Episodes

Only patients can save U.S. health care

"Having a physician partner who knows us well, who we can trust, and whose judgment we value exponentially increases the odds of accurately making the distinction between self-limited illness versus a significant disease process. This will also assist...

Are my coping skills a result of my emergency medicine training?

"We’re encouraged to mentally rehearse life-saving procedures for conditions that occur so rarely we might go our entire career without performing them. And the reality is that I could spend every minute of my free time this way and still have an...

Residency interviews and the inner muse

"Have you ever wondered how many times death has not come, but could have? On the corner of Church Street and Dubuque how close was I, pausing to assess an ice-sheeted puddle just before a woman turns, her head turned too, searching for what? A snack?...

A patient explains the reasons behind doctor hopping

"Oh no, it’s a doctor hopper. You know who I’m talking about: the patients with twenty previous doctors documented in their chart. The ones who took years to be diagnosed. The ones who still have not been diagnosed, but insist something is wrong....

Listening to the doctor's heart

"A few months ago, I embarked on an ethnographic study to understand what health care professionals saw as the psychosocial needs of pediatric patients. This involved conversations with several doctors in Pakistan, who had volunteered to share their...

Inside the mind of a medical novel writer

In this episode, we talk with writer Dustin Grinnell. He takes us behind the scenes on his ideas for his books, his research process, and how he brings medical stories to life. We also delve into the realm of speculative fiction, and how that...

COVID-19 and the Great Resignation: a catalyst, not the cause

"The Great Resignation. I doubt there is a medical practice out there that has not been affected by it. And experts predict we are just at the beginning. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ early data from 2022 shows that health care is among the...

Jim Dahle, MD and the White Coat Investor

In this episode, I interview Jim Dahle, creator of the White Coat Investor. He has literally created a new asset class of content: the health care professional personal finance space. He discusses how he got his start with the White Coat Investor, why...

We are not defined by what we eat

"I propose that we look at what each choice in food does for us: How does it make my body feel? How am I able to sleep and move and focus when I eat this food? How am I giving my body what it needs right now and what will keep it strong over time?...

Who will heal the physician?

"Medical errors exist at the far end of a continuum of unexpected events in clinical practice and they are devastating for all involved. Even when care is attentive and patient compliance perfect, unexpected outcomes occur in medicine. Unanticipated...

What we need to know about environmental toxins

"Even low dose mercury toxicity can be harmful to human health in a variety of ways: enhanced free radical stress, reduced glutathione levels, increase in apolipoprotein E g4 genotype expression, promotion of neurofibrillary tangles and altered immune...

Finding meaning with medical missions

"One initiative that more administrators should support is global medical outreach. The ability to practice pure medicine, like the neighborhood doctor from long ago, renews a love for the vocation that physicians sought when they first entered...

What patients need vs. what patients want

"Patients want more than simply learning about a problem and how to treat it. Patients want reassurance. While I summarized the proposed surgical treatment, I watched for signs of anxiety or lack of understanding. Ultimately, my patient wanted to have...

Understanding your medical malpractice insurance policy

"Arguably one of the most overlooked yet incredibly important aspects of your malpractice insurance policy is the Consent to Settle Provision. You’re paying thousands of dollars a year for your malpractice insurance; you should have a say in how...

Mental illness and suicide: a physician's story

"Sufferers of mental illness often believe that others feel they have control of their symptoms, only having to decide to not be, for example, depressed. While they themselves suffer the symptoms of mental illness, they often have the feeling that...

Permission to burn the manual

"I started planning my escape in late 2020. I would find a way to quit health care, to cease being a practicing physician altogether. Living the life of a doctor-mom, I felt consumed with daily obligations and duties. Guilt plagued me for feeling...

A physician's personal great resignation

"Before retirement, I switched everything I cared about to my personal one and unsubscribed to everything I didn’t care about. For the first few months, I religiously checked my work email. Sure, I was missing important information. I finally weaned...

Why selling will make you a happier doctor

"Patients look to providers for guidance, wisdom, and hope. When patients receive a new chronic disease diagnosis, it can feel terminal to the layperson. Even pre-diabetes is traumatizing to an otherwise healthy adult. We must not underestimate the...

Don’t be in a hurry to fast

"There is a lot of confusion and outright falsehoods about fasting. You can search the internet for clarity and end up more confused than when you started. The fact is, fasting can be a very effective tool to improve your metabolic health, increase...

Inhaler nonadherence and social determinants of health

"In St. Louis, asthma is the greatest health care inequity, with African-American children having an incidence rate greater than 10x that of white children. Children in St. Louis are afflicted by rates of asthma 3x higher than that of the national...

Listening to pain in our younger patients

"As a family physician for more than 40 years, I have seen countless patients struggling to alleviate chronic pain, with far too many turning to self-destructive coping methods such as alcohol and opioids. Unfortunately, the struggle with chronic pain...

A deep passion for palliative medicine

"COVID has brought us new challenges and a genuine opportunity to be part of the critical response to optimize the care we deliver not just to our patients but also to their families and caregivers. I am lucky, blessed to do this work every day and...

Advocating for a sick parent by confronting physician bias

"I spent the first three days sitting next to my dad’s hospital bed, watching his chest rise and fall slowly. He was asleep the majority of the time, fighting off something unknown. Anytime he moved, I jumped up from my chair and stood where he...

What clinicians need to know about psychedelic medicine

"What these substances have in common is that they are widely considered to fall into the category of psychedelics. What else they have in common is that the vast majority of us physicians learned nothing about them in medical school or residency, as...