EP 13: It‘s Okay to Change

Episode Description:

In episode 13 of the Hope4Med podcast our featured guest Dr. Maiysha Claiborne shares her journey through medicine and her path to creating her ideal career.

Connect with our guest, Dr. Maiysha Claiborne:
Website: https://drmaiysha.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drmaiysha/
Listen to The Black Mind Garden podcast: https://drmaiysha.com/podcast.html

Transcript:

[00:00:00] Dr. JB: Ever wish for a safe place to have conversations that need to be had? A place where you could say the things that need to be said? Well, welcome to Hope4Med. This is Hope4Med, med. New day for med, med. For us, by us, and just for us, this is Hope4Med, med. This is Hope4Med, med. New day for med, med. For us, by us, and just for us, this is Hope4Med, med.

[00:00:37] Hi, everybody. Welcome back to the Hope4Med podcast with me, your host, Dr. JB. Today’s special guest is Dr. Maiyisha. Dr. Maiyisha teaches people to use the tools of the neural linguistic programming, hypnosis, and rapid transformation to help them remove the unconscious blocks that impact their business, relationships, money, and mindset so they can be their best self, live in their highest state of excellence, and make the difference they want in the world. Welcome, Dr. Maiysha.

[00:01:14] Dr. Maiysha: Thank you, Dr. JB. It’s such a pleasure to be here. I so appreciate the invitation.

[00:01:20] Dr. JB: Yes, and I’m so happy you took me up on the offer. So let’s start from the beginning, so tell, my listener a little bit about yourself.

[00:01:28] Dr. Maiysha: Well, it all started back in 1975, no just kidding! [laughter]

[00:01:35] Dr. JB: That’s true. It’s like, which beginning do you want, do you want the beginning, beginning?

[00:01:39] Dr. Maiysha: “In the beginning, there was Tucson, Arizona…” Uh, well, you know, I consider myself to, um, to kind of always have been on an alternate path and, you know, I think that it, it’s interesting because I knew that I wanted to be a doctor from the eighth grade and it was sort of a random choice. You know, my mom and my dad are, are in the medical profession, my dad’s a retired OB/GYN, my mom’s a retired dentist, so even though I’d like to think I made my own choice, I was heavily influenced. Um, and they never were like “you have to be a doctor,” I think I was just heavily influenced, I love taking care of people, I’m the oldest sibling, I have, you know, seven other siblings, uh, six other siblings that is, and I think I just naturally had caretaking, you know, bones in my body.

[00:02:32] But you know, when I got to, when I got to college, I got really interested in psychology and I started with a biology major. I started with biology, then I went to chemistry major, I decided after organic chemistry, nope, that’s not it, and I had taken this abnormal psychology class and it was so fascinating that I, I decided to pursue a psychology major. Now, I’m going to put a pin in that because that’s going to come back.

[00:03:00] Dr. JB: Okay.

[00:03:00] Dr. Maiysha: Um, you know, I think that I chose family medicine–and I’m classically trained in family medicine–I think I chose family medicine because when I did my rotations in medical school, I loved every specialty, and what I loved the most was the variety. I loved building relationships. I loved, um, counseling, you know, the preventative aspect, the counseling aspect of what I did and family medicine, so there was the opportunity to do that. However, and, and you know this to be true, when, when you get out into the world of medicine, and for me that was in residency, it wasn’t like I thought it was going to be. Right? I didn’t imagine 15-minute visits that were– and I came into residency right as electronic medical records were being implemented, right? And so I was raised on the EMR before meaningless use.

[00:04:03] And so, when I got into the practice aspect of it, when I got into residency, it really wasn’t, I realized very quickly it wasn’t what I signed up for and I burned out very quickly. Um, I remember, you know, even one evening post-call, it was in my second year of residency, I, I just, I quit, like, I was just like, you know, I quit, I quit life. Like I just couldn’t do it anymore. I, um, I sat in front of a bottle of pills that I had from a knee surgery that I had had a few months ago and I seriously considered taking that entire bottle. And luckily, I picked up the phone and poured the pills down the toilet. Like, that’s what happened. And, you know, it was at that point that I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to– like I wasn’t built for the traditional model of medicine. That was when I realized it. And that I was going to have to create my career as I saw fit or else I wouldn’t survive the industry. And that’s what I did. I went on, I took care of my mental health, I graduated from my residency, and straight out of residency, I decided I wasn’t taking a traditional job.

[00:05:22] I had seen the upperclassmen take jobs and hate it, and change jobs like multiple times, and I was just like, I’m not up for that game. And, and I started out by doing, um, locums tenens, which many people know is that contract work, and I, I worked for multiple organizations that I even went over to New Zealand for six months.

[00:05:44] Dr. JB: Oh, wow.

[00:05:47] Dr. Maiysha: It was beautiful. And I learned so much about a different way to practice. So when I came back, I decided to start my own practice. Now, I said earlier that I’ve always been someone who’s sort of been out the box. Well, one of the things I was introduced to along the way was the holistic side of medicine, the integrative side of medicine, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, aroma therapy, um, Reiki, things like that, nutrition as medicine, and I got really interested in that. And that was back when, just to give you context, I graduated from medical school in 2001, so this was prior to Andrew Weil’s integrative medicine fellowship, prior to, like, all of this stuff becoming popular, but I was very interested in it and so I, I educated myself. I became an acupuncturist. I started studying heavily, um, nutrition and its healing effects, and herbs and nutrients, nutraceuticals, all of that. In fact, I’m sitting on my couch, looking across at my bookshelf, all of these, you know, books that I have called “Conscious Eating” and “Healing With Whole Foods,” this is all of the stuff that I read in my early years. And I started an integrative medicine practice with no outside funding because people told me I couldn’t do it, that I wouldn’t succeed, and, um, while doing locums tenens part-time and that’s how I built my first business.

