The Importance of Prioritizing Your Wellbeing To Prevent Burnout with Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington

by Jen Barna MD | Burnout Prevention, Physician Burnout, Physician Coaching, Physician communcation, Physician Job Change, Physician Wellness, Podcast, Wellness, Work Life Balance

“If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. And as caretakers, we are professional caretakers. It is completely true, although we like to think that it’s not. We like to think that with our training and with our logic, that we can just overcome everything.”
– Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington

Physicians across the country are feeling burned out. We’re committed to finding ways to decrease stress in our lives and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Between December 2021 and January 2022, about 2,500 US physicians took a survey conducted by researchers at the AMA, Mayo Clinic, Stanford University, and the University of Colorado. The survey results showed that 63% of physicians had at least one manifestation of burnout. If you’re a physician, clinician, or healthcare worker and you’re feeling burned out, not only are you not alone, you’re likely a part of the majority. Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington is back on the show to have a frank conversation about burnout and the importance of prioritizing your own well-being in order to begin to shift your life. If you’re not experiencing burnout, chances are you’re already doing some of these things to protect your resilience and well-being.

Dr. Bright Ellington is an internal medicine physician and medical billing expert. She earned her M.D. at the University of Michigan Medical School and trained at the Cambridge Hospital of Harvard Medical School. She’s practiced in primary care and psychiatric settings and then transitioned her work into the insurance world where she became a health insurance executive. She’s the author of the What Your Doctor Wants You to Know series, is a former NY1 News health contributor, and has been featured in Dallas News, several podcasts, and national magazines. You can hear my previous conversations with Dr. Bright Ellington in the episodes linked below.

Dr. Bright Ellington shares her amazing story of how she took control of her mental and physical health and well-being. Not only did she take the risk to shift her career, but she also had to battle breast cancer. If she hadn’t made the commitment to put herself first when she did, her diagnosis and road to recovery would have been much more difficult. In medical school, physicians are taught to be superhuman at all times, which just isn’t practical or sustainable. We discuss why you should put yourself and your family over your job, why it’s important to lean on friends, therapists, and coaches, and the importance of setting yourself up financially to take the leap.

What’s Inside:

  • Dr. Bright Ellington’s transformative story of how she overcame burnout and breast cancer.
  • Why you should prioritize your well-being and your family over work.
  • The importance of setting yourself up financially before stepping away from a career.

Mentioned In This Episode:

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Please enjoy the full transcript below


Dr. Bright Ellington: If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. And as caretakers, we are professional caretakers. It is completely true, although we like to think that it’s not. We like to think that with our training and with our logic, that we can just overcome everything. 

Jen: Welcome to DocWorking: The Whole Physician Podcast. I’m Dr. Jen Barna, co-host of the podcast. Thank you for joining us today. If you’re a physician or other health care professional or student who’s exploring how to live your best life while staying connected to feeling the purpose in your meaningful work, you’ve come to the right place. Physicians across the country are feeling burned out, and we’re trying to find ways to decrease stress in our lives and ways to balance work and life outside of work. Between December 2021 and January 2022, about 2,500 US physicians took a survey conducted by researchers at the AMA, Mayo Clinic, Stanford University, and University of Colorado. The survey results showed that 63% of physicians had at least one manifestation of burnout. So if you’re a physician or other clinician or healthcare worker and you’re feeling burned out, you should know that not only are you not alone, you’re probably part of the majority. Today, I’m bringing back Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington to have a frank conversation about burnout and the importance of prioritizing your own well-being in order to begin to move yourself away from burnout. If you’re not experiencing burnout, chances are you’re already doing some of these things to protect your resilience and well-being. And if you have some ideas to share that have worked for you, please reach out and let me know so we can share those ideas with others. Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington is an internal medicine physician and medical billing expert. She earned her M.D. at the University of Michigan Medical School and trained at the Cambridge Hospital of Harvard Medical School. She’s practiced in primary care and psychiatric settings and then transitioned her work into the insurance world where she became a health insurance executive. She’s the author of the What Your Doctor Wants You to Know series, is a former NY1 News health contributor, and has been featured in Dallas News, several podcasts, and national magazines. You can hear my previous conversations with Dr. Bright Ellington about how to crush medical debt on episode 195 and one physician’s journey into nonclinical work in episode 210. We’ll link to those in the show notes so you can easily find them. Will also link to some other conversations we’ve had on the topic of burnout and preventing burnout. If burnout is a topic of interest to you, we have a number of episodes that talk about steps you can take and episodes where physicians share their journeys related to burnout, some to the brink and back. I did a quick search of DocWorking burnout on Apple Podcasts and it showed me 11 previous episodes. So if this topic is of interest to you, I suggest starting with episode 26 titled Physician Burnout: Proactive Steps You Can Take Today. I know we’re all burned out just hearing about burnout, but until the numbers start coming down, we have to put our collective heads together to find ways to support each other, and that starts with having these difficult conversations. Dr. Virgie Bright Ellington, welcome back to DocWorking: The Whole Physician Podcast. 

