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See, Hear, Feel

Professor Christine J Ko, MD

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See, Hear, Feel - many of us do these without thinking much about them. Experts in psychology explain important concepts that will improve your ability to observe, listen, and manage emotions. Listen to amazing researchers and authors on subjects like emotional intelligence and everyday illusions, and also hear from doctors how they apply principles of cognitive psychology for better doctoring, health, and wellness.
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Emily Dickinson was one of the first poets that I was introduced to when I was younger, and Dr. Ricardo Nuila refers to one of her lines, Tell the truth but tell it slant. We talk about this, about nuance and context, and how that relates to algorithmania. It comes back to metacognition, gestalt vs algorithmic thinking. Dr. Ricardo Nuila, MD is an …
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I love talking about metacognition, in hopes of improving how I think, how I diagnose, and how I learn. Dr. Smoller loves to teach and is interested in learning theory, and he has active research experience in learning/teaching visual recognition through pattern recognition, fast thinking. And yet, algorithmic thinking (slow thinking) is important,…
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Three magic words to help conquer fear, that may also be a secret to having a long and productive career. I really enjoyed this conversation with Dr. Bruce Smoller, a giant in the field of dermatopathology and pathology. Also tune in next week for Part 2! Dr. Bruce Smoller MD trained in anatomic and clinical pathology at Harvard's Beth Israel Hospi…
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I am always curious about how others continually improve, and Dr. Thomas Brenn gives good insights on this. Learning in whatever way works for you, getting exposure to new things in ways that you can remember, discovering true mentorship...it's definitely a fun journey. Dr. Thomas Brenn MD PhD received both his doctorate degrees in Germany. He comp…
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I love to talk to people who are honest and confident in their honesty! Dr. Richard Carr is an internationally known expert in dermatopathology and pathology, and he speaks honestly about emotional intelligence as a muscle, recognizing our own weaknesses, and tailoring emotional intelligence to the individual. Being hypercritical can be a strength …
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Dr. Ron Stotts has been meditating for decades, and he shares some of the foundational building blocks of being able to transformatively lead. Learn about "big mind", "STOP", and how to breathe. We touch on emotional intelligence, self-compassion, other compassion, and more. Dr. Ron Stotts, PhD explores what is possible for individuals, organizatio…
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Dr. Mitesh Patel is a physician and behavioral scientist! He helped found the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, a first for healthcare. We talk about behavioral nudges, both for healthcare and home life, and the small things that we can each do to nudge behavior. Dr. Mitesh Patel MD MBA is a physician executive and behavioral scientist. He is currently Chi…
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LOOK AGAIN! A world full of colors can become gray due to habituation. Waking ourselves up to truly see the amazing things around us, as well as the problems that should be fixed, takes dishabituation. This conversation focuses on habituation and dishabituation, how they are defined, and what we can do to get life to resparkle. Cass R. Sunstein is …
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Dr. Angelina Hong wrote about love and medicine, describing “the blurry spectrum, balancing out physical, mental, and emotional pain with the immense honor of saving and cherishing human life, while simultaneously struggling to reconcile our altruistic goals with realistic but necessary human incentives.” Her writing resonates with me. Dr. Angelina…
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2023 was a tough year for me (if you've been listening, you know some of the reasons why). My memory was somewhat affected, and it was hard for me to hold things in my head (thankfully, this has gotten better). Listening back to these past episodes was a treat for me, and I hope that this compilation might help other listeners as well.…
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Dr. Ashley Wysong is a force of nature, and I recently had the pleasure of hearing her lecture at Yale. She seamlessly integrated practical advice in a presentation full of clinical pearls. She's learned a lot to help her be successful, and she shares some of her useful tips with me. Dr. Ashley Wysong, MD is the University of Nebraska Medical Cente…
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Dr. Jeffrey Cohen took a course called Mindful Medicine as a medical student, and it continues to influence him today. He learned about metacognition and cognitive biases, and he emphasizes approaching all interactions with humility, curiosity, and grace. Dr. Jeffrey M. Cohen, MD is a board-certified medical dermatologist and the Director of the Ps…
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Dr. Doolittle has a Master's in Divinity as well as an MD, and his research spans hepatitis, HIV, and wellness and burnout. He'll often ask his trainees, "How is your spirit?" It was a pleasure to talk to him about the intersection of medicine and spirituality, the inner life, how it might relate to burnout, insights on how to stave off burnout, an…
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It's always instructive to hear how someone who started a movement, like that of Narrative Medicine, defines it. Listen in to how Narrative Medicine began for Dr. Charon, why narrative capacity is a better term than narrative competence, and what burnout might really mean. Dr. Rita Charon, MD PhD is a physician, literary scholar, and founder of the…
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Please join me in Part 1 of my conversation with Dr. Rita Charon, where we talk about what she is reading, death, the humanities, ontology, the industrialization of medicine, and reasons to be optimistic still. Dr. Rita Charon, MD PhD is a physician, literary scholar, and founder of the narrative medicine program at Columbia University. She is a Pr…
