Let's Talk about Self Reflection and Mental Clarity…
On this week's episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry I get a chance to do some self-reflection on myself for my podcast listeners to here. July is minority mental health awareness month and it also happens to be the time when new doctors across the country begin their training. I remember being an intern myself and being put in the position that I was suddenly responsible for someone else's life. It was a crazy experience being a medicine intern but one that I cherish till this day.
I remember that what helped me get through the tough days was the self confidence I had that I was going to be the best doctor for my patient even if I didn't know everything I knew that I could find the answer.
Self reflection is defined as meditation or serious thought about one's character, actions, and motives so I thought it would be important for you guys to see that in action with myself. I think it's important that we all take a look at ourselves to see what we are doing right and most importantly what we are doing wrong to get better.
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And welcome to another episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. I'm your host, Dr. Berry Pierre, your favorite Board Certified Internist. Founder of drberrypierre.com. CEO of Pierre Medical Consulting, who helps you empower yourself for better health with the number one podcast for patient advocacy here with the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry bringing you Episode 116. And this is going to be a solo episode and I like to take this episode as the launch episode because over the next two to three weeks we are going to be having some amazing guests talk to us about self-awareness, stress relief, what's causing stress in our life. And of course the Lunch and Learn community, you know I've talked about this ad nauseum. If the mind is not in check, it does not matter what you do with the physical, right? So I want to like really bring this next couple of weeks in where we start reflecting on ourselves and start looking at ourselves and seeing, you know, what's causing us a problem, what's causing us concerns.
And of course this is actually, depending on when you're listening to this, July is actually Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. So of course, why not be self-reflective within mental health awareness month. If you got any time to be self-reflective, to kind of look at yourself and look at all the stressors that are in front of you, might as well do in July. So if your minority, I know I have a lot of non-minorities who listen to the show. But if you're a minority, this is the month to do so. So if you have not had a chance, remember to subscribe to the show, tell a friend and tell a friend and like, hey, you got this amazing podcasts I want you to listen to with Dr. Berry. Please do that asap.
And before I let you go, I want to read off a couple of five-star reviews that I recently got. Like I said, I always encourage you guys not only just subscribe to the show, but also leave me five-star reviews so I know that I'm actually doing a good job. So this review says everyone should listen to this podcast, relevant information so that you can live a better, healthier, and longer life. Shout out to Nate Henry, number one. The next one says, very informative, engaging podcast to help everyday people maintain healthy and happy lives. Thank you, Candace. So again, if you have not had a chance to go ahead and subscribe to the show and then leave me an amazing five-star review like that so I can give you a shout out here on the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. So without further ado, Episode 116 let's get ready. We're talking about self and self-awareness and getting ourselves together for the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry.
So when we talk about self, right? Because I think this is a theme that I really wanted to hit home when I get the chance to kind of think about podcast topics and I get to ask you guys, you know what stuff you'd like to hear. And mental health is always a big one. Self-reflection is always a big one. So I wanted to kind of to self-reflect on my own here on the podcast this week. Just so we can kind of get an idea of what that means and what's so important about it.
As a podcast or as a physician, as a program director and father and husband and all these different hats that I choose to wear, I volunteered to wear, I love to wear. It's one of those things where sometimes your life can get so busy. That a lot of times you don't even get to really reflect on everything that you do. Especially whether it be good or most importantly whether the bad, right? Because I think it's one thing to self-reflect and only think about all the good stuff you do.
But when you're self-reflecting and you start thinking like, wow, I could probably do blank better,
whatever that blank is for you. I think it really kind of hits home the onus of being okay with yourself and okay with what you're doing and how you're doing it. So as a physician here, when I think about what we're doing on a day to day basis as a hospital physician, taking care of patients inside the hospital, the most acute patients, the most sick patients, and doing everything we can to get them better and what that does to a person's psyche, right? I see it all the time. You know, again, as a program director, I take care of 18 residents who I'm responsible for from the day they set foot to the day they leave, right?
And sometimes even a little bit after they leave. But most importantly, it's seeing that transition of what it does to a person, some mental clarity, right? When they're just the fresh side medical student and they become the fresh shot intern and then they become the hardened senior resident who is often getting ready to attack the world. Right? So I get to see kind of all three of these different levels at come to play within my job. And it's one of those things whereas we talk about minority Mental Health Awareness Month. I always questioned and a lot of times some of the questions I ask them really isn't about the clinical aspect of what they're doing, but the more, the mental aspect of what they're doing.
