EP 24: A Safe Space to Share Your Story

In this episode of the Hope4Med podcast, I want to thank you, the listeners and supporters of Hope4Med. Created as a safe space for healthcare professionals to share their stories, Hope4Med aims to transform the healthcare system from the inside out. Over the last year, we have had the pleasure of having conversations with fantastic guests. We’ve gained so much insight from their stories, and we want you to share your story!

[00:00:00] Dr. JB: Hi, welcome back to the Hope4Med podcast and happy new year. Reflecting on last year, I wanted to take some time to say thank you to everyone who has supported the mission of Hope4Med. A year ago, Hope4Med was an idea in my head, an idea about the necessity of creating a safe space, a safe harbor for healthcare professionals to connect with each other. Express our shared humanity. Bring humanism back into healthcare. Talk about topics that normally are not addressed in public. Topics that have been an issue in healthcare long before COVID and if not addressed, will continue to be an issue long after COVID becomes a distant memory. Our needs as healthcare professionals have gone unaddressed for far too long. These unaddressed needs are both killing us figuratively and literally, with death by suicide amongst healthcare professionals being a huge unaddressed problem.

[00:01:26] When you ask a dog, “how’s life?” And he or she says, “rough,” how true is that? Although life is rough and working in healthcare is tough. You are not in this alone. New York City is a large and dynamic city full of people everywhere, but did you know also that it is one of the loneliest cities in the world? The same can be extrapolated to healthcare. Yes, there are other people working in your department or on your floor; however, just because you see them doesn’t mean you feel connected to them. And as you climb the leadership ladder in healthcare, the lonelier it gets. We walk around in these silos. We live in our heads and plaster a smile on our face and exude an air of everything being just fine, but under the surface, we’re dying a slow and painful death alone because, of course, I’m the only one feeling this. Well here at Hope4Med, we’re here to tell you that you are not alone here. We strive to bridge that loneliness gap by sharing stories from your colleagues from around the world, thereby highlighting the undeniable truth that we are all in this together.

[00:03:04] Over the past year, we at Hope4Med have had the great pleasure of having conversations with some amazing guests. Dr. Galanos who spoke about grief in medicine. Nurse Brazaski who spoke about burnout from the perspective of a chief nursing officer. Physical therapist Dr. Randall who spoke about the importance of setting boundaries to help combat burnout. Pharmacist Dr. Manukyan who shared the importance of saying yes to yourself and prioritizing your personal needs. Mr. Dibble who spoke about the law of dissipative structures, the ever increasing stress the healthcare system is experiencing, and the flight into chaos that will occur if the stress doesn’t get alleviated. Pharmacist Dr. Wilkey who told her story of experiencing burnout as a retail pharmacist, which led her to becoming a champion of pharmacogenetics. We heard from thanatologist Rubel on compassion fatigue, a real and ongoing issue amongst healthcare professionals. Dr. Claiborne who shared her near-death experience in residency because of burnout, and how that experience changed the trajectory of her life. Respiratory therapist Damron who spoke on the effects of not feeling like an essential member of the team and its affects on burnout. Pharmacist Dr. Louie who spoke on the importance of finding and staying connected to your why as a means of tackling symptoms of burnout. Dr. Babalola who shared her postpartum scare that made her prioritize her personal health and wellness. Physician assistant Blackstock who discussed the imposter syndrome we all experience. Dr. Serraf who shared her story of experiencing the healthcare system from the patient’s perspective and the importance of leaning into discomfort to allow for deeper connections and growth. Retired firefighter Rosasco discussed the importance of allowing yourself to be vulnerable to create closeness in relationships. Nurse Lemmons discussed that in order to combat the commonly heard phrase “nurses eat their young,” we need to focus on changing the culture of nursing. Dr. Harris highlighted the importance of distinguishing what you do from who you are. Dr. Shaker who discussed how befriending the inner critic and applying self-compassion can help combat burnout. Dr. Harrison ended the year with a focus on workplace bullying.

[00:05:49] The Hope4Med podcast goals is to provide a space for shared storytelling. Your story is important. Your story matters. We are all in this together like cells and organs in the body. We each have our roles, and if we function at our optimal, then the body will be healthy. However, if we are not functioning at our optimal level, then our organs will eventually fail. I’ve heard people say, “I have ideas of how this can be improved, but they don’t listen to me.” Well, here’s your opportunity to share your story and be heard, heard by me and heard by the Hope4Med listeners, who are your colleagues and their loved ones. It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to listen to both sides of the coin, but here on the Hope4Med podcast, we provide opportunities for that. Listen to the stories of the people working at the bedside and those in leadership. Here, we provide space for each to share, and from there, come up with concrete solutions. Solutions to tackle the ever increasing levels of stress in the healthcare system with the hope of preventing it from going into chaos. Hope4Med’s goal is to transform the healthcare system from inside out, focusing on the people in it. Treating them like the people they are. Our hope is to transform the healthcare system into one that not only provides optimal care for the patients it serves, but also for the healthcare professionals working within it.

[00:07:32] Every one of us is important. Every one of us has a story. A story of why we chose a career in healthcare. A story about our experiences with symptoms of burnout in healthcare. A story about why we transition out of healthcare. A story about why we stay working in healthcare. A story that needs a place and space to be heard. Your story’s home is here with Hope4Med.

[00:08:01] Big moves are in the works for Hope4Med in the upcoming months. Hope4Med will be providing additional resources for healthcare professionals in addition to the podcast. Looking forward to sharing those resources with you as they become available. Thank you again for your support and happy new year!


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