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This conversation really helped me understand why I am having more trouble understanding my own self these days. Laurie also shares how taking responsibility, but not blame or praise, and openness can help us make decisions. Dr. Laurie Ann Paul, PhD (publishes under the name L.A. Paul) is the Millstone Family Professor of Philosophy and Professor o…
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Learn how it is that Dr. Lipoff and I ended up connecting to have this conversation! (for the impatient ones [like me], find this info at 5:44). Dr. Jules Lipoff, MD is a dermatologist practicing in northwest Philadelphia and Clinical Associate Professor (Adjunct) in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. He runs a PRIDE clinic (PR…
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Dr. Jason Lee has written and presented on how we think, cognitive bias in medical diagnosis, and errors in the pathologic pathway of a biopsy from clinic to final report. The latter was recently published in the Journal of Cutaneous Pathology. It is truly a pleasure to hear Dr. Lee talk with ease about errors, including his own. Dr. Jason B. Lee, …
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Dr. Jeremy Howick has spent his career studying evidence-based medicine as well as placebo effects. In part, this started from when he was a competitive rower, developed an allergy to a cat, and was prescribed ginger tea as a treatment. Dr. Jeremy Howick, PhD is the Director of the Stoneygate Centre for Excellence in Empathic Healthcare and a Senio…
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Many of the guests on this podcast have emphasized the importance of awareness. Awareness of how we think can help improve how we think. Awareness of implicit bias can improve how we implement our true values. Awareness of emotions can improve how we react or don't react to different situations. I find awareness difficult to cultivate, and I have a…
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Dr. Doris Day tells a powerful personal story that she carries with her, a story that has motivated her to get a degree in journalism before becoming a doctor. Together, we explore emotional intelligence, metacognition, and deliberate practice. We end up at self-compassion and the phrase, "but I still love you"! Dr. Doris Day, MD is a Clinical Asso…
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Join Dr. Waters and host Christine Ko in this insightful conversation that delves into the emotional and human side of healthcare, offering guidance for both patients and healthcare providers. Discover practical tips for developing and teaching empathy to healthcare professionals and the positive impact it can have on patient care. Learn about the …
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This episode provides a valuable perspective on imposter syndrome, emotional intelligence, and personal growth within the medical field while offering relatable insights for listeners from all walks of life. Learn about Paige Porter's inspiring journey from an athlete with a biology degree to a fourth-year medical student with aspirations in dermat…
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Anyone who makes critical decisions needs to be aware of dual process theory and the heuristics we use and are subject to. Dr. Pat Croskerry, Dr. Christopher Chabris, and Dr. Itiel Dror are all experts in critical thinking about how our minds work. This episode is also available for Yale CME credit (1.0 hour). Dr. Pat Croskerry, MD PhD, is a profes…
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Hopefully we are all lucky to know the feeling of being lit up. Dr. Ed Vessel studies how neural networks in the brain light up when we are aesthetically moved. I think of this as a type of awe or wonder - when we experience being moved in this way, our so-called "default mode network" becomes very active. The default mode network is generally supp…
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I loved talking to Ellen because her research seems to so nicely cover both System 1 and System 2 thinking - how small feelings should influence us and at the same time how actual numbers and thinking about numbers should also influence us. Dr. Ellen Peters, PhD is the Philip H. Knight Chair and Professor and Director, Center for Science Communicat…
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As an aside, learn why Dr. Bhan is now Mr. Bhan! Mr. Kavyansh Bhan has written a review article on emotional intelligence and good medical practice, and he talks with me about what he has learned about emotional intelligence through writing the article and through practicing. Mr. Kavyansh Bhan is training in Orthopaedic Surgery at Bart’s Hospital i…
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This special three-episode bundle is available for continuing medical education credit, if desired. Dr. Marie Angele Theard, Dr. Kyle Harwell, Dr. Jong Sung Yoon, and Dr. David Caruso speak about the growth mindset and courage and curiosity, deliberate practice of skills, and emotions as data. We can use deliberate practice to interrogate and devel…
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It is always refreshing to be reminded that it is not easy to learn communication skills, and leaning in vs. out in the workplace is easier if you can be authentically yourself. Dr. Samantha Dodson and I talk about these concepts as well as the importance of having relationships that can help you grow. Samantha Dodson, PhD received her doctorate in…
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The theme from the last 20 episodes is togetherness. We all need meaningfulness, and while meaning can come from work or outside work, those of us lucky enough to find meaning in work last longer in that work if we work together. Emotions become important in the workplace because they help bond us together, create trust, understanding, and meaning.…
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I am interested in being able to think better, and at my department's recent retreat, we took the Neethling Brain Instrument, which assesses thinking preferences. There are different quadrants, left vs right brain - cognitive vs. affective. Laurie Zorn helped teach us about the Neethling Brain Instrument as well as our thinking preferences and whol…
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We often think more choice is better, individuals should only decide for themselves, and a bigger paycheck is motivating. Dr. Barry Schwartz has researched and written about these things, indicating that choice can actually be paralyzing, practical wisdom needs to be tailored to individuals, and most people are more satisfied when work gives meanin…