Dr. Bright Ellington: Jen, thank you so much for having me back. What you’re doing is incredibly important. It’s number one, frankly, it’s critical. And it sounds trite. We say this, but, you know, wellness is if you don’t have wellness, you have nothing. And the trite thing that we often hear and or say is that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. And as caretakers, we are professional caretakers. It is completely true, although, you know, we like to think that it’s not. We like to think that with our training and with our logic, that we can just overcome everything. And so thank you for bringing light to this issue, bringing attention to this issue. It’s critical. You’re saving lives. You’re saving families and you’re saving lives, Jen. So thank you. 

Jen: Well, thank you for coming to talk with me about why it’s so important to protect our own well-being and how that can protect us from burnout. I was in a conversation recently with leaders from different health care organizations, and one person said, with 63% of physicians reporting burnout, this is its own pandemic. And one way that I like to make an analogy is that we as physicians wouldn’t consider working without PPE to prevent infectious illness. That’s something that is a given, no matter how short on funds a hospital or a health system is. If they don’t provide PPE to prevent contagious illness, they will not have any healthcare workers left because they’ll all get the contagious illness. And I think while protecting our well-being and protecting our resilience is something that we can think of, like needing a different form of PPE. And it’s really not optional at this point. And we can see that what we’ve been doing up until now is not working. So it is going to be interesting to see going forward the organizations that can choose, that make the choice to make meaningful changes to protect their workforce are going to be the ones where people want to work and where people feel valued and where people can stay connected to the purpose and what we do and to be able to find a path that’s sustainable to stay in the work. Let’s talk a little bit about your journey and why this is important to you. 

