Dale Giolas, MD

Founder and Professional Coach

The last 30 years have afforded me the opportunity to play different roles in the healthcare delivery system. Whether as a practicing physician, a healthcare system leader, a corporate executive, or a physician coach, I have never taken my eyes off the pivot point of healthcare delivery – the doctor-patient interaction.

I believe, that no matter what role a physician plays in the healthcare system, their ultimate responsibility is to optimize the outcome for the patient. What happens in the treatment room drives patient experience, population health, and even population costs one patient at a time 1 billion times per year. Supporting the treatment relationship has been a guiding principle throughout my career.


I was born to be a doctor, really. My Greek grandmother told me that she had decided long ago that her firstborn grandson would be a doctor and my Polish mother likewise determined that her firstborn son would be a doctor before she met my father. Thus, I was born into a very strong, almost inescapable, force field. So, I did what I was supposed to do – got good grades and went to Purdue University for premed. But I wasn’t supposed to like my psychology, sociology, and philosophy classes more than my science classes. Crisis? Not really – psychiatry was the perfect solution. I could still be a doctor and follow my humanistic inclinations. It worked out well. Even working within the medical management model, I was always able to carve out time to explore where my patient was at, assist them with whatever issues they were dealing with, and help them define and reach goals. I practiced both inpatient and outpatient psychiatry and had a full practice within six months of starting out. Life was good.


As chief resident at the University of Illinois Department of Psychiatry I developed my skills as a leader. I quickly began to leverage these skills as an inpatient unit director and by building my practice into a group. Within eight years my group had grown to include 25 clinicians and I was medical director of a large behavioral health system in the Chicago area.

In my efforts to facilitate the effectiveness and efficiency of my clinicians, I searched for a behavioral health oriented medical information system for both my group practice and hospital. I ended up seeding a small technology startup company called Askesis Development Group and in my five years as their CMO, was heavily involved in the development and marketing of their product, PsychConsult. In my five years with the company it went from one customer and two employees to 14 customers and 30 employees.

After Askesis received their first round of venture capital funding, I started my own company, Catalyst Integrations making the power of PsychConsult affordable for small groups by leasing access as well as providing back office services to customers in the Chicago metropolitan area. Our mission was to provide these groups with the ability to maintain their cottage industry front end while helping them to maintain their independence and viability by industrializing their back office.

From Physician
to Physician Coach

Regardless of the stage of my career, or the leadership roles I was playing, I continued to practice psychiatry and addictions, working with patients at every level from acute inpatient care to office-based practice.

It was in the office that I chose to focus the last seven years of my medical practice and it was in the office that the seeds of my coaching career were sewn. As I mentioned, regardless of the purpose or length of the session, I continue to explore what was important to my patients and add value beyond medication management wherever I could. This helped to sustain me during these years.

But as the rapid, haphazard industrialization of medicine progressed – the impact of government regulation, payer demands, and organizational priorities increasingly interfered with my ability to connect with my patients. As “face time” gave way to “screen time” my fulfillment in my career suffered. I became exhausted, cynical, and made my judgement may have suffered. I didn’t realize it at the time, but these were all the signs of burnout. One thing I did know, it was time to try something different. In my exploration of the next pathway to career fulfillment, I was fortunate to connect with other physicians who had left the practice of medicine to become professional coaches. The more I learned, the better the fit appeared.

I moved forward quickly and received my Certified Professional Coach Certificate from The College of Executive Coaching in Arroyo Grande, CA followed by my Certified Physician Development Coach™ at the Physician Coaching Institute in Seattle, WA.

• Basically, coaching enabled me to return to and operate from my humanistic roots. • Rather than focus on the “return to normal” as the medical model’s disease concept goal, I could work to help my clients progress beyond normal towards greater fulfillment in their lives. • I resonated with the concept that rather than having something wrong or missing, my clients come to me with the answers and resources necessary to progress already within them. • I welcomed joining a profession free to help people without the distraction of industrialization. • Coaching physician practitioners and leaders gives me an opportunity to leverage my varied experiences in healthcare in my work with my clients. Most importantly, whether working with practicing physicians or physician leaders, coaching affords me yet another avenue through which I can support the principal role of the doctor-patient interaction.

I have trained both at the College of Executive Coaching, Arroyo Grande, CA, as well as The Physician Coaching Institute, Seattle Washington.

(Please note that I no longer offer clinical psychiatry services which include diagnostic evaluation, psychotherapy, medication management and case consultation. My entire professional focus has shifted to providing focused coaching and consulting services to people seeking to identify and progress toward new and positive goals both personally and professionally)

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