[00:07:22] Dr. JB: So Dr. Maiysha, you have said so many things so far that I kind of need to go back and dissect a couple of these things. Let’s start with residency, so, so walk me through a little bit more about what you mean when you say that residency wasn’t what you expected, what did you expect?

[00:07:46] Dr. Maiysha: I don’t know what I expected. Honestly, I think that I had this fantasy of how medicine would be. You know, like you, you’re helping people, and yes, of course we helped people, it’s not that we didn’t, but it was like you go and you see patients and they’re grateful and, you know, you get to spend time with them, and then they leave and they’re happy, and they’re following the care plans and getting better, and that’s not exactly what I saw. I saw a lot of paperwork, I saw a lot of red tape, you know, I saw not enough time to be with patients to give them what they really needed and wanted, that was my experience of it. You know, um, I saw that in my residency, you know, like of course in our industry at the time, if it isn’t a 100% evidence-based in the U.S., then it ain’t valid.

[00:08:36] So like for me, having an integrative sort of mindset from the start, some of the things that I wanted to talk to patients about, like life nutrition, didn’t have time to do that. Right? I just had time to slap them with a, with a script. And, you know, some of the things like that I had learned in medical school, like aromatherapy or like talking about finding an acupuncturist or acupressure, I didn’t have time to talk to them about. And furthermore, you know, some of the patients obviously that, that I would see might not be able to afford services like that. And I didn’t even take that into consideration.

[00:09:13] Dr. JB: I think too often we enter the field of medicine based off of probably what’s presented to us on TV, you know? Um, but it just, it just dawned on me, your parents were in the medical field, right? So when they came home, did they show you all that paperwork that they had to do and all that stuff?

[00:09:37] Dr. Maiysha: Well, so my, my mom and my dad were divorced when I was young, so I didn’t actually live with my father, um, so I didn’t get to see that aspect of medicine. I think had I seen it, I might’ve been better prepared. Because you know, when I got into medical school, or actually when I got into residency, me and my dad would talk a lot about, you know, we talk shop, and I began to realize that what he was dealing with as an OB/GYN could be my fate as a, as a family physician, especially because I was interested in maternal and child health and I almost did an OB fellowship, and I didn’t because of my dad.

[00:10:16] Dr. JB: What did dad say?

[00:10:18] Dr. Maiysha: Um, what did dad say when I decided not to do an OB fellowship?

[00:10:21] Dr. JB: Yeah. You said you did it because of your dad, did dad say something in particular that was like, “ehh.”

[00:10:27] Dr. Maiysha: No, I just saw his lifestyle. I just saw that as I was a third year resident taking call every two weeks, he was in practice for 10 years taking call every fourth night. And I was like, I, I’m not doing that, not after– like that’s being an intern again. There’s no way I’m going to go back to being an intern again. No way. Yeah. Not for, not for all the money in the world. I was like, I’m not going to be in the hospital like that. So that was, that was what had me not do it do, it’s not what he said, but watching him. But because I never got to see that or have that communication with him prior to, you know, residency, I had no clue that it was like that.

[00:11:11] Dr. JB: Yeah. And so you, like the rest of us, like myself included, I entered, um, medical school and residency without a good understanding of what I was getting myself into, it’s true, many of us don’t. And it’s hard, it’s really hard to really, really explain it because some things are just hard to explain. Right?

[00:11:32] Dr. Maiysha: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:11:34] Dr. JB: You know, I think that the best description that I’ve heard and, and use myself for what you’re going to experience as a medical student is, you know, it’s like drinking water from a fire hydrant. You know? “Open wide!” And just a little bit of it gets in your mouth, but most of it goes over your head, and completely drenches you, and it’s all over the floor, you know, you’re just being bombarded with so much information and most of it, you don’t retain and you have to go back and revisit, and revisit, and revisit, but you’re revisiting for the rest of your life. Right? And, you know, because that’s how medicine is, right? And I think that that’s important for students to know in advance. That-

[00:12:18] Dr. Maiysha: Absolutely.

[00:12:18] Dr. JB: You will always revisit this stuff. So if you don’t remember the minute details, it’s okay, because you will be revisiting it every day, you know, for the rest of your life. And it’s going to change the more that we learn, so there’s no reason for you to etch in stone XYZ because tomorrow XYZ is going to be ABC? Like it’s going to change. Um, yeah. But, yeah, but I do think a lot of us go into this field with, , what we see on TV, right? Like, like for instance, I loved Grey’s Anatomy. I used to have Grey’s anatomy like potluck movie night dinners before I started medical school. And then that stopped as soon as medical school started because that’s not what medical school is about, that’s not.

[00:13:04] Dr. Maiysha: Right. You’re like, “you’re liars!”

[00:13:05] Dr. JB: But I do think that, that you brought up a very, very excellent point, um, and one that Hope4Med also states, is that burnout starts early. It starts when you’re in training, it starts when you’re in medical school, and it continues beyond. And so, it seems like when you went through medical school, medical school was okay?

[00:13:30] Dr. Maiysha: You know what? It was. Now I went to, I went to Morehouse School of Medicine, that’s my alma mater.

[00:13:36] Dr. JB: Awesome.

