Dr. Ravindranath Kolli, a Board-Certified Psychiatrist with specializations in Addiction,
Geriatrics, and Forensic Psychiatry, serving as the Psychiatric Medical Director of Southwestern
Pennsylvania Human Services, is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of
Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. Dr. Kolli has over for decades of experience in the
healthcare field. He graduated from Rangaraya Medical College, NTR University of Health
Sciences Medical School in 1981. He is affiliated with medical facilities at the Washington
Health System Greene and Washington Hospital.
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Dr. Kolli’s association with AAPI began over two decades ago. He was involved with his Alumni Chapter of Rangaraya Medical College, which boasts of over 500 active members, and became its President. Later, he was elected as the President of the Telugu Medical Graduates of USA which represents over 15,000 Telugu origin Physicians in the USA.
Dr. Kolli has previously served as the Chair of IT committee of AAPI, Convention AV
Co-Chair, a member of several Committees of AAPI including Endowment fundraising, Geriatric, IT, GME Liaison, South Asian CVD and Childhood obesity awareness and Obesity awareness programs and Adopt a Village Plan and more.
He had served as the Secretary, Vice President and eventually as the President of Pittsburgh TAPI in 2012-13.
A Psychiatrist by profession and among the many goals Dr. Kolli has set for himself, something
very dear to him, is to “focus on battling the stigma of mental illness and access to quality mental
health care broadly and widely looking back to his childhood about, what inspired him to become a physician Dr. Kolli says, “I come from a family of physicians,” “Among my five brothers, 3 of us are physicians and I was the youngest. My father’s two brothers were physicians as well as their spouses. We have a long tradition of being a family of physicians. Counting all together, we have about 40 physicians and counting, among our cousins, nieces, and nephews in my family of three generations. So, it was a
natural course for me to be a physician as well” Dr. Kolli explains.
Growing up in a family where his dad was a state government official in the Andhra Pradesh state transportation department, Dr. Kolli and his family traveled from place to place every three years with the transfer of his dad, which was a huge challenge. However, “That gave me a wider and unique perspective on life, with the opportunity to meet new people in new places and environments and it was a very enriching experience in a way, even though we didn’t have roots in one place, but we had a wide network of friends and associates around the state.”
Dr. Kolli and his siblings loved sports both indoor and outdoor, he explains, “All of us were very athletic. We played tennis and cricket and we were all good at it. We played for colleges, universities and one of my brothers played for the state. So, we were sought out to play for the local teams and clubs wherever we lived at.”
“Psychiatry was my passion from my medical college days. That was a profession by choice not by default. It was my chosen vocation.” says Dr. Kolli. “I had developed interest in psychology, behavioral health, and medicine right from the medical school. There were not very many opportunities back in India at that time for psychiatric training, which was my career goal.” And therefore, seeking educational and training opportunities, Dr. Kolli immigrated to the United States in 1983 following his elder brother who moved to the US in 1974.
Dr. Kolli’s Prescription for Success:
Number 1: We are more stronger than what we give ourselves credit for.
Number 2: Look for opportunities to serve.
Number 3: You have to follow before you become a leader.
Number 4: Every setback isn’t a failure, but is a stepping stone for the next level of success.
Number 5: You prepare to succeed by being an optimist.
Number 6: Nothing is personal.
Connect with Dr. Kolli
Notable quotes from Dr. Kolli’s interview:
1 in 7 patients have come across an Indian in their care.
Roughly 1/3rd of current physicians are of Indian origin.
We are more stronger than what we give ourselves credit.
You have to follow before you become a leader.
Note: Links on this page may be linked to affiliate programs. These links help to ensure we can continue to deliver this content to you. If you are interested in purchasing any products listed on this page, your support helps us out greatly. Thank you.
Access the Show Transcript Here
[0:00] And during my confirmation address I said with great power comes great responsibility go to court band good band from Spider-Man so I do feel like it’s a very important thing to be responsible with how you use your power.
[0:21] Paging dr. cook paging dr. cook dr. cook you’re wanted in the o.r. dr. Koh you’re wanted in the.
[0:50] Hello everyone and welcome to prescription for Success I’m dr. Randy cook your host for the podcast.
Which is a production of MD coaches providing leadership and Executive coaching for Physicians by physicians.
To overcome burnout transition your career.
Develop as a leader or whatever your goal might be visit MD coaches on the web at my MD coaches.com because you’re not in this alone.
[1:19] And don’t forget CME credit is available when you listen with us just look for cmf I in the show notes to learn how.
[1:27] My guest today is a psychiatrist in Western Pennsylvania and the current president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin.
He was kind enough to join us today to talk about his path to success and his work with the aapi so let’s hear my conversation with dr. Ravi kolli.
What a pleasure it is for me today to be speaking with dr. Ravi kolli.
Out in Western Pennsylvania Robbie thanks so much for joining us today and welcome to prescription for success
friend is my pleasure to join such a steam program and esteemed speaker and interior like you,
well you’re very kind and I’m really looking forward to hearing your story and particularly.
I’m interested in hearing some things about this organization that you represent that we’ll talk about later but as is always the case we like.
Start things off with your origin story obviously you were not born in this country so tell us about your childhood and the influences that might have led you into a career in medicine.
[2:43] Yeah it’s obvious that I am from another country my name is Ravi kolli which is an Indian name,
I’m from India I was born southern part of the India a place called Andhra Pradesh where people speak a language called Telugu and.
That is one of the larger group of ethnic groups opinion.
Groups and I’m the youngest of five brothers and three of us happened to be positioned,
and so we do have a tradition of being physicians in our family,
and even before that my oldest brother was a physician and I’m the youngest of the five I like I said so I kind of followed their footsteps my third brother was 13 and five were Physicians.
And prior to my my brother’s being positioned my two uncles and their spouses for all supposition so.
And counting all my,
Next Generation my cousin’s my nephew’s and niece’s including my daughter we have about 40 plus physicians in our family my goodness and most of them are here and so it’s a kind of a,
easy path and path of least resistance for all of us probably heard the same story that’s going around.
[4:03] That’s almost enough I would probably is enough for a multi-specialty group all from just with one family that’s really fascinating yes it’s true neither of your parents were Physicians is that correct yes you’re right my father is the oldest of the.
I think Four Brothers he had and he went to engineering he was an automobile engineer.
And he became an official in the government transportation department in Andhra Pradesh in the my state where I belong to and belong to.
And he rose to the position of a deputy transport commission with your like a second highest position in the department and my mother was a homemaker a great lady,
she’s still alive in her 88 or 90 years old and my father passed away long time back so my father was an engineer and his,
third brother and his fourth brothers were physician so that’s how it all started one thing I’m always interested in is.
What your education what your medical education was like I gather the you had probably made a decision that this is what it would be in your teens because in your country,
medical education the formal medical education actually begins significantly earlier than it does in the US so.
[5:18] Tell us about how you came to that decision what were those early years in medical school like for you.
We do start Medical School straight I right after high school or and our Junior College we call it.
And we’re actually 18 19 at the time so free young and they like I said it was a default choice for me and I studied biology undergrad as well as chemistry and physics for requirement for medical school.
And I thought I will try at least one time to get into medical school and if I don’t I thought I was going to different face a different path because my third the second brother who went to medical school.
I was so focused on being a doctor he,
I did not get into med school first attempt and second attempt and finally third attempt he did make it was much smarter and much harder working than I was I thought but I did take the entrance exam and succeeded in the first attempt and guardian
that was kind of a I was little bit of a baby of the home and not many people expected much from me I was protected
so boosted my ego my goodness I’m better than my older brother so anyway I did get into med school like that and it was,
at 18 it was medicine is a very cherished profession very highly respected profession in India.
And there is a saying in Sanskrit called by the own Iron obovata meaning a doctor is next to God.
[6:46] And that is the kind of respect the tradition and the culture has bestowed on physician so being in being in the med school you look like a hero at a rockstar in your community in your neighborhood and people look up to you and.
