The Storyteller: Emily Silverman, MD

Dr. Emily Silverman is an internist at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSF, and creator/host of The Nocturnists, a medical storytelling live show and podcast where healthcare workers share stories of joy, sorrow, and self-discovery. Her writing has been Published in The New York Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeneys, and others. She is currently working on a book with the support of a 2018 fellowship from MacDowell. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, some musical instruments, and many plants.

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Emily Silverman’s Prescription for Success:

Number 1: Be in your body. Get to know your body. Listen to what it has to say. and figure out how to make your body feel good, and strong, and nourished.

Number 2: Love, and be loved. Medicine and doctoring is grounded in love. Love for each other, our brothers and our sisters, and other human beings on this Earth.

Number 3: Quiet the noise. Dial it down. Be able to sit with yourself, and listen to the song that is quietly singing inside of you, and try to follow that.

Connect with Dr. Silverman:

The Nocturnists:
Twitter: @ESilvermanMD

Notable quotes from Dr. Silverman’s interview

I think the fact that medicine is and is seen as an inherently altruistic practice is something I take for granted. I have a lot of friends living in the bay area who work in tech and they work in different companies, and in different products. And I see some of them go in and out of these existential crisis of “Wow, I’m a designer of this app, but what am I really doing for the world.” or “What is my purpose.” But, since I’ve been in medicine for so long I’ve just never really had to ask myself those questions, because it’s so clear its a profession of connection and healing and service.

Illustrator: Lindsay Mound

There are real consequences for people, and even if you get the right answer, and you feel like a bad-ass for getting the right answer, that might have nothing whatever to do with the patient’s lived experience or even the patient outcome.

What does it mean to be a doctor for someone with a desease that can’t be cured? That interaction can still be a healing interaction, you just have to shift your understanding of the word ‘healing’.

Illustrator: Lindsay Mound

When you are really following your authenticity, the universe delivers.