coaching and consulting

natural health: mind, body, community

“In order to transform the world, we must transform ourselves.”  —  grace lee boggs

“It’s time to start living the life we imagined.” —Henry James

“par l’art seulement, nous pouvons sortir de nous, savoir ce que voit un autre de cet univers qui n’est pas le même que le nôtre et dont les paysages nous seraient restés aussi inconnus que ceux qu’il peut y avoir dans la lune.” 

“by art alone we are able to get outside ourselves, to know what another sees of this universe which for him is not ours, the landscapes of which would remain as unknown to us as those of the moon.” —  marcel proust

“the health and safety of our children is most important. they can only grow up healthy and safe if our society undergoes radical transformation, or metamorphosis. we must first recognize we have an enormous problem with how we are living. then, we must realize that we can change our thoughts and actions and get healthier. by working together, we can, and will change, and the human species will survive. empathy, kindness, love and Truth are most important.” — philip albert lederer

thanks for visiting my coaching and consulting website!

i am a 37 year old man, trained as an infectious diseases physician, living in jamaica plain, massachusetts, with my partner and our 3-year-old son. i was born in 1980 in columbus, ohio and have lived in a number of cities, states, and countries.

i am passionate about music, the arts, social change, and helping others achieve their full potential.

my life philosophy has been influenced by michelangelo, the famous sculptor: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

i see each one of my coaching clients (not patients) as an artist with infinite potential. most important is our internal, emotional transformation. the external changes will follow.

i provide coaching in english, spanish, and portuguese.

we can discuss the possibility of me providing coaching in french or korean, but currently i do not have proficiency in those languages and don’t feel comfortable unless the client is particularly flexible.

i am interested in helping individuals and groups of people make radical change. putting it another way, i am interested in transformation, i.e metamorphosis, for struggling people. i am talking about folks who

  • don’t exercise
  • don’t meditate
  • don’t sing or dance.

people who spend 10 hours a day glued to an iphone screen or computer. people who think about suicide, cry easily, and worry incessantly and feel depressed.  i suspect you, or someone you love, fits into one of these categories. i certainly have at many points in my life.

my approach is very flexible for busy Boston folks and world citizens whose paths cross with mine

my home in jamaica plain, massachusetts, known as the “eden of america,” with its proximity to the arnold arboretum and other parks and gardens, is ideal as we explore nature together.

i have studied with many eminent teachers, among them are lawrence barringer ii, a communications expert based at mit, the massachusetts institute of technology, alok kanojia, psychiatrist at mgh, the massachusetts general hospital; gena bean, from mindful boston.

some of my current coaching/ consulting clients include

  1. an economics professor who is trying to publish a controversial article in the top journal in his field, the american economic review. i am helping him set deadlines/timelines and put together a plan to publish the paper. we also brainstormed more creative titles for his article. we discussed the basic mathematics of his article and put together a plan for him to get the additional dataset he needs in order to making a compelling argument in the paper. he knows the tasks he needs to complete to submit the paper.
  2. a personal trainer and consultant who is trying to establish his own gym in a competitive marketplace. we have had discussions of the real estate marketplace and what it might take to get his business started.
  3. a premedical student trying to establish a music in hospitals program. we have written a grant and business proposal together and had a number of discussions regarding cultural strategy.
  4. a medical student trying to publish a piece in a top medical journal. we have written the essay and submitted it to three journals. two rejections so far…
  5. a bike shop owner who is trying to increase market share, fighting against internet retailers and other bike shops. we have had preliminary discussions on how the shop can grow and what its major challenges are.

i think you get the idea….

what might our sessions include?

long walks in the arnold arboretum

meditation practice along south boston’s historic carson beach

foreign language practice

dedicated study sessions in the majestic boston public library

harvesting vegetables in my garden

so what do you want to do with this one, precious life?

my philosophy has largely been based on the principles developed by Ray Dalio — an “idea meritocracy.” We can surround ourselves by the smartest, most helpful, diverse group of people we can. success is not a matter of attaining our goals. That is the route to transformative change and personal evolution.

