The Doctor's Art

By Henry Bair and Tyler Johnson

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Description

The practice of medicine–filled with moments of joy, suffering, grace, sorrow, and hope–offers a window into the human condition. Though serving as guides and companions to patients’ illness experiences is profoundly meaningful work, the busy nature of modern medicine can blind its own practitioners to the reasons they entered it in the first place. Join oncologist Tyler Johnson and medical trainee Henry Bair as they meet with doctors, patients, leaders, educators, and others in healthcare, to explore stories on finding and nourishing meaning in medicine. This podcast is for anyone striving for a deeper connection with their medical journey. Visit TheDoctorsArt.com for more information.

Episode Date
Stewarding the Vulnerable Moments (with Dr. Audrey Shafer)
2710

What is it like to comfort patients in the moments before they surrender consciousness to undergo surgery? What can the humanities teach us about being present for a patient when they are at their most vulnerable? As an anesthesiologist and founding director of Medicine and the Muse, Stanford Medicine’s health humanities program, Dr. Audrey Shafer has spent her career pondering and addressing these questions. In this episode, Dr. Shafer discusses how her exploits in the humanities have shaped her career in medicine, gives us an intimate and vivid picture of the vital work anesthesiologists do, and shares what her recent personal experiences with cancer have taught her about what it means to truly care for patients.


In this episode, you will hear about:


  • How growing up in an artistic household initially pushed Dr. Shafer away from the arts and toward a medical career - 1:51
  • Why Dr. Shafer chose to become an anesthesiologist - 5:51
  • Dr. Shafer’s discovery of the medical humanities and how she would later create the first program of its type at Stanford Medicine - 8:57
  • A discussion of what the medical humanities are and a defense of its value - 12:00
  • Reflections on the profound privilege of being an anesthesiologist and a medical educator - 17:45
  • A behind-the-scenes look at an anesthesiologist’s work - 25:02
  • Dr. Shafer’s recent cancer diagnosis and her treatment journey - 34:29
  • Advice for clinicians and medical students about seeing patients’ illnesses within the greater context of their lives - 41:15


Follow Dr. Shafer on Twitter @AudreyShafer.


You can peruse the Literature Arts & Medicine magazine here.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Aug 09, 2022
Lessons from a Lifelong Patient Turned Oncologist (with Dr. Eric Winer)
2190

Born with hemophilia in a time before effective therapies existed and having experienced treatment complications including hepatitis C and HIV, Dr. Eric Winer spent much of his childhood and young adulthood in and out of the hospital. Today, he is the Director of Yale Cancer Center and President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the largest organization of clinicians caring for cancer patients. An internationally renowned expert in breast cancer, his research has immensely impacted how breast cancer is now treated. In this episode, Dr. Winer shares his path to oncology and his insights from being a lifelong patient on stigma, compassion, and empathy.


In this episode, you will hear about:


  • How growing up with hemophilia led Dr. Winer to the field of medicine - 1:50
  • The patient that cemented Dr. Winer’s dedication to oncology as his life’s work - 7:55
  • Dr. Winer’s reflections on how his experiences as a patient shape his work as a doctor - 12:52
  • Facing the reality of caring for patients with terminal illness - 18:21
  • How Dr. Winer grounds the care he provides in the humanism of each patient - 23:49
  • Dr. Winer’s mission and vision as president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology - 25:49
  • How leading by example is critical to cultivating a strong, respectful, and collaborative institutional culture - 31:02
  • Dr. Winer’s advice to medical students and new clinicians on maintaining a connection to meaningful work - 33:12


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022

Aug 02, 2022
Pain, Pleasure, and Finding the Balance (with Dr. Anna Lembke)
3022

Our modern world grants us unprecedented access to high-reward, high-dopamine stimuli—not just drugs, but also food, news, shopping, sex, gaming, social media, gambling, and more. But psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke argues that this society-wide overindulgence in pleasure threatens to lead us to deeper pain. Dr. Lembke is the director of the Addiction Medicine Service at Stanford Medicine and is the author of two bestselling books, Dopamine Nation and Drug Dealer, MD. As one of the first doctors to sound the alarm on the opioid epidemic in America, she's an expert on the issue and has advised policymakers at the highest levels of government. In this episode, Dr. Lembke describes her work treating all kinds of addiction, discusses her deep concern with the overconsumption of pleasure in our culture, and shares what we can all do to renew meaning and connectedness in our lives through balancing pain and pleasure.


