 years, I founded a Lifestyle Medicine Clinic in Vermont in order to improve the health of the population and I co-founded RiseVT (  a statewide community intervention initiative. My passion is to “coach a village to health” so I am committed to helping healthcare practitioners thrive in the moment, find balance in self-care to prevent burnout, and explore what is in your way to become your best self. As a leader in women’s health and wellbeing, my goal is for you to build confidence and take control of your leadership presence and define your career direction by stretching your mind to think differently, resulting in balance with work and life. The future is uniquely complex, requiring us to lead and act differently.  It is time to bring your dreams alive in what is next for you. Dr. Fontaine completed her medical degree and training in obstetrics and gynecology (Ob/Gyn) in Canada and is board certified by the American Board of OB/GYN. She completed a Fellowship from Dukes University in Business Leadership and Integrative Health. She is also board certified in lifestyle medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.


Dr. Shah, is associate professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and she is a certified life coach who believes that we can all have the life we want. As a recovering
perfectionist, she helps find joy in the here and now. She is currently the surgical clerkship director and is currently involved in several projects to bring coaching to academic medicine. Dr. Shah completed her surgical residency at the University of Illinois Medical Center and her pediatric surgery training at the University of Florida.


  1. Dyrbye LN, Freischlag J, Kaups KL, Oreskovich MR, Satele DV, Hanks JB, Sloan JA, Balch CM, Shanafelt TD. Work-home conflicts have a substantial impact on career decisions that affect the adequacy of the surgical workforce. Arch Surg. 2012;147(10):933-939. 
  2. Hertzberg TK, Rø KI, Vaglum PJ, Moum T, Røvik JO, Gude T, Ekeberg Ø, Tyssen R. Work-home interface stress: an important predictor of emotional exhaustion 15 years into a medical career. Ind Health. 2016;54(2):139-148.  
  3. Frank E, Zhao Z, Sen S, Guille C. Gender Disparities in Work and Parental Status Among Early Career Physicians. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(8):e198340.