in order to regain our health, naturally, we must understand the importance of integrative medicine.  integrative medicine combines conventional, allopathic, western medicine, with alternative, naturopathic therapies.

but why are you qualified to coach me or consult for my company?

my experiences taking care of thousands of patients, and working in a variety of health care settings, from mozambique to to mit, has helped me learn the importance of transformation.

i have started organizations, for example the guatemala health initiative at the university of pennsylvania, in 2005. along with helping establish the organization, in the summer of 2005, i helped lead a team of University of Pennsylvania medical and nursing student volunteers who completed a community health assessment of Santiago Atitlán. i played a central role in the development of the survey instrument and data collection for the health assessment.

more recently, in 2017, i helped professor ed nardell,  richard vincent and colleagues from the germicidal ultraviolet industry increase uptake of this important product. you can read on my blog about my work in South Africa, India, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as part of MIT’s IDEA² Global in 2017, attempting to commercialize this product. read more about my project team, Sustainable Germicidal UV (GUV): Upper-Room Air Disinfection in Resource-Limited Settings

are you practicing medicine with your coaching service?

no. i am not practicing medicine. i am helping coach folks to achieve their goals. i do not prescribe medications or do medical procedures to my clients in the context of my coaching service.

but wait a minute! to be a consultant, surely philip lederer has an mba degree?


what? no mba?

you might be wondering, who is this guy? his day job is working on viruses like hiv and ebola, and in his spare time he is a consultant?

no, i do not have an mba. it is true, however, that my father, prof albert lederer, taught mba’s for decades at the university of kentucky and other institutions. my dad spent over ten years in industry in the management information systems field. He had consulted or worked developing systems or managing others who did so for a variety of firms, such as Abbott Labs, Procter and Gamble, and Blue Cross.  he also taught courses in:

  • management information systems
  • management of information resources
  • electronic commerce
  • systems analysis and design
  • operations management
  • accounting information systems.

Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 12.41.52 AM

so i think i got an unofficial mba at the dinner table growing up…



so who are you and why are you passionate about coaching and consulting?

i am qualified to help you and your loved ones get healthier because i have had extensive training in western medicine. i attended medical school at the university of pennsylvania, the oldest and one of the finest medical schools in the united states, founded in 1765. i graduated from penn medd in 2008.

subsequently i completed internal medicine residency at the university of california san diego. uc san diego is very different from upenn. For 50 years, ucsd has trained a different kind of doctor in a different kind of way. i finished my residency in 2011, and was awarded the prestigious lee rickman humanism in medicine award.

subsequently, i worked in maputo, mozambique for a year, then did postgraduate training at the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc) as a disease detective (epidemic intelligence service).  my time at the cdc helped teach me the foundations of public health, and that is important, because public health and medicine are tightly connected.

if you want to learn more about the eis, I recommend watching the movie contagion, starring matt damon, laurence fishburne, jude law, gwyneth paltrow, and kate winslet.

subsequently my partner and I moved north to boston, so I could study infectious diseases at maassachusetts general hospital and brigham and women’s hospital, two of the top teaching hospitals institutions in the united states.

in my spare time, I have studied natural healing including nutrition, gardening, music therapy, art therapy, and meditation.

my coaching work is also informed by my studies with bob kegan and lisa lahey at the Harvard Graduate School of Education regarding the “Immunity to Change” model, as well as the Deliberatively Developmental Organization model based on Ray Dalio’s Principles.  Other major influences include marshall ganz’s storytelling framework— the story of self, story of now, and my reading of Sigmund Freud, Albert Camus, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Bob Moses.

that seems very broad…

the first step is to understand that western society is sick. Almost no one spends hours per day outside, gardening and farming, hunter-gathering, and raising animals. This is hard to do in the city, but it’s apparent that we must re-engage with the forests. I’m talking about walking around barefoot, and finding a way, somehow, to spend hours per day under tree cover, even if you live in a city. You will be much happier if you have your bare feet in the dirt.  I can teach you how to grow your own vegetables and cook them, as well as teach you the basics of naturopathic remedies.

