Why is a urologic surgeon talking about mindfulness? The background story of OWZ and rationale for recording this podcast. Disclaimer: This is not designed to be a "self-help" podcast, but to catalog concepts of mindfulness in surgery and refine a framework how incorporate well-being into surgery. Hopefully you find it interesting!
So here I am recording a podcast. This is not something I ever thought I'd be doing. But the process that brought me here has been incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. And I hope to impart some of that to you, as I bring to you operating with Zen is a podcast designed to discuss physical and mental health in medicine, and specifically surgery to address well being in general. And it's going to encompass topics like mindfulness, physical health, meditation, coaching, burnout, and resiliency, as well as a thoughtful approach to life in general. And while the focus is going to be on medicine and surgery, hopefully this is applicable to other fields, and hopefully other people can find enjoyment in listening to this. And the rationale for doing this is several fold. But I think some of the important point points are first in the culture of medicine and surgery, mindfulness and well being are not typically discussed. And so one of the first goals is to reduce the stigma of discussing these topics of discussing well being holistic approaches to medicine and surgery, the role of mindfulness and general health. And this podcast is really created to just help collate some of those thoughts, bring them together. And I'll tell you upfront, there's not a ton of original thoughts here. And there's no original data. And while I'm an academic surgeon, I don't do any research in mindfulness or well being. But what is original, and what is the creative pleasure for me is developing a framework and an organization of these thoughts and ideas and data that has really helped me transform my life over the last year or longer. And I hope that this can create insight and an intention for others to be healthy, to be well, in all aspects of their life. And one of the points I will try to make as we move through this podcast is that by improving our own well being, and doing that intentionally, we can improve our own lives. But importantly, as surgeons and physicians who take care of other people, we can improve our outcomes, we can do a better job of taking care of our patients, of our colleagues, and of our loved ones, as we move forward in this field. So the first question that comes to mind as I get started here is why as a urologic oncologist to starting a podcast on mindfulness and well being, and I'll tell you just a brief story of my path here. And then we can move forward with some of the more interesting aspects of this. So over the past year, the the pandemic and the effect of COVID has been transformative for for many people. And one of the biggest things for me, and for other people, as well as just had more time time to reflect time to be introspective time to think about what's really important and what we really enjoy doing.
And for me, some of that was getting back into physical and mental well being, especially in the beginning of the pandemic, when we had a lot of spare time on our hands, and really nothing else to do. And one of the COVID, Silver Linings for me, has really been reconnecting with a joy of reading and learning. And it honestly had been years since I really connected with reading for pleasure. Sure, I was reading medical journals and scientific papers and manuscripts and grants, and all of those things that do bring me joy, but I really wasn't reading for pleasure. And so that's one of the first things I started doing again during COVID. And the second thing I really started doing was focusing on physical and mental well being. And one of the things I've always been interested in enjoyed doing a little bit was yoga. And so I really delved back into yoga, within the first few weeks of the pandemic, recognizing, hey, this could be a way to improve some strength and flexibility, maybe make myself feel better in the operating room when we finally got back to things. And being the inquisitive scientific mind that that I have. I really wanted to understand the background of yoga and mindfulness. Why were these things helpful? Is there science that supports any of these practices? And how can that help me live a better life as we move forward through this this challenging times. And as I started really getting into the reading and the science and other people's experiences, I started to generate new experiences for myself, but I also started to connect to old experience. And some of those experiences were negative. And it really made me revisit my experiences with burnout and kind of get new attention and new focus on not only what does burnout mean for me. But what does burnout mean for my colleagues and my co workers and my loved ones, my wife is also in medicine. But it also connected me to positive, older experiences. Things that made me realize I had good habits in life that I didn't realize had kind of a systematic approach, for instance, routines that made me be more efficient and actually had scientific merit, and lands of meditation and mindfulness. years ago, when I ran marathons, and I did kind of intensive running training, you know, could unplug and become mindful in those settings. And a lot of what I was reading and learning made me experience or burned a lot of the practices that I was already doing as really beneficial practices, for helping myself in both professional and home life, and really just create more of a well rounded sense of well being. So while I had some good habits, and when doing certain things, right, really over the last year, I've been able to develop a framework of why those things work and how to employ them into daily life, and how to help other people employ good habits to help make them effective surgeons and effective doctors and effective parents and effective colleagues.
So as I alluded to, in the beginning, this podcast is really created for me to correlate those thoughts, I certainly hope that this helps other people. That's why I'm recording today. And that's why I'm going to engage other people moving forward. But it's not necessarily a self help podcast. And it's not meant to be that it's, it's really, to act as a repository for some of these thoughts, some of this data, so people who are having similar experiences twice, 'cause I know there's many of you out there, that we can kind of put our thoughts together, and hopefully work to improve the surgical community, and any other intense, intense profession as well. As, as we move through the podcast, I hope to touch a number of topics. These will be things like time, space, and routine, sleep, science and hygiene. What does it mean to have a purpose? And can How can that help you and what is some of the brain science behind that? Obviously, burnout and resiliency, mindfulness and meditation. One of my other interests has also been in developing, coaching, and treating really medicine and surgery like sport in multiple senses of that. And some of these podcasts, and some of these topics will certainly overlap. And I'm going to do that intentionally. So if you if you're interested in one topic, but not another, you still may be able to find the information you're looking for the support you need, but hopefully not too much to make each podcast unique and different. And as I said, I'm not the only one who thinks this way. There's a lot of really tremendous colleagues out in surgery in urology in medicine, in general, who are very thoughtful and mindful with the way they approach their life, with the way they approach their successes and their challenges. And hope is to kind of bring in some of those people and also discuss with them, why are they successful? How have they picked themselves up after failures, so we can all learn from each other. As I stated before, books and reading have been an integral part of my education and experience over the last year. So try and bring about some informal book reviews, maybe talk with some other colleagues who've read similar books and and see what we've learned in our different Take, take home messages from those books. And as I said, I look to bring in some really interesting people to speak to, I want to talk to two other surgeons, I want to talk to other physicians, and gather some of their mindfulness success stories. I want to talk to them about burnout and resiliency and how we overcome these things. And lastly, I want to talk to novice surgeons and beginners in the field. As we start thinking about how do we coach people who are just getting started are junior colleagues, how do we coach them and help them through their struggles try and prevent their struggles, and in general, make medicine and surgery a much more meaningful experience because it is truly one of those wonderful professions that balances a purpose or tries to balance a purpose in life with service to people and tremendous technical skills and expertise. So I think we're all looking for for a better approach to life and a better approach to our surgical experience. And I hope to provide at least a foundation or basis for other people to explore those options. So thanks for listening. And I hope that many of you find this as helpful as I did in creating
Transcribed by https://otter.ai