Thank you for being in my world.
Developing a fruitful relationship with a coach is as important having a good relationship with a business partner or significant other. We work together as a team to work out what's holding you back, and make a plan to unblock your path. So, let me tell you a little bit more about myself, and you can decide if you think we'd make a good team!
Hi, I'm Stephanie.
My earliest childhood memory of my mother was her screaming mine and my sister’s names from the window of the psychiatric hospital she was admitted to. A while later, I was in the hospital for a month due to being quite lll as a small child. I must have been around 4 or 5 years old. I don’t remember how or why, but I was befriended by a very kind student nurse, and at night time, she and I would go around the hospital together, filling the oxygen tents with ice.
There was a boy on my ward who refused to eat, and it was seriously affecting his health and recovery. The student nurse had me talk to the little boy. After our conversation, he ate a meal for the first time in weeks. He got better. And I had helped him to get there.
A year later, I was back in the hospital, getting my tonsils taken out. I don’t know how, but my student nurse friend found out I was there. When I woke up in the children’s ward after my surgery, the first thing I laid my eyes on was a gift from her, sitting on my nightstand: a toy doctor kit. The seed was planted: I knew that in my life, I wanted to help people get better. I wanted to become a doctor. I will be forever grateful to that student nurse for showing me my calling.
At home, things were not so great. My mother was a single parent who struggled with severe mental illness for her entire life. She was married 5 times. Her 3rd husband was a sexual predator who abused me many times. My memories of him are too horrific to go into detail here, but one that stands out is listening to my mom beg for her life as this wretched man held a gun to her head. I don’t harbor any blame for my mother. By working through this trauma later in life, I realized that she was just doing the best she could with the hand she had been dealt. I forgave her.
When I was 15, my mother made me begin to pay rent, so I had to find myself a job. I went to the local fast-food restaurant, where the boss offered me a job as a cashier. But I wanted to be a fry cook. I wanted to know how the ‘sausage was made’. The boss laughed in my face and told me that 'girls weren't allowed near the deep fryers'. That it was 'too dangerous'. But I insisted. I knew what I wanted, and I knew I could do it. So I did, and I proved that guy wrong. I became the first girl fry cook in that little fast food restaurant in FL. This would turn out to be the first of my many, many encounters with the limitations of living in a Patriarchy and breaking through the glass ceiling.
As I got older, my urge to become a doctor got stronger - I wanted to make a difference, and to help people, and to get myself out of the cycle of poverty and relying on welfare that I had grown up in. Becoming a doctor seemed like the obvious choice - it ticked all the boxes. I completed all my training while married and giving birth to my 2 wonderful daughters. My husband turned out to be an abusive narcissist, which makes perfect sense - this was before I had embarked on my journey of healing. Eventually I left him, and found myself a full-time single parent who was responsible for the financial, emotional, practical, and educational support of my children.
When I hit 40, I really started to work on myself. This was triggered by having to deal with the addiction of a person who is very close to me - I realized that lots of things had to change if we were all going to survive. I didn't want my past to define me. Personal development has become my calling now. I have come so far and I want to help other people who feel stuck and held back by the things that have happened to them. I understand firsthand how trauma can affect the brain and cause it to get stuck in a destructive loop or spiral. That’s why I decided to become a life coach and get proper, accredited, trauma-informed training to help others unpack their traumas so they can move forward to live the life they want to live, and stop letting themselves be defined by their past.
Throughout my medical training, I don't recall being aware of gender bias on a conscious level. But as I progressed through the ranks of academic promotion, (assistant, to associate, to professor), it became apparent that my male colleagues were receiving different compensation for the same job, and routinely being offered and afforded more opportunities for growth and progression.
As I took on more leadership roles, I noticed that I would be judged by a different set of standards, and held to a higher expectation.
I published an article that provided a comprehensive, evidence-based overview of the gender bias-based roadblocks faced by women in academic medicine. I was chosen to be Chair of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee on Women Anesthesiologists. In that role, I participated in publishing several articles pertaining to women physicians and the amplification of gender bias as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the findings were published, childcare options for healthcare workers were introduced and followed, to enable those affected by the pandemic to get back to work.
I am proud to say that I was instrumental in getting The American Society of Anesthesiologists to officially recognize coaching as a tool for promoting a culture of healthcare well-being.
I knew from the moment I met Stephanie that our work together was going to change my mindset for the better. She opened my eyes to the mentally ingrained male patriarchy that held me back from my full leadership potential. I feel more accomplished and fulfilled having worked with Stephanie through coaching.
Stephanie helped me realign with who I really am, define my goals, and create new ones. She encouraged me to honestly look at my feelings and create actions to move through the hard ones and enjoy the good ones. I have found a new purpose in my work and a strength that I never realized I had.
- Dr. C. Rattin
Dr. Byerly helped me develop a strategic plan, gain confidence, and do the hard thought work that I needed to do in order to move to the next level professionally. Thank you Dr. Byerly, you are amazing!
- Dr. L. Misra
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