Dr. Bright Ellington: Well, I like to tell folks, you know, it’s a cautionary tale. I have many mottos, Jen. And one of them is, you know, don’t listen to what I do. Listen to what I say, right? And it goes back to, yeah, we’ve got to take care of ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of anybody else. But, you know, we’re superstars. We’re ballers. You know, we’re rock stars. And it sneaks up on you. So you talk about in your shows, you talk about identifying the symptoms because it’s insidious. We’re used to working at such a high level that no one, the traditional I would say DSM four and five, they don’t look like many physicians when we have overwhelming stress to the breaking point. So my cautionary tale is I was, you know, doing the awesome work 60 to 90 hours a week for a health insurance company, a very, very, very large health insurance company. And, you know, frankly, I was a rock star. They told me I was a rock star. I joined the company for the sole purpose of joining their appeals department. And I like to say I’m not doctor no, I’m doctor maybe. So I don’t do UM/UR, utilization review/utilization management. I do appeals where if someone has a claim that they submit and is denied by the company, then the patient and or the provider appeals it. And that’s our job is to review those appeals after the service has been given. And so the company, before it was bought by a retailer, really made a point of saying, you know what, quotas don’t belong in the work that you do, having a certain number of cases that you have to complete every week or every month, because in order to do the right thing in the internal motto of the company, was do the right thing for the right reasons. And so they said, you know what, having a quota, meaning you rush through to make numbers, to review medical records and make the right decision because you’re impacting families if you’re denying care. We’re not paying for that, well, someone is. And you’re breaking families if they have to go into debt and, you know, number one, cause of divorce money issues, right. So this impacts families and lives. So important work in terms of you can only do physicians can only review so many cases thoroughly in a certain period of time. And then over time my time with the company, I had another job that grew to I was responsible, a clinical lead for reviewing hospital claims to make sure and teaching all the clinicians in the whole company, doctors, nurses about how to appropriately review claims so that you’re making the right decision, making sure that things are taken care of, paid for, as they should, and not overpaying, meaning when hospitals submit things to make sure that they’re accurate. And so I had been told by an administrator that during my time as the clinical lead for their program, this particular program, their savings went from $100 million every year to, I increased their ROI to $150 million every year, every year, every year. So they just thought I was this rock star, right? But I was working 60 to 80 hours a week to make this happen. And it kind of snuck up on me. And because I was working from home, I thought, well, I’m not working that much and I’m still okay. It’s still flexible. I got married and combined a family and in the middle of combining a family we say, okay, we’re going to have our new family home. We need to do renovations before we move in. I’m still doing all of this, working all of these hours and right. Three days after, two days after we moved in, my mother, I got the call that my mother was moribund and died. She died three days later and I still thought I was doing okay. I thought I was handling things because I had been a long distance primary caretaker or the long distance primary caretaker for my mom. I thought well, all I had to do was process my grief, you know, your mom, your parent, losing a parent understanding, they’re no longer in the system of things. And, you know, transitions are tough. And I just thought, okay, I’m doing well and I’m actually going to be even better because I don’t have to worry about making sure my mom’s okay. So those are the thoughts I had. But Jen, things started happening. My husband said “hey, Virgie,” he ran upstairs. “Is there a leak in the kitchen?” He had been in the basement and water was running into the kitchen. I was doing things like leaving the, I would go to fill up the water pitcher and walk away from it for an hour and flooded the kitchen. The next thing, about a week later, my husband comes downstairs and says, “Virgie, I smell gas. Is the gas on?” I had turned on the gas and couldn’t understand why it was taking so long for the butter to melt. Well, I turned on the gas but didn’t check to make sure the flame was on and I thought, you know, this is I’m just too stressed. I need to back off. But, you know, I’m okay. And Jen, it wasn’t until about a week or so after that I almost caused an accident. A car accident in front of my youngest son’s school, who was in elementary school at the time. And I thought, you know what, okay, something is really, really wrong and I need to figure out what it is, because it’s one thing if I take myself out, but I’m doing things that could take other people out and that’s not okay. So I was talking to, my husband happens to be a mental health therapist and a licensed clinical social worker, and he says, “yeah, there’s something going on, Virge.” Talked to friends, sent me to, recommended a psychiatrist and she talked around the issue. It took, I want to say Jen, like one or two sessions. And she finally said, you know, you’re depressed, you have depression. And I remember she said that like, she was afraid I was going to be insulted. Again, you know, mental health is still the stigma, even among physicians. And I just thought that was really interesting. And I said to her, I don’t care what it is. I don’t care what the diagnosis is. Just tell me what it is so I can fix it. I go on medication, do therapy. Great. And I realize, you know what I need to take and things are going okay. But I realize I was like, you know what? I need to take some time off. Well, Jen, you know, again, we’re highly functioning. We think we can run everything. And I tried to run my own short term disability. I did not know. And my boss didn’t tell me that in large companies, when you say that you’re taking short term disability, you take the whole time off, you’re 100% gone. I thought, and you get your full salary. I thought, well, I should. I worked out how much salary I needed to make sure I was still okay. And I said, okay, 60%. I’ll work three days a week during my three months short term disability. I shouldn’t have been working at all and I still worked three days a week. And I’m just going to say one thing about that, Jen. You know, physicians have this incredible work ethic, which leads to the burnout issues and why we’re so susceptible to it. And companies, corporations understand that and play on that. So I’m just going to ask us to think about that and keep that in the back of our minds. So anyway, so I’m working and I shouldn’t have been working at all. So I get back full time and I said, you know what? I’m no longer willing and maybe I wasn’t able, but I said, I’m no longer willing to work 60 to 90 hours a week. And that meant that I’m not going to do as many cases. I’m going to focus on the important things, like teaching our team and reviewing claims to make sure things are paid appropriately. But I’m not doing the small stuff like reviewing claims like B12 injections. It’ll save the company $5 for billing, for giving a B12 injection for the diagnosis of fatigue with known documentation of B12 deficiency. That’s an example. You’ll save the company $5. So I thought, okay, you guys just want me to focus on the big stuff, the major thing. But I was told by my boss, well no. Now, the thing that it changed also while I was on short term disability was the company was bought by a retailer and literally things changed overnight. So the quota was not put on paper because they knew that would be really bad PR, but it was reinstated essentially. And so it’s not like selling more vitamins. You know, they didn’t understand this. A retailer running, making decisions about medical care. No, it’s not like buying just you got to sell more vitamins. No, it’s still the same issue, sort of a maximum enough to be able to do quality reviews of medical records for patients. 