And what you when you’re walking and when you talking like that admiration you know so that was a kind of a well I’m sure with with with that much respect because comes along.
A considerable amount of responsibility as well and let’s talk a little bit about medical education in India while we’re on this subject.
It’s a big country I forget how many millions there are in this close to 1.3 billion right now I think they’re saying it’s going to exceed China pretty soon yeah.
In the numbers of medical schools is actually fairly massive when you compare it to,
American Medical Schools is that right you know about how many teen get was much smaller when we started now I think exponentially grown in the last 10 20 years with private schools as well as the government school starting I think around close to five to six hundred schools are
and in operations right now not all of them have the highest quality but,
most of them are striving to become better and better with bigger and bigger resources being provided and required and this resource here.
[8:08] But even with.
Number of medical schools that large I guess with billions in the population the the competitiveness obviously is fairly substantial,
absolutely it was very very tough and like I said my brother could not get in even they will match hardworking and much star smarter I thought I worked then I was so he did finish is AB undergrad in biology and then went into med school,
and whereas I went straight from high school and Junior College to med school so there is a heavy heavy heavy competition at that time,
I started med school a lot long lat long long time back it’s a 1975 so I’m sick I,
graduation 81 so that was long almost kind of mind-boggling to think back that I graduated like,
31 years back some I understand that that was actually about the same time that I started and it does seem like a long long time ago.
And you got interested in Psychiatry very early you have any idea where that inspiration yeah yeah that’s a very good question and actually when we were doing
Psychiatry residency application that was one of the question they always ask what got you interested in Psychiatry as a profession.
/ many Indians it was not a chosen path but for me it was the definitely The Chosen profession I chose.
The reason being I was interested in mind and body and medicine as well.
[9:32] Tendai was exposed I used to read a lot of books including English biographies as well as fiction and.
Actually you can be kind of corny the sounds like but I read a book on Sigmund Freud called.
I think something is ringing ring Wallace for the writer I don’t forget the title of it but.
[9:54] It was the story of Sigmund Freud basically a biography it’s a very well written very detailed history of his story and his life and he is becoming it from a neurologist to psychoanalyst.
Kind of a starting a new movement and psychiatry,
speed may be discredited now but that was the only explanation at that point in time so you started being a neurologist studying brain and how brain worked and then went into Psychiatry expiring through some kind of a Fantastical theories but.
Some of them were tested in The Proven right some of them would not attend so.
[10:28] That’s how I got into Psychiatry and there were not that many Psychiatry training opportunities back in India at that time,
so coming here also wasn’t one of the reason that I chose is to come here to get training faster better quicker here,
then struggling there with limited opportunities they’re so so you actually you actually did your psychiatric training in this country,
correct I did my Psychiatry training at a place called Saint Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh which was Affiliated to the University of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 1992,
you’re satisfied with your choice.
At this point but I’m very interested to know in the in the early days of your psychiatric training did you feel like.
[11:14] This is really it I’ve done the right thing this is where I belong or did it take a while to.
Adjust what was going on what was the story I never had any second thoughts about it I liked it from the day one even before starting training I did some research in Psychiatry at,
Hospital in Mount Sinai related hospital and has to Newark.
[11:35] And we did some kind of a preemie logical and psychopharmacological research under renowned psychiatrist dr. Arthur Rifkin A psychopharmacologist in those days.
This was before 88 so I was interested and it consolidate my interest and and as I started my training it really,
yeah I kind of made me even more in and created and then choose to continue psychiatry,
because in France is at the time was little bit more of a psycho Dynamic oriented programming
as opposed to more psychopharmacological biological Psychiatry that is becoming very famous and popular rest of the country so we had a balance of both Community psychiatry,
say biological Psychiatry as well as psychodynamic training which was kind of not very common at that time so it kind of save interesting training portal place for money,
training at this time and similar question once you found yourself in private practice did that.
We really really happy with where you were or were there some challenges you have my I started W that private practice mortal at that in the beginning.
[12:47] We I started a like inpatient psychiatric unit in a small town in West Virginia can be written.
And they didn’t have a psychiatric unit so they used to send a patient to the.
Pittsburgh area which is only like 45 minutes away we’re on the border of this the best what you did the panhandle of West Virginia that the Jets between Ohio and Pennsylvania,
and then so I we started I started the inpatient Psychiatry program there and work there and also work working in Outpatient Clinic right next door they Community type of Mental Health Center.
Plus my own private practice so I continued that for a while but I wanted to do more.
Outpatient work at some point in time so I decided to just to dog patient Clinic psycho clinical psychiatry.
And I will need two more of a clinic practice rather than a private practice from then onwards mostly I have worked my career mostly through.
Nonprofit Community Mental Health Centers but I Rose to the medical director of this position all of the places I worked.
[13:53] Yeah so I have interesting jobs I have done work in present present in Western Pennsylvania and became the medical director psychiatric director there.
Quite a few years and then return back to community outpatient Psychiatry as well after that so it sounds like you have.
[14:14] A significantly visible Community interest streak in yourself perhaps you could have if you measure things in.
Financial reward perhaps it could have been bigger and some other realm but you you have chosen.
[14:32] Really minister to the people that you’re closest to it sounds like,
yeah there is a dirt and there’s a need for Quality psychiatrist who’s consistently stay in one place because a lot of people come and go as a stopgap measure when they work in clinics but
I’ve been working in one sister I worked in one system in Waitin for 16 years until I moved Mike.
To a Pittsburgh completely and then I’ve been working there for the next last 14 years so I stay kind of,
almost any regular permanent basis wherever I go so and probably I’m the one of the oldest and most experienced besides the CEO of the clinic right now who have been around so.
So I feel and they respect me for that reason as well plus I deliver quality care and consistent care and my patients care for that and love about that,
and the nursing and social worker the rest of the clinic staff see me as a kind of a like a lynchpin array,
swear like a solid stabilizing factor between X and not only are you generous towards your community it.
[15:45] It appears to me that you have a bit of generosity toward your colleagues as well and I know that you are I believe that you are the currently serving,
president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin that’s a mouthful and I know that you all call it the the aapi
I can’t believe that I didn’t even know such an organization exists it’s quite large so tell us about the API and how you became interested.
Read so aapi like you said American Association of Physicians of Indian origin and surprisingly probably not so surprisingly you might have come across so many in your position at every.
Step of the Vigneron profession because we are almost like 10% of the,
physician population of this country there are about a million licensed physician this country not all of them are practicing but their license and out of that at least minimum
100 or even more 100,000 120,000 out of Indian origin not all of them are immigrants some of them are first generation or
some mice called the second generation like the student who went Med schools hear from the children of the immigrants so we have a large.
[17:03] Diaspora as well as the first generation who have been in the medical field in this country there are all over the country all over the from Academia to Appalachia from,
from West Coast all the way to Alaska to.
Hawaii to my cousin lives in a lion and the head surgeon that’s all we’re everywhere we’re from north to south east west angle,
and we cover and rural areas with covered Suburbans with our inner cities we we do academic Psychiatry we do research and sitemap Psychiatry medicine,
research as well as nowadays even a lot of them are entrepreneurs they have their own hospitals change they have.
The running hospitals has cm0 CEOs.
So our presence is felt everywhere there is a there is a number there tautou that one in seven American patient has at some point or other,
has come across an Indian physician in there,
okay are so either add a specialist as a primary care doctor so we are huge and we do fill the gaps where they got a lot of delay for example I’m doing is community Psychiatry which is not.
Probably not as coveted by some people so but we do provide that level of care.
[18:16] Quality of care at every level is not surprised at those numbers and just to support some of what you’ve already said.
From my very beginning of medical education throughout the entirety of my career there were always.
[18:35] Physicians with an Indian background somewhere either partners of mine in.
A big group or simply on the hospital staff or whatever but the numbers are really quite huge I’m very impressed with the numbers
of Physicians with the onion backgrounds that are the only practitioners in some remote remotely rural areas in the area where I live which there is a lot of
rural area in the Deep South so it kind of fascinates me that.
