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Unpacking the Good and the Bad of Grit with Dr. Rob Orman
Episode 6124th February 2023 • The Prosperous Doc • Spaugh Dameron Tenny
00:00:00 00:38:57

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Dr. Orman spent 21 years working in clinical community emergency medicine. In the first 10 years of his practice, he experienced three severe burnouts. Without much guidance, he thought the solution was to work harder - grit it out. Soon after his third major bout of burnout, Dr. Orman realized that his current way of life wasn’t sustainable.  

So, he switched gears to work in medical education, and that became a salvation for him, giving him a new purpose.

This led him to start his podcast, Stimulus, and spend a year getting his certification from a coaching academy. Dr. Orman is now a certified executive coach, and he dedicates his time to helping physicians develop strategies to live and work with intent, creatively solve problems, and practice self-compassion.

Tune in to this episode of the Prosperous Doc® to hear our host Shane Tenny, CFP®, chat with Dr. Orman about the true meaning of grit and how physicians can still have it while being gentler with themselves.

💡 Featured Guest 💡

Name: Dr. Rob Orman, MD

What he does: As a certified executive coach, Dr. Orman helps physicians build resilience within their medical practices. He worked as a community emergency physician for 20 years and now works as a physician coach. Dr. Orman is a multiple award-winning lecturer, the former chief editor of EM:RAP, and creator of the Stimulus and ERcast podcasts. 

Company: Orman Physician Coaching

Connect: Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Podcast  


⚡ Prosperous Insights ⚡

[02:34] The great burnout: Dr. Orman recounts the multiple burnouts he experienced while practicing medicine and how they led him to pursue a different career. 

[10:48] No longer drowning: Finding purpose and meaning in his work, saved Dr. Orman from feeling defeated and as if he was drowning in his profession. 

[16:20] Pivot and adjust: Facing defeat and failure can open up unforeseen or unconsidered problem-solving strategies.

[26:20] Relearning to think: Dr. Orman discusses the power in learning how to think and process stress and self-awareness differently and learning to process anxiety and burnout differently.

[30:14] Silence that inner critic: When things might not be going according to plan or living up to certain standards, that inner critic might get louder.

[34:38] More listening: Shane and Dr. Orman share their admiration for an episode of the Prosperous Doc podcast with Dr. Joseph Stern, who talked about self-compassion.

[35:17] Big players: Dr. Orman acknowledges a family friend Lenny Wineglass, for taking him under his wing; his late mentor at Emory, Ken Walker; an attending Dr. Lee Shockley; his brother, Rich Orman; and his coaching partner and friend Dr. Scott Weingart as all having had monumental influence on him.


Disclaimer: Prosperous Doc podcast by Spaugh Dameron Tenny highlights real-life stories from doctors and dentists to encourage and inspire listeners through discussions of professional successes and failures in addition to personal stories and financial wellness advice. Spaugh Dameron Tenny is a comprehensive financial planning firm serving doctors and dentists in Charlotte, NC. To find out more about Spaugh Dameron Tenny, visit our website at www.sdtplanning.com. You can also connect with our host, Shane Tenny, CFP at shane@whitecoatwell.com or on Twitter.

Compliance code: CRN202602-3877010

Transcripts

Rob Orman (:

If the only tool that you have is just to grit through frustration, you're not going to see these opportunities.

Voiceover (:

From Spaugh Dameron Tenny, it's the Prosperous Doc podcast. Real stories, real inspiration, real growth. A show for doctors who are ready to improve their overall wellness in every aspect of life. Now, here's your host, Shane Tenny.

Shane Tenny (:

Welcome back to the Prosperous Doc podcast. My name is Shane Tenny, and glad to have you with us today for a conversation that I'm sure will meander as we unpack the story of my guest, but it will cover no less than a discussion on grit and the right kind and the wrong kind, and whether that word grit means something to you from the western movie made famous by Jeff Bridges, I think a decade ago or perhaps it rings a bell from a TED Talk by Brene Brown. Grit is something that is innate and in some ways required for those of you in medicine or in dentistry as you put your head down and go, but it is also a really important thing to understand and to unpack.