[00:13:36] Dr. Maiysha: And we had a class of 35. And, you know, at the time, Morehouse was like very committed to supporting its students and, and, um, making sure that if you came into the class, you were getting, you were graduating. So there was a lot of community and comradery amongst the students and, you know, most of the, the attendings and the residents that we’d come across were generous. And so, I actually very much enjoyed medical school. Um, and it’s not that, it’s funny cause it’s not that I did not enjoy residency, there were aspects of it, like the community, comradery, I mean, that’s how I think I made it through, is my class. And it’s one thing, it’s one point to take, it’s like you don’t do this stuff alone, you want to make sure that you access your community because that night that I nearly took my life, it was my classmates that I called. Not my attending, not the therapist, that was the resident therapist, but my classmates. And it was my classmates that rallied around me and then got me involved in some other extracurriculars, like we did medical missions and things of that nature, so I was able to find things that I loved inside of residency, but you have to be intentional about it, you know?

[00:15:03] Dr. JB: And you reached out. Right. And they were receptive to that, which I think both of those things are really important. And it’s wonderful that you have those, those types of classmates. Did you feel judged in any way when you reached out to them?

[00:15:23] Dr. Maiysha: Not at all. They kind of swooped me up and took care of me. You know? That’s how we were. We took care of each other.

[00:15:34] Dr. JB: That’s such a fantastic story. And it’s so wonderful that, you know, that was, those were the first people that you thought about reaching out to in residency, and I know you said your medical school class was 35, I think mine was probably a 100, you know, it was much bigger. Right? Um, but then what, what was the size of your residency?

[00:15:54] Dr. Maiysha: Uh, residency was, um, fairly big, we had 16 per class. And it was in an unopposed hospital in Florida, I did Florida Hospital, it’s a great residency actually, great experience, I mean, besides the fact that you burn out; this was before the 80-hour work week rule.

[00:16:13] Like I was working right as that, as we were in the turning point. I feel like I’ve come to all the edges, like I was in that transition point in a lot of ways, transition to EMR, transition to 80-hour work week. So of course, the first year 80-hour work week was implemented was my second year of residency, so of course, I was, the whole time, working more than 80 hours a week.

[00:16:41] In residency when they implemented that 80-hour work week, number one, half the people didn’t abide by it, but also it in a way doesn’t prepare you for the real world because in the real world, now, now, it used to not be this way, but now in corporate medicine, people are working 60, 80 hours a week. Like that’s what, that’s the way it is now the world, which is the source for early burnout and burnout in early career physicians, because they’re not prepared, they’re going to come out of residency where their hours were capped and come into a world in a large organization where the hours quote, unquote, seem to be kept, but the reality is they’re not.

[00:17:29] Dr. JB: No, they’re not because you still have to do all those papers, that paperwork, you know? The charts they have to be done by a certain time, but you also have to see the patients, and you have to talk to the family and, um, you have to do all those things.

[00:17:43] Dr. Maiysha: Got to be all committing, got to be a team player, all that. Supervise mid-levels.

[00:17:53] Dr. JB: What was that last part?

[00:17:55] Dr. Maiysha: Supervise mid-levels.

[00:17:57] Dr. JB: Yes. Yes. Those are all those, all the things that, you know, and sign off on all their charts, and either way, so yeah, so there’s a lot of things about medicine that we’re not prepared for when we encounter it. And I don’t think that there’s a way to really change that preparation really, unless you mandate, just like they do in like PA schools, right, they have to have two years between undergrad and applying to PA school to get some kind of experience. And I think that that would be beneficial, definitely, but that would just end up delaying the process in terms of creating your next Physician. Right? Because it’s not going to shorten the length of medical school, any, um, but I think that A) being older when you go into a medical school and your residency would actually be really, really beneficial, having lived some outside of being a student, learning about yourself, would be really beneficial, and then having that experience, even if you’re like a phlebotomist or, a scribe or, these, these hands-on experiences that will give you a sense of, oh, this is the day to day, right? You’re working intimately with healthcare professionals, you’re seeing their ins and outs, you’re hearing what they’re mumbling underneath their breaths, um, would, would paint a more realistic picture for what you are going to get yourself into.

[00:19:28] Dr. Maiysha: You know, you make such a really good point, especially part about really getting to know yourself, because I think that, you know, we can get lost inside of the training because we’re so focused on the training. And I think that, you know, me having that moment where I had to realize that I wouldn’t thrive in the traditional model of medicine, but it almost taking, you know, taking me to the edge of life, it was a, it was a magical moment, you know, that’s ironic to say, it was a magical moment in a lot of ways because it did cause me to really look at what I need or who am I, what is my– I was not quitting medicine, at that time anyway, so it’s funny that I say that because eventually I did, but, um, but I wasn’t quitting medicine, like I, you know, I discovered what it was that was going to work for me inside of this industry at that time and I made it work. I, I discovered a way to make it work, you know? And I think that is the gift, and it’s one of the reasons that I ended up transitioning out of clinical was because I found how to make my career work.

[00:20:49] And then I saw my colleagues suffering. And I remember how I suffered in silence and decided that I didn’t want that for my colleagues. And so, you know, like that’s what I spent a few years doing after I transitioned out, before I started my, you know, my hypnosis and NLP training company.

[00:21:11] Dr. JB: So what are your thoughts about, you mentioned you seeing your colleagues suffer in silence, why, why do you think that, that is? Why are they suffering in silence?

