The Transplant: David Weill, MD

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Dr. Weill served as the director of several transplant programs for 20 years, most notably as the Director of the Center for Advanced Lung Disease and Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program at Stanford University Medical Center.

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In 2016, after serving in his role at Stanford for 11 years, he did the unthinkable and walked away while at the top of his field. Dr. Weill was burnt out from the daily battles of being a doctor: the patients that couldn’t be treated because of finances, the operations that failed, and the countless hours spent trying to make the modern miracle of organ transplants a bit more miraculous.

He has written a riveting memoir Exhale: Hope, Healing, and A Life in Transplant, which offers readers an inside look at the immense psychological pressure medical professionals face on the job and the toll a career in transplant took on one of the nation’s most successful transplant doctors.

Exhale also dives deep into hospital politics, healthcare system inequities, and ethics that determine who gets life-saving transplants and who doesn’t.

Dr. Weill is currently the Principal of the Weill Consulting Group, which focuses on improving the delivery of pulmonary, ICU, and transplant care.

He has twice testified before the U.S. Senate about how various inhaled occupational exposures affect lung health, appeared before various state legislatures, and lectured extensively nationally and internationally at major medical conferences and academic medical centers. 

Dr. Weill has also authored many book chapters, editorials, and medical articles, which have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Salon, Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, STAT, the Washington Post, The Hill, and the Los Angeles Times.

He also has been interviewed by many major media outlets, including Fox, CNN, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, and the Doctors TV show.

Dr. Weill’s Prescription for Success:
Number 1: Don’t be good, strive for great.

Number 2: Follow your heart, lead with your heart.

Number 3: Slow down a little bit. Strive for success, but slowly.

Number 4: Value your time with your patients.

Number 5: Remember why we go to work.

Connect with Dr. Brown


Notable quotes from Dr. Brown’s interview:

Academic Success is like success in any realm, it’s momentum building.

I couldn’t take the imperfection of transplant surgery anymore.

We are misclassifying what’s going on with the healthcare workforce. It’s not an individual problem.

We have to figure out a way to let practitioners provide the best care possible. 25-30% of transgender patients have had medical damage by being not accepted at their primary care office.

Access the Show Transcript Here




[0:00] We’re misclassifying and misunderstanding what’s going on with the healthcare workforce.
It’s really not burnout per se. It’s not an individual problem. To me, it’s utter frustration with the environment in which we’re asking our healthcare workforce to practice. I mean, I think the job is largely untenable.
Paging Dr. Cook. Paging Dr. Cook. Dr. Cook, you’re wanted in the O.R.
Dr. Cook, you’re wanted in the O.R.

[0:33] Music.

[0:55] Welcome to the Prescription for Success podcast with your host, Dr. Randy Cook.
Hello everyone, and welcome to Prescriptions 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 because you’re not in this alone.
And don’t forget that CME credit is available when you listen with us.
Just look for CMFI in the show notes to learn how.
My guest today had a distinguished career as a transplant specialist.
He recently retired from clinical practice, but he still remains active as a consultant for organ transplant services.
And he has a splendid new book entitled, exhale, hope, healing, and a life in transplant.
So let’s hear my conversation with Dr. David Weil.

[2:02] I’m really excited today to be talking about a very interesting gentleman, Dr. David Weil, who is coming to us from New Orleans today. Have I got that right, David? Yes.
David has had just a remarkable career as a leader in the world of transplant medicine.
And we’re gonna talk a good bit about that, of course. And in addition to that, he has a really fabulous book that has just recently been published.
I was just admitting to David that I haven’t had an opportunity to read it in its entirety, but having gotten through the first four chapters, I am really terrifically entranced I can’t wait to read the rest of it.

[2:51] David, to get us started off, I’d like to do what we always do in this program, and that is talk a little bit about your beginnings.
I know that you did, you’re growing up in your early education in New Orleans, but was that your birthplace, or are you a born Kunas, as they say?
David Allen I am, and thanks, Randy, for having me on the show.
I am all NOLA all the time. So a New Orleans native.
I love everything New Orleans. I was gone from this place for 26 years and finally made my way back after a long time away and delighted to be there.
So yeah, I’m Louisiana through and through. I bet you missed it while you were gone and I bet they missed you as well.