(:

I'm excited to be with you today with my guest, Dr. Rob Orman. Rob trained at Emory and in Denver, worked for over two decades as an emergency medicine physician until he transitioned now to being a certified executive coach, specifically for physicians, and I should give a shout out to the well acclaimed podcast Stimulus. If you enjoy the conversation with Rob today, you definitely want to check out his podcast, Stimulus, and we're going to unpack a variety of things around this topic today. Rob, thanks so much for joining me.

Rob Orman (:

Wow, Shane. What an intro. Appreciate you having me.

Shane Tenny (:

Hey, we try to tee them up high. That's what we try to do.

Rob Orman (:

That was a like a Larry King softball intro. Loved it.

Shane Tenny (:

There you go. Before we dive in to our topic and see where the story will take us today, I know everybody has kind of a unique story. You and I were talking a little bit about your journey before I pushed the record button here. As I mentioned, you are one of those physicians who spent years and years and years in clinical medicine and now have seen it fit for you to make a transition. Tell us a little bit about that journey.

Rob Orman (:

As you said in the intro, I spent a couple decades, 21 years in clinical community emergency medicine. In the first 10 years of my practice, I had three burnouts, major burnouts, and I didn't really have any guidance on what to do. I really didn't even know what was going on. It was just, this is not sustainable, and I was looking for different careers and different specialties, and I stayed in emergency medicine and found ways to navigate and mitigate those effects, but it kept coming back, and there were many things that I found as stressors, which we can get into, but suffice to say, it was a lot, and I didn't know what I was doing. Really I was just, okay, I'll just work harder and put my head down. Work is stressful, I'll just work harder. One day I was driving in my car to work, and I was stuck in traffic.

(:

Aren't we all, and I was a little bit late for my shift, and emergency doc, you are dealing with the worst of the worst things and it has approached whatever with equanimity, and I'm sitting there in traffic and this primordial scream comes up from inside of me, like what is happening? Even as I tell that story, my hair's standing on end and I can feel the emotion. Like, whoa, that is not who I want to be, how I want to live, and it was like I was broken. That was during the third period of burnout, and then I realized I needed to switch jobs because I could not make my current job work. I ended up switching jobs. I got very heavily involved in medical education, which was really a salvation in the second half of my career. It gave me such purpose and I started doing that more and more, and eventually, it became my full-time job. I was doing medical education full-time. It was like living the dream. I started a podcast called ER Cast. Some of the listeners may have heard of it.

(:

I ran EM rap, which is another medical education platform, worked for Hippo education. These are all kind of the giants in emergency medicine education or medical education, but as I was doing that more and more, I actually started to get a little clinical skill decay because I was working fewer and fewer shifts. I found that in resuscitations I was not as fighter pilot sharp. A fighter pilot is at their sharpest right after they get down from a dog fight. They've just been in the moment. I realized that I was either going to have to go back to full-time in emergency medicine to get back to that state, or at least a really good chunk of shifts each month, or I was going to need to retire. I guess there were other options, or I was going to retire and just do MedEd full-time, so I did that. I went to medical education full-time, and the challenge or the trap I didn't anticipate with that, was that it became increasingly hard to authentically deliver what I was doing, which was the tip of the spear education for ER docs.

(:

All right, here's the latest, here's what you need to know because I was living it. I was living it every day. I knew what the stressors were when I was not in that environment. I wasn't as connected to it. Around that same time, I started Stimulus, what you're talking about. That was a project just because I wanted to support physician wellbeing or healthcare professional wellbeing. I didn't know how to do that, so I just started this podcast. I was like, all right, this is what I know how to do, so I'm going to do that, and that is strategies, tactics, and habits to not just suck it up and you're talking about grit, but think differently. Not just go through the motions, but think creatively about how can we work through this. Doing that work on Stimulus, which I still do, can I say it felt like a calling? Is this a safe space?

Shane Tenny (:

Yeah, if that's what it felt like to you.

Rob Orman (:

It did, and I'll honestly say, I don't think I've ever said this before on an interview, but that is the only way that I can describe it. I'll be honest, I used to scoff at that a little bit. Oh, calling. It's so true. When you feel it, when you're connected to it, it just feels so right. It's like, okay, whatever this is, this is where I want to dedicate my life because I had those experiences, maybe that informed it or something. I love working with physicians. That's my tribe.