In this episode, you will hear about:


  • What first drew Dr. Lembke to a medical career and how she initially discovered psychiatry - 2:13
  • Why Dr. Lembke dedicates herself to addiction medicine, and how her philosophy can help others find meaningful work - 9:16
  • The historical shift, with the advent of the opioid epidemic, to understanding addiction as a medical condition instead of a moral or personal failing - 12:53
  • Reframing addiction as a medical diagnosis and approaching patients facing addictive disorders with compassion - 17:58
  • How flaws in contemporary medical practice and misaligned incentives for doctors contributed to the opioid crisis - 24:15
  • A discussion of Dr. Lemke’s book Dopamine Nation, including how easy access to pleasure causes addictagenic responses in nearly every aspect of our lives - 29:32
  • How humans can reconnect with meaning despite living in a culture that often substitutes meaning with cheap pleasure - 34:15
  • Dr. Lembke’s advice to all clinicians for how to better connect with patients - 45:20


Tyler refers to the essay I Used to be a Human Being” by Andrew Sullivan.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Jul 26, 2022
Ethical Dilemmas in the Hospital (with Dr. David Magnus)
3385

What happens when miscommunication between a doctor and patient leads to intractable conflict? What happens when a patient requests an intervention a doctor does not feel ethically comfortable with? In the toughest of situations, doctors turn to the clinical ethicist for help. Dr. David Magnus, an internationally regarded leader in clinical ethics, is the director of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Bioethics, and former president of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors. In this episode, Dr. Magnus shares lessons learned from the most ethically ambiguous scenarios he has managed, the importance of ethical thinking skills for all clinicians, and the difficulties inherent in clinician-patient communication.


In this episode, you will hear about:


  • What it’s like to be a clinical ethicist, handling the tough ethical questions doctors call on them to resolve - 5:05
  • How an ethicist determines what is “right” in a given circumstance - 9:10
  • How Dr. Magnus’ deals with patients who refuse to accept his recommendations for care - 11:33
  • Dr. Magnus’s journey from professor of philosophy to leading thinker on medical ethics - 14:00
  • How the intense specialization of modern medicine may be contributing to clinician burnout - 23:31
  • How misinterpretation of language can be a major barrier to good health care - 32:25
  • Why clinicians use “hedge language” and “shield attributions” and how they can dramatically alter a patient’s understanding of their situation - 40:46
  • Dr. Magnus’s advice to new clinicians on cultivating skills in ethical thinking and responsible patient communication - 50:45



Learn more about the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities here.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Jul 19, 2022
Transforming the Culture of Medicine (with Dr. Robert Pearl)
3285

As former CEO of the Permanente Medical Group, Dr. Robert Pearl was responsible for the work of 50,000 healthcare workers and the medical care of 5 million Americans through Kaiser Permanente hospitals across the country. A leading expert on healthcare management and strategy, Dr. Pearl is the author of two bestselling books, “Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Healthcare–And Why We’re Usually Wrong” and “Uncaring: How the Culture of Medicine Kills Doctors and Patients,” a regular contributor to Forbes, and the host of several popular medical podcasts. He is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, clinical professor at Stanford Medicine, and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In this episode, Dr. Pearl shares his thoughts on why American healthcare is failing not only patients but also physicians, and what we can do to address inherent problems in the culture of medicine.


In this episode, you will hear about:


  • Dr. Pearl’s journey to a career in plastic surgery - 2:13
  • Grappling with complications that arise during surgery - 9:40
  • Dr. Pearl’s transition from surgeon to CEO of the Permanente Medical Group - 12:49
  • The mission that Dr. Pearl brought to his role as CEO and how he implemented that mission - 17:21
  • How Dr. Pearl paved a path for increasing both the quality of care and physician satisfaction, while keeping costs low, and why so often these goals seem at odds with each other - 20:32
  • The toxic culture of denial in medicine and why it is killing doctors and patients - 27:45
  • How status and compensation disparity contributes to physician burnout, and what to do about it - 35:47
  • Dr. Pearl’s administrative strategy that led Kaiser Permanente to much success during his tenure as CEO - 43:08
  • Dr. Pearl’s advice to physicians on how to stay connected and empowered in their careers - 46:38


Dr. Robert Pearl is:



Find more information at RobertPearlMD.com or follow Dr. Pearl on Twitter @RobertPearlMD


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Jul 12, 2022
The Doctor as Detective (with Dr. Lisa Sanders)
3043

As the real-life inspiration for and medical consultant to the popular TV show "House, M.D.," journalist-turned-physician Dr. Lisa Sanders has played quite the role in elevating the prestige and drama of medical diagnosis. For the past 20 years, Dr. Sanders has written a column in the New York Times titled "Diagnosis," in which she discusses bizarre and fascinating medical cases. In 2019, this column was turned into a Netflix documentary series of the same name. She has garnered much acclaim for presenting the process of diagnosis as a detective story, rather than the rote recall of a set of facts and figures. Dr. Sanders joins us in this episode to speak about her remarkable career path, her work, and how storytelling contributes to patient healing.