[3:41] But let’s talk about your origins. I got some of that from the book and I’d like to hear you talk about some of that.
I know that your dad was a research scientist and your mom, I didn’t pick up on if she had any professional interests at all, but tell me about your family in growing up in New Orleans.
Yeah, my dad, as you mentioned, was a chief of pulmonary medicine at Tulane, an internationally recognized researcher in occupational lung disease. My mom is a nurse.
She is a pediatric nurse and has, we’ve had medicine around us our whole life. I was that kind of kid that worked in a hospital beginning in high school and all the way through college, and of course in medical school. I trained in the hospitals around New Orleans. So I’ve been involved in medicine really my entire life.
But it sounds like, or at least what I picked up on from the book, your interest in actually becoming.

[4:41] A medical professional in your own right was not actually something that came about as a very young person.
I mean, your early interest as I pick up on it was in athletics, is that right?
Absolutely, I very much love sports, love the team aspect of sports.
I actually found that ultimately in medicine, as many people do, because I think medicine’s a team sport.
And I was not the best student, Randy, in high school. As a matter of fact, I was kind of a straight C student in high school, so academically not terribly inclined.
In high school, at least, and that came to me later in college and med school, but I was the kind of person that was interested in medicine, but didn’t think it was an option for me necessarily because of my weak academic record.
Well, now let me ask you something about that. Did you feel like you didn’t have the capability?
Did you feel like you were dim-witted? Or how could you possibly have had that feeling that you couldn’t?
I think it was that issue where, as a young person, I was just interested in other things, and mainly sports and having fun and taking advantage of all that New Orleans has to offer.
And I think that that was where my head was and it was really, and I write about this in my book, the night before I went to college, My father basically sat me down.

[6:04] And said, it’s showtime, time to get your act together. And I took it to heart.
I love that part of the book, yeah.
Yeah, yeah, I really took it to heart because I was up for a challenge, and the challenge was how to figure out how to become a really good student, which fortunately I was able to do.

[6:22] Well, was that difficult for you? I mean, in the past, you were doing just enough to get by, and I have to think that an undergraduate at Tulane had to have been a bit of a challenge.
Was there some, was there a struggle? Were there moments when you wondered if you could make it?
What was it like?
There were a lot of moments that I wondered if I could make it, but I used the same philosophy that I used in sports, and I kind of got into that competitive nature that did come naturally to me, and it became all about behind in chair, sitting there, and going to the library and figuring out how to be a student.
I think most of the doctors that have probably listened to your show and most of the doctors I’ve met have been academically strong their whole life, but that really wasn’t my path.
I started off pretty slowly academically, and fortunately it came to me in college so that I could get into medical school, which was important to me.
Dr. Darrell Bock I’m going to have to say some of the best physicians that I have ever known have exactly that same story.
It was just a matter of determining how to light the fire, which you obviously did.

[7:36] But let’s talk a little bit more about those preparatory years as a freshman and sophomore at Tulane.
Was there ever a point where you wondered if maybe you had bitten off more than you could chew or were you just determined and had great expectations from the outset?

[7:59] Well, I was overly optimistic probably about how I would do academically, but I think academic success is like success I think in any realm.
It’s a momentum building. You get a little bit of success and then a little bit more and a little bit more.
I’m a big believer in that, that you have to taste the success before you can have more of it.
When that first A came in, for instance, in one of my pre-med classes, that really just motivated me to try to do better.
And so I felt like I could do it all along. It was just a matter of whether or not I could commit to it.
And I think a lot of people start out in life interested in one thing, and then the academics really comes later, and that’s how it worked for me.
I had some catching up to do because I didn’t really know how to study like some of my pre-med colleagues did, but it eventually came, you know, and fortunately it came right in time.
And I was really interested when you picked your undergraduate school, it was not Tulane initially, is that not correct?
Yeah, that’s right. I wanted to get out of New Orleans at least to try to see what it was like living outside of the city, and frankly, it didn’t work very well for me.
I really miss New Orleans a lot.