A lot of my, one of my favorite attendings, Dr. Kanner would always ask us why? Why are you doing what you want to do? Why do you want to send a patient on this medication home? Why do you want to consult this person? Why are you using this medication versus that medication? He was always big on the why. Because one, he's an older physician, so he already had, you know, a little bit beef with us younger physicians who he felt did more quote-unquote cookbook medicine and didn't really understand why they were doing things. Just kinda did it because they read it in a piece of paper and didn't think things through, right?
So his big thing was understanding the why process of it all. And honestly he's probably one of the best physicians and attendings I've ever had in my life because it's completely changed the trajectory only of how I do things, but why I do the things I do. And then why I do and train my residents, even my medical students the way I do.
Because there's always an onus of understanding that when it comes to book-smarts, you'll eventually get the book smarts, right? So I can give you plenty of articles to read to get what the information and answer I'm looking for. But if you don't know why you're getting the answer information I'm looking for. If you don't know why I'm asking a question. That is where the learning problems tend to fall to, right? So that's not something that he was big on.
So he was always big on making sure we understood the why of things and why things tick the way they did. So when we think about self-reflection and self-care and you know, those are big, obviously big keywords that you hear a lot now, especially in the mental health space. I always questioned my physician colleagues how often they're doing this because I think now one of the biggest pushes at that you see, especially in the physician space when it comes to mental health, is you know, the onus of burnout and burning out and essentially being tired of doing what they're doing.
And when you think about burnout, you think about like, oh, this is a person who may have been practicing for five years, 10 years, 20 years, and now they're finally tired of doing something. But we see that this burnout process is happening much sooner. I got people who aren't even finishing residency and they're already talking to like they're tired.
When I think about them being tired, right? I always questioned is it that you're tired of doing whatever job you're in at this moment or your expectations of the job that you had when you first started are much different than what they are when you're actually in a job, right? Like how many of you may have started a job or started a project or started a relationship, right? And which when they started it was looking all good when it started, everything was clicking and then something happened in the middle where that clicking didn't happen anymore.
That dissociation of what I thought was gonna happen and what's actually happened suddenly got realized. And I think what's happening with physicians is that for us, a lot of us are going into fields and practices with different intentions. And a lot of us are going into these organizations are going into these situations thinking that like, oh, it's going to be this way. And then unfortunately at the end, realizing it's a totally different ball game. And that's why I stressed to my residents to understand like, hey, you know what? This is what's your future, right? So I just want to let you know so you can understand to have some outlets because as a premedical student, especially, I'm talking to my premedical students right now because they already know my attendings and my physicians already know. As a premedical student, you really don't have too many outlets because you really don't have too much time. Because most of the time you are just spent studying and learning.
Again, I remember as my, like this is how I remember my birthdays, right? Which is crazy. And my birthday's in December (so trying to search terrorists). So my birthday's in December. So usually when it was my birthday, there was usually a finals. I was having a study around. So when I think about my birthday's like, key birthdays, right? Like 21st birthday, 25th birthday. I always remember studying for a certain final. Like that's how I remember studying for my birthdays. It wasn't like, oh I can't wait till my birthday come so I can, you know, party and drink or cheaper car insurance. It wasn't nothing like that. It was like, oh my 21st birthday, here comes organic chemistry. On 25th birthday, okay here it comes, I think it was like anatomy, physics or biochemical some course, right? Like it was some class that I remember having to study with for a final four and I couldn't even like I said, I couldn't even really enjoy the birthday.
My birthday is always got celebrated after finals was over, because I couldn't do it during the meantime or probably wouldn't have made finals. So it was one of those things that, and I knew that as a premedical student, right? So as a premedical student, I realized very early that medicine was taking a lot of my time and I didn't like it. And I wish I could say it got better as a medical student. It didn't. As a medical student, you know, you're spending countless hours, you can ask my wife, you have spent your spending countless hours having to learn and learn and you know, you got people telling you that, hey, if you don't do well on this one test, your whole career is going to change. Like have kind of referencing the boards and we could probably talk about boards forever. But here is me, a medical student.
Again, I'm happy, right? Because I did all of that I was supposed to do to get to being a medical student realized that I still got a lot of work to do because I wanted to become a resident somewhere. I didn't know what profession but I knew I wanted to become a resident somewhere. So there's another opportunity to just taking my time. And of course, I've always been adept that social media. I always saw my friends is like life in, right? Like this, I like to call it life and my friends were life in a way. On Facebook and Twitter and all like I could just see them just life was just happening and having families and you know, they're taking trips and they're working. Again, as a medical student, I didn't work at all. Right? So I see all of these like lavish things that happened and I'm like, ah, I'm just on outside. More frequently, I was on the inside of a library looking out wishing I was there.
