We had the good fortune of connecting with Ericka Goodwin, MD and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ericka, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. I was a sick child with asthma that made frequent trips to the emergency room and went to my pediatrician’s office weekly for allergy shots. After almost drowning as a child, falling out of a moving car as a child, and having a ceiling fan fall on my head, I felt that my purpose was bigger than helping people more than one person a time. This combined with having some tragic jobs led me to truly embracing freedom and wanting to be more in control of my life and my money. While exploring ways to expand the freedom that I found by becoming a traveling psychiatrist, I realized that the only way to truly embrace my gifts, purpose, and increase my freedom was to start my own business. This would give me more control and allow me to function completely in my purpose while creating services that truly align with my values and authentic self.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There’s always a story behind all of the shininess and accomplishments. I’d like to share mine. My life started off as a fairytale. I was born to doting parents and was a certified daddy’s girl. I grew up surrounded by so much love that I had no choice but to succeed. Graduating from medical school was the culmination of a life-long dream coming true because I had wanted to be a doctor as long as I could remember. Not to mention, how my parents grin with pride every tine that they get to talk about their “doctor daughter.” After becoming Chief Resident of my Adult Psychiatry Residency, I did a congressional fellowship on Capitol Hill prior to going to Harvard for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. I was checking all of the boxes and making my parents proud, including training at Harvard, so I had no idea a curve ball was coming. I, like a lot of women, was taught that you go to school, get an education, be a good girl, and the husband, kids, and great job will come. I not only found myself without even a boyfriend, let alone a husband, childless, but I also ended up in a job that I was not only overworked but was not always getting paid.

The funny thing is when I signed the contract, this job looked like the perfect job. It looked like I was going to be making a lot of money and saving lives. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect combination? Well, what I ended up was a nightmare. I was working long hours and was often getting reimbursed for hospital services with checks for 0$, $4, and $12. Yes, for entire hospital stays and consults, not for some gauze. On top of that we went from a 4 to a 3 person call group because someone died, so I was on call all the time. Plus, we had really busy call. It wasn’t that kind of call where you carry a pager and get no calls.

My morning ritual became curling up in a ball in the shower and crying before going to work every day because I was exhausted and drained before my day even began. I still remember the feel of that water and the taste of my tears mixed with that same water, along with the smoothness of the glass tile. I wondered how I could seemingly do everything right, but still end up in such a soul sucking situation where my dreams felt twisted and so far away.

This inspired me to discover my passion for no one else to have to feel the agony of feeling powerless and suffocated. I don’t want anyone us to give and give until they feel used up and empty. This led me to the decision to lead others to emotional freedom, along with embrace my gifts and who I am, Dr. Ericka, Harvard-trained, double board-certified psychiatrist and integrative lifestyle coach. I am passionate about helping people be better, do better, and live better. I do this with my Adult Telepsychiatry Practice, corporate speaking, books, including Fix Your Fairytale: A Woman’s Guide to a Great Life, Love, and Legacy, along with my podcast, Better with Dr. Ericka. I do all of this to help busy people like you that give and give and give, but often don’t pour into yourself learn how to put YOU back in YOUR life.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
No trip to Atlanta is complete without a walk on the belt line. A must is to take a walk on the belt line to have lunch on the patio of Bartaco and then walk to Ponce City Market. I’d have to drive them to the highway entrance at Freedom Parkway to see my favorite view of the city. If it’s not too hot, a trip to the botanical gardens is always inspiring and beautiful. If we’ve been working out and are ready to splurge, there’s noting like brunch at Toast. One of my other favorite spots is the rooftop at O-ku.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents for always being there for me and raising me to value being myself. Dr. Draion Burch and Jonathan Sprinkles for being coaches that consistently believe in me and give me the tools to have more freedom.

Website: https://doctorericka.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/doctorericka

Linkedin: https://linkedin.com/in/doctorericka

Twitter: https://twitter.com/doctorericka

Facebook: https://facebook.com/doctorericka

Youtube: https://youtube.com/doctorericka

Other: Better with Dr. Ericka podcast: www.BetterThePodcast.com or Better with Dr. Ericka on Apple podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, or Google podcasts

Image Credits
Lance Omar Thurman Photography (all photos except the one at my desk)

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