[9:22] I, New Orleans is a special place. You know, I think a lot of us that are from there aren’t really comfortable living elsewhere.
It’s a unique place. I was gone for 26 years most of the time in California.
Yet, I always felt like in my heart, I was a New Orleanian living on the West Coast.
And that’s how I viewed myself. And it’s very much in our blood.
And I think that’s why you see a lot of people from New Orleans, never leave.

[9:53] That is not the first time that I’ve heard a story like that.
So clearly things worked out for you relatively well at Tulane and came time to consider applications for medical school.
Was that always going to be Tulane or did you consider other locations as well?
Yeah, I did consider other locations. But my father, who was on the faculty there, reminded me several times that one of the perks of being on the faculty was that I got to go for free.
That’s a big plus. That’s a big plus. So when they admitted me to the medical school, he said, you have three choices, Tulane, Tulane, or Tulane. So pick any of those three and you’re there.
And so.
That made it pretty easy. Yeah, and it really was great for me, Randy.
You know, I wanted to be in New Orleans anyway, And, you know, the fact that I wasn’t gonna come out of medical school with debt appealed to me.
So, it was a pretty easy decision.

[10:58] Today’s episode is brought to you by Doc-to-Doc Lending. Doc-to-Doc provides match day loans of up to $25,000 to fourth year medical students and current residents. These loans are designed to help students cover personal expenses, such as moving costs, housing down payments, and living expenses before and during residency.
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Doc-to-Doc was founded for doctors, by doctors. They understand the challenges and hard work involved in becoming a doctor and they support doctors throughout their careers.
Using their in-house lending platform, Doc-to-Doc considers the unique financial considerations of doctors that are not typically considered by traditional financial institutions.
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[12:16] Hi, I’m Rhonda Crowe, founder and CEO for MDCoaches. 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.
No, it’s not counseling.
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 to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Again, that’s, because you’re not in this alone.

[13:18] 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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[14:22] And now let’s get back to today’s interview. Well, let’s talk about what happened next now when you finished medical school.
Did you actually stay in New Orleans for your initial internal medicine training or did you travel?
I actually went to the University of Texas Southwestern and trained at Parkland Hospital and did an internal medicine residency there that was really fantastic.
Parkland Hospital is also a special place. It’s a good place to be, yeah. Yeah, I think so.
Big County Hospital, as many of your listeners are aware, and felt very much like Charity Hospital in New Orleans where I did my med school years, except it was a lot nicer than Charity.
Everyone there thought it was this rough and tumble county hospital. I said, you ain’t seen nothing until you go to charity.
So, I love training at Parkland. I’ve got extremely fond memories of being there.
And the people that I trained with were also fantastic, many of whom I’m still in touch with.

[15:31] And you were doing your internal medicine training there, and I’m wondering when you got your first interest in transplant medicine.
Well, it happened during my internship, actually, and I write about this story.
That early? Yeah, it was interesting. I show up, and this is 1990.
It’s my first day of internship, and I write about this in the book.
A senior-level resident, a fifth-year resident, I believe, got sick and they had to pull him off of the kidney transplant service and they needed an intern to volunteer.

[16:08] To be on the kidney transplant service to get some of the scut work done.
And my hand shot up immediately. I said, I’ll definitely do that. That sounds cool.
And so, I was hired. And I write about the story in the book where the first night I was on call, we actually did a transplant on a gentleman who had been on dialysis for 11 years.
And the surgical team put in the kidney. It worked beautifully afterwards.

[16:37] Started urinating for the first time in many years and I sat by the bedside and I couldn’t believe it.
I couldn’t believe it. I said this has got to be the coolest area of medicine. So I ultimately didn’t do kidney transplant. I was involved in lung transplant but I caught the transplant bug back in my internship. I’m really fascinated to know how things unfolded as far as your training at that point. And the reason that I’m really fascinated is because back at about the time that the earth cooled and I was in my residency, transplant, it was very new. And it was an area that was inhabited almost exclusively by surgeons. I remember vividly at the Medical College of Georgia where I did my residency whenever I was assigned to the vascular service that we knew that we were part of the transplant service as well, and we had one faculty member there who did all of that.
And whenever an organ became available, if you were on the vascular surgery team, you knew that Dr. Humphrey was going to call you and you were going to get to actually do that operation. It was actually very exciting.