In this episode, you will hear about:


  • Dr. Sanders’ career prior to medicine as a TV journalist and how it influenced her path as a physician - 1:59
  • Dr. Sanders’ revelation about diagnosis as detective work and how she developed her passion for it - 4:59
  • Being part of the handful of “weirdos” that Yale Medical School admits every year, and combating imposter syndrome - 7:14
  • Dr. Sanders’ reflections on the how money-making impacts physician burnout and how the burden of choice in medical career paths may lead to a sense of disconnect - 12:39
  • Medical diagnosis itself as a kind of healing, allowing patients to contextualize their circumstances within their personal narratives - 18:05
  • Dr. Sanders’ best-practices on communicating with patients - 29:03
  • The methodology of solving and describing medical mysteries - 32:10
  • Challenges and opportunities in eliciting and listening to patient stories - 42:16
  • Dr. Sanders’ hope that the human dimension of medicine does not get displaced by the technical dimension, and why storytelling is integral to patient healing - 46:41


Dr. Lisa Sanders is the author of several books, including 

Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis (2009), and

Diagnosis: Solving the Most Baffling Medical Mysteries (2019)


She writes a column for the New York Times called Diagnosis, which can be found archived here


Follow Dr. Sanders on Twitter @LisaSandersmd


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Jul 05, 2022
Art, Drama, and a Terminal Illness (with Ellen Dunphy)
2061

When actress and playwright Ellen Dunphy — then a robustly-healthy 33-year old — first met co-host Dr. Tyler Johnson in early 2020, they were filming an educational video teaching doctors how to discuss terminal illnesses with patients. Six months later, in a twist of fate, upon receiving a terminal diagnosis of gastric cancer, Ellen learned that Dr. Johnson would be her oncologist — for real this time. In this poignant episode, Ellen candidly shares her experiences from the moment she received her diagnosis to how she has subsequently grappled with grief, and discusses how this has fueled the creation of a play about her cancer journey. This is a rare occasion of conversation and reflection between a dying patient and her doctor on what matters most in medicine.


We note with sadness that Ellen passed away peacefully on July 4, 2022, surrounded by people who loved her.


In this episode, you will hear about:


  • The circumstances that first brought Ellen and Dr. Johnson together - 1:38
  • Ellen and Tyler’s second meeting, under drastically different yet parallel circumstances - 5:03
  • What it was like for both Ellen and Dr. Johnson at the moment her diagnosis was delivered - 7:24
  • What was surprising to Ellen about going through cancer treatment - 13:24
  • Ellen’s advice to medical professionals in light of her own treatment journey - 16:40
  • Ellen’s reflections on the process of writing her play about receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis - 21:12
  • The meaning of medicine, as seen by Ellen - 27:45
  • Ellen’s advice to all patients on the importance of advocating for oneself - 29:00


Ellen’s one-woman play “Imaginary Endings” about facing her cancer diagnosis can be viewed on YouTube.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022



Jun 28, 2022
The (True) Costs of Illness and Health (with Emily Maloney)
2690

Essayist Emily Maloney offers a wholly unique vantage point when it comes to American healthcare. At 19 years old, a suicide attempt landed Emily in the hospital for an extended stay, which then saddled her with a massive 5-figure load of unexpected medical bills. In an attempt to pay off her debt, Emily became an emergency room technician and began working in the very same system that was crippling her financial life. In today’s episode, Emily discusses her experiences as both patient and caregiver, and shares her insights on the true cost – financial and personal – that the flawed US medical system exerts on everyone involved, from patients to physicians.  


