Positive Self-Talk! - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon who wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 47

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon is just a little better…

In this episode of the mini-podcast, Jeff welcomes Dr. Errin Weisman

Errin is an osteopathic family practice doctor and physician coach. She is also the creator of the website TruthRX’s

How can we expect to perform our best with a negative voice telling us what we’re incapable of and what we can not accomplish? Jeff highlights that he, like many of us, has been driven by negative thoughts that motivated him and pushed him to work harder through the early part of his career. In the long run though, this was not a sustainable strategy. What if you could recognize when this is no longer working for you? What if you could spark that high accomplishment with positive thoughts? 

Errin believes we can. And she says the power is within us to choose who we listen to. 

In limited doses, negative talk can help us. Think of the athlete with the proverbial ‘chip on my shoulder’ attitude. This negative motivational technique can serve us well, AND it has its limitations.  Instead of allowing negativity reign, Errin says we can move forward and grow more by shifting and changing our inner voice to serve us better. 

What does Errin suggest we do to start?

  • Step 1 - Gain Awareness. Take note of what your inner voice is saying - good, bad, or ugly.

  • Step 2 - Develop a positive voice. Pair your negative voice with a positive one to serve you better.

  • Step 3 - Practice! Train to put your positive self-talk into action when you recognize your negative inner voice speaking up.

Most importantly, find your inner advocate! Positive self-talk can dramatically improve our ability to accomplish goals and continue to perform at our best!


20190411_171734_0001 (1).png

Errin Weisman, DO

Errin Weisman, DO is a life coach, podcaster and fierce advocate for wellness in medicine. She faced professional burnout early in her career and speaks openly about about her story in order to help others, particularly female physicians and working moms, know they are not alone. Dr. Weisman wholeheartedly believes to be a healer, you must first fill your own cup. She lives and practices life coaching and medicine in rural Southwestern Indiana, loves her roles as farmer's wife, athlete and mother of three.You can find out more about Dr. Weisman on her podcast Doctor Me First, her website truthrxs.com or hang out with her on IG @truthrxs.


Self-Compassion! - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon who wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 45

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

In this episode of the mini-podcast, Jeff welcomes Leah Weiss, PhD. 

Dr. Weiss is a researcher, lecturer, consultant, entrepreneur, and author. She teaches Compassionate Leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is a principal teacher and a founding faculty member of Stanford’s “Compassion Cultivation Program.”

As the daughter and sister of accomplished surgeons, Leah is familiar with a surgeon’s life and the frustrations that come along with the profession.  Physicians caring for patients are not governed by the tech industry’s motto, “Fail Fast,” nor are doctors willing to lower their standards, she explains.

While self criticism can drive performance, as Jeff attests, it’s also not sustainable over the course of a long surgical career. Instead, we should focus on compassion for ourselves. Leah explains that criticism causes “rumination, anxiety, depression, and procrastination,” while self-compassion affords us a greater ability to “execute on a growth mindset.” 

What steps does Leah suggest we take to increase compassion for ourselves?

  • Step 1 - Pay Attention to where you are and the circumstances present when your self-critic creeps in. What are your triggers?

  • Step 2 - Write down how you respond to self criticism. Does it spur steps forward or hold you back?  

  • Step 3 - Think about ways you can increase compassion for self during times when self-criticism crops up.

Most importantly, don’t wait! Start assessing your online presence and patient review system - it will benefit you and your patients!


Leah Weiss, PhD

Leah Weiss, Ph.D. is a researcher, lecturer, consultant, entrepreneur, and author. She teaches Compassionate Leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she created the perennially-waitlisted course “Leading with Mindfulness and Compassion.” She is a principal teacher and a founding faculty member of Stanford’s “Compassion Cultivation Program,” conceived by the Dalai Lama. She is also the co-founder of Skylyte - a company that specializes in using the latest neuroscience and behavior change to empower high-performing leaders and managers prevent burnout for themselves and their teams. Her first book, “How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind” (HarperWave) focuses on developing compassionate and soft skill-based leadership while also offering research-backed actionable steps towards finding purpose at work. It has currently been translated into 7 different languages. Her latest book, "Bhavana: The Thai secrets of everyday resilience," came out in the U.K. at the end of May.


leah headshot.jpg

We Are Wellness! - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon who wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 41

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

In this episode of the mini-podcast, Jeff is reporting from the 2019 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. An important session at the conference addressed a broad spectrum of ideas related to burnout prevention and wellness. The session was titled, Surgeon Well Being for the Benefit of the Patient: How Can We Become Better for Everyone Else?