(:

I feel that it is such a valuable group of human beings that really face a lot of stress, and if I can help them navigate it, it's just so rewarding. That's what drives me. As, okay, this is what I want to do, how do I do this in a really expansive professional end, I'll just say qualified way, because with Stimulus, it was this, hey, there's this cool idea, let's check it out and interview, but I wasn't qualified to guide people through this. Spent a year going through a coaching academy, did that, got certification, started to practice, and now that's my full-time job and I love it every day.

Shane Tenny (:

Boom. There you go. There it is. Rewind the tape and let me slow it down for a minute, because if there's a topic that we get a fair amount of inquiry in question on, it is this topic of burnout, and I know there are people listening to us now who are in the midst of wrestling with that, and in the midst of wrestling with, am I really going through this or is this something that other people struggle with? You described not only having three episodes of burnout in the first decade of your career, but I think you used the word, major episodes. I'm curious if you could take us back to one of those events and just help us feel a little bit, what was going on around you? What was going on in you, and how did it manifest?

Rob Orman (:

Ah, I'm going to try to keep it together here. It's just going back, it's really hard to go back to it. If you look at it from a very academic standpoint, there's two questions on a burnout inventory that if you answer yes to either one of these, then you're probably suffering from burnout. It's not a matter of, oh, are you? It's a matter of, will you or have you? Because it's pretty much, it's almost everybody at some point in healthcare. It's do I feel burnt out by my job, or am I more callous towards people since I started this job? There's two simple questions, but for me, burnout felt like drowning. I just couldn't keep my mouth above water. It was just, I couldn't catch my breath. Driving to work, there was a pit of acid in my stomach every day that, oh, I have to do this again, all of this stuff? It's like these little bits of trauma just adding up and adding up. Really, the phrase that I would have when I knew that it was, I would say, major or bad, was this is not sustainable.

(:

I cannot exist in this way. That meant I needed a pressure release valve. I needed to either get out or I needed to change what I was doing. I trained hard in emergency medicine. It was, did the residency, had the good jobs, and went to med school. All of my life dedicated to getting to this point and thinking, I got to get out. Whoa, that is a lot. The first time, I'll just talk about a year and a half in to my attending hood, I'm getting the applications for ophthalmology and anesthesia, and I'm thinking, how can I get out of this ER? How can I see things one at a time, and not all at once because that was a real stressor for me was, the parallel processing that's involved in emergency medicine and just the pace. How can I slow down the pace and still stay in medicine? I didn't, and it's interesting as I think about it, education and really embracing a purpose, it's like Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning. When you have that purpose, then work ceases to become work.

(:

My purpose in work became education, and it was a variation on that each time, and it's like, okay, it's not just about going to the factory and making widgets or going through the motions. I have a real mission here to educate my peers and to educate my patients, and that was a real salvation, and I could feel it, too. You go into work and you feel charged rather than defeated and drowning.

Shane Tenny (:

What happened that moved you from being in the water, to belabor your drowning analogy, for in some ways years, and each day maybe a little different as you bob up and down or get gasps of air, but it is just feeling like you're swamped and I don't know what to do. I think, I guess the word that I hear you flirting with is the fear of failure-

Rob Orman (:

Yes.

Shane Tenny (:

... to acknowledge that I can't keep this up, this thing that I have worked for, in some ways all my life, and in the last 10 years of education and undergrad and med school, and residency, and am I really going to speak out loud the words that, I'm drowning, and to move from being in the water to then being able to look at it from above and help your colleagues or help your peers, talk about that transition a little bit.

Rob Orman (:

Wow, what a question. Holy smokes. I just need to process that for a moment. What you just asked is like, jet fuel, that question. It is so potent and poignant because we come from a place of being these superheroes. We can get it done. We're the cowboys or cowgirls or the lone wolf. We don't fail. We don't lose. How did we get to this point of being physicians? We got to the funnel because we won and failing was not an option. There's probably very few Fs in the grades or the papers or the tests of the people listening to this. We're such high achievers. Admitting failure or admitting defeat is such a stretch because we have this, I would say, ego projection or this projection of who we are or at least who we are presenting ourselves to the world to be. It was very painful to admit that to myself that I had, I guess you could say, failed, or I never really liked that word, but I would say defeated. I was defeated. I was defeated by this situation.