In this episode, you will hear about:


  • Emily’s motivation for writing her recently published book of essays, “Cost of Living”  - 2:33
  • How finding herself in suffocating medical debt changed Emily’s life  - 10:24
  • Why the true costs of medical interventions are impossible to know under the current system -  18:20
  • What drew Emily into the medical profession despite her negative experiences as a patient - 24:43
  • Emily’s ideas on how healthcare in the US should be reformed - 37:28


Emily is the author of the essay collection “Cost of Living


Follow Emily on Twitter @emilyfmaloney


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Jun 21, 2022
Grief, Loss, and a Brighter Path Forward (with Dr. Stephanie Harman)
2587

As the founding medical director of Palliative Care Services at Stanford Hospital, Dr. Stephanie Harman is no stranger to death and grief. In this episode, she shares the story of how she discovered palliative care through the death of someone close and what it looks like to transform what are often the moments of greatest patient suffering into moments of profound meaning and humanism. In addition to her palliative care work, Dr. Harman is a clinical associate professor of medicine, a co-chair of the Stanford Health Care Ethics Committee, and Associate Chair for the Women in Medicine initiative in Stanford’s Department of Medicine.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • How PBS, zebrafish, and comparative literature influenced Dr. Harman’s decision to enter medicine - 3:08
  • How the death of someone close propelled Dr. Harman into palliative care and informs her philosophical focus on honoring a patient’s values and wishes - 8:09
  • Why Dr. Harman felt drawn to a medical specialty that so often deals with the most painful part of medicine: witnessing patients dying - 15:53
  • How Dr. Harman had to advocate for the legitimacy and dignity of palliative medicine, despite being told it was “a waste of her career” - 19:18
  • How Dr. Harman processes the emotional weight of her chosen field with preventive and supportive measures - 22:20
  • A discussion of how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced public and personal conversations about grief to the forefront - 27:24
  • Dr. Harman’s vision for the future of medicine, and specifically the broader adoption of palliative care services - 33:33
  • Dr. Harman’s advice to new medical professionals and students - 38:49


You can follow Dr. Harman on Twitter @Steph_HarmanMD


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Jun 14, 2022
Medicine, Fast and Slow (with Dr. Victoria Sweet)
2846

Dr. Victoria Sweet is a prize-winning author, medical historian, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the author of two bestselling books: “God's Hotel,” which details her time as a doctor in the last almshouse in the United States, and “Slow Medicine,” a memoir that outlines her approach to medicine as both a craft and art. In this episode, Dr. Sweet discusses why she reframes the doctor-patient relationship from one of a mechanic repairing a machine, to one of a gardener tending to her plants. Through vivid stories of her remarkable experiences, she illustrates how combining insights of premodern medicine with advances of modern health care can lead to better healing.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • How the writings of Carl Jung drew Dr. Sweet to medicine - 2:18
  • The story of how a resourceful nurse and a stubborn patient taught Dr. Sweet what it meant to be “a real doctor” - 9:36
  • The origin of the Slow Medicine movement and how it shapes Dr. Sweet’s approach to patient care - 16:19
  • The Philosophy of the Minimum and why examining side effects and placebo groups is critical to delivering the best patient care - 22:03
  • Dr. Sweet’s time at Laguna Honda Hospital, the “last almshouse in the United States”, and what she learned about healing from the slower pace of that hospital - 27:07
  • How studying medieval figures like Hildegard of Bingen influenced Dr. Sweet’s appreciation for premodern medicine and how she pairs it with modern medicine - 33:58
  • Dr. Sweet’s advice for clinicians facing the mounting challenges of the modern corporate medical landscape - 40:02


Dr. Sweet is the author of God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine and Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing.


Dr. Sweet discusses the influence of Carl Jung’s memoir Memories, Dreams, and Reflections


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Jun 07, 2022
Fighting for Empowerment and Equity (with Dr. Pamela Kunz)
2660

Dr. Pamela Kunz is the Director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers at Yale Medicine. For 19 years, she was at Stanford University, most recently serving as Director of the Stanford Neuroendocrine Tumor Program. But in 2020, Dr. Kunz announced her departure, citing years of gender discrimination, microaggressions, and harassment. In this episode, Dr. Kunz opens up about the challenges she faced, how she overcame them, and how she now taps into a clear-eyed awareness of her values to lead health care settings that empower underrepresented individuals and to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic medicine.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • How Dr. Kunz’s science-filled childhood led her to a career in medicine, and why she took on the daunting task of treating cancer patients - 2:21
  • What it is like to build relationships with patients who have life-limiting cancer diagnoses - 7:25
  • Dr. Kunz’s past struggles working in a toxic environment due to constant disrespect and denigration based on her gender - 12:18
  • How leadership coach Rebecca Merrill (our guest on Episode 7) helped Dr. Kunz realize why she was so unhappy in her work and what she could do about it - 16:15
  • The development of Dr. Kunz as an advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic medicine - 18:48
  • Dr. Kunz’s advice for women and other underrepresented individuals going into medicine on preparing against potential hostility in their chosen careers, and how to create a “tapestry” of mentors - 22:01
  • How Dr. Kunz addresses her own burnout, and how seeing oneself as an advocate can be a tool to self-empowerment - 32:25 
  • The advice Dr. Kunz would give to her past self if she could go back in time - 41:02


