Cracking the Code to Your Physician Career

by Francine Gaillour, MD

in Aligning With Values & Purpose,Career Resilience & Fulfillment

What do you make of these recent events in my life just a year ago in May:


We were only days away from the release of the Da Vinci Code* movie; My daughter is asking my help with her math homework on Fibonacci Number Series; and I just received an email from a physician client where he referenced “phi,” the Golden Mean.

Strange coincidences? OR are these solid clues that I should definitely see the 5:30 showing of the movie on 5/30?


It’s tempting and, let’s face it, fun, to look for fantastical cosmic codes to help guide our lives.


Are there codes and hidden clues that can guide your professional and personal life as a doctor? And if you looked for them, would that be a clear sign that you’ve gone off the deep end or have become hopelessly “woo woo”?

Well, consider what noted Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, has to say on such matters. Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to describe the “temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events.”


Wikipedia® explains Jung’s theory in plainer terms:

“Synchronicity . . . is the experience of having two (or more) things happen coincidentally in a manner that is meaningful to the person or persons experiencing them, where that meaning suggests an underlying pattern. It differs from coincidence in that synchronicity implies not just a happenstance, but an underlying pattern or dynamic that is being expressed through meaningful relationships or events.”

According to Jung, many events you think are coincidence are actually manifestations of events that are “meant to be” just for you.

Modern scholars such as Joseph Campbell are also supporters of the synchronicity concept and it’s role in guiding our lives along a divine path.

Synchronicity In Your Career

So how is the synchronicity concept relevant to your physician career or professional life? Here are two exercises where I employ the synchronicity concept with my physician coaching clients:

  1. Launching Your Intention. When I conduct an initial Client Strategy meeting with a new physician client, toward the end of our 2-day session I help them create an “Career Intention Statement.” The statement is a 4-5 sentence paragraph that will become their “walking calling card.” It is a short verbal summary of: a) the pearls they’ve gleaned from their past, and b) what they are seeking to create in their future. Once they share this Intention, it is uncanny how situations and people then “show up” in their life to hasten the career development or transition process. The universe conspires to assist!

  2. Gaining Clarity About a Decision. Have you ever grappled with a career decision? I’ll bet you have even jokingly invoked the phrase “I’m looking for a sign!” to help you. Well, it’s no joke! Sending your decision “to the universe” is actually a technique taught by Yoga masters, hypnotherapists, Jungian psychologists, not to mention some clergy. In my coaching practice I will sometimes ask a client to stop intellectually wrestling with an issue, and instead “let it float in the ether” for a few days. As they let it float, they also pay attention—without analyzing—to people, events, articles, phrases, words, or pictures that seem to show up in a big way. They are always amazed at the incredible “coincidences” of these events and the clarity they achieve around their decision.

If you are interested in learning more about Synchronicity and how to apply this Jungian concept to your physician career change strategy or leadership situation, I suggest you experiment with one of the two exercises I mentioned above.

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