(:

What do I do? Am I just going to do nothing and not respond, or am I going to think of a way to bounce back? I'm going to tell you a story about from when I was a kid, the biggest failure of growing up, and I was able to evoke or invoke or just bring this back during these times. When I was a teenager, I was in the martial arts. Actually, I was in the martial arts for most of my younger life, and then into mid-adulthood. I taught classes. That was my life. I was testing for my black belt, and it was six years to get to this point, so I started when I was 10. I'm 16 years old, and part of the test for getting a black belt was you had to punch, just a punch, through two boards or two inches of pine. Man, I was tiny and skinny. I had, what would be the opposite of Popeye's arms? Maybe little-

Shane Tenny (:

Noodle arms.

Rob Orman (:

Noodle arms, these little noodle arms. There's this big crowd. I grew up in a small town, and this karate studio was this really big deal. Here I am testing my black belt, and here's the final thing I have to do, and I have to break these two boards. It's like, here's the moment, karate kid. I hit the boards and whack, no break. Whack, no break. I'm punching it and punching it and punching it. My hand is bleeding. Nothing. Nothing. It's not breaking. Then, you don't get the results right then. You get the results two weeks later. They're announcing the results in the class, in the middle of the class, and I failed. I failed my black belt test, and it's just announced in front of the whole community. I'm like, whoa, this sucks. I went to my instructor. I said, "What do I need to do?"

(:

He said, "You need to figure out how to break those boards." I trained and trained for a month. This is like a montage, like a rocky montage going through this. One day, just he and I in the empty studio says, "You get one chance," and he holds up the boards in front of me. It's just me and him. Oh, I just settled down there. The pine goes shattering all over. I punched right through it. It felt like I was breaking a saltine cracker. I go into his office afterwards and he says, he puts my black belt on. I said, "How is this here?" He says, "I've had this the whole time. I always believed in you. You just had to believe in yourself." That failure, that initial failure was crushing. It's like, here I am. The teacher in this school and in this really exalted position of getting to test for the black belt, and I failed in front of the community.

(:

When I was in that position of defeat or failure as a physician of the burnout, I kind of went back to that place like, hey, you know what? I have been here before. I have failed, and there is a way through this. There is a way to figure this out, and it might not be what I thought it was. It might not be just what I had projected as what was going to happen in the future. Ah, here's my path. I need to figure out something which is more thoughtful, more than just putting your head down and grinding through it because breaking that board, I didn't really have the muscles to do it. I had to figure out how to, it's a martial arts term, punch through it and make it disappear. I don't even remember what the original question was. We got into teenage karate story right there.

Shane Tenny (:

I'll pivot and bring us back to the question, because the question was, for a colleague, for a client of yours that you're coaching, for a listener of the podcast now, thinking about their own place in their career, or a colleague of theirs who they can see is dealing with burnout, and I think what you've introduced, and I just want to take a minute to highlight because it's so critical, is part of, among many aspects of dealing with burnout, part of the challenge is that it pushes against the untouchable nerve of a physician, and that is the nerve of failure.

Rob Orman (:

Yes. Yes.

Shane Tenny (:

Which in some ways is cauterized, so you can get through all the training and all the tests and never get enough and never fail, but you're face to face with the immovable object, which is, I can't change this and I am drowning. I guess I'll reframe the question, which is, how did you, a decade ago, or how do you now, help clients reframe that word failure or that fear of failure to free them to then go and look at it from a different perspective?

Rob Orman (:

Well, a couple things. I think within yourself, if you are feeling like, okay, this is too much for me, when you can admit that to yourself and just, it is so freeing because then you can get creative. The whole thing of, you were talking about grit before, it's such an interesting term, which we think of grit like this oak tree that doesn't bend in the storm, and-

Shane Tenny (:

For the physicians, the high level performers, we all got it. We all got it, but that doesn't give a creative solution.