Jen: Wow, you bring up so many, so many important issues. Talking about the overwork, that really is something that we as physicians have trouble setting boundaries. And we have this culture that has taught us that it’s acceptable to take whatever is heaped upon us and that has accumulated and accumulated over time to a point where it’s no longer for a lot of people, no longer sustainable. And what I did as well, which I would call functional burnout or that’s what I call it, I mean, there’s so many of us doing this where we, from an outsider’s perspective, you would never know there’s any problem at all. We don’t admit it, we don’t talk about it. We may not even admit it to ourselves. You may think that you’ve solved a lot of the problems, and yet, like you’re saying, you start to have some ramifications of it, and then you finally have no choice but to acknowledge it. But what’s happening right now with The Great Resignation is that many people recognize that they are on a path toward a crisis. They don’t have the skills to know how to undo that, how to change the path to make it sustainable. And so what they’re doing is they’re stepping off the path. 

Dr. Bright Ellington: They feel that they don’t have any other choice. And I felt I didn’t have any other choice. So I was put on a PIP for that reason. They said, you know, you need to do not doing enough cases. A PIP, for those who haven’t done any corporate world stuff is a performance improvement plan, which is if you don’t meet the metrics that they put in place for you, you’re out. Now, they claim they’re like, “Well, no, Virgie, we’re not sending you out. We’re just helping you and supporting you because you know, you’re having difficulty after ten years. We know that this is not you and we just want to make sure you’re supported.” Oh, okay. So I said, well, you know what? You need to clarify. Ask my boss’s boss who had me do this, you know, does balling work, you know, saving the company an additional $50 million a year every single year with the second job. Again, the first job was to do these case reviews. I said, You guys need to decide. Clarify what you want, tell me what you want. Do you want me to review cases and then I’ll meet this unspoken quota and or do you want me to do the hospital claims review work and teaching the whole company how to do it or because you can’t have both. 

Jen: That’s good. Yeah. So you’re starting to set some boundaries. 

