Jeff Smith welcomes Heidi Allespach, PhD, an Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine, Medicine & Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to the SurgeonMasters mini-podcast. Heidi is a clinical psychologist who has worked with graduate medical learners for more than 20 years. She devotes her time to enhancing surgeon wellness through their multidimensional behavioral medicine approach, teaching and working with surgery residents and surgeon faculty, as needed.
Heidi believes cognitive restructuring is the secret to happiness for surgeons, physicians, medical students, and others in the medical field. It stems from cognitive behavioral therapy, and it’s a really simple tool that we all can use to take control of our feelings.
Thoughts impact feelings. Feelings impact physical sensations. Those physical sensations impact our eventual behavior. Cognitive restructuring is about changing our thoughts to change our feelings.
What steps does Heidi suggest we take to practice cognitive restructuring?
- Step 1 – When you feel distressed, become aware of those feelings.
- Step 2 – Focus on rational thinking and avoid negative over-thinking.
- Step 3 – Change your thoughts to change your feelings in an intentional way.
Most importantly, practice the cognitive PRACTICE restructuring regularly!
Heidi Allespach, PhD
Heidi Allespach, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine, Medicine & Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. For over 20 years, Dr. Allespach has specialized in the training of family medicine, internal medicine & surgery residents & fellows, practicing physicians, medical students & counselors.
She has developed a targeted cognitive-behavioral stress management (STM) model for physicians to utilize in a time-limited (3-visit) medical setting. She has also tailored this model specifically for use in nonpharmacologic pain management (NPM) & integrates the patient’s spiritual beliefs into these frameworks when appropriate.
Her main specialty areas within behavioral medicine are physician wellness, chronic pain, addiction, & teaching office-based cognitive behavioral stress management interventions. She has published numerous articles on physician wellness, difficult patients, chronic pain and addiction, among others, & has lectured extensively on those topics at many national conferences. Dr Allespach developed teaching models (including “The CALMER Approach” “Rule of Six 2s,” and “The 7 Cs”, “Wargaming with the Chiefs,” “Show and Tell Rounds”), specifically for physicians to use when working with challenging Dr-Pt encounters. She has also lectured both nationally and internationally on the topic of Motivational Interviewing.