The moderator, Dr. Shah, and the panel of speakers did a great job of communicating an important take-home message, and one of SurgeonMasters core beliefs, wellness is personal and unique to each of us. Further, there are simple, practical steps we can take now to improve our well-being. In the end we all benefit - our patients, families, friends, and especially ourselves.

While the wellness suggestions from the panel were broad in scope ranging from improving ergonomic practices in the OR to finding time for hobbies, the message is clear: start taking simple steps now to improve your well-being.

What steps do we take to start?

  • Step 1 - Find something that resonates with you. Wellness comes in many forms. You don’t have to adhere to what often is top of mind when others think of wellness, like yoga and meditation.

  • Step 2 - Don’t feel the overwhelm. Focus on the quality of your time spent in this activity. With the busy schedule of a surgeon focusing on time can feel like a lost cause.  

  • Step 3 - Go do it! Create a plan to make it happen. Consider asking a friend to be an accountability partner to ensure greater uptake of your wellness strategy, habit, or activity.

Most importantly, get started! Incremental steps can lead to meaningful changes in our physical, mental, and emotional well-being!

 

What Does Wellness Mean to You? SurgeonMasters Wants to Know.

Name *
Name

The Buddy System - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon that wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 20

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

This week, we are welcoming to the mini-Podcast Dr. Lisa Merlo,  a licensed clinical psychologist at the University of Florida. Dr. Merlo talks to us about physician impairment and ways that we can help physician wellness. Physicians are not immune from developing the impaired conditions as they often experience sleep deprivation, personal loss and many other issues which can result in: alcohol-drug use, burnout, depression and/or cognitive decline. Hospital policies, often dissuade physicians from seeking help. As a result, there are many physicians who could be restored to health and perform better, but are not and this ends up impacting their practice and patient care.

Dr. Merlo gave us a strategy to address potential impairment: through a buddy system. The Buddy System allows for confidentiality and allows us to be be proactive in addressing potential impairment to prevent it from getting worse. 

Lisa-Merlo-Greene.jpg

How does she suggest to setup a Buddy System? By doing the following:

  1. Identifying a colleague with whom you have frequent interaction

  2. Giving them explicit permission to ask about your well-being, intervene and step up

  3. Allowing the buddy to check-in with you and express concern

  4. Letting the relationship be mutually beneficial

Most importantly, start thinking about who a good buddy would be, and setup a time to talk to them this week! 

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Merlo, she is a licensed clinical psychologist. She has completed postdoctoral fellowships in clinical child/pediatric psychology and drug abuse epidemiology and prevention. She currently serves as Assistant Residency Program Director for Psychotherapy and is active in the education of medical students, residents, and other health profession students. Dr. Merlo also serves as the Director of Research for the Professionals Resource Network, Inc. (the State monitoring program for distressed and impaired healthcare professionals). As a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), Dr. Merlo collaborates with faculty from other colleges and universities, as well as the Area Health Education Centers across Florida, to provide training in motivational interviewing for health professions students, faculty members, tobacco cessation counselors, school personnel, and other healthcare providers.

The Buddy System is a perfect example of how surgeons can improve their effectiveness inside and outside of the OR.

Emotional Hygiene - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon that wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 15

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

This week on the Mini-Podcast we are welcoming back Karla McLaren, where we talk about emotional hygiene as a supportive mechanism to avoid the spread of emotions from one difficult situation to the next e.g. where you have to give a patient bad news about their health. Instead it offers a reset between situations that allows you to approach difficult situations with fresh energy and motivation.

2014-karla-headshot-full-1MB version.jpg

How do you practice Emotional Hygiene? By doing the following:

  • Take a breath in and out

  • Visibly relax

  • Create a sense of washing off the previous emotion and patient contact

  • Create an event boundary around the previous emotion and patient contact 

Most importantly, try applying the emotional hygiene routine together with your hand hygiene routine, and see how you feel at the end of the week! 

If you're not familiar with Karla, she is an award-winning author, and social science researcher. Her lifelong work focuses on her grand unified theory of emotions, which revalues even the most “negative” emotions and opens startling new pathways into self-awareness, effective communication, and healthy empathy. She is the founder and CEO of Emotion Dynamics, LLC. Karla is also the author of The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill (2013), The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings are Trying to Tell You (2010), and the multimedia online course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions (2012).

Empathic Burnout is a perfect example of how surgeons can improve their effectiveness inside and outside of the OR.