So as I became a resident, I always made it a key point to really kind of take back my time. Like I've said, I've talked about this before. One of the biggest transitions that I've made as I became what I think is, this is my trademark by now, shout out to Dr. Dre, medical mogul, right? One of the transitions I may do becoming a quote-unquote medical mogul like I said, was the fact that I wanted to take back my time. Right? Like I want it, the time that I have been giving away as a premedical student, giving away as a medical student, giving away as a resident, right? I wanted to take that back and I wanted to take it back and do something I wanted to do.
Not something that I was forced to do and not something that was scheduled to do. I wanted to do something that I wanted to do. And being a physician, you know, sometimes you get kind of pigeonholed into dealing, you know, physician things, right? Going to a clinic or going to the hospital or you just keep kinda pigeonholed to do in those things. But I knew like I liked other stuff, right? Like I've always been a big tech person. If anyone who follows me on Instagram knows I recently had to switch out my Wi-Fi card and a couple other than my battery and a couple of other things. Right?
Like I always liked doing those types of things. So tech and you know, messing with computers was always something that was very interesting to me. It was always something that like, you know if this medicine thing no work, I may fall back on tech. And here I was as a resident, as an attending soon to be.
And you know, I'm coming into my own and I'm becoming a medical mogul and I'm taking back my time and I'll be like, what can I do? Like expand myself and like get back some of the time I want. Well I did that, right? Like I went to the tech and I, you know, even now I do a lot of tech-related things. If you go to my website, drberrypierre.com, if you check out my resource page, I do a lot of emails related marketing and funnel creations. Again, these are terms that you are probably unless you're in the know, mean absolutely nothing to you and that's okay. Right? But like it was something that I enjoy. I actually loved doing it and I quote-unquote do that on a side, on top of all of this stuff, right?
And you're listening to a physician on a podcast, right? That's not actually common, unfortunately. Because I feel like a lot of physicians should be podcasting. And just a quick side note, I think a lot of physicians, I think if they journaled their experiences probably wouldn't be as burnt out as they are because I think a lot of times, them being burnt out is because they are internalizing a lot of things. And I'm big on, you know, letting people know what's happening. And I've been blogging since I was a medical student. I've been letting you know how quote-unquote shitty this system it was for a while because it's not a surprise, right? Some of my gripes with medicine, love it to death though, can see myself doing anything else, but there is some issues that need to be corrected.
But I feel that if all physicians journaled, I feel like if all physicians wrote a book, did a podcast, did a blog, something that allowed them to express what they were thinking at more than anything else, I think that would be absolutely phenomenal. So when I think about this self-reflection where I’m at now. Again, now I'm an attending, now I'm starting to take back my life and I'm starting to see a different world, right? Like I'm seeing medicine for what I thought medicine was. This engine of education and this vehicle that I could be the quote-unquote captain of. And that's why I started doing all of this stuff I do in terms of the blogging and video blogging and obviously this podcast in which you listen to right now. All of it was because now I was happy and now when I was doing medical stuff, I didn't feel like it was a chore anymore.
And right when I had that realization when I was able to self-reflect to say like, wow, like this is what I should've always been doing.
My life has been on cloud nine ever since. Right? Like again, I joke, but I always laughed at, I'm like, oh my God, I can't believe they still pay me like to come to do this thing. Because I would probably do it for free. Don't tell him. Right? Don't tell my job that I probably would do that thing for free because like I can't believe like they let me in charge of those residents. I got some residents who listen to my podcast so they're going to have a good laugh at this. But I can't believe that I'm the reason why someone's going to go from a medical student to be a medical resident, right?
I don't want to say the sole decision-maker, right? But I got some sway in who becomes a resident at Wellington regional and it's such an interesting concept to me because it was something that I never pictured myself. I guess I never really pictured myself doing it, at least right now. I figured this was something that I'd probably do when I was old and, you know, kinda tired and I'll just kind of fall back and then, you know, this position will kind of open up for me. But, you know, God said, Nah, you need to do this right now. I need you in this position right now. And you know, we're going on year three right now. We're actually going on year three of being a program director and it's been a beautiful sight and I've met amazing people.
I met amazing premeds. I've met amazing medical students. I've met amazing residents, amazing administrators long way. Right? Like all of these things that are able to come to fruition because I was able to look into myself and say like, hey, what you doing right now isn't enough. Right? What you're doing right now isn't benefiting enough people. I need you to do more. I need you to step out and do more and expand. And that's where I think the clarity of my mental health has come in because I realize that those times, you know what, this is stressing me right now.