Rob Orman (:

Let's just say, I'm working with a client, and this is super common. A doc come says, "Hey, I'm feeling burnt out." It's like, "Okay, well what's going on at work? What are the things that you think are burning you out? What are your stress points?" Usually, it's a really long list. And EMR, under appreciation, overwhelm, it goes on and on. I was like, "Okay, well what's one thing in your work that needs to change or it could be your life. What's the only thing in your life needs to change?" It's actually, it's the same approach. What's one thing that needs to change or where do you want to start? I'll give you an example of a client I had who, they wanted to leave medicine. They actually came to me for career coaching. They said, "This sucks. I am out." They said, "I want career coaching. I want to figure out what can I do besides this?" Here, what's going on? "Nobody appreciates me. Nobody appreciates anyone. My patients don't appreciate me. Staff doesn't appreciate each other, from the administration."

(:

Okay, this is a gratitude free zone. It's like, okay, well, we'll start there because you can only start with the first step. You see all of these different stressors. People say, "I want to address everything all at once." Yes, we will get there, but let's just start with one step, one thing at a time. Actually, one of my mentors, one of my coaching mentors, makes the analogy of the Ed Sullivan show when there's a guy spinning 16 plates, says, "He just puts up one at a time, not all 16, so start with your first one or juggle one ball." This client came saying, "Nobody appreciates me." Before in that other approach of just grit, if your approach to that is, I'm just going to put my head down and grind it out and grit it out, that's really not a thoughtful way. I wouldn't say thoughtful, but that's not going to really be a viable tactic for that. How do we think differently? The question is, in a situation like this, or any situation, where's your agency? Where can you act? You think, okay, something like appreciation.

(:

Where do I have agency for that? I can't make anyone appreciate me. For her, what we did, I said, "All right, let's just run an experiment. Your next shift, I want before you walk in the door to say or think, "I'm open to accepting gratitude for my patients and staff." That's it. I don't want this to be a little bit of openness. I want this to be a 50 dish radio telescope turned up to maximum sensitivity. Anytime you pick up gratitude at all, just pause. Just pause and really acknowledge it because we usually don't acknowledge it. We usually just give it a short shrift or don't even notice that it's there. Just pause and look at the other person in the eye and say, say whatever. "You're welcome," or "That means a lot," or "It was a pleasure caring for you and your family." Just let them know that it registered and let you know to yourself that you were appreciated. Don't do anything different, but just be aware of it. A few weeks later, we met again. She was beaming, just had this smile ear to ear.

(:

The first shift when she was open to accepting gratitude, when she understood where her agency was in that, it was a completely different universe. She had been practicing for 20 years, two decades of doing this, and it's like, whoa, this is a different job. The next shift, it was even better. Her sensors were up and she was just finding gratitude everywhere, and when it was her intention, then it became her reality. Now, of course, people were still pissed off. People were angry and impatient, and all the other things that happened in the emergency department, but if the problem is feeling underappreciated, the only actions, there's only two actions you can take, to act in a way that is worthy of appreciation and to be open and receptive and present when it happens. That's where you've got the agency. As for something like this, we just too often let it slide down. We don't even notice that it's there. Pause, take it, embrace it. If the only tool that you have or is just to grit through frustration, you're not going to see these opportunities.

Shane Tenny (:

Yeah, great story. To the point, in some ways that is exemplified by the story is, you begin to see what you're looking for-

Rob Orman (:

Yes, so well said.

Shane Tenny (:

... and helping her to open her eyes and be receptive to something. It kind of sounds like it changed her paradigm. We're going to take a quick break, and when we come back, I want to ask you a little bit more about some of the strategies that people can use to change their perspective or learn to move from the wrong kind of grit to maybe more creative thinking.

Voiceover (:

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Shane Tenny (:

All right, so Rob, we were talking right before the break about the story of the client of yours working in an emergency department, just feeling burned out partially because of under appreciation. As you highlighted in the first half of the show, physicians are kind of born or come about because of this innate drive and grit and unrelenting pursuit of perfection. Can you learn to think differently and process differently and be self-aware to approach the stress, the anxiety, or potentially, even the burnout of the job in a more constructive way?