[19:12] And I know that there are plenty of.
[19:17] Immigrant Physicians or you know Physicians that came to the u.s. from other countries but.
In terms of overall numbers it seems to me that those with an Indian background.
[19:35] Or by far the biggest population do you are their numbers to back that up or do you have any idea yeah that’s true.
[19:45] Yeah that is absolutely correct there is a there are statistics roughly one-third of the foreign position in this condominium International Medical graduates are from India and even if you add.
That is a guaranteed lie Indian immigrant position and then if you add like Caribbean graduates who are opinion origin or if you add the American u.s. Medical graduate that our opinion origin,
that number probably goes to all the way half the.
International Medical graduates and foreign are you need foreign origin type of medical graduation the Indian origin physician.
[20:24] Like I said we have a hundred plus thousand Physicians probably of Indian origin and happy aapi represents we have about 15,000 live Patron members like member,
and we have about 100 plus chapters that’s that represent different Specialties like Psychiatry gastroenterology Radiology cordial and whatever and then we do have like a regional chapters like Pittsburgh New York Chicago la,
all over the country and then we have.
Helena chapter is coming from back home from India so we have hundred plus chapter so we represent and those members in the if you add those members of those chapter and we have a huge.
Group of people that we are connected,
and if I hurt if I her if I heard you correctly and I apologize for the interruption I think you said that the overall membership numbers are in the vicinity of 100,000 is that correct
right at least I mean we’re not they’re not all members but they are like hey Mary presenter other need to present all the men position but they have membership similar to that we have hundred thousand Physicians who can be,
source that indian-origin positions and we have 15,000 Live member life members,
plus chapter members we had maybe on the twenty thirty thousand so at least half one third of them are connected to one chapter or the plus to our group.
[21:46] And what’s interesting to me about that is it really it’s difficult to know exactly what the true numbers are.
[21:56] I think the AMA.
Claims somewhere in the vicinity of 250,000 numbers there are those who believe that it’s more like 100,000.
[22:09] So as a representative of the profession I think you have grounds to claim that.
The aapi is probably more influential in the AMA maybe not if you count the the lobbyists in Washington.
But at least in terms of patient care and establishment of common goals amongst practitioners that’s that’s quite remarkable and since I’ve brought up the AMA.
Well first of all let me ask you if you had to describe.
48 Pi does what it’s for what its purpose is what would be your answer.
Yeah in the beginning when it started like 40 years back in the Michigan and the basement of some local physicians at that time like an 80s early 80s early 90s late 90s.
Ladies had early 90s or even before that.
[23:08] There was a subtle if not overt discrimination and bias both,
implicit as well as even explicitly because the licensing exams and the licensing process is for different for an international medical graduate words is,
u.s. medical graduate which is understandable but it was much more,
wider Gap in those two groups and actually they used to call them foreign medical graduates and we kind of changed the term in International Medical graduate so it looks more fat kind of fancy but,
there was some level of discrimination both at the hospital levels are a licensing levels or residency training lab opportunities so there was some.
Some reason to United the time where this group of Physicians so this one like a lot of Physicians came in at least and my brother came in 74 I think and 75.
[24:04] So they’re the first and barriers so they didn’t have a group to represent them in case they needed so the some strong-minded very Visionary people came together and started we need to have an organization to represent all of us,
whenever we got you can’t you can’t,
fix the roof and it is leaking right we have to fix it into in the summertime so before the problem comes you have to have a an army ready to fight in case there’s a war so but there were subtle,
signs of problems and there were overt signs of,
opportunities being denied or at least it could be I can understand accent is different culture is different and you practice little differently and you may have may not have them,
same level of parse interpersonal skills are different part introvert so we might feel like we’ve been discriminated so.
So that is the impetus for the organization to start once we started and once we realized our strength is in our numbers and our strength is to be in together it kind of mushroomed and it became larger and larger and bigger and bigger,
and it became a very coveted organization to belong to and,
the organization to be proud of and that’s how it became the American Medical Association is.
[25:25] Unabashedly honest that they are basically a,
political force does the aapi get involved in politics at all we don’t have a what and Beyond kind of the 503 see designation we have.
Kind of remain refrain from other group from political action committees but.
Some of us are politically inclined and we do individually support our local Senators congressmen Governors and we do play influential role.
[25:58] For example know when we wake Marty was to become Surgeon General during Obama’s turn.
Determine there was some opposition because of his opposition to gun rights and gun.
Lobby so we did push for his nomination and Confirmation at that time and he became and he repeated in our he’s again that Surgeon General Tso,
and he’s a member of a API as well so so we do play some political roles especially related to engine.
India USA man Healthcare Partnerships are
for example the recent give a vaccine x’s and vaccine Equity we kind of try to propose some vaccine
available in India but India has come up with their own vaccine and widely distributed it so so India is a we do that but we don’t do political action as a,
as a kind of the our Charter yeah so mi individually we do and we have become.
[26:59] It kind of a well known for example.
Congressman steny Hoyer is a good friend of one of our past president and so we can call and access them Kamala Harris in California when she was a Senator was well known.
Two local people local doctors local Gators so we have access to a lot of these people.
And actually Bill Clinton do it come to one of our API convention in Chicago and early 90s yeah we did.
So that’s not uncommon it’s a great success story and I know you must be proud and I really.
[27:39] Been fascinated with the conversation I appreciate you sharing this with us as I say I had no idea that such an organization as the API existed before I began to research you and it really is
a fascinating story and it sounds like a truly worthwhile organization that
has done a lot of good and will probably continue to do a lot of good and I’m sure your.
[28:07] Proud to serve as their president so congratulations on thank you thank you very much it’s really an honor and the really a privilege and during my confirmation address I said with great power comes great responsibility go to court
band good band from Spider-Man so I do feel like it’s a very important,
here on RX for Success we interview a lot of great medical professionals on how they grew their careers how they overcame challenges.
And how they handle day-to-day work I really hope you’re getting a lot of great information.
But if you’re looking for an answer to a specific problem management or Administration challenge,
or if you’re feeling just a bit burnt out like maybe you chose the wrong career well then there’s a faster way to get the help you need now it’s not counseling it’s coaching,
RX for success is produced by MD coaches a team of Physicians who have been where you are I know you’re used to going it alone,
but you don’t have to get the support you need today visit us at my MD coaches.com to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Again that’s my MD coaches.com because you’re not in this alone.
[29:33] We’ll get back to our interview in just a moment but right now I want to tell you a little bit about physician Outlook
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[30:36] And now let’s get back to today’s interview
well again Robbie I want to thank you for joining us today to share your story
and what I’d like to do at this point is move on to the best part of the show at least what I think is the best,
part of the show and that’s when I get out of your way and let you speak entirely for yourself so I’m going to close my mic and audience this will be dr. Ravi kolli.
Sharing his prescriptions for success,
the first thing we need to realize we are more stronger than than what we give ourselves credit and that’s the true in my case for whatever reason being the youngest of the family I always kind of followed rather than let the team.
Even though I had been a leader most of the other areas of my life.
[31:29] So so leadership is sometimes comes your way either accidentally or incidentally,
and you’re in the right place at the right time with the right people around you the right team around you.
So look for opportunities one of my good friend used to say in military you never volunteer but you never decline an opportunity to serve so.
So you need to be ready and prepared and and be able to do whatever is asked to do.
And you have to have certain skills past you have to follow before you can become a leader.
[32:03] And you have to learn some skills that are needed for the normalization for example my story was that I was very good at technology web.
Web design and it kind of thing most Indian Physicians are not that Savvy at that time.
And still that they’re not in the older generation so I kind of made myself indispensable to any organization I worked with at the local chapter or a alumni chapter or a state chapter I work for as and became presidents.
So that scale was gave me the opportunity to kind of show other people skills that are there missing so that led path for me to step by step to go to the next level and next level.