And the things that are stressing me, I need to do something about it. Again, I was an attending physician who was stressed about the way medicine was going. I was stressed about the way the job was treating me. I was stressed about the way it was affecting my family and I realized I need to do something to make this change. This was a goal that I've always dreamed of when I was an elementary student. I was in elementary, I was saying I was going to be Dr. Pierre. And here I was. I was Dr. Pierre and Dr. Pierre was not happy.
And I need to change that asap. So that got changed and once I changed that, once I recognize these other stressors in my life and I got them out of there, right? The black cloud that was around me as a physician went away. When it went away, it’s been nothing but blue skies and summer rain every now and then. But it's been an absolutely an amazing experience and this is what I hope to be able to bring to you guys. Just a little reflection over this next few weeks of the podcast.
I want you to be able to think of these next three, I guess next four if you include this one. I want you to think about these next four podcasts it's like a one running show where we're going to be talking about just stress in general, right? Because stress sucks. Let's be honest. It sucks when you're your stress, right? Everything is not a peachy keen when you're stressed, right? Everything is not all good when you're stressed. And sometimes some people have one thing that's causing them stress but it's causing them stress repeatedly. Some people have multiple things that are hitting them all at the same time and that's causing stress, that's causing problems. And then you have others who are like, I don't know what's going on but I know something it's over me. So that's one thing that I really want to hit home. We're going to really talk about stress over the next three weeks.
And then when we talk about stress, we're going to be talking about what we can do to heal ourselves. And really I'm talking to the physicians. Of course, Lunch and Learn community, you know, I got a wide range of people who listen to me. I got some physicians, I got a lot of helper, practitioners. I got a lot, you know, quote-unquote common people, when I say common, I don't mean just not in the health care field, but who are interested in wanting to learn more about their health. I got a lot of people in different worlds who liked to talk about health, like to listen to health or maybe just like listen to me. I don't know. Right? You tell me, right? Somebody fits in some category, right?
Clearly, health is on your mind because there are a million different podcasts you can listen to and you still listening to me, right? So whatever that is, I want you to grab and hold to that and I want you to think about what are some of your stressors over these next month. And think about what are you doing to try to break these stressors down. What are you doing to try to say I need to get these stresses out of here? And again, physicians, stressors, burnout. We know what happened, we know the end result. The end result means fewer physicians. The end result means more physician suicides, right? And this isn't just a physician thing, right? It's a lot of different careers that fit into the same pattern. Someone goes into a career thinking about one thing, they go into a relationship thinking about one thing, and it's a totally different thing once they get there and then problems arise, right?
So we're at the stage, especially for a lot of physicians where there's a lot of problems arising because we're realizing this isn't what we signed up for or what we thought we signed up for. Because honestly, it's probably already, it's probably been like that. We just didn't know because physicians before us, they weren't doing any journaling. They weren't doing any blogging, they weren't doing any podcasting. So they never actually told us, who knows? That's my theory, right? My theory is this medicine thing probably been sucking for a while, but because the folks ahead of us didn't document anything, we had no clue. And now we just kind of walk in here looking crazy. But that's a whole another discussion. So we're going to talk about the stress this month. We're gonna talk about stress relief this month. We're gonna talk about how to be a better you this month.
And then most importantly, this is something I love. And I can't wait for you to listen to this guest, Dr. Brad, when he comes on. First of all, he's phenomenal, and if you get a chance, Dr. Brad Volara, he's performance coach and he's going to get us really high. Like I said, I'm excited about the interview and that interview hasn't even happened yet. Right? But I already know it's going to help energize Lunch and Learn community and help them look at themselves and say like, okay, no, no, no. I'm worth more than I'm thinking I'm supposed to be aware of. Because me personally, I think I'm worth a lot, right? And mentally I think I'm worth a lot. But that's because I got the clarity, right? I want everyone in Lunch and Learn community to get that same clarity that I got.
So they're walking around like they don't stink, right? That's what I want at the end of this month. So if you don't get anything from the end of this month, by the time August rolled around, I want you to say like, well, you know what? I know some of my stressors in my life. You know what? I know some ways to relieve some of that stress in my life and you best believe I know what my value is. You best believe I know my worth is. So if you don't get anything, I want you to get those three to four pieces of things from me and then, you know, leave the show and do whatever you want. But don't leave a show until that happens, right? So like I said, I can't wait for you guys listen to next month as it's going to be a great set of episodes, a great lineup of guests coming up. And you guys have a great and blessed day. I'm gonna see you guys next week. I better see you guys next week.