Our BOOMM Success Stories showcases doctors and other healthcare professionals who have broken out of the medical mindset and expanded their life beyond the identity and traditional definition of a doctor’s life.
We want to show you that you are not alone and there exist an infinite number of variations to success, freedom and happiness.
This month’s Success Story
is Jon Mitchell, PA-C.
Even before I graduated from my Physician Assistant program, I decided I didn’t want to work in medicine long term… at least, not in the fields that I had studied in school.
But I had a difficult time navigating that process.
Everything in my life up to that point was laid out for me and there was little uncertainty.
- Do well in these courses, get into a medical program.
- Do well in my medical program, get a job.
- Follow the things I was taught in school, do well in said job.
I knew what to do every step of the way.
I was also being compensated well for doing so (my last full year working in urgent care I cleared $150k).
So it was scary and difficult to do something less certain and less lucrative.
I was fortunate enough to work with a fantastic men’s coach who helped me *slowly* break out of this medical mindset.
We’d do little experiments, such as giving a talk to a local group on a health topic I cared about.
Then it was traveling across the states to shadow doctors who were doing what I wanted to do – functional/integrative medicine.
A lot of the work we did wasn’t even career-oriented but personal.
Could I be more vulnerable with my wife?
Was I willing to take risks where I might fail and look stupid?
Could I learn to look at failure as feedback and not a judgment on my self worth or character?
Vulnerability, risk, failure – concepts that were tacitly discouraged in my medical training were now the exact things holding me back from the life I wanted to create.
A life of meaning, purpose, and connection.
The word I kept coming back to was alignment.
I wanted to live in alignment with my beliefs and values.
This led me to working in a functional medicine practice, where the goal is to help people get to the root cause of their health issues instead of managing them with medications.
And then, when working in this practice still didn’t feel right, it led me to starting my own business helping people optimize their health in a way that did.
I hired a mentor to help me start my business and to further develop my clinical skills.
Even then, that first year I suffered from a ton of self doubt and imposter syndrome.
- Where would I find clients to work with? Wouldn’t they prefer to work with someone with more years of experience?
- What if I didn’t get them the results they came to me for?
- Could I actually make a decent living doing this?
I learned I had to think about business differently than I did medicine.
Instead of trying to fit in and do what everyone else was doing, I had to learn how to stand out with my marketing, even if it received criticism.
Rather than looking for the safe, “proven way” to grow, I had to lean into trying new things, testing them out, keeping what worked, and discarding the rest.
I always tell people, nothing has made me confront my insecurities more than my business.
It’s forced me to grow in ways nothing else has.
And while I’m not where I ultimately want to be with my business, I’m confident I will get there and proud that I decided to bet on myself when it would have been MUCH easier to settle for what was safe and known.
I have also made sure to create a life outside of business.
I’ve learned the value of quality time and shared experiences. I make a point to spend quality time with my wife and children, whether that’s going to the park for an hour or going to the beach for a long weekend.
I take care of my body after years of neglect in undergrad. It is now a non-negotiable that I eat well, exercise regularly, and prioritize sleep. In fact, this past year I ran 35 kilometers for my 35th birthday.
I also make a point to learn new skills. Last year was Brazilian jiu-jitsu, something I never thought I’d get into but have loved.
While I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned through medicine, I’m glad I’ve had the support and guidance to unlearn the patterns that felt out of alignment.
Jon Mitchell, PA-C
Jon Mitchell is a Physician Assistant turned functional medicine health consultant who works with driven, health-conscious individuals to resolve chronic health issues and build long term health.