Dr. Kunz mentions the book “Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown as being especially transformational in her journey to overcome challenges in the workplace.


Follow Dr. Kunz on Twitter @PamelaKunzMD


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022

May 31, 2022
On Courage and Curiosity (with Dr. Phil Pizzo)
2385

A former dean of Stanford Medical School and past leader at the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Phil Pizzo is as renowned for his groundbreaking research on childhood cancers and immunodeficiency as he is for his promotion of medical education. He is also a tireless scholar who continues pursuing knowledge and purpose deep into what many would consider the retirement years. In this episode, Dr. Pizzo shares what caring for children with some of the most harrowing diseases has taught him about courage, and how his creation of Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute epitomizes his vision for longevity and philosophy of lifelong learning.


In this episode, you will hear about: 

  • How Dr. Pizzo’s love of learning and objection to the Vietnam War led him to a career in medicine - 2:00
  • Teddy, a “boy in the bubble” whom Dr. Pizzo cared for and who profoundly shaped Dr. Pizzo’s career and life philosophy - 5:54
  • Leaning into the work of treating severe diseases, despite the realities of the deep suffering involved - 14:46
  • The guiding principles behind Dr. Pizzo’s time in leadership at the National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School, and Stanford Medical School - 20:01
  • How Dr. Pizzo manages to maintain tranquility of mind and buoyancy of spirit over his long career, and why he created the Distinguished Careers Institute - 22:51
  • The surprising next step in Dr. Pizzo’s scholarly journey - 30:42
  • Dr. Pizzo’s advice to young people about the value of a habit of lifelong learning - 34:40


Read more about Teddy DeVita, the “boy in the bubble” whom Dr. Pizzo cared for, in this Washington Post article.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022

May 24, 2022
On Reading the Body (with Dr. Abraham Verghese)
2598

Dr. Abraham Verghese is a prolific writer and revered physician who has deeply contemplated the philosophical underpinnings of the practice of medicine. He is renowned as an advocate for the importance of bedside examination and physical diagnosis, and his best-selling books probe the intricacies of human connection in the context of healthcare. In this episode, Dr. Verghese discusses how maintaining a literary life has impacted his approach to doctoring, why the human touch still matters for healing in our increasingly digital age, and his vision of the future of medicine.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • How Dr. Verghese’s love of literature influenced his decision to enter medicine  - 2:39
  • Reflections on the challenges of contemporary medicine - 7:51
  • How physical exams can be seen as a ritual for “reading the body like a book” - 10:07
  • Dr. Verghese’s perspective on the future of doctor-patient relationships given the rise of telemedicine and other technologies - 20:36
  • Balancing the need to connect with each patient for their treatment, while being responsible for so many at once - 26:23
  • How the craft of writing relates to medicine for Dr. Verghese - 31:50
  • The counterintuitive diagnostic efficiency of taking the time and care to meet patients where they are at - 35:45


Dr. Verghese is the author of three books:


My Own Country (1994) - traces the story of young Dr. Verghese in the mid-1980s in Johnson City, Tennessee, who began to treat patients with a then unknown disease, HIV.


The Tennis Partner (1999) - Dr. Verghese writes of his experience moving to El Paso in the midst of an unraveling marriage. There, he meets and becomes a mentor to David Smith, a medical resident at the hospital and a brilliant tennis player recovering from drug addiction.


Cutting for Stone (2009) - a novel about twin brothers, orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and forsaken by their father.


The book that Dr. Verghese credits as having inspired him to pursue medicine is Of Human Bondage (1915), by William Somerset Maugham - Available for free 


Follow Dr. Verghese on Twitter @cuttingforstone and visit his website AbrahamVerghese.org.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.