Dr. Bright Ellington: It sounded good at the time and I thought, Oh, what a rock star. They know this is an easy one. This is a gimmie, $50 million a year versus $5 per average claim. I just thought it was a gimme. Well, you know what Jen? They hemmed and hawed. And I was like, Holy crap. So while I’m waiting for them to get back to me about this, it’s days and there are two things that hit me, Jen. One is there was someone really close and important to me is my kids’ nanny. And she was no longer working with us because we moved, I’ll call her Mary. She’d been diagnosed in the past year with a malignancy of renal cancer, and I realized I hadn’t had time to check in with her, call her. She’d call me once or twice to ask a question if she knew that I would always drop everything to talk to her. But I needed to be more proactive in terms of reaching out to her. And I had this feeling was like, she probably thinks out of sight, out of mind. Because she’s not working with us anymore, that she was just an employee, that she really was not part of our family. And the second thing, at the same time, I thought, you know what, I’ve been so busy working 60 to 80 hours plus a week and it’s still not enough such that I have had no time to schedule my annual screening mammogram. I’m late for my annual screening mammogram, and I am less than five years out from a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, stage two hormone receptor positive, you know, lumpectomy, radiation therapy, the whole bit. And I don’t have time for my mammogram, my annual mammogram. Wait, what? It’s still not enough. And I snapped Jen, I said, no more. I’m out. I’ll never forget it. So I. My last day was a Friday and not even one week later, on Thursday. That Thursday, I was proud of myself. I got my mammogram done that day, got it all in less than a week. I’m getting caught up and being able to live life and think about things and be human and be with my family and be present with my loved ones. And that’s what’s important, right? And the morning Thursday, I got a call from Mary’s daughter who said, my mom’s been admitted to hospice, I can’t get back. And she lived outside the country. Her daughter lived outside the country. I can’t get back into the country and she’s there by herself. That afternoon, a few hours later, I got a call saying that the mammogram was abnormal. So that morning, the next morning, rather, Friday, I got up. And every single day, every single day, every single day I would get up and sit with Mary in hospice, except for the days that I had the biopsy and the day after when I was recuperating and the biopsy came back, triple negative, positive breast cancer. Now, the fortunate thing, it was DCIS, meaning it hadn’t broken through the dot, but triple negative. That’s the one that everybody’s afraid of, you know, that’s the one that’s really hard to treat and is pretty lethal. And of course, I didn’t tell Mary about it. There was no need to. But I thought, okay, well, we’ll will take care of it. I’m just going to sit with Mary as long as it takes and three weeks later, Jen, Mary died on a Wednesday and the exact following Wednesday I had bilateral mastectomy and I was called by my breast surgeon that night or when after the procedure, when I woke up and she said, great, we got clear margins, everything’s awesome. Jen, she calls me the next day, I get home, she calls me the next day and she says, “I got a call from the pathologist. They’re very uncomfortable. They said, you only had one millimeter margins. You were one millimeter away from cells breaking through the duct.” She says “he apologized, but he says we’re going to have to go back in.” And I thought about that over the next couple of days. And I thought, number one, I thought, you know, I was not months, not weeks, but days from the triple negative malignancy cells breaking through the duct. And that was three years ago. I would not be here right now, frankly. But if you look at the statistics, if I hadn’t gotten up and walked away from that company when I did, literally days from breaking through the duct, one millimeter. And the second thing I thought about Jen, that came to me during this time as my boss on my last day that Friday that I left, she sent an email saying, you know what, Virgie? We’re really going to miss your laugh. I really, really love your laugh. We’re really, really going to miss that. And Jen, all I could think was like, wow, my kids almost missed their mom permanently forever. And so it’s really a cautionary tale that none of us are irreplaceable. Except to our loved ones. Six months later, I was replaced. They hired someone to replace my case reviews and they promoted one person to senior to oversee a group of six to do my other work. So you may be replaced by one person, you may be replaced by seven, eight, or nine people like I was. I wasn’t doing enough, but to replace me, they hired, and depending on how you do the math, 7 to 8 people to replace me. But I would not be replaceable to my kids. 