second is technology. I think everyone should read and study the book “Mindful Tech.” We need to try to minimize our use of technology, particularly screens. And yet, we need to also learn the basics of algorithmic statistics, machine learning, and data science

also, it is important to think about race, poverty, and masculinity and femininity. consider masculinity. there are different types of masculinity, and I would argue that sometimes masculinity is toxic and sometimes it is non-toxic. we should be considering masculinity and femininity and how they shape our beliefs and activities.

this is intriguing, but i’m not sure i have time to work with you… 

if you are interested in my coaching or consulting services, please email lederer at gmail dot com AND mikedmc at hotmail dot com (Mike McLaughlin), or connect with me on Twitter via DM.

i will do coaching house calls on my bicycle.  i try to never drive an automobile unless absolutely necessary.

do you know what you are talking about?

references available upon request.

who are your coaches, phil?

my ‘head coach’ is lawrence barringer ii. in addition, andrew gosselin is my basketball coach/personal trainer and farley kelly masterson is my violin teacher/coach.

Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 1.08.51 AM
andrew loves posing with his clients

how long are the sessions?

each session is 60-120 minutes and must be in person (i am usually in the Boston metro area but could travel if it were compelling enough).

there are four components to my coaching, which occurs on a yearly cycle.

  1. get to know each other: (1-3 weeks) The introductory sessions are free, and are about understanding your perceived reality. I’ll ask questions and you’ll talk. for the first session, i may buy you lunch or we could go for a walk… after three weeks we will decide if we should go forward or not (see “becoming a client,” below)
  2. next steps: After having some time (1- 8 weeks) to run with those areas we picked out, we’ll check in and explore how you are changing/ “improving.” Lots of homework and experiments and data analysis (quantitative and qualitative). We will use the book, Mindful Tech, by Daniel Levy as a reference. You will also chose a musical instrument or art form you want to study.
  3. foreign language learning: (1-26 weeks) Work on the basics of a foreign language you don’t currently speak, for example French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, or Changana/Tsonga (from Mozambique), or Tzutuhil (Guatemala)
  4. the interpretation of dreams and neuroses: (1-39 weeks): we will read freud together and discuss your childhood, and the pleasure principle, and adjust to the reality principle. We will attempt to understand the origins of neuroses, in our childhood, and the id, superego, and the ego. I am not a Freudian psychotherapist but enjoy exploring these themes.
  5. finished creative product (1-52 weeks): You will produce a piece of fiction, art, music, video, or dance and either publish it or disseminate it to your friends and colleagues. i am particularly interested in you exploring a new domain. for example if you played the cello as a child, i will encourage you to learn how to do oil painting. get some refined linseed oil, brushes, canva paper, an easel. if you were an actor as a child, i am interested in you learning how to play the flute.

international clients

for international coaching clients, please email mike and myself and we will discuss. you would probably have to come to boston. we might be able to do some video skype sessions beforehand but i would prefer if you write me hand-written description of your medical history and send it to me in the mail (US Postal Service) for my review.


this is designed to be accessible to everyone. if you are rich (i.e. large net worth), you will pay a lot of money per hour (i.e.$375/hour, the going rate for prominent therapists, due in advance). this is a sliding scale.

if you are poor, you will pay nothing. I’m also happy to barter- for example teach me to dance or give me pottery in exchange for time together. I am most interested in learning Mandarin, Korean, French, and other languages.  I only accept cash.

becoming a client

becoming one of my students is highly competitive. you have to prove you want to study with me and will put in the hard work to achieve transformation.

becoming my patient is MUCH more competitive than getting accepted to harvard.


My consulting work is based on the cultural strategy framework put forth by Douglas Holt. I will help your organization with branding and understanding the cultural orthodoxy you plan to disrupt. I can start for free with an hour session and if we hit it off we can come up with a plan. Similarly to my coaching, please contact Mike and I per above. I can work with governmental agencies, NGOs, or for-profit businesses.

any videos i could watch if i’m bored?

i like these

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 4.08.27 AM
Playing old-time fiddle in 2003– a study of teamwork