What’s hard about getting help?


Today I want to talk about getting the help you need.

But first, I want to share some news. 

You may recall my cat Remy, my Virtual Assistant who does virtually nothing?

Well, he’s been furloughed, no pun intended. And he can’t pull the COVID card. He’s just.. well….. a cat! 

So I went searching far and wide for his replacement and hit the jackpot. 

I found a wonderful gal who doesn’t leave hair all over the place, nap on my desk or bring lizards in the cat door. 

She’s actually never been near my desk or my home. 

Her name is Kati O’Brien and she lives far away in Maine. She came on board at the beginning of May and already she’s a game-changer. 

When I told Remy his services (such as they were) were no longer needed,  he did something rather odd in a desperate plea to keep his job.

He assumed the “Can Kati Do This?” dead cat position:

Having never seen him do this before, ever, it made me realize that in spite of his lackluster performance and low RVU count, he didn’t want to be let go. Not saying he wanted to work…

I told him he could come back on probationary status and we’ll reevaluate in a month. He didn’t look too concerned. 

But back to Kati! I really want you to meet her and get to know her. She is now an integral part of the Doctor’s Crossing and here to help you. I asked her to write a little something for you, 

“Hi! My name is Kati and I’m an online business manager and systems strategist. I was excited at this opportunity to work with Heather because I loved her story and the work that she does. I spent years in jobs that were unfulfilling so I know what it’s like to be unhappy with where you are, but also not sure how to move forward. I think everyone deserves to be happy and fulfilled in their career and I know that if it’s on your mind and in your heart then it is 100% possible for you. 

I’m also an Enneagram 6, which Heather has informed me many of you are as well – so I think I can relate to you on many levels! 

Some fun facts about me: I’m a mom to two kids living in Maine, but hate the snow! I’m a former health coach, and still so passionate about wellness & plant-based foods. I dream of one day traveling the world with my family. 

I’m excited to get to assist Heather and hopefully will have some interactions with you all 🙂 “

And here she is!

I’m super happy to have Kati onboard. I feel like a bit of a Sisyphean weight has been lifted. I love what I do, but I wasn’t moving forward the way I wanted to climbing alone. 

Which brings me to the other topic of the day which is getting help.

I’ve seen first-hand the high cost of delaying getting help and I don’t want this to happen to you and the things that are most important to YOU. 

I like to put getting help into two categories:

Figuring it out kind of help.

Freeing you up kind of help. 

Figuring it out helps you with the HOW to do something. Freeing you up helps create the time and space to do what’s important to you. Rocket science, I know!

Sometimes we need one of these, sometimes both.

What kind of help do you need?

Do you want to:

  • Start a blog, a podcast, or do YouTube videos?
  • Create an online course or try out a new business idea?
  • Get out of medicine?
  • Have someone shop or do food prep for you?
  • Organize your house and files once and for all?
  • Just be happier – yes, we can use help for this too!

These are just a few of a gazillion things you might want some help for.

There are so many ways to get help these days, YouTube, online courses, podcasts, books, FB groups, virtual assistants, mentors, your pets (that depends), and so on. 

(FYI – you can hire a virtual assistant for as little as a few hours a week to do things like pay your bills, schedule appointments, plan trips, job search for you, shop online, etc. This is an exploding area for help).

A lack of available help is not usually the biggest problem. 

The bigger problem is often two-fold: 

Not making yourself a priority and procrastinating on finding help.

It makes me upset when I talk to physicians who are working so hard to care for patients and support their families that they don’t prioritize their own needs. They may have a notion they need something different but they feel selfish making themselves a priority.

If you don’t make yourself a priority, at some point it’s going to catch up with you. 

It’s easy to procrastinate on finding help. I definitely am guilty of this regarding help for my business. 

Procrastination can come in the form of a tar baby in your mind with all the sticky questions:

Where do I even go to look for help?
How do I know if this person (or resource) will help me?
Will I just be wasting my money?
Maybe I can just do it myself for a little longer. 

I’ve definitely wasted some moolah this year trying to get help. For example, the business coach I paid several thousand dollars to who wanted me to call myself “The Physician Lifeguard,” or alternatively, “The Physician Mechanic” and didn’t understand why that wasn’t going to work for my clients.

And then there’s the program I bought to help me learn how to put outfits together and shop. (I’m embarrassed to admit I bought this course, but if you read the blog about my website photoshoot you know I have a very limited wardrobe and hate shopping. The program is a good one, but I can’t seem to find the time for it.)