[00:21:25] Dr. Maiysha: You know, Dr. JB, it’s the same reason I didn’t go to anyone but my classmates, it’s because in our industry there is a stigma around, um, how we’re supposed to be, and, you know, once you get out of residency where everybody’s struggling, everybody’s struggling, then there’s almost a, you have to put on a mask and look good. And it’s not just for the colleagues, your colleagues, or your, your employers, because what happens is labels get slapped on you. It’s also when those labels gets slapped on you, the medical board can look at you differently. You know, those little questions that you have to answer. “Have you ever been treated for depression or had to enter counseling or were treated for mental illness?” And I remember in residency one time, one of my classmates, he was actually a year behind me, actually checked “yes.” That he had been treated for depression in medical school. Now, mind you, he was, he was fine. Right? But they delayed his licensure for six months.

[00:22:36] And so, it was a message to everyone in residency. Because people, we knew about it, it was a message that you can’t, you know, you can’t be honest about what you’re really dealing with. Because then you’ll be judged and, and that’s, and that’s a theme that as you know, when I was coaching, as I was coaching my, my mom docs, you know, it’s a theme that kept coming up over and over. And it’s hard enough, especially as a female doctor, especially as a black female doctor in this industry, having to be in a male dominated industry, that if you, you know, if you cry, you’re weak, if you, if you don’t like show the kind of bravado of a man, that you’re weak. Right? It’s hard enough for that. And then if you’re struggling on top of that, then that’s a problem. And it’s not to discount, you know, men who suffer from mental health issues in our industry, it’s not to diminish that, it’s just to say it’s very difficult as a woman as well.

[00:23:40] Dr. JB: That’s so true. Right? And so you feel like because of the stigma, you are nervous about speaking to your colleagues, right? Because you don’t want them to look at you differently. But then because you’re a healthcare professional, when you try to talk to people outside of the field, they’re like, “what are you complaining about? You’re a doctor, oh my gosh.” and that kind of just shuts, shuts you down, like, what are you going to say to that? Okay. So then who do you, who do you talk to? Who are you vulnerable with?

[00:24:19] Dr. Maiysha: Right. And I think that’s how, you know, burnout coaches or physician coaches became popular is because when you’re talking with a colleague who understands what you’ve been through, about what you’re going through, then number one, you feel safer because they’re trained to be with you in a particular and listen in a particular kind of way, but also, you know that they really get it. Like they’re not going to be the ones to be like, “what are you talking about? You’re a doctor, you make this much money.” Because there’s already a sense of guilt that we feel for feeling bad. Like, you know, I make more money than, you know, a certain amount of people, I should be happy, I should be grateful for what I have, I have a family. For some people, you know, I have, I have this, I have that, I have these, I have these belongings and I have a quote unquote, “great life,” and I make a certain amount of money, why do I not feel good? And there’s a certain amount of guilt attached to that. You know?

[00:25:19] Dr. JB: And then you find that doctors are, not just doctors but healthcare professionals, are, are dying.

[00:25:29] Dr. Maiysha: Yes.

[00:25:30] Dr. JB: Because externally, right, it looks like you have everything, but inside? What’s happening inside?

[00:25:39] Dr. Maiysha: Yeah, absolutely. And that was the thing, you know, one of the things that happened that really struck me and pushed me to this place of maybe I can use my skills to help other doctors– and initially it was doctors, but I soon realized that it was more than just doctors, right, like nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, and pharmacists– that I can help them is, is losing a couple of classmates of my own to suicide. And having remembered being in that place, and feeling in the moment so alone , and then realizing– thankfully, I was able to realize that I wasn’t– but maybe if those colleagues had known that they could reach out to someone. You know what I’m saying?

[00:26:37] Dr. JB: Yeah. You know, someone who would understand, your peers, really. And that’s what Hope4Med is about, it’s about standing on the mountain top and screaming, you know, screaming to the world, to the world of healthcare professionals that you are not alone. Right? That we don’t have to keep pretending like everything is okay, and that it’s okay for things not to be okay. You know, even if externally, you know, you got money in your bank account, XYZ, but if you are not emotionally well, if you are not mentally, well, you are not okay.

[00:27:23] Dr. Maiysha: That’s right. And I would say, to add to that, like, don’t apologize for it. You know? Because we have just as much of a right to take care of our mental health, our physical health as well, but the mental health, the depression and anxiety, and all of these things are, are things that you can’t see on the outside.

[00:27:49] Dr. JB: That’s right. That’s right.

[00:27:51] Dr. Maiysha: And, and so, you know, it’s, we have a right to take care of that part of our wellbeing as much as any other part of our physical wellbeing.

[00:28:01] Dr. JB: Exactly. And the thing about it is, like, you know, do we not live in this world, you know? Why is it okay for somebody else to feel sad, but we can’t feel sad? Like, does that make any sense?

[00:28:14] Dr. Maiysha: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, just completely, dehumanizing to think, “well, you know, you’re doctors, you’re not supposed to feel sad.” Which is, which is interesting because it’s a lot of what a lot of doctors said to me. “Well, I don’t have time to feel sad.” “Well, I’m not supposed to, I’m supposed to have it together.” You know, don’t let, don’t let them be a mental health professional, “oh, I’m a mental health professional, I’m supposed to have my mental health together.”

[00:28:37] Dr. JB: Yeah. Yeah. But meanwhile, you’re being bombarded with all this other trauma. Right?

[00:28:42] Dr. Maiysha: Exactly. Exactly. You know, we see trauma, illness, death all the time, some people, every single day. Yeah. And then we expect to be okay with that.

[00:28:53] Dr. JB: Yeah, exactly. Because you know, what are the coping mechanisms that we’re taught when we’re going through our training? You know, we have a class on giving bad news, but what about a class on being the giver of bad news? And your emotional response to being the person who’s giving the bad news. I never had a class about that.