And it’s a learning process and you’ll have some setbacks in life and like any other place and you’ll have some setbacks in your career or even your,
find your volunteering activities still be politics politics is not exactly that thing,
politics is bringing people together for a common goal.
People said politics are dirty and in my opinion the word daddy is not a bad thing.
[33:11] From the everything comes out of the dirt you know the dirt is where it grows Everything grows so you can use the dirty politics or whatever it is you call them.
As a fertile ground for your own development and growth.
So that’s one thing and then I also believe especially during this time of covid I realized how we have abilities beyond what we think we are capable.
And there is one that’s element of post trauma growth.
Which is characterized by five things one is spirituality and one is greater appreciation of Life another is a good relationships with your people in your life,
confidence in your own abilities and increased participation in activities that you thought beyond your capability so those are the things that we can grow from every.
[34:00] Every setback is not a failure it’s just a stepping stone for next level of success so.
And I also believe in being an optimist rather than a,
a negative person optimism is not just a like a like an unrealistic expectation of good things happening Optimist means you prepare yourself for success,
you don’t let the failure Define you when setback happens you don’t personalize it you do you put it outside of your,
the second stanza is could be the reason why you might have failed you don’t make it a permanent part of your,
life and your career could be circumscribed to that require a period of time and that can add aspect of your life so if failure is not permanent it’s not personal it’s not pervasive.
And the success can Optimist will save problems are circumstantial circumscribed and.
[34:57] And also cannot G is changeable it’s not permanent so,
when we had that attitude we do get around people who are more smarter than you and so you learn from them and you take resources from other people to learn from them.
And also you create a network of people who can help you and you prepared better so you have better chance of success.
[35:21] So it’s like a you you prepare yourself to succeed by being an optimistic attitude does make a big difference and there are a lot of books about mindset house,
cattle tracks mindset is a very good book to read on,
how to change your mindset to succeed and again then nothing is personally our success our failures are not just our Creations are out.
Our ability is that do that it’s all teamwork right it’s either as a team are entirely you succeed because of a team.
And are you failed because of a team and when you are in a team game,
I have to play together like Michael Jordan said the talent wins two games but it’s the teamwork that wins to the Championships so that’s how we have to look at.
[36:10] And when you compete with other people for position of responsibility sometimes there will be some negativity and some and unnecessary mudslinging and all that but,
I tell people that when you’re competing you’re competing as an individual you’re playing in your own lane you’re playing golf rather than a tennis when you’re competing against somebody else it is how I Define it as,
so the negativity are you don’t take it personally that your opponent do they can assist you but they want what you want and they want what they want.
So sometimes it becomes a clash of same needs so we don’t need to hate or any other opponent it it’s a competition actually competition does make us better there’s no question about it competition gives you more,
kind of Define yourself better and then set your vision and goals much more focused and much more granular.
Rather than being a little bit hazy about everything,
so competition is good setbacks are stepping stone for sexist and teamwork is very important.
And not personalizing anything is important and like I said responsibility power comes with responsibility it’s not for you.
And we need to leave the place better for future generation that’s what it’s all about.
[37:35] And so those are the important parts of being a leader array are at least a contributing citizen.
And that’s being a mentor for somebody Next Generation those are my prescriptions for success.
Yeah from a premier leadership point of view from a career point of view you have to like what you want to do it could be financially lucrative or it could be,
patient care while you’re making a difference in lives and York are caring for patients who are in much need much needed your care,
so those are some of the definition since prescriptions per sexes in my life in my imagination,
Ravi I really appreciate you sharing with us lot of wisdom there and and I particularly enjoy,
what you had to say about benefiting not only from your successes right but from your failures as well and I think a lot of us are sort of inclined to forget that those failures can be.
Valuable for us as well so thank you again for sharing with us before we go I want to give you an opportunity,
to let our audience know where they can find you and any events that you might like to publicize please tell us,
sure our organization website is aapi usa.org and.
[39:02] That represents our organization’s activities.
[39:05] And my personal website which I haven’t lately updated is radically imdb.com and it used to be much more updated
earlier on but during the Covey time I completely shall do everything and meditate correlated website and I haven’t gone back to the beginning first six months I kind of update almost obsessively into midnight
we love the night 2:00 3:00 I used to find articles and post them there so it was it was a user-friendly or website at that time so those are some places you can find me
email me radically MD at gmail.com or graphically MD at yahoo.com or my,
simple email addresses and IP has a YouTube channel we have a Facebook page.
We have Twitter page so if you look for a API American Association of Physicians of Indian origin in any social media will find,
us and so please stay connected with us and we can learn from each other and help each other.
[40:07] Dr. Ravi kolli thank you so much for being with us today it has been a pleasure.
[40:16] Thank you so much for joining us today we’d really appreciate a review from you and a five-star rating helps give our podcast much more visibility.
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0:00] Before we get into Today’s show I want to tell you about a new offering from MD coaches.
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When I was coming through as a student and a junior doctor teaching by ritual humiliation.
Paging dr. cook paging dr. cook dr. cook you’re wanted in the o.r. dr. KO you’re.
[1:34] Hello everyone and welcome to prescription for Success I’m dr. Randy cook your host for the podcast which is a production of MD coaches,
providing leadership and Executive coaching for Physicians by physicians to overcome burnout transition your career.
Develop as a leader or whatever your goal might be visit him D coaches on the web at my MD coaches.com because you’re not in this alone.
And don’t forget CME credit is available when you listen with us just look for cmf I in the show notes to learn how,
my guest today is speaking with us from the UK we are he is a family physician lawyer and Leadership coach he has a special interest in workplace bullying,
so let’s hear my conversation with dr. Adam Harrison.
[2:28] And it is my great pleasure to be.
Speaking today with dr. Adam Harrison who is coming to us from the UK Adam.
It’s a great pleasure to have you on the show and you are our first International guests thanks so much for being here.
Oh my gosh thank you thank you so much Randy for having me I’m it’s it was an honor anyway until you mentioned that I’m your first International guests so I’m even more privileged.
Yeah I recently did a guest it on the podcast where I was the first
male guest on a female only guest podcast so I’m choking up some some amazing first the moment so yeah thank you that’s quite a big deal
absolutely well Adam as we always do.
[3:18] I want to begin at the beginning and I’m interested to know when and what will when you first.
Thought that you would have an interest in studying medicine and sort of the influencers that came into your life that brought you there,
yes so I think when I was around 13 I was interested in either veterinary medicine or human medicine and.
Was when I did some work experience through my school when I was around 15 I think at local
General Hospital and I spent two weeks at this Hospital mostly on a ward with Orthopedic patients and then I had a day in in the ER and
I was just absolutely hooked I was so it’s hugely inspired by the junior doctors that I was working with and yeah that that was it that kind of sealed the deal for me into human medicine rather than veterinary medicine,
[4:23] So there was no there were no medical types in your family that had an influence or no not at all I was the first person in the family to actually go to university at all
all I can say is that I was at school with friends who had doctors as parents and you know if I
if I went around to to their house you know to socialize then I might meet the parents and talk to them a bit and my mom worked in a.
Family Medicine Clinic as a receptionist and sort of healthcare assistant and I met a few of the family physicians there but you know nothing kind of.
Close close enough contact I think for them to have had a huge influence on me so yeah don’t really know where it came from I see I see nice.
[5:17] That’s an interesting story and Adam one thing I would like for you to do our audience is largely in the US of course and.
We do medical education and professional education.
In general a little differently from what you do in the UK would you mind telling us how that goes yeah absolutely.
What are the steps in the process of course yeah and I’m really familiar with the American system because I work with a lot of American Physicians most of my clients are actually based in the u.s.a. I have a
I want in Canada at the moment yeah so I’m really conversant with the u.s. system but it’s
yeah I find it very very interesting so you know how you guys go to get a college degree first and then do medicine as a graduate subject really
in the UK the the sort of standard route is that you,
finish high school when you’re 18 and that’s when you’ve done what we call a level so Advanced levels.