May 17, 2022
In Service of a Greater Cause (with Dr. Dean Winslow)
2522

Dr. Dean Winslow has led an extraordinarily multifaceted career as an infectious disease specialist and former US Air Force colonel. In his pioneering work at the front lines of the AIDS epidemic, he headed one of the first HIV clinics in the country and created HIV treatments and diagnostics still used today. During his multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq as a flight surgeon, he commanded field hospitals that treated military personnel and local civilians alike. As a long-time professor of medicine at Stanford, he has been a popular mentor to hundreds of medical professionals. In this episode, with his trademark cheerful and humble demeanor, Dr. Winslow shares the colorful, poignant, and amusing stories he has collected over his decades of service.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • Dr. Winslow’s personal path that led him to medicine and his initial work during the early days of the AIDS epidemic - 2:51
  • How Dr. Winslow manages the emotional burden that comes with treating seriously ill patients with HIV - 20:24
  • Dr. Winslow’s experiences in military medicine and how they have shaped his medical career - 25:31
  • A humorous story on solving a tough infectious disease case through medical detective work - 32:09
  • Dr. Winslow’s advice to medical trainees who may be struggling with burnout, and what improvements should be made to the healthcare system to take pressure off medical professionals - 36:51


A narrative essay by Dr. Winslow about his military medical career: Treating the Enemy.


Follow Dr. Winslow’s work at StanfordHealthcare.org


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022

May 10, 2022
Lessons on Mortality and Dying Well (with Dr. Ira Byock)
2703

Dr. Ira Byock is a leading figure in hospice and palliative medicine, having developed many practices and tools that now define the specialty. For him, this profession is a continual pursuit of balancing the scientific and human aspects of medical care, to address patient well-being in a way that transcends conventional concepts of disease and illness. In this episode, Dr. Byock joins us to discuss how palliative medicine developed into what it is today, how viewing death as a normal part of human living can allow patients to create meaning at the end of life, and what all clinicians can learn from palliative care about good doctoring.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • Dr. Byock’s early work in family and rural medicine and the moral crisis that awakened him to the need for palliative medicine - 1:51
  • Dr. Byock’s experiences in pioneering the nascent field of palliative medicine - 7:53
  • Combating the prevailing notion that medicine is only about treating injuries and curing illnesses - 11:16
  • A story about a dying patient and the extra mile Dr. Byock went for her, which solidified his belief in the power of palliative care - 17:05
  • Reimagining our relationship to death, both from the clinician’s and patient’s perspectives - 24:10
  • The Four Things that Matter Most - 31:19
  • Lessons learned from patients experiencing the end of their lives - 35:52
  • Dr. Byock’s advice to young medical professionals and students - 39:31


Connect with Dr. Byock on Twitter @IraByock.


Dr. Byock is the author of several books: 

Dying Well 

The Four Things that Matter Most

The Best Care Possible


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022

May 03, 2022
Coaching Doctors to Address the Burnout Crisis (with Rebecca Merrill)
2535

A crisis of burnout is rippling through the medical community; physicians are experiencing ever-increasing mental, physical, and social strain while the healthcare system offers little assistance with that burden. For leadership coach Rebecca Merrill, this crisis is a calling. For years, she has been coaching senior leaders in healthcare to help them reconnect with what brought them to medicine in the first place. In this episode, we speak with Merrill about how she helps clinicians lead a purposeful life and how healthcare institutions can better safeguard against workforce attrition.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • What coaching is, how it compares to therapy, and how it can help doctors -  2:20
  • What makes physicians unique when it comes to coaching them - 10:40
  • How Merrill responds to skepticism of coaching - 14:44
  • The primary causes causes of physician burnout - 16:32
  • How healthcare administrators can balance patient satisfaction with physician well-being - 24:32 
  • Merrill’s advice to medical professionals around self-care 38:06
  • Merrill’s advice to healthcare leaders and administrators who want to better support and protect their staff from burnout - 40:28


Merrill's website can be found at MerrillLeadership.com.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022