[00:29:12] Dr. Maiysha: Right. And, and even, you know, a class on like decompressing after giving bad news.

[00:29:21] Dr. JB: Yeah.

[00:29:22] Dr. Maiysha: You know? Because nobody talks about that. I had a client, she’s actually a, a physician assistant, and that was one of the conversations we had. She was like, “man, I had such a bad week,” and she was, she’s trauma, so of course she’s going to experience the loss of patients in trauma sometimes, and she talked about losing a patient and not knowing who to talk to, and just like ruminating over everything, did she, you know, ruminating over did she do it right, is there anything she could have done? And like, really, like, it just stayed in her head and weighed her down and she got sick physically, actually.

[00:29:54] Dr. JB: Yeah.

[00:29:55] Dr. Maiysha: And, um, and so we talked about it together and, you know, I just talked about, we went over, like, what’s your process for decompressing? Because nobody teaches that. What is your process for, what is your process for processing after you have a traumatic experience in the clinic or traumatic experience in the hospital, after you lose a patient, what are the structures that you set up, that you set yourself up to heal?

[00:30:21] Dr. JB: Yeah. Because right now, right, what is it? “Oh go to the next patient,” you know, “let’s flip this room.” Oh, my shift is finally done. “Okay, you need to go ahead and make sure you finish up all that paperwork and get it to us so, you know, we have it and then you have to be back tomorrow, bright and early.”

[00:30:39] Dr. Maiysha: Yep. Yep.

[00:30:42] Dr. JB: And there isn’t, there isn’t that outlet. And so, part of what this is all about and part of why we’re having our conversation today is to really let people know that there are outlets out there. Outlets that know what you’re going through, know what you’re experiencing, you don’t have to explain yourself away, you don’t have to start from the beginning, you can just start from where you are.

[00:31:09] Dr. Maiysha: Absolutely. And, you know, I think that now organizations, some organizations, are really starting to get connected to, um, these outlets as well. And when you’re looking for, like for those who are in training, medical students and residents, you know, one of the things I used to teach is how to choose and create your ideal career. Because you know, most of the time you come out of residency, you just want to get a job, you’re tired of being poor.

[00:31:41] Dr. JB: Exactly, you want some money.

[00:31:43] Dr. Maiysha: Right. But what happens is then you’re just looking myopically at what’s being offered to you and also there’s the mindset of “I’m just starting out so I got to take what I can get, I’m just happy somebody will take me.” But what I teach residents is, you know, you, you got to start to think about what it is that you want and need in a career right now, because then you can look for organizations with the values that are akin to yours, the values of physician or provider wellness, right? You can look for organizations that have, you know, specific resources in place. Scribes, if you want a scribe, or, you know, if you want to be supervising mid-levels so that your schedule is a little bit lighter, like you’re able to give some stuff away, whatever those resources are, you can look for those resources. Right?

[00:32:47] Dr. JB: But the only problem with that is if you lose yourself during the training, but you find yourself at the end, you may not know what it is that you want. And so the question is how do we create an environment where our residents don’t lose sight of who they are, and their needs and their wants, and make sure that their needs and wants are addressed while they’re training to become physicians? Or, you know, when they’re getting out of their health professional school, if they’re not, if they’re not residents, you know, but if they’re PAs or they’re nurses, or, you know, whatever, um, medical specialty they may be going into, like how do they keep sight of themselves in the process so that they can make these healthy and wise decisions.

[00:33:45] And the truth, and the other truth about it is there’s a very good chance you’re not going to stay at your first job. I didn’t stay at my first job. You know, and part of it was because I probably went into it for the wrong reasons. You know? For that “ooh, they’re paying me the most,” I don’t care where they’re located, I’m going for the highest bidder. Right? And then as you, as you go there and you realize, oh, there’s, there’s more to, to this than just money, you know? You change your mind and then you, you move, you transition, and that’s okay. You know, it would be ideal if you realized that sooner, but it’s fine, it’s fine to change.

[00:34:23] Dr. Maiysha: You know, I think that– First of all, I just have to echo what you said, it’s fine to change. Oh, that’s such gold. Change jobs, change careers, it’s okay to change. It’s okay to change. Okay. I just want to put a bookmark in that one, because that was just so great. Right? Because you know, we get stuck in our jobs, we get stuck in the traditional way that the career’s supposed to look and how it’s supposed to be. And I was just fortunate enough to have my mom. You know, you asked earlier didn’t I see, you know, what it was going to be like? I will say that my mom, who was, she’s a retired dentist, she’s the original entrepreneur in my life. So yeah, I did see, I saw what was possible. Right? I didn’t see the aspect of medicine that I, that I was getting myself into, but I saw what was possible and how I could create it the way I wanted it, through my mom.

[00:35:22] That she created her dental career how she wanted it. Yeah. But, um, to your question, how do we begin to help, you know, these, these trainees, the people, you know, people start to embrace their balance and wellbeing prior to getting out so they’re there in front of the eight ball or are looking at it, not losing themselves. I think part of that responsibility is on the, on the residency organization, I have to say that. Because they know that these students are going to come in and sort of, you know, get swept away in internship and that’s the way it is. That’s the way it has been built. So, I think that, you know, one of the things that residency directors and program directors could be doing is making sure that they’re bringing in programming on a regular basis to remind these residents of, you know, like what they need to be thinking about now in terms of taking care of themselves, creating their ideal career.