[17:54] And after the operation was completed, you could see Dr. Humphreys, Dr. Arthur Humphreys was hovering over that bed day and night until the patient was ready to go home.
He was managing everything.
It’s all different now.

[18:12] So, how did that come about and how did you decide that this was where you were going to fit in?
So, when I did my lung fellowship, my pulmonary training was at the University of Colorado in Denver. So, right as I got there, they were starting a lung transplant program and lung transplantation in the early 90s was new.
It was new not only in Colorado, it was new everywhere. Everywhere, you bet.
And so, it’s like most things in life. if I just happen to be at the right place at the right time, and I got interested in transplantation, and there was essentially one pulmonologist that did the transplant work there, a guy named Marty Zamora, who is a mentor and a friend, and we worked with the surgeons hand in hand, and so the transplant team was all of us, and we did our part, they did their part, and that’s how it evolved throughout my career, and I learned so much from the surgeons, not only in lung and heart transplantation, but also in kidney and liver transplant as well.
And so, that’s one thing that always attracted me to the field, is you get to work with a multidisciplinary team, not only of physicians and surgeons, but dieticians and nurses and nurse practitioners, and you name it, pharmacists, infectious disease doctors.
And I think what’s interesting about the way it all evolved is.

[19:36] Lung transplant was new, So we weren’t exactly making it up as we went along, but we were kind of making it up as we went along.
I get it. And it appealed to my interest in just using common sense to get my way through a patient problem.
There wasn’t a playbook to go by, you know? And I like that kind of medicine.
I’m not a big protocol, you know, kind of driven doctor. I do a lot of it for better or for worse, by feel.
And it really fit well. It was exciting and new. And there was innovation happening.
And I saw that I could actually have a part in that.
And it really excited me, still does.
Yeah, I can imagine that it did. And so the question that comes to me after that, is this surgeon would like to know nowadays, deep into the 21st century, what’s in it for the surgeons?
How can they be fascinated like they were back in the good old days?
You know, it’s a really interesting question, and I’ve watched my surgical colleagues, and it’s evolved a lot for them, especially in the cardiothoracic world.
Abdominal transplant’s interesting in that a lot of those folks are pure transplanters.
You know, they went into surgery.
To do the transplants. Whereas a lot of my cardiothoracic surgical colleagues.

[20:59] Do all the cardiothoracic procedures and then transplants part of what they do.

[21:04] And that’s different than how it used to be when I first started out when really the whole surgical team were transplant people, you know, in their DNA. And that’s different. I don’t think it’s a a great trend to be honest with you because I think transplant demands so much uni-focus that we’ve lost some of that in cardiothoracic transplant.
But I think that’s the way it’s evolved and I think it’s evolved for a lot of healthcare related reasons.
I mean, surgeons wanna operate and they wanna do a lot of cases and there’s not enough transplants to keep any one surgeon busy.
And I’m very impressed with the first few chapters of your book that I was able to read, at how excited you were about this amazing technology, the impact that it had on you, both emotionally and professionally.
But in order to give us an opportunity to talk a little bit in more detail about your book.

[22:09] It is clear to me that, just from reading the introductory paragraphs of your book, that over the arc of your career, the excitement of what you felt in those early days eventually fell victim to something that caused you to think, it’s time for me to find another way to make a difference.
So first question is, am I reading that correctly? And if so, what was that all about?

[22:38] You read it absolutely correctly, and I think that was really one of the purposes of writing the book to show the reader how one evolves over the course of our career.
So we pick our specialties in medicine at a pretty early age, you know, late 20s, maybe early 30s at the latest these days.
And we’re hoping that that specialty choice sustains us for 25, 30, 40 years, right?
And what happens is we enter the field as a young person and were attracted to certain aspects of that field as I was in transplantation, the excitement, you know, the game time atmosphere, the high highs and the low lows really appealed to me as a young man.