If I learned anything from my mistakes getting help, it’s to just start and know it won’t be perfect but it will get the ball rolling. 

I can’t prove this, and you don’t need to agree with me, but I believe that just taking some steps to get help for yourself signals to the universe that you’re ready for more. And things will start to happen in a positive way that are bigger than your own efforts. 

Drop me a line and tell me how you’re making yourself a priority. Tell me what you need help with and I’ll do my best to share some resources with you!. 

No need to go it alone! 

Thanks for reading and being a part of this community.  

A big welcome to our new readers and to our Kati!

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"Heather’s approach was great! She would listen to me and helped me appreciate who I am."

I remember when she said ‘do your resume before our next meeting’, I was about to push back but she gently nudged me along and I’m glad I did exactly what she wanted me to do. We also did interview prep via Zoom and I was offered a great job in UM. She has continued to follow up even after I was offered this job, helping me with pointers about negotiating. I will totally recommend the Doctors Crossing and Heather to anyone feeling stuck like me and looking for a great coach! Thank you Heather!

- Modupe Oladeinde, MD

Family Medicine
Tim O

The coaching I have had with you has been life changing."

You helped me find the courage to seek out leadership positions and become a medical director as well as a physician advisor. I am grateful we crossed paths and am a different person because of it. You have inspired me to "believe" in spite of my inner skeptic. I consider you one of my most important mentors and am proud to also call you a friend. This says a lot given the apprehension I felt when I took a chance with our first coaching session. Even though I have already made a successful transition, I still value your ongoing mentorship and can enthusiastically attest that the value of your services is tremendous!

- Tim Owolabi, MD

Family Medicine
Lynette Charity

“I was at a crossroads in my medical career. I asked myself, "Do I stay or do I go?" 

I met Heather at the SEAK conference. She and I revisited this question.  Did I want to quit being medicine completely? She helped me to identify my needs, wants, and my vision for my FUTURE, not just in medicine, but in life!!!

She was able to listen to my "ramblings" about becoming a stand-up comic, lounge singer and voice-over actor and translate them into action steps.  I chose to become a composite of all of these. Now I am a more confident, healthier, happier person. I credit this in its entirety to the tutelage I have received and continue to receive from Heather.  She cares. She listens. She was there for ME.  She will be there for YOU!

- Lynette Charity, MD

Gail Miller

“I am forever grateful to Heather for helping me to recognize, I am more than just my M.D." 

Heather helped me understand that I am more than just a doctor and that my experiences in clinical medicine are valuable in so many arenas.  As a result I realized that there are other ways to use my background, still be able to help people and continue to challenge myself and grow.  To that end I discovered coaching - specifically health coaching.  I am on my journey becoming a health coach and truly loving it!

- Gail Miller, MD

OB/Gyn physician

“Thank you, Heather, for helping me transform my career, my faith and my life."

What started out as an initial thirty-minute consultation call turned into an amazing four-year journey that transformed my life, personally, spiritually and professionally. 

Heather helped me to discover my passions...by doing so, I discovered I still had a calling for medicine but it now came from a place of truth...

Today...my wife and I are opening our first concierge medicine clinic in a community we love. I’m actually excited to have the opportunity to practice medicine the way I believe it’s meant to be, with a focus on the doctor-patient relationship and an emphasis on faith. I know if I had not reached out to Dr. Fork, my life would not be where it is at today.

- Steve Lapke, MD

Papillion, NE
Sue Zimmermann

“Heather gave me the confidence to create a new livelihood by following my heart."

She is incredibly knowledgeable about the range of careers available to physicians and provided me with advice and connections which I would not have found on my own.  From the start she encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and try different things.  I was laid off unexpectedly in early 2017, and Heather gave me the confidence to create a new livelihood by following my heart and making decisions based on trust, not fear.  Now I am enjoying working part-time in a clinical setting in addition to teaching and writing.

- Sue Zimmermann, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon
Devki Patel

After months of struggling to find a non-clinical career that matched my values and passion, I stumbled upon Heather's website which truly changed my life."

Heather's insightful and personalized approach to career coaching made me think outside the box since she took the time to evaluate my personality, values, interests, and preferred lifestyle.

Through her encouragement, practical advice, and professional connections, I was able to find a non-clinical position at a state Medicaid agency that aligned with my passion for population health and serving low-income communities. In addition to her coaching sessions, Heather has built a community of like-minded physicians through her blog, and I feel honored to recommend her to friends and colleagues who seek to make positive changes in their professional and personal lives.