Rob Orman (:

Yes, without question. As you say that, one thing I think of that I find is near universal with clients is inner criticism, which, could you imagine if you know had kind of an evil twin who sat next to you all day and just whispered in your ear just what a poor job you were doing, but we have that voice in our head so often, and actually, it's probably helped us get to where we are, this inner critic or this perfectionist inner self that as a high achiever, likely there's some aspect of that, but it also becomes maladaptive. The experience of joy in the moment or joy at work, working through this can be incredibly impactful. We have a whole framework of doing this, but just awareness, only awareness of it as a first step, the first dish in the air of the 16, and let me, I want to share a story about this. If that's all right, and this just happened a couple weeks ago. I was hiking up mountains. You can't see this, but over here, there's a big ski mountain. We're actually skinning up.

(:

My son and I were skinning out, so we put these things on the bottom of our skis so we can hike up the mountain and ski down. It was a beautiful sunny day. The mountain hadn't opened for the season yet, so it's just the two of us on this incredible, incredible day. This is something that we love to do. My son is 20. He is a machine. I am 53. I am not the machine that he is. He just takes off and he's gone, and I see, he would wait for me and then he would just be a quarter mile, half mile off the mountain, just gone. It was really interesting. We're hear on this beautiful day and I just felt this sourness building up inside of me. You can't control these things when they come up, they just come up and it was this voice that was saying, maybe not actually saying, but it sounded like it was saying, "You suck. Come on, you're supposed to be fit. You can't even keep up." This sucks. Like, what? This totally sucks, and he sucks. Why wouldn't he wait for you?

(:

That's my son. I don't care. I'm glad he is having fun. Well, not at that moment. The inner critic criticizes yourself. That's what we usually think about. It also criticizes others, criticizes the situation. I was getting the trifecta right here. It was on full display, and so, I'm doing this work every day, but you'd think, wow, you'd be so aware of it yourself. No, but in this moment I was like, wait a second, what is going on here? This is so incongruent with the moment my inner critic is speaking, and just having awareness of that moment of inner criticism is happening, allows distance to happen. Distance between you and that emotion physiologic response because when you feel it, the negative emotion comes up, the judgment, the shame, the anger, whatever, and your breathing changes a little bit. It's just this state change. Just pausing, having awareness, allowed that separation, allowed a little recalibration and coming back to what was happening in the present moment, I was out, okay, that's inner critic speaking.

(:

Thank you. I hear you. Let's just take a pause out here on this beautiful day with my kid, and let's just be here. Let's just be here now, and there's other steps that are involved in it, but just that little shift of let's recalibrate, and it took a while. It takes a while for the sourness or the inner criticism emotion to go down, but that also applies at work. When you're doing something or you're not meeting up to whatever expectation you have or things aren't going well in the resuscitation bay, that voice can come up as well, and having awareness and being able to navigate that is incredibly potent for your effectiveness as a clinician, because then you can think more clearly. You can think in a discerning way rather than a judgmental way. The clarity of thought at those times is profoundly, profoundly different, but it's also a recipe for joy. It's like, "Hey, inner critic, I hear you, but I'd like to have my discerning and non-judgmental and open and warm and curious self or voice speaking right now."

Shane Tenny (:

You're really bringing up the point of, or what I'm hearing from you, instead of just pressing down and saying, "Here's the day and how many patients are we going to have? Is the ED going to be flooded? What is before me? How late am I going to be staying after to finish charting? That sort of thing. Being, I'll say really authentic and honest with yourself, which I think for many of us that are driven individuals, whether you're in medicine or not, one of the areas that can be a struggle is acknowledging what is actually going on inside of you and saying that out loud at least to yourself, but you certainly can't be honest with anyone else, a colleague, a coach, a spouse, a friend if you're not honest with yourself. Starting with that self-honesty, and then it sounds like you're really introducing the idea of once you're honest with yourself and can kind of look at it and say, "All right, here's where I am," you may then be able to introduce gratitude for some element of what's going on as a bit of an alternative choice, than just grit.

Rob Orman (:

Yeah, gratitude is as definitely one option, and that's if you want to look for a state change or a technique to use, but it can be just as simple as shifting from judgment to discernment, and can I take a step back from this rather than just being fused and negative in this moment. There's gratitude, there's discernment, there's curiosity. A friend of mine, one of my colleagues who I do a lot of projects with, he likes to think of this as Curious George. Says, "Hey, what does Curious George do? That guy's always got a smile. He's getting into trouble, but he's always got a smile and he's friendly to everyone and he's just really interested in everything that's happening."