[23:25] As an older person, with kids of my own, with emotions that had become rather raw over that period, all of those experiences, the lens at which I looked at them changed.
And I don’t think that that’s unexpected. As a matter of fact, I always kind of began to wonder how anyone in medicine looks at their own specialty, whether it’s OB-GYN or pediatrics or dermatology, the same way when they’re 60 is when they’re 30, and how their own perspective changes.
And so, when I watched a young kid pass away on the waiting list who was 19 years old, I couldn’t help but think of my own daughters. I had kids of my own now.
I was talking to parents about their kids and I’m thinking of my own.
My father got a liver transplant.
I couldn’t look at the field the same way anymore because he had been transplanted.
Now I was a family member of a transplanted patient.
And so all of these experience changed the way I looked at my own specialty and made me ultimately decide that probably the best thing for me from an emotional standpoint was to step aside.
And I actually started the book that way, as you know, when I decided in 2016, it was time to leave Stanford, It was time to go.

[24:51] And I think that it was the culmination of a long career.

[24:58] That appealed to me very much at the beginning in a very specific way, but then less so as time went on.
I couldn’t take the imperfection of it anymore, that we were gonna lose patience and that’s inevitable in what we do.
I couldn’t handle it as well as I did, I don’t think, and didn’t want to.
And so, fortunately now I have the opportunity, I think, to impact the field in a different way, but I knew that that chapter for me was over.
That’s very interesting, and indeed, that really did come across in the prologue to the book, which I’m telling you, I was just spellbound when I read those words.
You know, I said to myself, This is somebody who has truly experienced profound life-changing moment.
And the way you write about it is so eloquent and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
I can’t wait to get in there and see what the rest of it is like.

[26:06] But I’d like to know if in addition to those things that you experienced from a strictly personal perspective of being the son of a transplant recipient in addition to all of the emotional events that you had experienced over the years that you did practice.
Were there things beyond the clinical that had an impact on you?
And of course, I’m, you know.

[26:35] I’m asking you about the bureaucracy and the seemingly millions of things that come at practitioners every day that don’t have anything to do with taking care of sick people.
Did that weigh on you at all? Dr. Darrell Bock Well, it definitely did, Randy, and I write about that in the book. I think that what we’re experiencing in our country, and I’ve gone around and talked to.

[26:55] Many medical centers about the book, and I did it in the throes of the pandemic and afterwards as well. And I think that we’re misclassifying and misunderstanding what’s going on with the healthcare workforce. It’s really not burnout per se. It’s not a individual problem.
To me, it’s utter frustration with the environment in which we’re asking our healthcare workforce to practice. I mean, I think the job is largely untenable for most of the workforce. And I I think what happens is the moral disconnect, and it happened in me as well, I wanted to provide the best patient outcome I could provide.
Yes, I was seeking perfection in an imperfect therapy. And in order to line all the stars up in the best way possible, I wanted the entire hospital environment to pull in the same direction.
And anybody listening to the podcast that doesn’t happen all the time and hopefully it happens some of the time.
And that became unacceptable to me as well. So it wasn’t just we were occasionally losing patients because that’s transplantation and I get that.
But I think that there are instances where we’re in the hospital environment, we’re asking in the worst workforce to provide the best care that they know how to provide with one arm tied behind their back.

[28:21] And that’s what I’m hearing when I go out and talk about the book, for instance.
I’m hearing that from the workforce loud and clear, and they can’t be any more transparent about that feeling.
And I think we’ve got to figure out a way to let practitioners feel like they are providing the best care possible to their patients so that when their head hits the pillow at night, they feel good about it. And I don’t think that’s happening nearly enough anymore.
Well, that’s certainly the impression that I get from talking to the many physicians that I talk to on this program.
And I’m interested in this new phase of your life life that you have.
Currently entered, and I’m wondering, has the experience of being at the head of a consulting group given you the feeling that you are continuing to have an impact, and are you getting the satisfaction that you hoped by being in that position?
Yeah, I get asked that a lot. I think I feel more coach than quarterback at this point, and so I feel like I’m helping transplant programs perform better, and then they help other people but I’m removed from the direct patient care part of it and I tell everybody that’s.