- Devki Patel, MD

Jay Macregor

Working with Heather ultimately helped me leave my job in corporate healthcare and find a path that was much more fulfilling."

My career was going reasonably well but I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling I could do better; or at least find a better long-term career fit.  

I was able to find a surgery job that better aligned with my goals and professional interests.  Additionally, Heather helped me start a consulting business which has allowed me to pursue a true passion: helping medical students, residents, and attendings surgeons navigate the challenges of high-stakes standardized exams.    

If you are reading this as a “Type A” surgeon who doesn’t think coaching is for you, I would encourage you to give Heather a shot.  I’m very glad I did!

- Jay MacGregor, MD

Colorectal Surgeon

“I gained the confidence in myself to develop an action plan that blended the best parts of my experiences and interests into a cohesive career." 

Through our work, I learned to trust myself to make good decisions for my own future – something I hadn’t realized I was struggling with because as an emergency physician, I make life-changing decisions with patients every day. 

By feeding my creativity and interests in other realms of my professional life, I’ve found renewed compassion for my patients and myself, making every shift an opportunity to actually care for people. Thank you Heather. I really couldn’t have made these changes without your help!

- Liz McMurtry, DO

Emergency Medicine Physician

The simple truth is - Heather Fork totally helped me change my life."

I never would have had the courage to make the changes I’ve made without her unwavering support, wealth of knowledge and commitment. 

When I first started working with Heather, I was downtrodden...I’d been practicing medicine for 20+ years and yet had never quite found my place.  During the first year I worked with Heather, I left the practice I’d been working at, and recreated an entirely new professional purpose.

I’m now an executive and leadership coach, a university professor, and a Brené Brown Daring Way facilitator, and I have never looked back.  I love what I am doing more than at any other time in my professional life and I credit Heather with seeing in me what I was never able to see in myself, until now.

Don’t hesitate, don’t doubt yourself, schedule your time with Heather as soon as possible- she can help you reconnect to your purpose and reinvent your life.

- Amie Langbein, DO

Family Physician
KB Karen Barnard Photo

"After 30 years in academic medicine, I wanted a career change but had no idea where to start. Medicine was all I knew."

I signed up for coaching with Heather and it transformed my life. She helped me get clear on what I wanted my life to look like. We reviewed my skills, values, and strengths. She instilled hope in me that change IS possible after 50 years! 

The outcome is that I have created a life I love! I practice endocrinology part-time and own a life coaching business! Coaching with Heather is one of the best investments I have made in my life. 

- Karen Barnard, MBBCh, MPH

Endocrinologist and Life Coach

"Heather was my source of hope during a time when I felt stuck and confused. She gave me the permission and confidence to reach higher than I believed I could."

After graduating from residency and starting a family, I lost sight of why I became a physician. I struggled to convince myself to stay in a career that was clearly the wrong fit for me and my family. My anxiety about work was at an all-time high when I reached out to Heather. She provided something that my mentors, friends, and family could not – rather than just offering career advice, she changed the way I think about my life so that I could understand how my career would fit into it. I realized I wasn’t ready to give up on medicine and eventually found a job in academic medicine. I finally feel that excitement for medicine that I used to feel when I was in training. More importantly, I feel like I can be the role model to my young daughter who may one day also face similar challenges between career and family. Thank you, Heather, for all your kindness, support, and skillful coaching! The experience was life-changing!

- Yuri Shindo, MD

Internal Medicine Physician
Camille Gardner-Beasley

"As a Physician, your personal and even professional needs are often overlooked. I learned how to prioritize my career goals by working with Dr. Heather Fork."

She taught me how to put into practice what I knew in theory, that taking care of myself was a priority. I learned to give myself permission to make the career choices that would give me the work-life balance I desperately craved and needed. The process of confronting fears and insecurities was a bit scary, but well worth it in the end. I am now a happier version of myself with a non-clinical job that I truly enjoy!

- Camille Gardner-Beasley, MD

Family Medicine
Anna testimonial

"After 10 years in outpatient family medicine I felt stuck and knew I needed a change but I didn’t know where to begin. Thankfully I found Heather and she guided me every step of the way."

She helped me carefully assess my interests, strengths and passions while also providing me with constructive changes to implement in my job search and resume. With Heather’s help, I just landed a fully remote UM position and I am also exploring coaching as well. Now I feel like the possibilities are endless and I’m excited for this next chapter in the nonclinical world! Thank you Heather for changing my life for the better.

- Ana Jacobellis, DO