[6:29] Subjects for the,
preceding two years and they are you’re almost like your University entrance exams I mean there isn’t much use for them otherwise,
and it’s now I’ve done quite a lot so when you’re when you do your exams at 16 your kind of your General High School exams and some people leave school at that stage you do about you know 10 10 or 12 different subjects but when you’re doing your a-levels in
you know the ages of 16 17 18 you really narrow it down to three or four subjects so
I’m in my case I did biology chemistry and physics and a subject called General Studies.
[7:06] And then so the general process is that you you apply to.
Medical school in there are some Standalone medical schools and there are some most most medical schools are part our faculties of Medicine of bigger universities.
About 17 at the beginning of your final year of high school and you know you fill out the application forms and you go through the interview procedures if you get offered interviews.
[7:34] And then if you get offered a place and you get the grades that they asked you to get then you’ll start medical school at the age of 18 and it’s generally a five-year course,
so you could actually qualify as a doctor at the age of 23 quite a few of us especially I trained only London quite a few of us down there do an extra year called an intercalated year to get an extra degree,
you can say the first two years very much like your first two years as far as I know it’s a lot of.
Basic medical sciences and that’s me physiology biochemistry pharmacology etc etc so.
The way it’s looked at here is that the first two years are more than the equivalent of the first few years of say a biochemistry degree or a biology degree or something like that so if you do an extra year.
You then get given a Bachelor of Science degree as well.
[8:25] So I actually studied history of medicine for a year and qualify with a degree in history of medicine and obviously my my medical degree at the end of it as well so that’s that’s how it generally works and how it worked for me,
that’s really interesting and I’d be interested to know if you,
it anytime throughout your career felt that that study of the history of medicine really informed your medical practice in any way.
That’s a really good question.
I’m I’m not sure consciously it did I mean much like in the US and the working.
[9:07] Systems although the.
You know the overarching kind of funding of hospitals and things is quite different in the u.s. than it is in the UK but the kind of what the work you know the kind of.
[9:21] Bing Bing on the wards and you know going to the ER to review patients and going to the the or and Etc.
Is very similar and I mean you remember what it’s like when you’re when you’re an intern and the junior resident you’re so you’re so busy just kind of,
doing your work and you know trying to get some rest there isn’t much time to to kind of you know think about all the interesting things that you might have studied you know we often.
Talk about you know doctors kind of getting on this conveyor belt and you’re at your identity changes and becomes you know you become a,
a medic or a physician you know and all the interesting things that you did too
get noticed by the medical schools to be offered a place like you know art and theater and music and Sport to a high level and all these things that we did to make our applications look more interesting than the competitors.
[10:20] You just leave them behind when you start as an intern and a junior resident you know because you’re just so busy with work so it’s probably I would say it’s it’s hard to think of how the history of Medicine
you know impacted on my my work as a junior doctor what what I will say is that it was my
my favorite year at Medical School it was my best year at Medical School it made me feel like I had that second chance to study a Humanity because I really did pigeonhole myself.
[10:53] And quite tightly into the three the three Sciences at a level and.
I think it just reflected the kind of person and interest that I had generally because and will come to this later on but I ended up studying to become a lawyer and and passed the bar exams and so on so I
either ended up doing you know the social sciences in the form of law so I think I always had that you know,
Humanities artistic social science side to my personality as well,
and was there additional training that was required in order for you to become what we would call a general practitioner or a family medicine physician,
yeah I actually think it’s you know I have I have friends in different countries and I think it’s quite rigorous in the UK
in the I know I know in some parts of Mainland Europe for example you can just do a you know a couple of years as a junior doctor in the hospital and then you can go off and I think we probably do that,
year is it was like an apprentice family physician and then you then you can be a family physician essentially in the UK you have to do.
The first two years so essentially like the equivalent of an intern year and like first year of residency and then you have to start a.
Cook General practices so family a family medicine.
[12:15] Residency program which consists of at least 12 months in family medicine and then,
the rest will be various hospital jobs of views to Family Medicine you know like Pediatrics and Psychiatry and ER and,
Obstetrics and things like that you know so you’re looking at,
a minimum of five years after you graduate as a doctor before you can start working as a family physician in the UK it’s really interesting it it sounds like a little bit of a different road map but yet it accomplishes the same.
Purpose if you will as to what we experienced and the u.s. lately yeah of course let’s move the story along once you’re fully trained you actually spend some time.
Practicing family medicine right I did yes oh I forgot my
my beat was a little bit more Securities in that when I was at Medical School I really it’s the story of my life I really enjoyed histopathology and,
I was quite heavily leaning towards doing the forensic pathology for a for a career.
Yeah that was my original career intention I didn’t and I did I was snooping around your life but that’s fascinating.
[13:40] I have so many versions of my my resume and CV that you probably got one that didn’t they may not even have mention that because it may not have been relevant to that particular job I was applying for so,
yeah so I did start well I.
What a lot of doctors do in the UK especially you know kind of twenty years ago when I was kind of coming out right now I graduated in 2000,
a lot of us who do what we call house jobs your house office jobs or internships.
[14:15] Well you just don’t time you would do six months of adult medicine and six months of surgical jobs.
And then a lot of people then go and do ER for six months because it was just a really good General job to do and also you know,
while you’re making your mind up what you want to do whether you want to play for surgical training or you know Pediatrics or cultural whatever
so I did that like most of us did and then I had my histopathology jobs to go to which I which I did and that’s when I moved from London up to Nottingham where I’m
I’m speaking to you from now and yeah it just,
the trainee didn’t go how I wanted it to go all had hoped it would go so after six months I moved on from that and I decided that,
you know of all the things I would like to do if I wasn’t going to be histopathology for forensic it’s so pathologist it was going to be surgery I’ve some of some description.
this bit I’m not I’m not entirely sure in the u.s. so if you if you want to be an orthopedic surgeon in the US you basically do a whole Orthopedic residency am I right correct.
[15:29] Yeah you have to take some you would probably need UK a surgical internship year and maybe an additional year in general surgery before you would start your Orthopedic training but that’s basically how it goes yeah.
[15:48] Okay right yeah so the the first part of the postgraduate exams that you do in in fuel surgical discipline actually
require you to do lots of different jobs so I for example did cardiothoracic surgery I did trauma Orthopedics I did General breast and Peds surgery at the Pediatric Urology.
[16:10] So did all these different jobs and that they kind of give you the experience of you know being mentored by different people and cutting in different ways and.
Set you up for the exam quite nicely because the first part of the exam is more General and then when you pass the exam that’s when you go into your specialty surgical training so you know if you want to be,
cardiothoracic surgeon you just spend the next five years just doing cardiothoracics as a western.
[16:35] So I did all these various jobs and,
I’m not sure if we’re going to come back to this later but I had there was always someone in every there was someone seeing you to me and every job and attending that.
Essentially kind of picked on me at work you know whether they shamed me or.
Federated me or undermine me or you know monitored me or whatever whatever it was gas gas let you know I had the whole the whole Smorgasbord of different types of workplace aggression leveled against me.
Are you particularly speaking about people at a very slightly more advanced level of training than you or you talking about the professors and the leaders of the profession the latter.
Yeah so they are both know that yeah the better yeah the the kind of senior attendings and professors and so on yeah yeah it was always it was always them.
That must have been demoralizing yeah I guess.
[17:42] Someone on she asked me the other day on a on another interview you know why did why did I kind of,
stick with it and I think what happens is because he or she have to do these postgraduate exams he’s member member of the Royal College of Surgeons exams and you pay a lot of money to do them.
And you know you do your part one and then there’s a part two and then there’s the clinical parts to the to the exam and you get so far into it and you know that you’ve invested so much money and so much time you just think I can’t walk away now.
You know I’m more than I’m more than halfway through it’s going to be a waste of my time a waste of all this money I at least need to get the examine walk away with examine and you know have something to show for all of this you know.
Awful treatment I’ve experienced you know so I think that’s.
Also I’m you know I’m a bit of a nerve net and you know I guess you know I’m not I’m not a quitter and there’s a.