Jen: Wow. Well, I’m so glad that you are here three years later, and that is certainly a cautionary tale. I wonder what insight you have to someone who may be in a similar position to where you were when you were starting to really feel the overwhelm and feel the burn out? In retrospect, what would you say to yourself if you’re looking back now? 

Dr. BrightEllington: What would I have said to myself before the break, before things are piling on the insidious break and can understand what was going on. If you have to ask why, I usually say if you have to ask why, follow the money. But maybe that’s not too far off. Because I thought, well. Why is this happening? Well, why am I staying? Why am I not pulling back voluntarily? Why do we have to wait for it to be a crisis before we pull back, right? A crisis to those who are trying to serve and or us and or our loved ones. And I think I was thinking, well, I’m so needed by this company, all the money that, you know, doing the right thing and in adjudicating cases appropriately in appropriate clinical decisions. And I thought, well, my family needs this fabulous home and lifestyle that they have. My best friend who’s a lawyer calls the life that I give my family a magic carpet. She says, “Virgie, you’re busy keeping everybody flying on this silk magic carpet.” So maybe it isn’t a wrong analogy to say, “Well, if these things are happening and you don’t understand why and you’re asking why, then maybe it’s time to sit back and step out and take a break so you can listen, so you can think and figure it out. Is the money, you’re priceless. The money, it’s nothing. You’ll figure out the money. Take a break. 

Jen: One thing that you’re saying that I’m really hearing strongly is how resilient you are and how resilient you were. And also, though, to notice that resilience isn’t static. And so you need to understand the ways to protect your resilience and to strengthen your resilience. And I think as healthcare workers, we are more resilient than the average population. But that can be worn down. 

Dr. Bright Ellington: Right. And we’re not taught this in medical school. We’re taught to be superhuman. And the expectation is that we’re supposed to be superhuman at all times. At all times. 24/7, 365. And it’s not appropriate. That’s total fiction. It’s a fantasy. It’s 100% fiction. We are human and we have to act accordingly. And that needs to be incorporated into our training and our daily lives once we’re done. The training, it needs to be part of our daily lives. 

Jen: Right, it is something, the skills that we’re talking about, you can learn, but you do have to make a habit of building on them. But the other thing that I notice among us is that there’s that knowing-doing gap. Like we would advise a patient, if we saw a patient in a similar situation at work, we would say, “My goodness, you know, why are you doing this? We need to help you to step back from this and make some other decisions.” But yet we do that to ourselves. And I think part of it is the culture and not being willing to give ourselves permission to prioritize our own well-being. And I’ve heard our lead coach at DocWorking, Jill Farmer, she’s also co-host of the podcast. She’s an expert at helping physicians to bridge that knowing-doing gap and, seemingly miraculously, she helps people to be able to begin to carve out the time to make their own well-being a priority. And one thing that Jill said to me a long time ago was in order to give myself permission to do this, she said, if you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the people you care the most about, the people who depend on you. And that’s exactly really what you’re saying, because you really needed to do that so that your kids could have a mom. 

Dr. Bright Ellington: Exactly. If you’re not going to do it for yourself, do it for the ones that love you and that you love. Do it for your loved ones. Absolutely. You’re irreplaceable to your loved ones. They don’t want the money. They want you. 

Jen: And I think the good news is that, if you can get help, whether you have someone in your life who is a trusted thinking partner that you can talk things through with, whether you get a professional coach, whether you use a coaching program where you have peer support and coaching, if you can get yourself into that situation where you can reframe what you’re looking at, you may have options that you can’t see right now. So if you feel like you don’t have options or you feel like, “Well, I know I need this, but I don’t have time for it, there is a way to find the time and there is a way to get the help that you need to help you see options that you may not be seeing. It doesn’t have to be black and white. And I think that black and white thinking is, what I’m coming to realize is, what we have when we don’t have the skills to be able to see the various options that we have before us. It doesn’t have to be all or none. And so, like what you’ve done, Virgie, is you’ve found another option. You found something that works for you and works for your family. We’ve talked about it on some other episodes. You’ve become an author. You’ve done a number of different things since then. And so how are you finding the work life balance and prioritizing your well-being with your new options? 