[00:36:31] When I was doing my, I was cycling through at Emory, doing these talks for the internal medicine department for their residents, it was one of the most popular lectures. I actually went to do it once and then they were like, “our residents liked it so much, we’d like to have you as a guest faculty throughout the year.” So every month, you know, I would go and talk to the resident about creating your ideal career, and they got so much out of it. So, I think the residency has to have a structure in place, and if you’re, you know, a resident listening, you can advocate for that. You can find someone, um, who might be in the area, or at this point it could be anywhere because now things are done, so much is done virtually, uh, they could take the residents through a workshop. You know? Like I was doing residency retreats pre-COVID regularly each year at, um, Houston Medical Center, which is down in middle Georgia, near Valdosta, and, um, yeah, like it was just, when, when the organization takes some responsibility, then it gives structure on a regular basis and doesn’t leave the residents to fend for themselves. If that makes sense.

[00:37:43] Dr. JB: Yeah, that makes complete sense, but it definitely starts with acknowledging that there is an issue. And I think we are moving towards that direction. I think COVID has made conversations like we’re having a little bit more acceptable, but it first starts with acknowledging, you have to realize that there is something wrong with the way we’re doing things currently, and it’s not sustainable. And once you realize that, once we talk about it, once we address it, once we, the best way to tackle stigma is by tackling it head on, is by talking, is by addressing it over, and over, and over again.

[00:38:25] You take an example of somebody who’s gone through any kind of trauma, if that person initially may not want to talk about it, right? And it just stays inside and it just keeps boiling and it keeps affecting their life, right? Um, but once it starts to seep out through their pores, they just try to tighten their grip on it, right? But it always wants to come out. Once you get to the point where you’re able to talk about it, initially it’s really hard, right? Because you don’t know how people are going to respond and , and there’s so much, , there could potentially be stigma around whatever it is that you want to talk about, whatever traumatic experience. Um, so the first time you talk about it, maybe, it’s probably going to be the most difficult conversation, but each time you talk about it, it gets easier and easier and easier.

[00:39:25] Dr. Maiysha: Yeah, that’s right. And the key is you do have to start somewhere. That’s the key, you know, and it takes courage. Um, and then I think that you have to find the right person. Someone you trust, but it takes courage to even start that process. I mean, I know that personally, you know, it’s like the last thing I would want to do to be looking for, someone to talk about, you know, my mental health experience, and my own traumas, and my past. Ugh, I don’t want to talk about that. I mean like, that’s the truth. And I understand, and this is the part where, you know, I, I love the work that I do with, with NLP and with hypnosis, um, I understand that there’s such value at healing at the unconscious level, at really getting at the root cause of where these traumas originated, even before medical school, before college. What are the, the source conversations that even got us to this place that don’t allow us to then set the boundaries we need to set and be okay with, you know, taking time for ourselves, and that give us that inappropriate guilt about, well, pretty much anything.

[00:41:09] Dr. JB: It’s true.

[00:41:10] Dr. Maiysha: Um, and so that healing, like that willingness to go there and do that work. And in the work that I do, there’s all kinds of ways that you can, you can take care of this. You can, you know, you can do therapy, you can see, you know, I like to call them integrative psychiatrists, psychiatrists who do both therapy and who prescribe, you can, you can do work with coaches who are trained to, to listen in a particular way, or you can do work with people like me who, I, I don’t use the term coaching, but I do transformation processes using the tools of neuro-linguistic programming and hypnosis.

[00:41:47] And just to kind of define that super quickly for people who are listening, they’re like, “what the heck is that?” NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming, is a set of tools and practices that use language to connect one to the, the deeper, the unconscious mind, and help to reprogram negative thought habits to help to get rid of limiting decisions and beliefs, and eliminate negative emotions at their root cause, at their source level. And so when I talk about the unconscious mind, I talk about, you know, I first distinguish the conscious mind, which is like if you look at an iceberg, like the iceberg is sink the Titanic, there’s the part of the iceberg that you can see, that’s the conscious mind, right? That’s all, that’s all of our, our thoughts, our will, our figuring it out, you know, our thinking, our all of that, remembering, those are conscious mind phenomenon. And then just below the surface is the subconscious mind. And then deep, deep, deep down, in the depths of the ocean, the part where you can’t see of the iceberg, is the unconscious mind.

[00:42:57] And by the way, the part of the iceberg that they couldn’t see is what sank the Titanic. And so there are things that are below the surface that we’re not aware of, that may have happened to us years ago, that continue to impact us today. And they even have impacted the trajectory of our own careers. We don’t even realize it. And it doesn’t mean that when you figure that out, you have to go and change careers, it just means you understand why you chose it. And the patterns that continue to have you be in your life as you are that, and the patterns that may have, may not be working for you. And then what neuro-linguistic programming does is helps you to access that so that you can reprogram those patterns that no longer work for you and it frees you up. It’s like lifting a 100 pound weight off your shoulders. Frees you to be you.

[00:43:47] Dr. JB: Wow. And then with the hypnosis?

[00:43:50] Dr. Maiysha: The hypnosis is a cousin to NLP, hypnosis is just the focused state of, a focused or concentrated state, that allows the unconscious mind to be a little bit more suggestible. And the truth is we’re all suggestible and we’re all, we’re always in a trance. So in hypnosis, what we do is we assist people in going into trance, which is that focused state of, of concentration. And, um, if you’re watching TV and you’re so into a program, like Grey’s Anatomy, that you don’t hear someone calling you, you’re in trance. If you’re driving down the street and you get so super into the music that, you know, you almost miss your turn, you’re in trance. If you’re a runner or an athlete and you get that, you get in that zone, as they call it a zone, or if you’re a surgeon and you’re in the zone and somebody’s body, that’s trance, just a very focused state.

