Dr. Vicki Rackner

If my life had a bumper sticker, it would read, “Heal thyself.” I faced challenges and made lots of mistakes as I searched for solutions. Now I share my hard-won lessons with others.


My journey into medicine started with an emergency…

I decided to become a physician while in graduate school when I was taken emergently to the OR to treat the cause of hemorrhagic shock. The surgeons fixed an actively bleeding ruptured ovarian cyst. I was so grateful to wake up. I knew I was going to be a physician and save other patients’ lives like my own had been saved.

I became a surgeon and after residency I went into private practice and quickly created a focus in the treatment of breast cancer.

Over my surgical career, I’ve had the honor of treating many, many patients in my private practice and serving as a clinical faculty at the University of Washington, School of Medicine.

Then another personal curve ball…

Once I was settled in private practice, it was time for me to start my family. I was not surprised when I faced fertility issues, given my medical history.

I was blessed to get pregnant with IVF, and had a great pregnancy. I performed a bilateral mastectomy ten days before giving birth to a beautiful 8 lb. 4 oz. baby boy. Did I mention that I’m about 5 feet tall?

I had a plan. I converted one of my exam rooms to a nursery and my office manager, Linda, would look after my baby while I took care of patients.

As time went on, it became clear that my son was different than the other babies in the Mommy & Me classes. When he was not speaking, I pushed my pediatrician for an evaluation.

On a Thursday morning that changed my life, I got the results. My son was diagnosed with broad spectrum developmental delay. He was enrolled in a special state-funded school with kids with the most profound of medical problems.

I was racked with guilt. Did I cause this problem by operating during my pregnancy?

I knew I would do everything possible to help him. I took a leave from my practice so I could be with him full time.

And then I got a phone call…

As I was folding laundry I got a phone call. It was a lawyer asking me if I would be willing to look at a case of medical negligence. I thought, “Anything but another load of laundry!” That one case lead to another and another. I got a front row seat to how and why medical care went off track.

Finally, it was time for some good news…

After my son was in the special school for a year, he was retested. He was booted out of the school because his brain caught up. He’s now 23, and if you met him you would never have any sense of his rough start.

And then the big question…

I wondered, “What next?” Should I return to my surgical practice?

But how many surgeons have worn the hats of patient, physician, family caregiver and expert in medical malpractice lawsuits?

I decided to launch a consulting company helping doctors and patients collaborate more effectively and get better medical outcomes. In 2000 I opened my doors.

I thought I would do great. Build it and they will come.

They didn’t.

I invested more in courses and coaches and mentors. I once calculated that I have invested more dollars into my sales and marketing training than I did in medical school!

Why wasn’t I getting the business results I wanted?

I often felt like there was something wrong with me.

The light bulb moment hit….

I was over in Europe for a speaking engagement, and I went to plug in my laptop. You cannot directly plug in a laptop because Europe is wired differently than the US. In order to make the connection you need an adaptor!

I thought, “That’s it. As a doctor I’m wired differently than the business-minded buyers I wanted to engage! I lived in the world of medicine, and I needed to plug into the people who lived in the world of business. I need to create an adapter!”

Once I did, I transformed my business results. I now deliver keynote addresses at national meetings, write books and have been quoted in national publications.

The difference was not that my message or my value had changed; it was that I learned how the world of business operated.

Once I cracked the code, I was able to launch multiple business ventures that replaced my income as a surgeon.

Do you remember 2008?

Then 2008 hit. I started hearing dramatic financial stories. One doctor wondered if he would ever be able to retire after his divorce. Another doctor filed for bankruptcy. A third doctor developed clinical depression after she discovered her “trusted” office manager had stolen millions of dollars from the practice.

I’ve spoken with hundreds of doctors about their money stories, and summarized the trends I found in my book The Myth of the Rich Doctor and The 9 Money Mistakes Doctors Make

One thing is certain. Healthy finances serve as the foundation of a life of meaning, purpose and joy.

I found my calling in helping
doctors create TrueWealth.

Thriving Doctors is an organization committed to helping doctors thrive.

I work with doctors who want to achieve the freedom to do what they want to do when they want to do it. This is TrueWealth.

As we recover from the COVID pandemic, you might be pivoting. You don’t have to do this alone.

My calling is to help my doctor clients experience the personal and professional rewards that attracted them to a career in medicine—and enjoy the financial rewards of their labors.

Feel welcome to book a call to explore whether I could help you gain clarity about the life you want and the path to actualize it.

I help doctors thrive.

Other interesting facts about
Dr. Vicki Rackner

— Just to tickle your ear

Dr. Rackner is regularly quoted in the national media including CNN, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, Bottom Line Health, Woman’s Day, Real Simple and others.

​Dr. Rackner shares what she’s learned by generating revenue through these activities:

Surgeon in private practice
Keynote speaker at local, regional and national meetings
Serial entrepreneur
Guest on over 100 radio shows, including NPR
Expert witness in medical litigation
Health and wellness expert for a chain of pharmacies
Contributing expert for private healthcare industries
Spokesperson for a national assisted living organization
Medical Editor for a publication with a monthly distribution of 3 million
Founder of a non-profit
Consultant helping organizations build business relationships with doctors

Have you heard the latest on The
Thriving Doctors podcast?

We talk about everything from money to marketing to entrepreneurship— all things related to pivoting and thriving as physicians.