Apr 19, 2022
Making Sense, Space, and Meaning in the ICU (with Dr. Adjoa Boateng)
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Dr. Adjoa Boateng has always felt drawn to helping those at the margins of society. An intensivist and physician-writer at Stanford, Dr. Boateng has found language to be a crucial part of not only her clinical work, but of her art as well. In a medical specialty that can often be mired in technical jargon and dehumanizing shorthand, she champions an even greater importance on the choice of words physicians use as a critical aspect of care.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • Dr. Boateng’s career in helping individuals from marginalized populations - 1:51
  • How she maintains a connection to the spiritual dimensions of medicine despite working in what can often be the most impersonal of medical settings, the ICU - 4:45
  • Her reflection on a particularly transcendent moment with a patient approaching death - 7:21
  • Making space for the sacred, even in the antiseptic rooms of a hospital - 9:57
  • How she discovered her passion for narrative medicine and writing poetry - 15:40
  • The importance of humanizing language, especially when talking to patients - 17:37
  • The concept of “miracles” in medicine - 22:26
  • The difficulties Dr. Boateng experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic as a new attending and new mother - 26:17
  • The intense scrutiny she has experienced as a black woman working in medicine - 30:39
  • A poem Dr. Boateng has been writing for her son about his birth - 35:23


Connect with Dr. Boateng on Twitter @BoatengMD.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Apr 19, 2022
Medicine as Ministry (with Dr. Samuel Brown)
2383

As a college student, Dr. Samuel Brown never believed he would work in medicine. Yet today, he is not only an accomplished intensivist at Intermountain Healthcare and a professor of medicine at the University of Utah, but also an acclaimed writer, theologian, and religious historian. For Dr. Brown, this career is truly a spiritual calling. In this heartfelt and frequently humorous episode, we meet with him to discuss his unusual journey to medicine and to understand how his personal philosophy helps him connect with the sick and dying.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • Dr. Brown’s personal history of religiosity and his initial resistance to a career in medicine – 2:43
  • How Dr. Brown’s belief in the divinity of each human informs his work as a physician – 11:16
  • The changing social, cultural, and medical contexts of death and dying in America, and the development of the modern ICU, as explored in his book Through the Valley of Shadows - 15:09
  • The depersonalization of patients in the ICU and how spirituality helps foster the doctor-patient relationship – 21:36
  • Finding meaning in tragedy, especially one as massive and widespread as the COVID-19 pandemic – 28:33
  • Dr. Brown’s advice for all students and new medical professionals on maintaining a healthy outlook in an often-harrowing world – 33:29


Dr. Brown’s most recent book is Through the Valley of Shadows: Living Wills, Intensive Care, and Making Medicine Human.


Connect with Dr. Brown on Twitter @DrSamuelBrown.


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Apr 05, 2022
Embracing the Role of the Physician Leader (with Dr. Lloyd Minor)
2568

Few people have a more well-rounded understanding of our healthcare system than Dr. Lloyd Minor, Dean of Stanford Medical School. With diverse experiences in research, surgery, healthcare education, clinical care, and institutional leadership, Dean Minor has cultivated a unique bird’s-eye view of the obstacles that face our increasingly complex medical system. In this episode, we ask him to share insights on how to create robust support systems for both patients and medical staff alike, in order to address difficult institutional challenges such as burnout, work-life balance for healthcare staff, and racial inequities in care. 


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • How Dean Minor’s interests in math and science shaped his career as a physician scientist - 2:13
  • Dean Minor’s belief that earning trust and respect as a leader is paramount to making a shared vision come to life - 8:57
  • His challenges with work/life balance during his years of training - 10:23
  • Stanford’s commitment to precision health initiatives - 13:23
  • Racial disparities in our healthcare system, and what we can do to create better outcomes - 27:18 
  • The importance of teaching leadership skills to medical trainees - 32:26


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022

Mar 22, 2022
The Heritage of Medicine (with Dr. Cesar Padilla)
2214

The practice of medicine has a rich legacy, sharing common themes yet manifesting in myriad forms around the world. For Dr. Cesar Padilla, an obstetric anesthesiologist and clinical assistant professor at Stanford, this historical and cultural thread is vivid and alive, informing care and connection with his patients and students. In this episode, we ask Dr. Padilla to reflect on his personal history and that of the wider medical field to gain insights on best practices for care across cultures.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • Dr. Padilla’s childhood summers residing in a Catholic hospital in Mexico, and how that ignited his passion for medicine - 3:45
  • Why Dr. Padilla believes the ‘art’ of medicine resides in human connection - 6:18
  • The educational inequities & challenges he faced as a first generation immigrant - 10:12 
  • Why the history of medicine and culture is so important in providing quality care - 16:24
  • How to connect with patients when differing cultural backgrounds are involved - 26:06
  • The one piece of advice Dr. Padilla wants all medical trainees to remember - 35:19


Dr. Padilla writes extensively about the history of medicine. Here are articles mentioned in the episode: 


The Best Argument for Medicare for All - Our Nation’s First Hospital, Co-founded by Benjamin Franklin, Provided Free Care for the Poor


