Diane W. Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC


I am a certified coach and a former primary care physician with more than 20 years of experience as a professional health care writer and author. I was originally drawn to medicine because of my mother, a nurse midwife. After seeing firsthand the healing power of the patient-clinician relationship, I chose to pursue medical training. However, the clinical environment in which I trained and eventually practiced as a physician was rife with chaos and antithetical to building healing relationships with patients. Eventually, I chose to leave clinical medicine for a writing career, understanding only years later that the underlying cause was professional burnout. I transitioned to a career in freelance writing, focusing on quality improvement and solutions for system-level issues in health care. I am co-author of Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine and have spoken in various forums across the country on the topic of clinician burnout, including grand round presentations, interactive workshops, one-day professorships for academic institutions, panel discussions, and podcast interviews. Today, as a certified professional coach, I work with clinicians to rediscover their WHY, improve work-life integration, and accomplish their personal and professional goals. I also work with organizations to identify and mitigate the workplace problems that drive clinician burnout. I earned my BA in biology from Williams College, my medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University, and my master’s in public health from Harvard University. I completed training in internal medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and practiced primary care in Boston. I completed the Competency Development Program for Coach Certification at the Gestalt International Study Center, earned my ICF credential as an Associated Certified Coach, and am a member of the International Coach Federation. When I'm not coaching or writing, I enjoy reading international detective novels, traveling with my architect husband, and having engaging, illuminating conversations with my three children. I reside in the greater Boston area.

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Certificate name
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Associate Certified Coach

International Coach Federation


  • ICF certified coach
  • Co-author of Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine
  • Blog on Innovations to Address Clinician Burnout: www.mdwriter.com/blog
  • Speaker at regional and national conferences on the topic of physician burnout
  • Writing awards, including American Medical Writers Association award for personal narrative posted on NPR website: https://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2013/10/18/why-i-left-medicine-a-burnt-out-doctors-decision-to-quit


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