[18:39] There’s also that thing about doctors you know not kind of.
You know wanting to show any weakness and you know where we’re all perfectionist and if we kind of don’t
carry on and do something to the end you know we’re letting ourselves down we’re letting our family down etc etc so I think we just and there’s just this also I think within within medicine this this culture of.
Well everyone has to everyone has to go through it you just tolerate it it’s just a you know it’s just a rite of passage a baptism of Fire
and I mean in the UK there’s a term that we use for the way that we were taught certainly,
when I was coming through as a student and a junior doctor teaching by ritual humiliation,
and I think it’s I think it’s a bit like the concept of pimping though I’ve heard of I haven’t heard a pimping until I started working with,
American Physicians but it sounds you know like a bit like that to be honest.
Very sort of aggressive questioning and then shaming you when you when you get it wrong it sounds very much like the experience in the UK is.
Very like what we experienced in the u.s. so why and that’s a bit of a surprise to me I,
I thought we were.
[20:05] We were somewhat unique on this side of the pond if you will but apparently that’s not the case well I mean I don’t I don’t want to digress too much but we.
A year ago we go back from 2 years away in Australia and New Zealand and.
I found from my wife’s experience she was a fellow in Australia that actually.
The system in Australia that is even more aggressive than in the UK so it’s pretty much across the world of Western medicine you know the Western Medical tradition it’s just it’s just a thing,
you know but yeah anyway so I kind of worked my way through these various surgical jobs before.
You know to get my exam so that then I could say actually you know what I was looking around thinking.
[20:58] I don’t know I don’t want to work with these attendings you know in I don’t want to be their immediate colleague in you know five five or ten years time I need to get out of this this specialty and so that’s when I thought well okay.
If I’m not gonna do histopathology and I’m not going to do surgery what else do.
What else am I going to do what do what do I enjoy and I think really I reflected and I enjoyed everything at Medical School guide you I enjoyed all of my placements so it wasn’t really much of a
decision of much of a stretch to go into family medicine because obviously you’re you know you’re looking after.
All patients from Cradle to grave so I thought you know found in Family Medicine that’s.
[21:45] They generally you know seem to be quite.
You know nice friendly touchy-feely people you know and.
I just I just made another bad decision because the thing about.
[22:05] Family physicians in the UK is that there are really I suppose three types there’s what we call,
GP partner so general practice Partners generous salary doctors and will local doctors essentially they can turn instructors and the,
the partners actually own the clinics,
or at least they own the business they may rent the premises but they own the business and they subcontract those Services back to the National Health Service so
they get money from the government they get so much money per per head of patients and they have to use our money and.
You know in a business business like wait.
You know to make some profit for themselves and yeah I just underestimated I think how Cutthroat some of them can be so it was,
it was it was another kind of challenging you know kind of career Pathway to go down really I think one of the one of my.
What am I.
[23:10] Problems for 120 of a better word is that I’m very kind of and I’ve only realized this in the last few years but I’m very sort of.
Principled and values-driven and I if I saw something that I thought was you know unjust or inequitable or whatever bit be it affecting me or a colleague.
I just can’t stand by and let these things happen I have to put my head above the parapet and say that’s unfair,
and I now I now realize that I was basically putting a Target on my back throughout the entirety of my junior medical career
because I was willing to speak up I had the confidence to do that when others and others didn’t but it obviously got me into a lot of trouble.
So yeah that was you know my last foray into clinical medicine for a while before I went to do my law studies so.
[24:09] Yeah I can.
I can really empathize with you in that frame of mind and again it sounds as if the,
training in medicine and the practice of medicine and the UK is apparently not some terribly different from what we see here in the US and that’s an eye-opener for me I was really not I was not aware of that so
and I’ll bet we could do a half-dozen episodes about exactly the subject that we’re talking about right now but we don’t have.
Quite that long so so I am go I am curious how that feeling that you were,
obviously struggling with it that point LED you to think that the study of law would
get you into a better place yes oh so what happened was I think I was.
[25:07] I think there are a few reasons that I was unhappy as a as a trainee family physician I certainly burnt out probably for the,
second time I bet I think I burnt out at least once if not a couple of times during my
Family Medicine Residency I’d certainly burnt out at least once during my surgical residency jobs so,
that’s certainly affected me and I’m part of that I tribute part of that to the extreme,
patient expectations in the clinic that I was working I was working in a very gritty inner-city practice and the patients were
were very demanding and kind of high-volume users and you know lots of
deprivation so lots of kind of substance misuse and you know kind of,
illnesses arising out of smoking and bad diet and lack of exercise and all these sorts of
these sorts of things and it was just.
An extremely extremely tough job and yeah so I was I think I was feeling overwhelmed quite a lot I was I was burnt out I was not enjoying.
[26:32] The working in the demographic that I was working with that time and I.
And really what I was still kind of finishing off my Family Medicine Residency I was already looking out for other things I could do once I had,
got my family medicine qualifications.
But obviously mentioned before about forensic pathology so I always had this fascination with the interface between medicine and law.
[27:00] And so I thought well you know if I’m not going to be you know the.
The kind of the Quincy if you like character and kind of diagnosing the the cause of death here and you know dealing with God.
[27:17] Cadavers from violent crimes and things like that if I’m not going to do that then what what else is kind of medical legally related and you know we have organizations in the UK called medical defense organizations.
[27:32] And essentially what you do is as doctors you pay subscription to these organizations they’re a bit more than just insurers you know they don’t kind of just cover you if someone makes a.
A medical negligence claim against you and they’re successful obviously if they do,
if that happens then they will pay out for you because it’s like an insurance policy,
but they also do other things like if you have complaints made against you they help you draft your responses to the complaints to help them kind of go away more quickly and not
not escalate into anything else because you can imagine when when doctors have a complaint against them they take it really really personally,
and they get extremely defensive and if you let a doctor just you know just write their own response to a complaint letter
it would get them into a whole heap more trouble it’s actually
so you pay your pay your subscriptions to these defense these defense bodies and they help you kind of stay out of trouble and things go as quickly as possible and then there’s also things with the
with the medical board so
I know the all of your different states in the US have their own medical boards we just have one called The General Medical Council the GMC in the UK,
so the GM C is responsible for regulation and discipline of the profession.
[28:53] But they can you know they can take you to a tribunal call the medical professionals tribunal service and you know this is where you can be suspended or you know erased from the
medical register and things like this so it’s a big deal so again these defense organizations they help you.
With any representation that you require at any General Medical Council proceedings so really fascinating job.
[29:20] When the case when the case has got really interesting because they take a bunch of doctors and they train you up to be like you know baby baby lawyers but you’re not.
You haven’t got any legal qualifications they just kind of put you through some training for about 10 weeks and then that’s it you’re kind of like,
fending for yourself essentially then often you have to happen you know approach the legal team in the organization as they all.
Now we need you because I’ve gone as far as I can go with this case and I got quite frustrated at that I think I’m a bit of a completed finisher and I was like
I want to be doing that side of things I want to be doing the legal side and sorting things out properly so that’s I think was what the
motivation was for me to study law get my law degree and then sit and pass the bar exams,
did you find any satisfaction at all in that it’s an interesting story without without a perhaps a satisfying ending so,
when I when I passed the bar which was in October 2014.
[30:24] We had just we had our first child about 14 months before.
And my wife is a attending maxillofacial surgeon.
[30:38] But at that time she was a she was arrested like a senior resident in maxillofacial surgery and.
In the UK and again this is something that’s different in the US because I actually actually coach a maxillofacial surgeon in the US
but in the UK you actually have to be dual qualified and do a dental degree and a medical degree to become a maxillofacial surgeon
so my wife had been to like 10 years of kind of you know undergrad graduate school all of this and then all of her,
in 10 years and residency training and all of this and it just it just seemed like well we were to Junction really you know.
[31:20] I can I can pursue my legal career but it’s starting from the very bottom rung as a you know a traitor to essentially a trainee in a law firm,
my wife who was you know kind of almost within touching distance of her attending physician could carry on her very,
well delineated career trajectory and qualify and it just didn’t seem right for me to say okay I’m going to pursue my legal dream as it were.