[29:42] Contemplating going through the same phase that I went through and I left Stanford when I was 52 years old so I was relatively young at least to be leaving the front lines of clinical medicine, and I tell folks look you’re not going to replace that one-on-one patient interaction you know that quiet moment in the waiting room or in the hospital room or in the ICU bed, there’s no replacing that.
And so, I think initially I said, well, I can replace that with helping transplant programs and I’ll get the same satisfaction. Well, you can’t. And I think that it’s important to recognize that those moments are irreplaceable. But, and this is a big but, that doesn’t mean you can’t You can’t have an impact, you can.
But you just have to recognize that it’s gonna be in a different way than what I was used to, which is talking directly to patients’ families, to patients themselves, to feeling their gratitude, feeling their sorrow and loss very directly.
I had to experience it in a different way. And that took some adjustment.

[30:55] I bet it did. I’m sure it’s probably very difficult, but are there some examples of the instances where in this new era of your professional life, you feel like you have been able to have an impact and give us a little bit more concrete example?
I think what’s important for transplant programs, maybe important for any clinical program, is to set up the infrastructure of the program well.
Well, so I’ve gone in with my colleagues in the consulting group, and we’ve gone into hospitals, we’ve set up transplant institutes, we’ve set up individual transplant programs, we’ve staffed them properly, we’ve followed them along for four or five years now and seen their growth.
We’ve helped them select candidates for the transplant very directly by participating in the selection.
We’ve even helped them pick donors out, like who’s an appropriate organ donor.
We’ve coached young people in the field. We’ve mentored them through their learning phase.

[32:00] So you’re really in the game. Yeah, I am, I am. It’s just a different way.
And I’m not walking around or sitting in the hospital with these folks.
I’m more a sounding board for what is the right way to practice?
And I think that if I have a strength at all, I think it’s in.
Setting up a clinical program that has a chance to succeed. What I see out there is there are transplant programs that are set up and, frankly, they’re not set up for success. They’re either understaffed, or they don’t have the right folks, or the hospital’s trying to cut corners, or something, and they just don’t have a chance to succeed. And so, we’ve gone in.

[32:49] And made recommendations about staffing, about infrastructure, about personnel.
And we’ve seen a real difference in how some of these programs perform.
In fact, the best thing that happens to us is they tell us, thanks, are the relationships no longer necessary.
And I think that that’s a good thing because the program’s functioning.
And that’s what I wanna say. I was just about to say that that must be a really good feeling when they get up and walk on their own.
It’s a great feeling. And I especially like the younger folks that we work with that, you know, at the beginning are tentative and unsure and doubt themselves.
And by the time we’re done, they feel like, you know what, I can do this.
And that’s what I wanna see. And I train people, you know, of course, when I was at Stanford and throughout my career, and I’m proud of the people I’ve trained.
Many of them are out there doing great work.
But I also, in a consulting role, think that you can train people as well.
And I use the same sort of approach I did when I was directly training people.

[34:00] Well, I’m glad to hear that. It sounds like that you’re getting a great deal of satisfaction from being a good coach, if not the quarterback, and kudos for you for doing that.
That. I am also interested in knowing now that you are not in quite such 24-7 demand, as a bedside physician. Are you finding any way to have fun other than being a consultant?
Dr. Kahne Walker Yeah, lots of ways. I found one of the things I noticed right away after 2016 is sleeping through the night is very, very underrated.

