Dr. Danielle DonDiego | Doctor, Business Mentor, Best Selling Author

Meet Dr. Danielle DonDiego. Your go-to medical specialist when it comes to obesity, as well as Best Selling Author of “Self Care Rx” a book that tackles trauma and mental health. Her journey as a physician has brought her into the mentorship space, and her
goal now is to help women in medicine step up and create businesses they love, using skills they spent years perfecting through medical school. As she says best, “the things you do in life are not your identity” and she is helping release stigma around being multi passionate, diverse and successful in all your endeavors as she leads the way for millions of women to follow. 

Tell our readers more about yourself, especially the parts that are not so known from you social media presence @DrDonDiego.

On the surface, I’m a Board Certified Physician, with an MBA and my whole career has been in the medical field up until the last few years. I am a nontraditional doctor, I work telemedicine now, which is a little bit outside of the box from what most people
do after residency training. I have been in private practice and a hospitalist prior to this. I’m a business mentor for entrepreneurs, which is where my real passion lies. I Authored a book called “Self-Care Rx: A Doctor’s Guide to Transformation after Trauma.” Those are the big points about me, but honestly I’m mostly a really chill person. I love to remind people that us professionals are also real humans. I’m super extraverted, I love going to concerts. I used to be a bodybuilder, so I still keep one foot in the fitness world. Something people might not know is that I have a deep spiritual side, and is a large part of how I function in life and in business.

I grew up Catholic and in a heavily ritualistic religious environment with strict rules and a lot of “be this way because this is what you are supposed to do”. I’ve found that organized religion doesn’t work for me. Today I tend to lean a little more Buddhist. I
don’t know if I would specifically call myself anything, but those are the teachings that I tend to lean towards. Walk us through your journey into the healing space, and into your story of what really brought you into this spiritual side. It’s been a wild ride! Referring back to how I was brought up in a very heavily indoctrinated environment until college, it was very much like “don’t question, just be”. At age 22 I ended up in an eight year abusive relationship that I didn’t even realize was abusive because it wasn’t abnormal to me at the time. I escaped when I was 30 years old, canceled my own wedding, and later took a 6 week trip around the world and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro with a friend. That’s where my book starts, “Self-Care RX: Doctor’s Guide to Transformation After Trauma”. It dives into the trauma I endured up until I was 30 years old and making the decision to leave at a life or death point to choose myself. I had to leave this situation, or I wasn’t going to survive. My life had been threatened various times, and at the hands of another doctor.

In addition, several colleagues had attempted or completed suicide during and after residency, which greatly steered my path away from traditional medicine. In 2018 I immediately started to explore entrepreneurship. The healthcare system had
a similar mindset, “just do, don’t ask questions”, “do what we say”. My whole life has been saying “no, I can’t live this way, it’s not good for me”. When I started playing in the business world, I found spirituality by accident. I met other entrepreneurs who were spiritual leaders. I eventually found my own version of spirituality that is very important to me. I’m a firm believer that you can use spiritual tools in addition to evidence-based medical practice for personal health and wellness.

What would you say to that younger version of you now?

It is completely okay to question the people around you, even those in authority. For me, that was not allowed growing up, but it was something that I’ve done probably since I was five years old in some way. I was always intellectually rebellious. I’ve always
been the person that’s like, “but why, you have to tell me why, things just can’t be this way because you say so.” That’s honestly the underlying driver of why I am able to help others find the courage to follow their purpose, and why I love entrepreneurship.
You get to ethically create whatever it is you want, and you can reject rules that are archaic, patriarchal, and misogynistic. Additionally, trust your intuition. Retrospectively, I was ignoring my intuition for the first 30 years of my life. Now that I live completely by my intuition everything has changed. I could never function that way again, my life is in alignment. In the words
of Taylor Swift, “oh ‘cause she’s dead”, that girl who didn’t speak up in a world that was not meant for everyone is gone.

When it comes now to working with women, so from the perspective of a coach, what does that look like right now, what are your different offers, different courses, or enrollment periods?

Healthcare professionals are obviously brilliant, creative individuals that have had to function a certain way in order to survive in our broken healthcare system. They no longer want to be exhausted, burned out and depressed. This is where I come in.

My signature mentorship program is called “From Practice to Purpose” and is a 12 week group program with other brand new entrepreneurs. It’s for those that have an idea and aren’t sure how to put it into the real world. I run this program 2-3x per year.
Additionally, I work with clients 1:1 at all levels of business development, from beginners to those looking to scale and grow. Some clients prefer 1:1 and so I take on a small number of people in this capacity. 

I am hosting a retreat in 2023 for healthcare professionals looking to explore entrepreneurship and may have zero business experience outside the exam room. There will be guest speakers, time with me, a chance to connect with others in a similar
situation, and a lot of relaxation in a great location. I have a podcast called “A Doctor’s Guide to Entrepreneurship” that I will be
expanding in 2023. I am working on a future course related to money mindset in medicine. It’s an important topic in healthcare that is often discouraged to discuss. Money is a favorite topic of mine because it gives you opportunity and freedom. I love helping others make more of it with ease. 

My book, “Self-Care Rx,” can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

When it comes to manifestation, what does that look like for you now in terms of what you are looking to build or grow into?

I’m a huge believer of manifestation. My biggest manifestation is that my company is at the leading edge of advocating for health professionals by helping them move into entrepreneurship so they don’t feel stuck in a career that has a high rate of suicide.
“Self- Care Rx” is a source that millions of women could read and gain something positive from. I wanted to highlight professional women that have been through abusive relationships, not just my own, who others would never know had the home life they did because we’re really great at just moving through life, putting on a smile, and living through trauma.

The healthcare community is going through a huge transformation. Not because the system is changing, but there is an awakening for healthcare professionals as humans. They are waking up and saying “I can’t do this anymore”. I want them to know its okay to say “Although I’ve devoted my entire life to this career, it doesn’t have to be my whole future. 

When it comes to health care professionals that are going to be coming into your spaces, what do you want them to retain the most from the work that you are doing?

You really can create your reality and design your future. Wherever you are now, that does not have to be it. You still have much more of your life ahead of you, and we are not here to do just one thing forever. It’s okay to change course. I want you to be empowered. It can be very isolating to admit ”I feel I’m supposed to do something else”. I teach practical business strategy like how to connect with clients, creating an offer, marketing, branding, all of that. We don’t learn business in medicine.

You will learn to trust yourself and the ideas you have. They are there for a reason and I’m here to support you. I know healthcare workers’ life because I have lived it, and I help guide you into the next phase of your career with strategy and empathy.

What is your superpower?

This is more of an intuitive answer, but when I talk to someone, I can see a future path for them. I can see their whole business, I can see who they are, and the success that’s right in front of them. I can see someone’s potential very, very easily and their whole
life makes complete sense to me. I’m a big picture, visionary type. There are a lot of amazing business mentors out there, but few have also lived the same experience in our healthcare system and successfully navigated out.

“Silence the chaos, find your voice”

Follow @DrDonDiego on Instagram!

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