(:

That's another example of, can I shift to a curious mindset or a curious perspective in this moment? We were talking about Jodi Stern on, you had on another podcast about compassion. There's another frame shift. If you find yourself in a moment of repulsion about a patient or anger about a patient, can you shift to compassion? There's ways to do that. The mantra of, just as I want to be well and happy, I want this person to be well and happy. There are very few doctors that want their patients to be sicker. That is actually a true thing that is actually within you. Yes, there's gratitude, there's compassion, there's curiosity, warmth, discernment, all of those frame shifts, mindset shifts, can get you to the same point.

Shane Tenny (:

That's a great point to make, just that once you can identify and look at what is going on inside of you, then you can begin to make a judgment on, is that what I want to be choosing or do I want to choose curiosity or gratitude or generosity or compassion? I have the ability to choose other responses to what's going on right now. Rob, this has been a great conversation and I can see on my little clock here that we're running up against the finale. I want to highlight just a minute what you shouted out, and that was the episode 50 of this podcast with Dr. Jodi Stern is a great one. For those of you that are enjoying this conversation, Dr. Stern was a delightful guest and talks about compassion. Rob, you've accomplished a lot in your career. You've changed trajectory. You're into a next chapter now. I know you haven't gotten where you are today without the input and contribution of many others. I'm curious, as we wrap up the show here, who comes to mind that you might like to shout out as being just a huge player in your life?

Rob Orman (:

So many huge players, have already mentioned some. When I was younger, a family friend took me under his wing, taught me how to drive, got me into fitness, helped me build self-confidence. Lenny Wineglass is his name. That was so impactful when I was in medical training. Had a mentor named Ken Walker. Anyone in the south trained at Emory would've known him. He had a very distinctive voice that would talk like this and would ridicule you if it needed to happen in order for you to understand what compassion looks like in medical practice. Oh, I will crush you like a bug. He was a mentor, became a great friend. Also, had a attending named Lee Shockley, who was one of my attendings in residency, and we had a horrible, horrible situation in the emergency department one day where I won't tell about the crime, but a guy committed some heinous, heinous crimes.

(:

I still think about it just with chills, the things that he did, and he was beaten up and had all these injuries, and Dr. Shockley went in and showed up some of his lacerations When I got called away and I went back to talk to the guy before he went to jail, and he said, "Oh, who was that guy? He was so kind." \I was like, "Oh, you can have compassion for everyone. You don't have to their actions. You don't even have to what they do or like them, but you can still have compassion." Him, for sure. When I started getting into medical education, my brother, Rich, he started me on the whole thing. He's an attorney. Actually now, he is a filmmaker, but he got me into how to teach through audio. Now, one of my dear friends, actually a coaching partner. His name is Scott Weingart. He has been a kind of peer mentor for me, and I would not be where I am, I think, without his friendship and guidance. All of those people.

Shane Tenny (:

It's a great list that you're putting in the closing credits here, and I can only hope that Ken Walker is able to listen to this and just appreciate the perfect Georgia drawl that you added to the shout out.

Rob Orman (:

Ken Walker is no longer with us, so he only lives in the imitations of his voice of all of the students and residents who benefited under his tutelage and sometimes iron fist.

Shane Tenny (:

Well, in that case, then may his memory live on. Thanks for shouting it out here. Rob, thanks so much for your time today and the gift that you are to the medical community and those that you coach. As I said at the top of the show, Rob is now an executive physician coach. You can find him at roborman.com. We'll put that in the show notes here. His podcast, Stimulus, you can find on iTunes and Google Play and Spotify and wherever you get your downloads. Rob, thanks so much for being with us, and thank you for joining us for this episode of the Prosperous Doc podcast. As always, we welcome your reviews and comments, critique, questions, or suggestions. You can email me directly, Shane@whitecoatwell.com. We'll see you back here next time. Thanks so much.

Rob Orman (:

Thank you, Shane.

Voiceover (:

This episode of the Prosperous Doc podcast is over, but you're not alone on your journey. Spaugh Dameron Tenny has been helping physicians and dentists prosper through financial planning for over 60 years. To connect with us, visit SDTplanning.com today and take your financial wellness to new levels. Join us on the next episode of the Prosperous Doc podcast.