Imagine a world where physicians can thrive and do the work they were called to do.

About – My Story

I experienced burnout, chose to leave clinical medicine, and crafted a new career. Today, I work with physicians and health care organizations to prevent burnout and create environments where clinicians can thrive.

I was drawn to medicine by my desire to create healing connections with patients – the kind of connections I saw when shadowing my mother, a nurse-midwife who founded two independent birth centers. 

But in training and practice, I found a health care system that often disempowered and disrespected patients, and was too often unsafe. The system itself was a barrier to connecting with patients. I eventually experienced burnout, although I didn’t recognize it until years later. I transitioned from primary care physician to freelance writer focusing on solutions to fix the ills of the health care system. Writing an article one day, I read the definition of professional burnout, and a light bulb went off. (See my post on this NPR health blog for more on that experience.) 

I began a journey to help educate others on the underlying causes of burnout, participating on a task force and expert panels, co-authoring a book, and penning a blog on the topic. Inspired to help effect change instead of just writing about it, I became a certified coach and now help physicians find their way back to joyful, satisfying careers and help organizations better address the system problems that drive physician burnout.

I know what it’s like to have a calling to practice medicine and to love connecting with patients, then find yourself exhausted, demoralized, and overwhelmed. I know what the stresses of clinical practice are like, and trying to balance a career in medicine with a personal life. I know what it’s like to be at that decision impasse: your clinical career is not working and yet you don’t know whether to leave or even if you can afford to.

While I made the best choice possible with the options available to me at the time, leaving clinical medicine was a loss. My mission is to expand the options so that physicians no longer need to choose between self-preservation and their chosen profession. 

I’d love to chat to see if I can help you. Contact me to set up a conversation.

“Working with Diane Shannon and seeing the impact she has by sharing her story is inspiring. She is teaching and helping others in a kind and compassionate manner, something we all benefit from.”

Sara Poplau, Operations Director, Office of Professional Worklife and Institute for Professional Worklife, Minneapolis, MN

Diane W. Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC

Website Designed by Gem Seven Studio

Photography by Julia Snider and Kira M. Shannon

wiseher

Copyright © 2020 Diane W. Shannon. All rights reserved.