From an ICU Doctor - What We Really Think About Death and Dying 


A partial list of Dr. Padilla’s other writings: https://medium.com/@cesarraudelpadilla


Connect with Dr. Padilla on Twitter @TheMillennialMD


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Mar 22, 2022
Finding Meaning in Medicine
1959

Medicine is a challenging and complex, yet ultimately fulfilling vocation that has seen much upheaval in recent years, from technological disruptions to the COVID-19 pandemic. For medical student Henry Bair and oncologist Tyler Johnson, both at Stanford University, this moment calls for a mindful investigation of the factors driving those who work in health care, whether as clinicians, educators, or executives. Probing the humanistic dimensions of patient care, they explore the philosophies and realities underpinning the healthcare profession.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • What first drew co-hosts Henry and Tyler to the medical profession - 03:26
  • The moments that epitomized why they pursued healthcare as their life’s calling - 10:08
  • The growing pattern of burnout and alienation among medical workers - 21:40
  • Previews of subjects that will be covered in future episodes of this podcast - 25:03


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022



Mar 08, 2022
With Patients Until the End (with Dr. Mimi Dunne)
2147

One aspect of the medical profession that doesn’t often garner a great deal of public attention is that of caring for patients who are dying. For Dr. Mimi Dunne, the relief of suffering has been her life’s calling specifically the mission of relieving mental and social suffering in the lives of terminal patients, and helping them and their families find solace and meaning as they face mortality. This week, we ask Dr. Dunne to share insights and lessons from her experience in palliative care.


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • What palliative care entails and what kinds of physicians specialize in it- 02:06
  • Dr. Dunne’s path from emergency care to palliative medicine - 3:36
  • Common misconceptions about palliative care - 7:43
  • Stories of a pivotal patient case that illuminates Dr. Dunne’s career - 11:33
  • What it is like to accompany patients at their end of life - 15:59
  • A discussion of Narrative Medicine and storytelling - 23:44
  • A discussion of the Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware - 29:29


Works, Organizations, and Individuals Discussed:


The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

The Center to Advance Palliative Care

Dr. Diane Meier, professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine

Bill Moyer’s PBS docu-series Healing in the Mind

Dr. Laura Carstensen of the Stanford Center on Longevity

Dr. Ira Byock’s work on Developmental Tasks of the End of Life

Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness by Dr. Rita Charon

Professor Dan McAdams’ work on Narrative Identity

The Top Five Regrets of the Dyingby Bronnie Ware


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Mar 08, 2022
The Spirituality of Care (with Chaplain Bruce Feldstein, MD)
2617

Chaplain Bruce Feldstein, MD is the director of the Jewish Chaplaincy Service at Stanford University, as well as an adjunct clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. After 19 years practicing as an emergency medicine physician, an injury led Bruce on a path of finding a deeper sense of his life’s work as a Chaplain. He now teaches an award-winning curriculum on spirituality and well-being for medical students and faculty at Stanford. 


In this episode, you will hear about: 


  • Chaplain Feldstein’s unexpected journey from emergency physician to chaplain - 3:35
  • The unforgettable moment when Chaplain Feldstein first prayed with a patient - 5:00
  • How to connect with patients in a spiritual way – even if they’re not religious - 18:04
  • Five key relationships to foster in your life to counter compassion fatigue - 30:57
  • The core teaching within Chaplain Feldstein’s class, ‘The Healer’s Art’ - 37:40


Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com where you can find transcripts of all episodes.


If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review our show, available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022 


Mar 08, 2022
The Doctor’s Art: On Meaning in Medicine. Premiering March 8th
149

The practice of medicine – filled with moments of joy, suffering, grace, sorrow, and hope – offers a window into the human condition. Though serving as guides and companions to patients’ illness experiences is profoundly meaningful work, the busy nature of modern medicine can blind its own practitioners to the reasons they entered it in the first place. Join oncologist Tyler Johnson and medical trainee Henry Bair as they meet with doctors, patients, leaders, educators, and others in healthcare, to explore stories on finding and nourishing meaning in medicine. This podcast is for anyone striving for a deeper connection with their medical journey.


Please subscribe for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you know of a doctor, patient, or anyone working in health care who would love to explore meaning in medicine with us on the show, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments or send an email to info@thedoctorsart.com. Visit our website www.TheDoctorsArt.com for more information.


Copyright The Doctor’s Art Podcast 2022


Feb 28, 2022