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Many consider it unprofessional to express emotions, particularly one like grief, in the workplace. Dr. Ellie Stillwell researches work and nonwork relationships and the emotions that are involved, including grief. Grief is a signal of caring, and we touch on how less grief can perhaps be detrimental in terms of less caring and more burnout. Dr. El…
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This is a continuation of my conversation with Dr. Stephanie Preston, and she covers what she means by an altruistic urge (we are hardwired to help when someone is clearly vulnerable, there isn't high risk, we have the skill, and we know we can make a difference). The bystander effect and burnout can be combatted by understanding this altruistic ur…
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"Sports hysteria" is a type of emotional contagion, where fans of the same team are all carried away by the same emotion. Dr. Stephanie Preston is a researcher of emotions and decision making, and she talks about how not displaying emotion is also a type of emotional contagion and is likely a consequence of the fact that we don't want to transmit o…
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Bottom line (spoiler alert!): You just have to say no! Start with one time...and go from there. Saying no is important to combatting the system problem of burnout while we wait for the system to make changes. I (and others I know, especially in academia) have trouble saying no, and starting small with one thing does help. Dr. Schukow also recently …
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A lot of the topics that are covered in this podcast are things that I never learned in medical school or training, and yet concepts that I think are very useful as a physician, mother, and person. Dr. Whang listens in every week, and as a surgeon, the concept that he has found most useful is emotional intelligence - that emotions can be used as a …
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Dr. Gigerenzer explains to me how to make better decisions under uncertainty via use of heuristics, intuition, and narratives. Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer, PhD is Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the University of Potsdam, Faculty of Health Sciences Brandenburg and partner of Simply Rational - The Institute for Decisions. He is former Di…
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I was confused about "heuristics"! It is always so exciting when I learn something new that makes things clearer to me. According to Dr. Gigerenzer, heuristics are NOT the same as cognitive bias. Cognitive bias describes PAST behavior, often in situations of so-called "risk" (the economic term) (that actually means that all variables are known). He…
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I initially misinterpreted Dr. Goodale's research on the duplex account of high-level vision (listen to hear how), and yet his insights into visual perception are fascinating. We also touch on gas lighting (not gaslighting) and how that relates to visual perception of form; ultimately, it is humbling to recognize that there is much that physicians …
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It is much easier for us to have compassion for others as compared to self-compassion. Dr. Yu Tse Heng studies self-compassion and humannizing the workplace, and her research supports that self-compassion helps promote other compassion, and vice versa. Speaking with Yu Tse has made me even more willing to be self-compassionate; maybe the same will …
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Shame is overrated, according to Dr. Towery, who recently won the 2022 Shame Attacking World Championship! Dr. Towery also goes over mindset shifts as related to the growth mindset, and how thoughts shape feelings as well as behaviors. Dr. Jacob Towery, MD is Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has been featured i…
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Dr. Irwin Braverman conceptualized visits to an art museum and observation of an unknown painting as a useful visual exercise for doctors to improve observational skills. He touches on the backstory behind this program, what he thinks emotional intelligence is, why he doesn't think it can be taught, and having no regrets. Dr. Irwin Braverman, MD is…
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Dr. Vinh Chung continues our conversation on inspirational leadership, the barriers that physicians often face in leading well, and acts of service. Dr. Vinh Chung, MD is a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. He obtained a BA in biology at Harvard University and earned his medical degree fro…
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Dr. Vinh Chung introduces me to the concept of moral injury and how that leads to physician burnout. He also begins to talk about leadership that goes beyond power and authority to a place of trust and inspiration. Dr. Vinh Chung, MD is a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. He obtained a BA …
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Compassion is one of the words that is variably defined, depending on who you talk to, and this is true in psychology vs. business/management circles. In this episode, Dr. Kira Schabram talks about compassion as a process of noticing, empathizing, and DOING. She also covers what it means for compassion to be a muscle, and how self-compassion and ot…
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I last spoke with Dr. Michi Shinohara on burnout, and this episode delves into burnout and how self-care vs. other care can be a remedy for the particular symptoms of burnout: exhaustion, inefficacy, and cynicism. Dr. Kira Schabram, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. She received h…
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A "calling" is defined as something that gives you personal, social, or moral significance. For me, and for many physicians, the practice of medicine is a calling. Those in pursuit of a calling generally are on one of three different paths: the identity path, the contribution path, and the practice path. Dr. Kira Schabram goes over her research in …
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I love Dr. Heymann's concept of a red file and a sunshine file - listen in to hear how the red file relates to deliberate practice! I also appreciate how he recites the Maimonedes prayer about every 3 months, and his insight into growing emotional intelligence over a lifetime. Dr. Warren R. Heymann, MD is Head of the Division of Dermatology as well…
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