[31:51] And for her to give up on her her career dream and the reason that we kind of had this discussion is that we were.
We were always at the frame of mind that we wanted to raise our own children we had we had friends who you know couples who are both doctors and so on who,
what have you know had to both had high-flying careers and then they had a nanny or an au pair or whatever
raising their children which is completely fine that’s people’s choice if that’s what they want to do that’s you know we’re not judging anyone but we did want to do that we wanted to raise our own children we wanted to have that relationship with our own kids
so yeah so for us it was a case of well you know what I’m any just starting in the law.
I’ll take a I’ll take a step back you you run with your career I’ll kind of help with the childcare and I’ll figure it out.
You know I’ll also something out so that I’m not kind of wasting all of these qualifications.
[32:52] I’m what ended up happening was that it was great for like for a year or so I had had
the whole day a week every Monday I had with my without without daughter a young daughter and then I worked four days four days a week I did some I did the occasional weekend shift but.
I started putting myself out there as a medical legal advisor to local
organizations and I you know I got offered some work I got co-opted on two committees and then I got you know kind of asked if I wanted to be a director on the board of committees and then
and then HS baldy fairly local to me wanted to use me too.
Work on the discipline and Regulatory side of family physicians and so I started completely inadvertently carving out this medical leadership career.
Which I absolutely love so I had a beautiful what we call portfolio career in the UK I had you know I was
that’s a part-time leadership roles I did a bit of clinical work I had some educator roles you know and some advisory work and it was a it was a lovely lovely.
[34:04] Time of my life it’s probably you know when my career was at its Zenith as far as far as I’m concerned,
hi I’m Rhonda Crow founder and CEO Forum D coaches here on our X for Success we interview a lot of great medical professionals on how they grew their careers how they overcame challenges,
and how they handle day-to-day work I really hope you’re getting a lot of great information.
But if you’re looking for an answer to a specific problem management or Administration challenge,
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[35:14] We’ll get back to our interview in just a moment but right now I want to tell you a little bit about physician Outlook
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[36:17] And now let’s get back to today’s interview like to hear a little bit about how you,
how you actualized or formalized that process and in got yourself into the position that you’re in now and how how how are you liking it.
I’m one of those I think a lot of a lot of doctors are like this so I mentioned my wife’s Fellowship in in Australia and we we all left as a family in July 2019 and moved to Darwin.
Ostensibly for just 12 months but then the pandemic came along about.
Eight months later and yeah you know they shut down all the interstate borders in Australia and I mean we were in the Northern Territory we’re in Darwin in the Northern Territory and it’s.
Probably the smallest territory,
/ state in terms of absolute population but the biggest proportion of indigenous people so they had a lot of indigenous communities lot of Aboriginal indigenous communities scattered around,
a lot of them very very you know flights away from.
Tertiary Hospital Center you know a Trauma Center someone with an ICU.
[37:38] So you can imagine if the if the virus the virus is got into one of these communities you know these small small townships with three to four thousand people that you could have wiped out an entire generation of indigenous people and,
you know there are so many different.
Like varieties of indigenous people different tribes and so on they could have conceivably you know seen the end of.
Certain tribes so you know they were very very Vigilant something they did really well but it meant you can fly in or out of.
The state let alone internationally which you know was great for us because we were watching what was going on in the UK with horror and just being so fearful for our families back home but we were in.
Absolute safety you know there’s always there is nothing there was a you know they.
[38:35] They made a thing about you know kind of social distancing and sanitizing wearing masks and all of this other stuff but there was there was no virus there.
I mean you know it was just it was just for practice I guess just yeah yeah so you know it was,
it was fantastic but you know we’ll see when we ended up staying there for 18 months and then we my and this is going towards December 2020 when we were supposed to be going back to the UK
six months late and things are still looking pretty bad in the UK you know Boris Boris Johnson was all set to let everyone Mingle for Christmas and you know the the levels were
you know the third wave the third wave was coming and all of this and I’m a splenic I had my spleen removed when I was six
because I have hereditary spherocytosis so yeah so I was like and this was before the vaccine of course so I was like,
looking realistically down the barrel of having two
self isolate for 12 weeks and not see my children and my wife had 12 weeks it’s like this is not an option so you she got chatting offered a Locum tenens consultant
I’m post attending Post in New Zealand so we went there but what happened was we had to get out because my wife was being bullied by her attendings in the hospital there and.
[40:03] She was she was unhappy and I was deviated a little bit that I was gay I was going to say originally.
You know being being a good medic you can’t you don’t feel like you like you can let the grass grow under your feet you know you feel like you have to be achieving something all the time and,
I still want my wife’s getting a fellowship out of this this year overseas and I want to get something out of it too and that’s when I decided I was going to do my coach training,
but I was also doing some work for the local medical school and I was tutoring indigenous medical students.
And I had a few of them come to me and tell me that they were being picked on and bullied and shamed on the wards by the doctors who they were working with and it just.
Throw everything flooding back for me from the days when it when I was experiencing it and it was really then I decided that I had to use my,
I was a qualified life Leadership and executive coach in the end and I just.
[41:12] You know I thought I have to use my powers for good you know I find you know like to use a superhero analogies like I’ve got to use my powers for good I’ve got to use my coaching skills
for good and do what I can do to help to help people who have been in this position where they’re being
brother being bullied by their seniors in healthcare in the way the hired being so yeah that was really when I.
You know it started my kind of where I am currently you know was started as embryonic form and I was like okay so what can I what can I do realistically as a coach to help,
people who’ve experienced you know Physicians have experienced bullying in the workplace and that’s when my idea started to formulate.
[42:03] And I’m really fascinated with what.
Appears to be the the the finish line for you and that is not only.
Did you want to focus on.
Where the demoralizing forces are coming in the medical profession but you you chose to focus largely upon the experience for women.
[42:32] Which I gather that you identified that everybody was being bullied but it was.
Perhaps a little more intense for the women am I am I / E90 you’re spot on,
actually all of my all of my tutees at the medical school in Darwin were female and you know I.
[42:58] You know with my wife’s experience my you know and their experiences and my my wife is actually
British Pakistani huh her father moved from from Pakistan to the UK and then in the late 1960s so she was born in the UK but you know she was
I was telling you about how things were seemingly.
A bit worse in Australia than in the UK and I you know we were trying to unpick it you know was it because she was female because there’s a,
this amount misogyny in medicine there as well was it because she was a woman of color and you know I was thinking a lot about this with my my to tease you know they were female they were they were women of color they were indigenous women.
And they had they all pretty much most of them had had children already as well you know and so there are still people there in.
In Australia who were saying you know you don’t you don’t you don’t deserve to be here you’d have a place here what are you doing you got children you know you know you’re wasting your time this this kind of stuff and.
Yeah it just it maybe just maybe think about how.
Fortunate hired being with the female influences in my life,
so I you know very very strong yet compassionate mother.
[44:25] To very very strong and loving sisters younger sisters my wife who is forever an inspiration to me who I you know.
Keep keep trying to get as a guest on my podcast inspiring women leaders it’s called so and I’d worked with so many incredible,
I’m female medical leaders and also.
It come across like coaching coaching leaders as well women who were just so so incredibly impressive inspiring that I just thought I need to.
[45:06] You know this this too much good learning here not to kind of harness it in some some vehicle and and at first my thoughts were I’ll put on a conference you know like an inspiring women leaders conference
and then I saw what she that’s that’s too small because that’s just a one-off you did a conference and then it’s forgotten about you know,
but if you create a podcast like yours you know you then have this body of work you have a legacy you have something that’s a resource that people can just keep dipping in and out of the four years to come it’s not,
you know kind of over and done with in an afternoon at a conference and I just thought I,
I have to share this learning you know I’m a huge advocate of kindness in leadership and so come out compassionate servant and inclusive leadership and I’d seen that in,
you know bucket loads from from the women that had worked with and I thought this has to be kind of you know bottle there’s an Essence and shared with the world you know
for the betterment of Future Leaders but you know ostensibly primarily in medicine you know so far,
younger Physicians coming through to
listen to the podcast and learn from their seat their seniors but not just for
younger female doctors but also for male doctors because you know.
