Dr. Starla Fitch
Dr. Fitch is an internationally acclaimed medical doctor, wellness expert, life coach, inspirational keynote speaker, and best-selling author who has made it her life’s mission to help people see more clearly — literally and figuratively. In Dr. Fitch’s acclaimed TEDx talk, “Connect Or Die: The Surprising Power of Human Relationships,” she shares secrets to our distorted views of people and situations.

Known as “The Connection Doctor,” Dr. Fitch is the author of the #1 international best-seller, Remedy for Burnout. Dr. Fitch is regularly featured on national and local media outlets, including CBS, NBC, FOX and NPR. She is a certified life coach and featured blogger for Kevin MD and The Huffington Post, where her article, “The Secret Lives of Doctors,” went viral reaching over 99K readers. She speaks to audiences around the world on the importance of connection and her “4 Steps from Burnout to Balance.”

Dr. Starla Fitch went into medicine for all the right reasons. As a sociologist, interacting with elderly patients, she found that they were overwhelmed by the health care system and their needs were often not fully met due to the pace of appointments. She knew she could help them. So she enrolled in medical school and excelled in her residency and fellowship.

But not long after she began her practice, the demands of the profession coupled with the bureaucracy of the system began to take their toll. On the verge of burnout, she knew she had to find a way to reconnect with the reasons she became a physician.

She did — and now she helps others connect, as well. Although she began this movement to help medical professionals love medicine again, that global community has expanded by overwhelming request to include everyone — not just medical people — at StarlaFitchMD.com. Here, Dr. Fitch guides people in improving their connection — with their colleagues, their families, and themselves.

Dr. Starla Fitch with reporterDr. Starla Fitch is a board certified ophthalmologist who is fellowship trained in oculoplastic surgery. She graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, after receiving her bachelor’s degree from University of Southwestern Louisiana and her Master of Science degree from Texas A & M University.

She completed her internship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and her ophthalmology residency at University of Washington in Seattle, where she served as chief resident her senior year. She went on to complete her oculoplastic fellowship at Eye Plastic Surgery Associates in Dallas.

Throughout her career, she has received many honors, including election into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Fitch joined Eye Consultants of Atlanta in 1994, where she was the senior oculoplastic surgeon for over 20 years. She then decided to devote her expertise and energies full-time to coaching other physicians, so that they could connect to their dreams.

Dr. Fitch has received the Patients’ Choice Award and the Most Compassionate Doctor Award, received by less than 3% of physicians in the U.S.

She is married to Dr. Chris Vandewater, an oral surgeon. They have been fortunate to combine their love of travel with their desire to help others by participating in a medical mission to Africa. They enjoy special family time with many nieces and nephews, one of whom followed in Dr. Fitch’s footsteps by graduating from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

Dr. Fitch’s only enemies are her neighbors, who cringe every week when she and her husband practice their electric guitars.

Dr. Starla Fitch