My father was a small town General Practitioner in New Zealand where I spent my first 18 years, and ever since I can remember I was going to be a doctor. I grew up watching him make house calls, visiting his office, hearing him talk about delivering babies in the middle of the night, and working for him as a file clerk in the summers. At that time I was only aware of several career choices for “smart” girls. Doctor, lawyer, accountant, teacher… and since none of the others held any appeal whatsoever it seems more destiny than choice. For a brief time, I considered clothing design since I was taught to be an expert seamstress by my mother and had been making my own clothes and selling them since about age 14. I’ve told many surgical patients that story and it always seems to make them smile. I am still a seamstress, I just sew a different type of fabric.

After being accepted into Auckland Medical School right out of high school (that’s the way they do it there) I had the first of several existential crises, and decided that I was not ready in the least to commit to seven more years of hard studying and needed to take a year off to “find myself’ and travel the world. This is a common path for young New Zealanders and no one seemed the least surprised. My plan was to “go East” to Los Angeles, work my way across the USA then Europe and Asia and somehow arrive back in time to start med school the following year. As it turned out I found myself having way too much fun to move that fast and was only as far East as Houston, Texas when the call came that I needed to get myself back home. Not about to give up my new freedom, friends and throngs of teenagers who wanted to hang out with me just because of my super cool accent, I brokered a deal to go to University right where I was. So it was that I ended up graduating from the University of Houston, and by one of the greatest coincidences found myself by complete serendipity in a city with not one but two excellent medical schools. Not to mention the Texas Medical Center, the largest and most prestigious in the country.

“Throughout my career, I have been honored to be part of some of the most important and intimate moments of my patient’s lives, through pregnancy and delivery, surgery, cancer, infertility, death, divorce…every magical and tragic event that can occur in life, and have seen and heard enough incredible stories to fill a library.”

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“I started coaching sessions with Dr. Susan at the perfect time in my life. I had some major changes going on that I did not quite know how to handle and was considering backing down from an amazing opportunity. Going into coaching I had a fear that I would hold myself back because I often struggle with truly opening up about what is on my mind, however, Susan was able to hear and pick out the important pieces of what I was saying which continued to open me up comfortably. She coached me through lessons that I did not even know I needed to learn and got me to the other side healthier and more prepared than I would have ever thought possible for myself. I absolutely recommend taking the opportunity to go through life coaching with her.”

Hannah E.

“Before starting my coaching sessions with Dr. Hardwick-Smith, I honestly felt I was fully satisfied with the direction of my personal and professional life. However, I did struggle to balance the two greatest loves of my life, new family vs. career. I felt stressed and spread pretty thin.   Utilizing the tools and suggestions given to me by Dr. Hardwick-Smith, I noticed my critical thinking, self-awareness, and creativity has begun to thrive and develop. I see the loves of my life in a new positive light and welcome the challenges they bring by implementing the knowledge and tools gained from each session. I am truly grateful, inspired and motivated to achieve higher levels of happiness and contentment within all aspect of my life, both personally and professionally. Thank you, Dr. Hardwick-Smith; I mean this from the bottom of my heart.”

Michelle M.

“Dr. Hardwick-Smith’s coaching has helped me take a step back and reflect, and to look at all of my accomplishments personally and in business. I feel more able to sit and appreciate and be grateful, instead of always feeling “not enough”. Her coaching showed me how to really take the time to think about what’s been holding me back in certain areas and how to put a plan together, and take action steps to pursue the changes that I want to put into place.”

Angie G.

“I was very hesitant in the beginning about what to expect from coaching. I was not sure what issues I wanted to address and was somewhat fearful of being judged. Dr. H-S was great at asking the right questions, based on my values, to get me to come out of my shell. This allowed me to see things differently and become more courageous about being myself. She quickly helped me decide what areas would best serve me with our time together and opened my eyes to a world of possibilities that I had previously not thought possible.”

Racheal S.

“I have been a manager in the healthcare business for over 30+ years. Dr. Hardwick-Smith’s coaching sessions were phenomenal. She helped me recognize my ‘inner critic’ and guided me to understand how to feel more confident and utilize my new found confidence in presenting during meetings. She supported my growth and development in becoming a better leader. I have changed my approach to managing and my staff are loving the new me. Thanks, Dr. Hardwick-Smith.”

Sharon B.

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