What's your #1 health credential?

authenticity credentials expertise Apr 19, 2024
Smirking woman in dark glasses holding a pink hand towel with a salt shaker on it with the words,

I've taken a few weeks off from the podcast as I've been focusing on a number of things in both my education and outreach for Family in Focus. And I'd like to highlight a topic:

What makes you an expert?

This all stems from a celebration I'm having right now: I was just awarded the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). This is a big deal for me as it is the culmination of so much work that I have completed over the last 4 years. As I celebrate this achievement, I think I've now attained all of the credentials that I could possibly want or need in coaching (and medicine) and yet I think there's more to the story.

You see, I think the credentials demonstrate part of what I have to offer folks who participate in any of my Family in Focus programs: this is not some fly-by-night, I'm-just-gonna-call-myself-a-coach-operation. I'm not just a talking head about health, bodies and families.

I am:

  • a Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation. I'm actually a PCC, which is kind of like the second level, where I have documented over 500 hours of coaching experience as well as over 125 hours of completed training in modalities like life, health and trauma-informed coaching
  • a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NWC-HWC). That is issued by the same organization that credentials physicians the National Board of Medical Examiners
  • a licensed, practicing physician
  • a fellow American Academy of Pediatrics
  • a diplomat of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine
  • a certified life and weight, health and wellness, trauma-informed coach with advanced certification in feminist coaching

 Each and every one of these Credentials that I have earned, I have applied many hours of study, practice, and completing the certifying requirements. I have demonstrated my expertise all along the way. I bring together all of my education and experience from the practice of medicine and weaving with the communication style and methodologies of diverse coaching modalities.

But these are not my strongest credentials for the Family in Focus® program. My number one credential:

  • I am a real !#%&*$ human.


Connection is the key to my approach both in Family in Focus and as a human in the wild. I take it everywhere I go. You find the same person whether we meet on the trail, in the office, at a health fair or on a Family in Focus call. I record my podcasts after rolling out of bed with my hair pulled back in a dog-nibbled hair tie - and yes, even for the YouTube version - because I can't wait for it all to look perfect to record (spoiler: if I do that, it will never be done!)

I found this lovely hand towel at Powell's Books in Portland last week and it spoke to me. BITCH, I AM THE SECRET INGREDIENT. My friend, that isn't bravado. That is real. I am the secret ingredient in my life: being the real me. It's not my credentials. And... you are the secret ingredient in your life. I think that each and every one of us has an opportunity to try this on - own it. Be your own secret ingredient.

I talk straight up with people, offering compassion and humor from a place of acknowledging: I don't have all the answers either. None of us do, no matter how many credentials we have. I'm not your guru, even with 26 letters behind my name. I am still a real, messy, imperfect human, who has all the feelings and is needing the support of the village. That is the credential that I lead with. There is no perfection in life there are no gurus to follow, but there are real people who are a part of your village and are here to help. That's what I need and what I offer. That's Family in Focus.


FYI: I am in the last week of enrolling for the last group program for this Spring. Go to www.wendyschofermd.com and check out the program, which is so accessible to most. If you have questions or particular supports needed to be able to participate in a way that is meaningful to you, please drop me a line at [email protected] and we will figure it out.

Much love!


Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!

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