physician coach

About Physician Coach Gail Gazelle MD, MCC

“Dr. Gazelle’s dedication to her work as a physician coach is obvious. With her skills and talents, you will find yourself advancing toward a new you before you know it.” – Academic internist, Massachusetts

Dr. Gazelle’s Career Timeline

1990

Internist

1990-1998: Primary care internist
1995

Medical Ethics Fellowship

Harvard Medical School
1998

New England Journal of Medicine

Exposed unethical practice of slow codes
1998 - 2003

Surgical Services Hospitalist

Brigham and Women’s Hospital
2003 - Present

Assistant Professor Harvard Medical School

2007

New England Journal of Medicine

New England Journal of Medicine article Understanding Hospice
2012

Co-Active Coach

Certified Co-Active Coach, Coaches Training Institute
2013

Harvard Health Guide

Published Harvard Health Guide Mindfulness Support for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
2014

PCC

Professional Certified Coach, International Coach Federation
2015

Published Pioneering Physician Coaching Article

Physician Burnout: Coaching a Way Out
2019

Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher

Completed intensive 2-year in-person program with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield
2019

Master Certified Coach

Highest level of coach certification, International Coach Federation
2020

Physician Burnout Podcasts

Appeared as a physician burnout expert guest on a dozen podcasts
2020

Physician Pandemic Support

Led physician pandemic support groups with hospital networks across the country
2020

Author, Everyday Resilience

A Practical Guide to Build Inner Strength and Weather Life's Challenges
2021

Mindful MD Facebook Group

Launched 6/21,
Over 2,000 active members
2021

Coached over 500 physicians and physician leaders 1:1


2021

Harvard Institute

Leading Harvard Institute of Coaching initiative to establish physician coach competencies

My own experience with physician burnout

Several years ago, prior to becoming a physician coach, and at a critically stressful time in my career, I struggled with self-doubt, constant rumination, and over-tiredness. Learn more about my journey through burnout and why I chose to become a physician coach to contribute to bringing an end to the epidemic of physician burnout.

Continue reading

I always aspired to be a physician and work in end-of-life care. This goal propelled me forward, but I was still unprepared for the stresses of training. It wasn’t so much the long hours as the emotional intensity. The focus on always having to be perfect and the lack of support for me as a whole person.

As I moved into practice, I was caught up in comparing myself to colleagues I assumed were smarter and more accomplished than I could ever be.

I felt like an imposter. To overcome this belief, I dedicated myself to my career and worked tirelessly, almost becoming a slave to my work.

I was always thinking about my patients and fell into a vicious cycle of guilt. If I were a better physician, I’d read more and work even harder. If I were a better parent, I’d be less focused on work. I never felt like I was good enough at either. The constant rumination and mental chatter in my head were exhausting.

Knowing I couldn’t continue like this, I stumbled into coaching and began to develop tools that helped me shift my mindset. I learned to focus the lens away from my perceived inadequacies and onto my strengths and accomplishments.

I also discovered that I could choose how I related to my circumstances rather than being a victim of them. By achieving a series of small changes, I was able to leapfrog forward. I shifted to a much more relaxed and comfortable way of living. I even started laughing more!

In the summer of 2013, I took the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction course, which proved to be another game-changer. I’d meditated off and on for years but now that I clearly saw the benefits, I began doing so regularly. I realized that many of my patterns of thought were really getting in my way. With meditation, I became able to focus more intentionally and shift into much more resourceful patterns.

The new focus translated to greater time efficiency as well as much more comfort just being myself. I developed more gratitude for what I have, rather than dwelling on what I do not.

I wanted to broaden what I offer clients so studied in a two-year intensive mindfulness meditation teacher training program with world-renowned teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.

I’ve also deepened my practice by sitting multiple silent retreats.

Coaching has been reserved for athletes and executives for quite some time. By adapting the benefits to the realities and challenges of medicine, I became a pioneer and leader in the field of physician coaching.

Why I became a physician coach

Over the past decade, I have been increasingly concerned about the physician burnout epidemic caused by growing pressures in healthcare. Find out more about my training and how I’ve helped hundreds of physicians and physician leaders achieve more satisfying, productive, and fulfilling careers.

Continue reading

After experiencing the life-changing effects of coaching in overcoming my own experience with burnout, I noticed how vulnerable we, as physicians, are to this reality. My desire was to share the benefits I had experienced from coaching with other colleagues who were struggling just as I had.

I underwent training and certification at the Coaches Training Institute, one of the foremost coach training programs internationally. I attained Professional Certified Coach certification through the International Coach Federation.

Since then, I’ve coached over 500 physicians and physician leaders, utilizing a wide variety of evidence-based tools. I particularly enjoy sharing my expertise in mindfulness and positive psychology, as well as providing engaging, interactive, and insightful keynotes and workshops nationally on physician wellness, burnout, and resilience.

As a physician coach, there’s nothing better than witnessing a transformation or breakthrough in my clients’ lives. I often receive emails and messages of gratitude, telling me how pleased they are with my ability to meet them where they are with expert skill and compassion. You can hear directly from them here

My professional background

Over my 28-year career, I’ve worked in an unusually wide variety of roles, so I understand the demands and mindset of physicians and physician leaders in a wide variety of specialties. Read more to understand my professional background and expertise.

Continue reading
  • Over my 28-year career, I’ve worked in an unusually wide variety of roles, so I understand the demands and mindset of physicians and physician leaders in a wide variety of specialties. Read more to understand my professional background and expertise.

In my almost three decades-long career in medicine, I’ve worked in an unusually wide variety of roles:

  • Director of the pain and palliative care programs at a major Boston HMO
  • Hospitalist on the complex surgical services staff at a major Harvard teaching hospital
  • Hospice medical director
  • Emergency room extender
  • Primary care internist
  • Regional medical director of a large national hospice chain
  • Academician, and entrepreneur

As a result, I have a solid understanding of the mindset of physicians and physician leaders in a wide variety of specialties.

Today, I dedicate myself to improving the work-life balance for physicians in all fields by providing tools for resilience, mindfulness, and fulfillment. I’m a part-time Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as an Associate Scientist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where I developed and teach a resilience session to all Internal Medicine residents.

My publications and books: