IAM2045 – After Practicing for Over 20 Years, Physician Follows Her Life’s Calling

Podcast Interview with Dr. Nicole Rochester

In this episode, we have Dr. Nicole Rochester, a physician, former caregiver, and CEO of Your GPS Doc LLC.

Dr. Nicole shares her journey from practicing medicine to founding her business aimed at assisting family caregivers and individuals with chronic illnesses navigate the complex healthcare system.

With poor health literacy being a widespread issue, Dr. Nicole discusses how her personal and professional experiences led her to fill a critical gap in healthcare navigation.

Her unique approach as a physician-turned-health advocate, the importance of health literacy, and actionable advice for both caregivers and entrepreneurs.

Dr. Nicole emphasizes the value of advocacy, taking informed action, and the impact of her work on improving patient and caregiver experiences within the healthcare setting.

Key Points:

  • Background: Dr. Nicole Rochester had an extensive career in clinical and academic medicine, having earned her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University and attending medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. After practicing medicine for nearly two decades, she decided to leave her rewarding career to pursue what she believes is her life's purpose.
  • The Story Behind Your GPS Doc: Dr. Rochester founded Your GPS Doc, offering guidance and support for navigating the healthcare system, which she was inspired to do, in part, due to the lessons she learned as a caregiver for her late father.
  • CEO Hack: Dr. Rochester finds value in using Audible to access a vast array of audiobooks. It's an effective way to keep learning and evolving as a leader.
  • CEO Nugget: Her advice underpins the importance of performing focused research and taking decisive action.
  • CEO Defined: According to Dr. Rochester, being a CEO means utilizing her natural gifts and talents to help others on her own terms.


Previous Website: after-practicing-for-over-20-years-physician-follows-her-lifes-calling

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Dr. Nicole Rochester Teaser 00:00

I realized that many people just don't feel adequate when they are trying to navigate the health care system. They're intimidated. There are a lot of hoops that you have to jump through and having that inside knowledge can be very useful.

And so I help family caregivers and individuals with chronic illnesses. navigate health care. And that can be anything from how to find a primary care doctor to communicating with the health care team when they're in the hospital. To helping fight the insurance company when they're denying an insurance claim.

Intro 00:33

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 01:00

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Dr. Nicole Rochester of Your GPS Doc. Dr. Nicole, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 01:12

Thank you, Gresham. I'm so happy to be here.

Gresham Harkless 01:14

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. We're happy to have you as well. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about your background so that everybody can learn about all the awesome things you've been able to accomplish.

Dr. Nicole Rochester is a physician and former caregiver to her late father and the CEO of Your GPS Doc LLC. She obtained her undergraduate degree from John Hopkins University and attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed her residency training in Washington D.C.

After practicing medicine for almost 20 years, she left a rewarding career in clinical and academic medicine to follow what she believes is her life's calling. Dr Nicole, are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

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Dr. Nicole Rochester 01:54

I sure am.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:56

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I wanted to jump right in and ask you a little to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 02:02

Well, I was a caregiver to my dad along with my two older sisters for about three years and my dad had a lot of medical problems, including dementia. And it was a very, very eye-opening experience for me. And, you know, seeing the health care system from the patient's perspective and from the family caregivers perspective. was really overwhelming to be honest with you.

And what I discovered over and over again is that many times we were only able to get my dad the care that he needed because of my background as a physician and you know, me knowing the inside out and me kind of knowing how to escalate matters and you know, particular words to say and what to do.

And it really bothered me because not only was I frustrated about our own experience, but I kept thinking About everyone else and you know, what do all of the other family caregivers do who don't have a doctor who happens to be their daughter? And so, you know, I just decided that I needed to do something to try to make a difference.

Gresham Harkless 03:06

Awesome, awesome. And I'm sorry to obviously hear about your father and everything that happened. Thank you. But you've been able to kind of. Understand that you had to kind of an advantage and mean and having that medical background and be able to kind of help out your father. But other people don't have that advantage.

So you kind of created something to be able to fulfill that gap, so to speak.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 03:24

That's absolutely correct.

Gresham Harkless 03:26

Okay. And I wanted to maybe drill down a little bit more in here a little bit more about like how exactly you help out those people and what exactly Your GPS Doc does.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 03:35

Sure. So, you know, one thing that I noticed as a physician and certainly as a caregiver is that most Americans have very poor health literacy. And this is a well-known fact. And health literacy just refers to your ability to. take in information, medical information and then use that to appropriately make decisions.

And so I realized that many people just don't feel adequate when they are trying to navigate the health care system. They're intimidated. There are a lot of hoops that you have to jump through and having that inside knowledge can be very useful.

And so I help family caregivers and individuals with chronic illnesses. navigate health care. And that can be anything from how to find a primary care doctor to communicating with the health care team when they're in the hospital to helping fight the insurance company when they're denying an insurance claim to, you know, helping a family locate an appropriate nursing home and anything in between.

Gresham Harkless 04:36

Yeah, it definitely seems like you know, not understanding exactly all the different things that are going on. You being able to kind of be that person, they can just kind of reach out to you and contact you and then you can kind of take care of everything from there. Is that correct?

Dr. Nicole Rochester 04:49

That's absolutely right. Yes. And I work with clients individually one-on-one, but it's also really important to me to reach many because I realized that, you know, not everyone's going to work with me personally. And so through social media and through speaking engagements and workshops, I have been able to also educate and empower patients and family caregivers.

Gresham Harkless 05:12

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah, that's huge. Because I'm being able to kind of be empowered to be able to help make those decisions, especially in those difficult moments is very, very important.