[00:44:41] And what hypnotherapists do is we guide you into a deeper state of relaxation, and we come up together with more empowered thought processes, and so then we’re able to give the unconscious mind those more empowered suggestions for thought processes at the unconscious level. And it it’s really deep change work is where it is. That’s all it is. It’s deep change work.

[00:45:06] Dr. JB: And how many times would somebody have to undergo hypnosis, is it just a one-time thing?

[00:45:11] Dr. Maiysha: You know, it really depends on, it really depends on the person. I’ve had people come in with more simple stuff that, yes, one, you know, one stop shop, but then like the deeper work that I do, the deeper transformational work and when we talk about, you read my bio, you know, there was the rapid transformation part is a technique that’s derived from hypnosis and NLP called timeline therapy, and that’s where you really dig deep and get rid of the traumas in the unconscious mind, the unconscious emotions, negative emotions, and limiting beliefs, and that’s about four to six sessions. But that’s it, four to six sessions. And in the work that I do, here’s the thing, in the work that I do with the unconscious mind, you don’t have to relive the trauma in order to heal it.

[00:46:02] Dr. JB: Oh, wow.

[00:46:03] Dr. Maiysha: Right. And that’s why it’s so powerful.

[00:46:05] Dr. JB: You do not consciously relive the trauma?

[00:46:11] Dr. Maiysha: You’re not reliving it, period.

[00:46:12] Dr. JB: Hmm. Interesting.

[00:46:15] Dr. Maiysha: Because the way it works is you’re taking in a certain position, now some, some schools of hypnosis, some training, drop you back into the emotion or the, or the event, but not the way I was trained. Right? Because there’s no use in having a person relive a trauma when you can actually heal the effects of that trauma without even having them to do that. There’s no use in doing that, for what purpose, right? It’s just like, why, why do they keep hazing medical students and residents like they do, for what purpose?

[00:46:48] Dr. JB: It’s because I went through it and so you have to do it because I went through it.

[00:46:55] Dr. Maiysha: Yeah, exactly. So, you know, it’s like there’s no sense, no purpose in having a person relive a trauma just so they can heal it. They’ve experienced it already. Enough.

[00:47:06] Dr. JB: Yeah. Wow. So four to six sessions, is this virtual or in person?

[00:47:12] Dr. Maiysha: It could be both. I mean, you know, times of COVID, I’ve been, I’ve been doing virtual sessions for years, but you know, COVID, most things are going to be virtual anyway. I actually prefer to do it virtually because then the person can be in the comfort of their own home. And, you know, they can be, they can be comfortable, it’s just as effective. In fact, maybe more so, because they don’t have to feel like they’re being watched by some strange person they don’t know.

[00:47:37] Dr. JB: But you are, you are watching them virtually.

[00:47:40] Dr. Maiysha: I am, but they don’t feel that way, right? It feels less like, so I guess you could say. Yes, because I am definitely watching, I have to, like you gotta be on video for this.

[00:47:50] Dr. JB: The computer has to be plugged in, it can’t die.

[00:47:55] Dr. Maiysha: Right, exactly. But you know, you don’t have to be laying on somebody’s couch with somebody breathing on top of you.

[00:48:01] Like, oh gosh.

[00:48:09] Dr. JB: So, so coming back to your story, so you amazingly knew when you finished, you know, there’s, there’s wisdom that you gain from watching other people and there’s wisdom that you gained from living it yourself, and it sounds to me that you benefited from the wisdom of, uh, watching other people. And you said, you know what, that’s not my life, I’m not going down that path. And, and straight out of residency, you went ahead and did your locums, and you started your, your business, integrative medicine practice, and have been thriving since.

[00:48:45] Dr. Maiysha: Well, so I started my practice in integrative medicine. This is sort of the update. I started my practice in integrative medicine, I ran it for 10 years, about 5 years in I decided I wanted to transition again because I wanted to coach doctors and medical professionals who were burned out and it was a big transition, and this is why I alluded to when you said it’s okay to change earlier, because I have a lot of doctors who want to change. A lot of doctors who want, who want to do things differently than what they were trained and they feel guilty about it. And for myself, I just got called, called out of medicine. I didn’t, I didn’t dislike it, I just got called to something bigger. So, I started to coach moms in medicine who were burned out, help them to create careers that they design. So if it was within the same job, changing jobs, or changing whole careers, or starting businesses, that’s what I did from 2016 until, up until now, but primarily in 2019, I decided to take my expertise and my training as a trainer in neuro-linguistic programming and hypnosis and open a school. A school that teaches this work of NLP and hypnosis and certifies others in this technology and certifies them as coaches, and that’s what I do now full time.

[00:50:07] So I no longer practice clinical medicine, I sold my practice in 2017, and I’ve kept my foot in it in some capacity up until about December of 2020, January, December, January of 2020, then I sort of stepped out of it, and I’m like I’m taking my last toe out. It’s like every time you try to get out, they keep pulling you back in, you know? That’s how it is. I didn’t leave clinical medicine because I didn’t like it, I left clinical medicine because I found something bigger that I liked. I found something that I was more passionate about, and I think that’s important too. I think it’s important for people to understand like trainees, physicians, healthcare professionals, is that in my parents’ generation, we were training to get a job, work 60 years, and then retire. And I think the way the world is evolving, and the way our industry is evolving, and the way we’re evolving is that sometimes the career, your chosen career at the beginning will not be the career you retire from. And that’s okay.

