The Simple Framework Helping Doctors Beat Burnout And Design The Life of Their Dreams

10 months ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by SJ Objio / Unsplash
Table of contents

Over the past 6 years, I've coached dozens of physicians and healthcare professionals.

Some started an independent practice. Others scaled their existing practice. A few got thought-leadership roles like speaking or consulting. And some launched clinically-adjacent side-gigs.

What they don't know?

I follow the exact same framework to coach all of them:


One of the biggest drivers for burnout is realizing the career you sacrificed your 20's for sucks…

So, before you make that mistake again by jumping directly into a non-clinical career, take a moment to think about the lifestyle you want for yourself first. Then you can build a business (or get a job) that fits your lifestyle, instead of trying to fit your lifestyle around the time left from your job.

Here are a few questions to get you started in this area:

  1. What do you want to do on a daily basis?
  2. Do you want to see patients?
  3. How many per day / week?
  4. Do you want to be on-call?
  5. Do you want to work with insurance?
  6. Do you want to have a large practice and partners?
  7. How many days do you wish to work per week?
  8. What schedule?
  9. Where do you want to live?
  10. How much money do you want to make?

Imagine you had a magic wand and you could get the exact lifestyle you designed. Don't worry about how to get it, or whether it's "realistic" or not. Simply write down your answers.


The person who got you here, won't get you there.

We believe doing different things will get us different results. But this is not true. If we want different results we need to become a different person.

But there's another problem; your peers don't like different.

As soon as you begin doing things differently, you'll be mocked and criticized by your peers. So you need to be ready for this. In fact, I often tell my clients this is somewhat of a milestone.

You'll know you're on the right path when the peers you left behind start attacking you.


Only once you've defined your dream lifestyle and the person you need to become does it make sense to create a strategic action plan.

Think of lifestyle and mindset as the foundation upon which you'll build your new business. You can't see the foundation but without it your business will crumble.

Another reason why I never start working on strategy before defining lifestyle and mindset is because you can't know the kind of business you want to create or grow if you don't know the life you want it to give you.

If any of this resonated with you, you are going to love "It's Not Brain Surgery", my weekly newsletter for entrepreneurial doctors. Subscribe for free here.

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