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Operate with Zen

While incredibly rewarding and honored vocations, careers in medicine and surgery are fraught with stress, burnout and challenges in work-life balance. OWZ is intended to open dialogue about a mindful approach to surgery - to create a space where physicians and surgeons can enhance their life's work and life experience with a focus on presence, purpose and practical skills. OWZ combines didactic-like monologues to provide baseline information and available scientific data on practical topics like time management, sleep hygiene and burnout; as well as interviews with surgeons and experts to share what works and doesn't work in their daily routines.

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53. Relational Interactions with Louise Phipps Senft

Louise Phipps Senft is the founder and CEO of Baltimore Mediation.  She is a well-respected attorney and mediator.  Louise practices "Transformative Mediation" in a number of complex settings -uniquely in healthcare - where techniques of mindfulness (like presence and non-judgement) are implemented routinely.  She is an expert in personality assessment, personal and relational interactions.  In addition, Louise is the host of "Blink of an Eye" Podcast (https://blinkofaneyepodcast.com/) which chronicles her families experience with trauma, the medical field, and awakening.  I love talking with Louise and I hope you enjoy the conversation.References:https://www.baltimoremediation.com/louise-phipps-senft-bio/https://blinkofaneyepodcast.com/BooksThe Essential Enneagram The Body Knows the Score


20 Oct 2022

Rank #1

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52. Creating Control with Dr. Angela Smith

Humans are creatures of habit who crave control in sometimes uncontrollable circumstances.  In this episode, OWZ regular Angie Smith, MD and Professor of Urology at UNC Chapel Hill and I discuss "control" in a variety of surgical settings.  Control in the operating room, control in patient encounters outside of the OR, control over how we structure our lives, and how we achieve balance.  Parallels are drawn to illness uncertainty for patients and the conversation weaves through vacations, Nietzsche, mirror neurons, and fear.  I hope you enjoy.

1hr 5mins

7 Oct 2022

Rank #2

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51. Keeping Your Eyes Open with Dr. David Canes

David Canes, MD is a urologist at the Lahey Clinic in Boston.  He is incredibly thoughtful in his approach to medicine and his approach to life outside of medicine.  Early on in this podcast, we discuss not letting urology [or surgery] to be the only thing of which you are proud.  We talk passion projects and David's newest adventure (wellprept.com).  And we talk about ways to avoid "pressing play" - David's analogy for just going through the motions with a patient, but creating the environment in which you can be truly present with a patient, with a surgery, with your family, or your next adventure.  Enjoy!!Check out WellPrept at: https://wellprept.com/

1hr 10mins

7 Oct 2022

Rank #3

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50. Speaking Up with Dr. Amanda North

Amanda North, MD is an accomplished Pediatric Urologist at Montefiore in the Bronx.  She is also an outstanding advocate for surgeons - leading the movement to understand burnout in our specialty (urology) and women in surgery.  Our conversation meanders through fascinating topics with a focus on the key components of a sustainable career.  We even touch on Ted Lasso (see picture behind her).

1hr 11mins

20 Sep 2022

Rank #4

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49. Priority Domains with Dr. Chris Jaeger

Chris Jaeger, MD is currently a pediatric urology fellow at Boston Children's Hospital.  He is a recent graduate from the Ohio State urology residency where he co-created and implemented a 12-week wellness program for the residents.  Chris shares his experience with the research protocol, thoughts on institutional wellness, and identifies "priority domains" highlighted by his work and reflected in his daily wellness practice.  An excellent episode especially for trainees as they transition from residency to fellowship (or beyond).  And great for anyone involved or interested in a surgical trainee's experience.


15 Sep 2022

Rank #5

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48. Engaging to Manage Complications with Dr. Kyle Richards

Kyle Richards, MD, FACS is an Associate Professor and Urologic Oncologist at the University of Wisconsin.  This is his second OWZ podcast.  In this episode we talk about managing complications in a mindful way.  Starting with the emotions that arise when something bad happens to one of our patients, we discuss how to engage members of the team, the patient, and the patient's family to improve everyone's outlook and outcome.


15 Sep 2022

Rank #6

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47. Meditation Practices in a Surgical Life with Dr. Neda Gould

Neda Gould, PhD is a clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins.  She is also the Director of the Mindfulness Program at Johns Hopkins for faculty and staff.  In this episode, we talk through the scientific foundations of meditation practice and how to incorporate them, practically, into your life as a busy surgeon or physician.  We talk through our own meditation practices and hope you feel more grounded and empowered to start your own practice after this episode.  Resources: Books: Mindfulness for Beginners by John Kabat-Zinn; Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson.Podcast: How to Train Your Mind by Chris Bailey, available on audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Train-Your-Mind-Audiobook/B08N5C3QLB


12 Sep 2022

Rank #7

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BONUS CONTENT: 10-minute Guided Meditation with Dr. Neda Gould

To accompany the podcast, a great 10 minute practice great for all experience levels of meditation.


12 Sep 2022

Rank #8

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46. Humans and Physicians with Dr. Tait Shanafelt

Tait Shanafelt, MD is an outstanding human being and doctor.  In addition to being a well-respected and renowned medical oncologist, he is the Chief Wellness Officer at Stanford Medicine and one of the most prolific writers of medical literature regarding wellness and burnout in medicine.  In this episode of OWZ, we discuss both individual and institutional approaches to wellness highlighting both the responsibility of each of us, as surgeons, to our patients and institution, as well as the responsibility of the field of medicine, our institutions, and hospitals to us to promote a culture of wellness and well-being.  As we better understand well-being and all of its implications on patient care, satisfaction, job turnover, etc., we recognize the only recipe for success involves physicians, surgeons, administrators, and hospital working together.  We briefly touch on his concept of “Physician Well-Being 2.0” and the article link can be found here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34607637/.  I really enjoyed speaking with Dr. Shanafelt, I hope you enjoy listening. (Music Credit: Sunshine, Simon Jomphe Lepine.)


12 Sep 2022

Rank #9

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40. Small Changes for Big Results with Casey Seideman, MD

Dr. Casey Seideman is a pediatric urologist at Oregon Health and Sciences University.  A few years ago, Casey never ran a complete mile.  Now she is an outspoken advocate for wellness in the operating room and beyond.  In this podcast we tackle small changes and their ability make big impact, how mental preparation promotes a health surgical community, and how, as a surgeon, you can achieve great things you never thought you could do. (Music Credit: Sunshine, Simon Jomphe Lepine.)


3 May 2022

Rank #10