So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper and to kind of hear about your, maybe your secret sauce or what do you feel kind of distinguishes you or makes your organization unique?

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Dr. Nicole Rochester 05:28

Great. Well, I think, you know, there are health advocates. This, this whole field of health advocacy is relatively new. But there certainly are health advocates throughout the United States.

But what makes me unique is that I'm a physician. There are very few health advocates that are physicians. And I think what also makes me unique is that I, like I mentioned, you know, I'm not only serving clients individually, but I'm really on a mission Gresham to be the nation's expert for health care navigation.

I am hoping to bridge the gap between I'm a physician. other physicians and health care organizations and patients and family caregivers. And I think I am uniquely positioned to be able to unite those two groups because it's not only important for the family caregivers and the patients to understand how to navigate health care.

But I also want to help healthcare providers understand the importance of family caregivers and the wonderful wealth of information that they bring to a clinical encounter. And so I'm really, really hoping to bridge that gap between those two communities.

Gresham Harkless 06:35

And that's huge, especially in a situation where, you know, you don't really know exactly what's going on in the environment, but you understand that you have somebody again, you can lean on and kind of go to that can kind of help navigate that and kind of bridge that gap, like you mentioned, to kind of help you get in the services and products that you need.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 06:52

Absolutely. Yeah. And even as a physician, I struggled with this from my own dad. And that's why I know firsthand that it's incredibly difficult. And that's not a time when you want to be, you know, confused and lost.

Gresham Harkless 07:05

Yeah, you have enough going on.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 07:07

That's right.

Gresham Harkless 07:08

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. But what I wanted to do was kind of switch gears and ask you for what I call a CEO hack.

And this might be an app or a book or a habit that you have that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 07:18

I have several hacks, but I think one of the ones that I think has been most important for me in terms of my growth as a new entrepreneur is audible. I have read so many useful business books and just personal development books using Audible.

And it's great because, you know, I can do this when I'm working out. I can do this when I'm in my car when I'm traveling on a plane. And so it has really allowed me to really, you know, further educate myself. in a way that doesn't force me to kind of sit down and turn the pages of a book.

Gresham Harkless 07:52

Yeah, that makes sense, especially being on the go and having so many different things that you're doing to be able to kind of take in that constant and to improve and to better yourself while you're able to kind of, like you mentioned, work out or be on the go.

That kind of helps out tremendously. So I love that CEO hack.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 08:07

Thank you.

Gresham Harkless 08:08

And now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice that you might have for other entrepreneurs and business owners.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 08:15

Well, I don't know if other entrepreneurs and business owners face this challenge. I don't think it's unique to physicians, but I know that one of the things that I have struggled with is the desire to research and then research some more and then research some more.

And so I think my nugget would be to perform focused research and then just go out and take action. I have struggled with that, wanting to just learn more and more and make sure that things are perfect before I launched them.

And so my nugget would be to do a little bit of research and then just go and take action.

Gresham Harkless 08:47

Yeah, that makes sense, especially in this kind of like business environment. A lot of it is about like the action that you take and you don't want to, you know, be a victim of paralysis by analysis and don't let the perfect possible.

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So I think that's a phenomenal thing to kind of keep in mind because we always wanted to be perfect, but sometimes we just have to kind of take action and do it.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 09:05

So true.

Gresham Harkless 09:06

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, what I want to ask you now was my absolute favorite question, which is kind of like the definition of being a CEO, but we're hoping to have different types of CEOs on this podcast.

We get the opportunity to kind of learn from each of them exactly like how they would define it. So I wanted to ask you, how do you define being a CEO and what that means to you?

Dr. Nicole Rochester 09:23

I define being a CEO as using my gift. talent and personal experiences to help others on my terms.

Gresham Harkless 09:32

I love it. I love it. And that's definitely important because I know a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners when they start their business.

A lot of times it's about being able to kind of paint their canvas in the way that they see it. And you've been able to sounds like do that with your business as well too.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 09:46

Yeah, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 09:48

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Dr Nicole, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do was kind of pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there was anything additional you want to let our readers or listeners know, whether it be pieces of advice or anything about Your GPS Doc and how best people can get ahold of you.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 10:04

I think my piece of advice to anyone who is dealing with aging or chronic illness, or if you are caring for someone who is in one of those categories, is to just advocate for yourself. You know, we physicians can get busy and I know sometimes it can seem like you're being ignored when you're in the exam room or when you're in that lonely hospital room.

But it is very, very important that you realize that you really are the expert for your own body and for your own health. And so try to find ways to partner with your physician and the other health care providers so that you can get the health care that you need.

And certainly, if you're running into trouble and you're having difficulty hiring a health advocate like myself is certainly one way to go.

And in terms of contacting me. So my website is And there's a wealth of free information there. A blog and just try to write articles that are personal to me. Most of them are related to experiences that I have with my dad and lots of useful tips for others in that situation. I'm also on social media as @your GPS doc.

So I'm on Facebook Twitter and Instagram. And certainly if someone wants to talk more with me about the possibility of working with me individually, they can go to www. to book a free 30-minute consult call.

Gresham Harkless 11:38

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. What we'll do is we'll have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow up with you and Dr. Nicole, I truly appreciate you taking some time out of your schedule and taking the experience with your father and being able to kind of get back to people that need help as well.

So I think it's awesome what you're doing and I truly appreciate you for taking some time out.

Dr. Nicole Rochester 11:57

Thank you, Gresham. Thank you so much for the invitation. I appreciate it.

Outro 12:00

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I Am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


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This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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