Helping Physicians Address Self-Limiting Beliefs: Meet Coach Dr. Melissa Hankins

TransforMD: Describe your traditional path in medicine:

Melissa: I attended medical school at Boston University School of Medicine, going on to complete residency in 2002 in psychiatry at Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program. Upon completion of psych residency, I began working at a large academic hospital (Cambridge Health Alliance/CHA) affiliated with Harvard Medical School, working as an outpatient attending and psychiatric emergency room psychiatrist, later becoming Outpatient Team Director and Medical Director of the Psychiatric Partial Hospital. While working at CHA, I also joined a private group psychotherapy practice. When I became pregnant with my son in 2007, I left CHA, and began working for a very large multi-specialty group with offices throughout Massachusetts.

TransforMD: What was the turning point or inspiration for you to make a major shift in your career? What are you doing differently now?

Melissa: As much as I loved aspects of psychiatry, in 2007, while pregnant with my son, I first had the thought I didn’t want to remain in medicine forever. I’d heard about executive coaching from a friend, and felt it would complement my skills as a therapist and psychiatrist. While I wasn’t yet ready to leave medicine, while working full-time clinically, I became certified as an executive coach in 2008. But, it wasn’t until 2012 that I KNEW I had to do something differently. It was then that I had the fleeting thought that my son would be better off if I wasn’t around because then he (and I) wouldn’t have to suffer by me always missing out on his life because I was constantly chained to my work as a doctor. It was at that time in my life that I really began to focus on creating and building my coaching business (which is what I now do full-time) helping physicians and other healthcare and wellness providers.

TransforMD: Did you have doubts or hurdles along the way? What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?

Melissa: My biggest challenge on my journey has been in letting go of fears and doubts about my being good enough—as a doctor, as a coach, as a mother, as a wife (when I was married). Using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques, or “tapping”) has helped me release those (and other) fears and limiting beliefs. EFT has been a game-changer in my life and business that I use regularly for myself and with my clients.

TransforMD: Imagine you could travel back in time and give yourself an important piece of advice. What would it be, and when would have been the most important time in life to receive it?

Melissa: My advice to my younger self: Use EFT to start releasing limiting beliefs during childhood (I taught my son EFT when he was 6yo!), and invest in your self-development as soon as you can, starting in your 20’s, and never stop investing because YOU are your most valuable resource.

TransforMD: How do you feel the TransforMD Mastery Retreat might benefit or be important to women physicians who are wanting some change but not sure what to do or how to do it?

Melissa: Physicians need to know there is a better way to work and live. I’m so glad organizations like TransforMD exist to help educate and support physicians in this awareness!

You may follow Dr Melissa Hankins on Facebook @MHankinsCoaching, Instagram @Dr.MelissaHankins, and LinkedIn.