[46:30] There are not that many great senior male role models out there.
[46:36] So yeah that’s how that’s yeah I think you’re right onto something very important.
It makes a lot of sense for you to recognize the need amongst the women because they need.
Some place to find the justification for.
Staying with the task and fulfilling the career that that they dreamt of but on the other hand there is.
[47:13] Clearly a need to,
educate and re-educate the male counterparts who were part of the problem and I’m interested to know if you’re making some attempt to do that and if so do you think you’ve made any progress.
[47:28] In terms of my podcast as a.
[47:35] A weapon for good it’s fairly early days I only released episode 4.
Five days ago so it kind of remains to be seen what kind of influence and impact,
that will have the people I’m hearing from you know the feedback I’m hearing at the moment is almost exclusively from female Physicians.
But yeah I think that you know there are there are other.
Means and other modalities that can be used as well you know so.
I’ll mention it’s a bit later on but you know I recently spoke at her a national National Health Service Workforce conference.
And I I did a talk I was invited down and I wanted to talk about Workforce retention because we’ve got not only huge issues like it like in the u.s. you know with a great resignation but not only huge issues in recruiting.
Replacement doctors and other Healthcare professionals but also in retaining them keeping them in in service and so my angle was.
[48:53] The benefits of kindness in the workplace and kindness as a tool to help Workforce retention.
[49:03] And I think the more.
You know I mean I was speaking in a room of 220 mid-level and Senior managers a lot of whom we’re in HR.
[49:15] And hopefully you know and I’ve had a few people reach out and say can I do talks for them in other other departments and things.
So hopefully you know we can just a bit of a domino effect and actually start planting seeds and you know the word will get out and people will will take notice.
Well perhaps we’ll put a pin in the map on this and we’ll follow up with you if not month to month maybe year to year and see how this thing’s going I and I.
I certainly hope that
you as we say in the u.s. hit a home run with this thing because what a wonderful thing it would be to really make a difference of this sort and I have a feeling that you probably will.
Adam we’ve come to the part of the program where I’m going to back out and be silent and give you a chance to speak to our audience all on your own and uninterrupted,
so audience this is dr. Adam Harrison who’s going to share his personal prescriptions for success.
Thank you Randy so when I was composing my thoughts on this you know I was thinking about what.
[50:34] Various definitions of success are and what they mean to different people you know some people will obviously,
rate how successful they are on how much they’re earning you know and you know there’s this other kind of outcome measure which is on impact which I,
Fillmore in alignment with so yeah so how will measure success is different but.
I like to think that I look back on my life at the end.
Consider myself successful if I feel I’ve made a positive impact in the world and an impact on some of the people in it.
[51:14] For me the recipe for achieving this personal measure of success comprises five five little things and some of them are related to life in general and some of them are a little bit more work e.
The first one for me is to spend as much time with your loved ones as possible I believe that no one’s Epitaph ever ever read I wish I’d spent more time at work.
[51:44] I hope that most people look back on their on their deathbed and.
I wish that they’d spent more time with their family or been glad that they spent as much time with their loved ones as they did.
[51:57] Suspend as much time with your loved ones as possible second one is
it’s all right kindness and all things kindness really being a being a kind person being a kind leader and I mentioned before this talk I did last week.
[52:15] On the benefits of kindness in the workplace and I came across this lovely quote by Rabbi Harold Kushner who’s a rabbi based in the US and he’s quoted as saying.
[52:29] Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return but because of who you are.
[52:39] And I just think that that really in a nutshell is.
Three beautiful way of thinking about kindness being a kind person being a kind leader.
[52:52] You know it’s just.
Not only is kindness good for us if we if we practice kindness It’s been shown to be good for your health and that people who have a.
Kindness practice have greater longevity.
[53:08] But also the impact on others is even more profound when they’re on the receiving end of kindness so it’s it’s a simple concept it’s not actually easy to.
Practice kindness if you are not used to doing it and that
he’s not to say that that’s because you were kind or unkind person but actually it takes a lot of confidence to practice kindness and compliment people in
include people and so on so you know if you’re a bit shy it can be hard to pass this kindness but if you have the right intention and you willing to put in some practice then.
You can you can be the start of that that trickle The Craze the flood.
[53:48] My third one is live love and lead by your values and do work in alignment with your values.
[53:58] So I alluded to this earlier that one of my core values is Justice the others are honesty gratitude love and humor.
I feel that since I became aware of what my values are a few years ago that it’s transformed.
The way I live my life I live my life with a certain intention now and now say.
[54:26] Nice white now you self employed work I will only do assignments that are in alignment with my core values.
And that feels very liberating a very empowering and I think if you are in a workplace where.
[54:44] You feel like you just feel things are not right you know there’s some kind of like disharmony or disequilibrium between.
[54:52] You and your employer I’m it’s probably that there’s a malalignment or a misalignment in your values.
[55:00] And it’s probably the kind of place that you’re not going to.
[55:04] You don’t get in to get along with for the rest of your career so what were thinking about your values.
[55:12] I’m the fourth one is be compassionate to yourself as well as others.
[55:19] So what I did this talk last week was a face-to-face talk.
[55:25] To 220 National Health Service managers and Senior managers and I ask the group to raise their hands if they felt they were regularly overly harsh to themselves.
And over half of them in the room raised their hands.
[55:42] So one of my points of advice on you know as a part of the recipe for,
success is treat yourself as you treat your best friend like you wouldn’t you wouldn’t be wouldn’t be horrible to your best friend so why be horrible to yourself or treat yourself how you would like others to treat your.
Mom or dad or child or spouse.
[56:08] Only then can you can you really start treating others with that kind of compassion I think it starts starts with self.
[56:17] I think it’s kind of you know behind some of the mental health issues that we were seeing a lot of as well these days and finally my fifth my fifth point is.
[56:29] Have a small group of trusted Confidant advisors to turn to and to support them in turn.
[56:38] Recently I’ve had a few entrepreneurial hitches and challenges and it was so.
[56:44] Valuable to be able to turn two people in the same boat or similar boat as me.
[56:52] You know a handful of people and they’ll know who they they are really helped me get out of my funk that I was in a few weeks ago and actually stop me from quitting while I’m doing so it’s.
You know having having a group small kind of like tribe of people too.
It’s kind of listened to you and support you and help you is a great way to help you become successful in life I think and that’s,
that’s my recipe,
Adam there is a lot of wisdom there and I am very grateful that you have taken the time to share that with us I have
come away from this feeling considerably more informed and enlightened and I’m very grateful
that you took the time to stay up so late at night where you are and and have a conversation with me before
before we go I want to give you an opportunity to tell our audience where they can find you and the things that you do so.
[57:54] I’ll give you the floor again thank you thanks thanks Randy and thank you and Rhonda and the team so much for reaching out and you know.
Having me as a guest on your fantastic show I’m ever so grateful,
so you have people can email me at doctor so Dr dot Adam Harrison or one word,
hiw is 0 n at gmail.com my website is just,
dr. Adam Harrison don’t comdr Ada mha wisn.com I’m on LinkedIn quite actively
as dr. Adam Harrison and I would love for people to have a listening to my podcast which is called inspiring women leaders it’s on the bus
plus right website is on Apple Spotify Amazon music and a host of smaller platforms so please please tune in and let me know what you think.
Well dr. Adam Harrison again I’m so grateful that you have taken the time to be with us today this has been a great conversation I have enjoyed every minute of it so thanks again for taking the time,
no thank you it’s been my absolute pleasure thank you so much.
Thank you so much for joining us today we’d really appreciate a review from you and a five-star rating helps give our podcast much more visibility,
and that helps us reach more listeners.
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