In this Q&A blog post interview, you will learn about Dr. Katrina Ubell’s thoughts on how she’s balancing being a pediatrician and physician coach, how she started her coaching business, and some tips/strategies based from her experiences.
Katrina Ubell, MD is the founder of Weight Loss for Busy Physicians. She went straight from college (Johns Hopkins, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering) to med school (University of Michigan) to residency (Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin) and then worked for over 10 years as a general pediatrician in a very successful and very busy private practice. She had her own experiences dealing with weight dilemmas early in her career. Given that, it motivated her to build a physician coaching platform that aims to help physicians who are facing the same issues.
Initial Thoughts as a Physician Coach
1. Please tell us a bit about your personal story, growing up, and medical training.
2. What made you develop interest in becoming a life and weight loss physician coach? What motivated you?
- I struggled in my career as a pediatrician for my entire time as an attending (10+ years). I always figured that other people were to blame or that I just didn’t have good enough systems set up to support myself. Then after having some issues with a few family members, I reached out to a friend who I knew had been looking into becoming a life coach. I didn’t think I needed therapy, but I also knew that I was having a hard time and didn’t know what to do to fix it. This friend introduced me to a few coaching tools that completely changed my life. I immediately wanted to know more, for myself personally, for my children, and even possibly for my patients. I didn’t pursue life coach certification at that time though because it didn’t fit into my work schedule and I felt my young children still needed too much of my attention.
- A few years later, I had decided to “take a break” from medicine and it was as that break approached that I remembered that I wanted to become a life coach. I really didn’t have any interest in owning a business, but decided that I could give it a try. I also used life coaching tools to help me solve my decades-long overeating and overweight issue. I figured that there might be some other women physicians working in clinical practice who might want to learn how to lose weight permanently like I did and from there my business, Weight Loss for Busy Physicians, was born!
A Physician Coaching Platform
About Weight Loss for Busy Physicians
3. What is ‘Weight Loss for Busy Physicians’ brand? As a physician coach, what is your brand’s unique value proposition? Tell us the story behind its creation.
4. Give us an overview of how you provide coaching services.
- In the world of online business, having a very specific niche is recommended. I considered many different possible niches but settled on MD/DO (or international equivalent) women physicians in clinical practice who want to lose weight and keep it off forever because that’s what I knew best. I had lived that life for so many years and knew I had a solution that would work for any doctor, no matter how chaotic her schedule or personal life were. I began to coach those women and to fine tune my program so that it became even more effective. The whole program is online and is tailored to a busy, working doctor so that they can get all the help they need.
- Now I offer my Weight Loss for Doctors Only program which is six months long and includes group, one-to-one, and written coaching on any topic, as well as the core teaching concepts which are delivered via videos and applied by clients personally through worksheets. After the initial six months, clients can continue on with the Masters program which includes more coaching, more teaching, community with other members, and two live events (these were in-person until Covid required the switch to virtual). Clients can sign up again and again to keep up their progress, work through new struggles that come up, and to stay connected with the community.
As a Life / Weight Loss Physician Coach
5. What was your main motivation for becoming a physician coach?
6. Was there any reason why you chose to become a physician coach for weight loss specifically? What makes it special from the other specializations?
7. Tell us some of the special milestones in your journey as a life / weight loss physician coach.
8. Tell us the major challenges you faced as a physician coach.
- A lot of the initial challenges I faced when I started my coaching business were related to knowing absolutely nothing about running a business! I always joke that I knew less than nothing – my knowledge was a vacuum! There was a massively steep learning curve for me over the first 12-18 months. I still continue to learn new things and grow personally and professionally as I build out my team and work to create a positive company culture.
- At first, I found myself somewhat intimidated by the clients I was trying to serve. As is always the case, once I cleaned up those issues in my own mind, the clients started flowing toward me.
- I really love helping women physicians because I remember back when I was in practice believing that nobody understood what my life was like. Even though I was often surrounded by many people, I often felt lonely and isolated. I even googled “weight loss help for doctors” thinking surely somebody must be helping the doctors lose weight! All that came up were medical weight loss clinics, which I knew wasn’t the solution I needed. So I became the person I had been searching for and I absolutely love my work now. My clients always tell me that yes, they lost a bunch of weight and that’s all fine and good, but what they really love is that on top of getting their weight and eating under control, their marriages are better, they’ve fallen back in love with medicine, or they got a promotion or pay raise that they never would’ve asked for before working with me. Seeing that progress makes all the hard work (and the not fun parts of being a business owner) totally worth it!
9. Favorite book that helped you start your weight loss coaching business
10. Favorite quote
- “Everything is figureoutable.” – Marie Forleo
Lessons from a Physician Coach
Tips for Physician Entrepreneurs from a Physician Coach
12. You are a physician entrepreneur. In your journey towards becoming a successful physician entrepreneur, what are some of the major challenges you faced?
13. Please share any key advice you have for budding physician entrepreneurs.
- My best tip for starting your own business is to start! Don’t wait until you’re “ready.” Just start and figure it out as you go along. I like to remind myself that I made it through medical school and residency. I am a smart person so therefore, there’s no reason I can’t figure something out. Or at least hire someone to do it for me. 😉
Conclusion | As a Physician Coach
14. This is an open ended question. Please feel free to share your closing thoughts.
15. For people who are looking for a physician coach for weight loss – What is the best way for them to get in touch with you?
- Owning my own business has allowed me so much of the flexibility that I felt was missing in my clinical job. Business ownership is not for the faint at heart but the rewards can be massive. Just keep going – don’t quit or give up on yourself and your idea. Your people are waiting for you to help them!
- The ways to get in touch with me are:
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