[00:51:12] Dr. JB: Yeah, that’s true. I remember, um, undergraduate keynote speaker say that on average people change careers 15 times during their lifetime, 15! I haven’t, I haven’t verified that, but I remember it stuck in my head. I was like, 15, are you serious? So it’s definitely– I think that people feel stuck because we sacrifice so much. Right? You know, like while our friends were going out, settling in, buying houses, whatever, whatever, whatever, we were stuck in the books, staying up late, cramming for exams, jumping from one hoop to another hoop, to another hoop, to another hoop. Right? And then you, you graduate, right, and finally have those letters behind your name, and some people feel stuck, like they, “because I put all this into it, that I have to stay, I have to continue.”

[00:52:12] You know, and the truth– go ahead.

[00:52:15] Dr. Maiysha: Oh, I think we were about to say the same thing, “and the truth is.” I was just going to say, the truth is, is that you always have a choice.

[00:52:23] Dr. JB: And, you know, with Hope4Med, now the goal of Hope4Med isn’t to get people to leave the field of medicine, not at all, not at all. You know, the, because I understand that we need, I mean, we, as people in America and throughout the world, need healthcare professionals, but we need healthcare professionals that are whole, that are well, whose wellness are a priority. So that they can give the most effective care to the patients. And so I understand that by having these conversations and talking about these issues that some people may be like, “oh my gosh, I hate my life, and I don’t want to do this anymore.” Right? But that’s not going to be everyone, that’s probably not even going to be the majority of people, because most of us still really, are still that like, that medical student that just wanted to help people. Right? Every medical student says, “I just want to help somebody, I just want to help my patient, that’s why I want to do this.” Right? And at what I have found is that even when people transition out of medicine, they don’t stray too far for the most part.

[00:53:37] Dr. Maiysha: That’s right.

[00:53:38] Dr. JB: You know, because that desire to help somebody, to make someone’s life better, is still there. It might’ve gotten covered with a bunch of paperwork and red tape and all this other stuff, but that, that like pure, that purity that brought you into this field, that passion that brought you into this field, it’s still there. It doesn’t go anywhere.

[00:54:04] Dr. Maiysha: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And that’s why I said, you know, you have to create your ideal career, whether it’s inside of medicine, whether it’s, I call it medicine adjacent, like clinically adjacent. You know, a lot of doctors are incorporating things like coaching into their medical practice. They’re incorporating lifestyle medicine into their medical practice. I think we have to break down the, the structure, the rigidness of structure that we were taught around how to practice medicine and bring some autonomy back to it, in a way that works, of course. And when we do that, then that brings some joy because, you know, we’re clinicians, we’re scientists, but we’re also artists in a way.

[00:54:55] And to be able to honor all sides of our being, you know, the artist in us, I always tell medical students, you know, you’re an artist. There’s the science and then there’s the art of being with people. There’s the art of, you know, putting your, your differentials together and really, like, discovering what the problem is, but also what could a solution be that has some evidence behind it and what are some solutions that may be outside the box as well, that you can combine with that? What are ways, creative ways you can empower patients? You know, creativity in the communication and education. So there’s just so many ways to do this that can be enjoyable. You know, you have to honor that.

[00:55:45] Dr. JB: That’s completely right, I agree with you 100%. Medicine is both a science and an art. So Dr. Maiysha, if my listener wanted to find that more, or get in touch with you, how would they be able to do so?

[00:56:02] Dr. Maiysha: I think the best place for them to reach out to me, or to find out more about me, is to go to DrMaiysha.com. That’s D R M A I Y S H A dot com, DrMaiysha.com. And you can connect with me on any social media platform, primarily I’m on Instagram, on LinkedIn, and Facebook. I do check Twitter occasionally, but it’s probably not where you’re going to find me. And if you want to know more about what I do, I also have a YouTube channel and I talk a lot about, what I do on the YouTube channel, including some of my podcast episodes of the podcast that I own, The Black Mind Garden, are there as well. So you’ll, you can learn a lot about what I do just by looking at a lot of the, the YouTube excerpts.

[00:56:54] Dr. JB: All right, perfect. And so we’re going to be typing in this information, so if you were unable to write down what Dr. Maiysha said, you’ll be able to see a written description, associated with this recording. And seeing that we are nearing the end of our time together, which has flown by, what are any closing remarks you’d like to leave with my listener?

[00:57:20] Dr. Maiysha: You know, if I had to leave the listeners with one thing, one or two things, I’d say number one is, remember to access your networks, access you communities, you know, stop thinking you have to do this by yourself. It’s the thing that saved my life. And it’s the thing that could save yours figuratively, or literally, I don’t know. Just access your community, find the people you trust, whether they’re in medicine or not, it doesn’t matter. Find people who will lift you up. And the second is, it’s okay to change. Change the way you practice medicine, change the practice, change the career, change the job, change whatever. It’s just, it’s okay, give yourself permission, if you feel like you want to do things outside of the box, it’s okay to do that. And then the last thing I’ll say is you have resources outside of, you know, for you to take care of your mental health, just, you know, pay attention to that. Do the work of taking care of your mental health, your emotional health, and find the right people for you that you feel could do that. That’s it.

[00:58:34] Dr. JB: All right. Perfect. Thank you so much, Dr. Maiysha.

[00:58:37] Dr. Maiysha: Thank you, my pleasure.

[00:58:40] Dr. JB: Yeah. Who says a doc can’t rap? D O C T O R J B. The greatest doctor to ever touch the mic. The greatest podcast ever broadcasted or prerecorded. Come learn some, each one, teach one. I’m done.

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