Dr. Bright Ellington: It’s non-negotiable. It became non-negotiable. I had no choice Jen, I had to do something else. So we talked about it on another show. I was fortunate enough early in my career as a resident started a 401k or 403b, so I had an IRA that I created a self-directed IRA and started a business so that I could have a media brand to help people use my medical debt and billing expertise to teach people how to get out of the number one cause of bankruptcy and debt in the United States and stress in the United States, which is medical bills. I would not have been able to do it financially, and we talked about this prior, if I didn’t have my IRA that I could have as a self-directed IRA to fund the business. And we’re waiting to get past that profitable point, but it is there. It’s doable. And I’m fortunate that, I’m thankful to the young Virgie, the just fresh out of medical school, the intern Virgie, Dr. Virgie, to say, hey, I’m going to put this aside and whatever they have, I’m going to do it. And match.  Even though it would be nice to have more and maybe things are a little bit uncomfortable with student loans and that kind of thing paying them back. But I was taking care of the future Dr. Virgie so she could take care of others and her family, her loved ones. 

Jen: That in and of itself is a brilliant piece of advice, because I do think having options, your options expand if you put yourself into a safety zone financially so that when you need that, you have it available to improve and expand your options. And that’s exactly what you did. And we did touch on previously how you funded your business. That’s a whole different podcast conversation to have. But I do think that putting yourself into a place of safety should be a priority for all physicians and ideally young physicians. And that’s another thing that I really care deeply about that we talk about on the podcast, because for many of us, we make some classic financial missteps early in our careers that can hold us back and make us feel trapped later. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to leave medicine. It really means that we have the option to work in a way that’s meaningful to us and where we can still prioritize our own well-being and our families. So you’ve hit on so many important points. I wish we could just continue the conversation for much longer. I am so glad that things have worked out so well for you. I think that the book series that you’re writing is extremely valuable to people. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about your book and it’s tremendous to hear your story and thank you so much for being willing to be vulnerable and share that with us. I think hopefully that will help other people to step forward and be willing to accept and talk about our vulnerability as physicians and as human beings. 

Dr. Bright Ellington: As human beings. Thank you so much Jen, for having me. I love talking with you, and what you’re doing again is priceless. You’re, it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but, you know, I’m not. You are saving lives and you’re saving families. You’re saving Mom and Dad. 

Jen: Thank you. I hope that it’s helpful to someone. And if it is helpful to you, please let us know because we really do love hearing the comments from our listeners and feedback from our listeners. And if someone wants to get in touch with you, Virgie, tell me how they can reach you. 

Dr. Bright Ellington: Try [email protected], that’s D R dot Virgie, V like Virginia, I R G I E at Crush Medical Debt dot com. 

Jen: Terrific. And we will link to that in the show notes as well. So thank you all for being here with us today during this conversation. Please reach out to us at DocWorking and let us know what your feelings are, what’s going on in your world, and let’s all continue to support each other in this journey. Thanks for joining us again today on DocWorking: The Whole Physician Podcast. 

Outro: At DocWorking, we’re here to help you maximize your potential on your own terms and help you live your best life. Top executives, athletes, actors all achieve greatness with the support of professional coaches. As a health care professional, you deserve ongoing coaching towards success in your career and in your life outside of work, helping you to balance and integrate work and life in the personalized way that is specific to you. At DocWorking, your success is defined by you and our coaching programs help accelerate your path to get you there. And since our programs come with CME credit, you can let your CME budget help you to prioritize your own well-being. Please check us out at and until next time, thank you for listening to DocWorking: The Whole Physician Podcast. 

Board-certified practicing radiologist, founder and CEO of DocWorking, and host of top ranked DocWorking: The Whole Physician Podcast

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