ESSENCE Network: Physician Holly Phillips Shares Her Prescription for Success Minus Burnout

Holly Phillips MD, the mom of two, wife and doctor shares her prescription for success – starting with a good night’s sleep.

Growing up in Ohio, Holly Phillips MD did not always see doctors who looked like her. Now she gives medical advice to the world as a contributor for CBS News and also is on a quest to help busy women avoid burnout. In her new book “The Exhaustion Breakthrough” she helps women feel energized with our growing list of demands. The mom of two, wife and doctor shares her prescription for success – starting with a good night’s sleep.

Name: Holly Phillips MD

Age: Early 40’s

Title: Physician and author

Location: New York, NY

Hometown: Yellow Springs, OH


Twitter handle: @HollyPhillipsMD

Instagram handle: dochphillips

The Gig: I am a General Internist in private practice, CBS News Medical Contributor and now an author. Few people can say they have their dream job, but I’m unbelievably fortunate enough to say I have a few!  The practice of medicine is a privilege. I honor and respect that trust, and try to repay it with complete honestly and transparency in my patient interactions, and I try to practice the best medicine I can. 

Her Next Chapter: Many women have built wonderfully full and rewarding lives for themselves as mothers, partners, and friends, with accomplished careers and fulfilling non-work endeavors, yet secretly they feel like the price they have to pay for this is to be so exhausted they can barely hang on.  I believe it doesn’t have to be that way. In my book “The Exhaustion Breakthrough,” I include hundreds of common, but overlooked conditions, from hidden medical illnesses to lifestyle factors, which you can change to boost your energy.

The Best Advice She’s Received: Focus on what you want to do, and spend all your energy on getting there, not on why you can’t get there. I was also told that if it’s never been done that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means you’ll have to carve your own path along the way and to surround yourself with people that celebrate your successes.  

The Challenges She’s Endured: When I look at the generation of doctors that trained mine, there were few faces that looked like mine, but I am so happy to see my reflection both around me, and even more in the next generation of doctors.    

Her Work-life Balancing Act: I keep a To-Don’t list, which I write about it in my book. When my To-Do list seems overwhelming I look at each item and ask myself three questions about it: Do I have to do it at all? If so, can it be given to someone else? Can the task be made less time consuming?  Then based on those answers, I try to remove as many things off the list as I can.

Her Stress Reliever: Sleep is my meditation.

Her Tech-Must Haves:  I can’t live without Uber, Waze and my digital Starbucks card. 

Her Theme Song: “This is It,” the theme song for the 70s sitcom “One Day At A Time”

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