Spring Wellness Roundup!

By Brad Zehr, MS4

Below is a hand-curated set of items pertaining to wellness in medicine and medical school that I highly recommend as we all transition into our next year of training. 

The Doctor Paradox (podcast)

A 2015-16 podcast "about addressing why despite having incredibly meaningful jobs, doctors are increasingly unhappy in their work." The host is Dr. Paddy Barrett, an interventional cardiologist and digital medicine advocate who is a Clinician Scholar at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego. The series features more than 50 guest physicians whose careers vary widely but all share a common theme of tailoring their work to match their passions, including physician entrepreneurs, physician artists, and physician adventurers. Check it out, you'll feel better about your future. 


The Year of Hygge, the Danish obsession with getting cozy. (New Yorker, Dec 2016)

Hygge, pronounced "hoo-guh," is a state of being that we all recognize when we're in it: contentment, peace, gratitude, coziness, indulgence, relaxation, comfort and conviviality. Now hygge is having a cultural moment with dozens of books and websites devoted to exploring it. This article tells of its origin and its potential transatlantic applications. It's fun reading. 


Book Review: 'in-Training: Stories from Tomorrow's Physicians.' (Clinical Correlations, March 2017)

Amar Parikh, MD, a third-year internal medicine resident at NYU Langone Medical Center, reviews the recently published book of medical student essays on training, work, life, and patient care. The book features the best writing from in-Training, "the agora of the medical student community," and was published in partnership with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. 


NEJM Interview: Dr. David Rosenthal on the effect of the electronic era on physician satisfaction. (Audio podcast, 7 minutes, New England Journal of Medicine, Nov 2016)

A quick listen (especially on double speed, which I recommend for interview-based podcasts), about the modern EMR-centric workflow of physicians and trainees, and how it is likely a contributing factor to burnout and dissatisfaction. 


Kathryn (NEJM Perspective, March 2017)

Dr. David Muller, the dean for medical education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, shares his experience with losing a fourth-year medical student to suicide in August 2016 and how the ISMMS community responded. Dr. Muller believes a root cause of trainee burnout, depression, and suicide is "a culture of performance and achievement that for most of our students begins in middle school and relentlessly intensifies for the remainder of their adult lives." This editorial is very important reading. 


Biomedical researchers need better work-life balance to succeed and flourish (Op-ed, STAT News, April 2017)

Robert Lechler, MD, president of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the U.K., discusses a new campaign, #MedSciLife, to humanize medical scientists and encourage researchers to prioritize home life and side interests as part of a holistic approach to balancing career and life. Same goes for early career scientists and trainees. 


Do you have more recommendations? Send them to me so we can feature them in our next post.