[34:39] I had the phone at my bedside for about 25 years, and and my wife can attest to the fact that it went off a lot.
And she always joked that she could always hear the conversations about an organ donor that became available.
And she thought she was the best person to pick out organ donors by the time I was done.
I bet she had the facts. Yeah, she felt like she was very competent at that, and I think she was.
So yeah, look, the upside to all of this, and I realize it’s been a privilege and I’ve been lucky, is I get to spend a lot more time with my family, you know, my daughter’s.
When I left Stanford, we’re just starting high school, and I missed a lot of the early stuff, as many of your listeners have.
I’m not the only one.
And now, and throughout their high school years, and now in college, I feel like I’m fully a participant, a full participant in all of it.
And I think that that’s special.
I really do. Sure it is. Yeah.
I think that’s been a real upside to all of us.
So how are your California kids adapting to life in New Orleans?
Well, they like all of the kids found New Orleans quite appealing as a high school student.
They had full run of the city and they took full advantage.
I have two daughters, they’re great kids, but they went out in high school in New Orleans as I did when I was living there.

[36:08] And availed themselves of the opportunities that are in the city.
And it’s a great place to grow up.

[36:16] And they tell me all the time how thankful they are that we moved from California.
Palo Alto’s a lovely town and lots of great friends there.
But New Orleans is a whole different level. Well, I’m very glad to hear that.
When you transplant a bunch of teenagers, sometimes it doesn’t go so well, but it sounded like you found the secret sauce.
Yeah, they were actually, you know, I was going to leave Stanford in 2016 and we could have actually stayed in California and I could have easily done my consulting work from there.
But my wife and my two daughters were actually leading the charge to go to New Orleans.
I mean, a lot of people think it was me leading us back there as a native, but really it was my family that really wanted to go there.
They visited there often growing up and couldn’t have been more pleased when we finally did move there.
Outstanding. Yeah.

[37:14] Well, David, I have really enjoyed talking to you about your career path and hearing a little bit about your family. This has been fun.
What I want to do now is what we came here for and that’s for me to get out of the way.
So I’m going to close my mic audience and Dr. David Weil is going to give us his personal prescriptions for success.
Thanks, Randy, for giving me the opportunity. I, growing up, had two major influences on me.
My father, who I mentioned during the course of the interview, was an academic physician.
He got me interested in medicine. My mother, a nurse, also had a perspective on medicine that I think led with the heart, which I think is a very important trait to have.
But from my father and my high school basketball coach, there were high expectations that were set.
And one of the things that they always taught me was don’t be good, try to be great.
And I think that a lot of folks out there sometimes become satisfied, because I think it’s human nature to be good at what we do.

[38:27] But then to go to that extra level to try to be great is something that I think my father and my high school basketball coach, Billy Fitzgerald, really instilled in me.
And I think the other part of it that I would say came from my mother, which was follow your heart, lead with it.
And it’s amazing that if you look at life that way, the rest will often follow.
Good things will come to you. Whatever success you want will eventually come if you follow the thing that you’re most interested in. And I was able to do that with my transplant career.
I think that some of the things I didn’t do as well that I would tell myself to do if I could talk to myself 20, 25 years ago, would be.

[39:12] To slow down a little bit, strive for that success, but maybe slow it down a little bit, value those quiet moments with patience.
I don’t have those anymore.
And I think.

[39:25] The listeners out there that are still on the front lines probably say, well, yeah, you know, the patients, they’ll always be there, but they won’t. They won’t always be there. And you really have to value those quiet moments when you’re talking one-on-one with the patient at their most vulnerable period. I think those are the things that I think about almost every day. And that leads me to my last point, which is always remember why we go to work.
You know, we leave our own family alone often to go to work to take care of somebody else’s family and we do it out of love. We love our patients and we really care about them and I think, especially now with the healthcare environment the way it is and how difficult it is, to practice medicine right now, I think we always have to remind ourselves while we go to work and And it’s for the patients.
And no matter what happens in our broken health care system, they can’t take that away.
And so I think those are my real prescriptions for success.
Well, that’s a great list, David. I like it a lot.
Don’t be good. Strive for greatness. Follow your heart. Take your time getting there.
And remember why you go to work, because you love it. That is some really, really good advice.
I really appreciate you taking the time to be with us. and share your wisdom with us today.

[40:47] Before we go, I wanna give you an opportunity to tell people where they can find your book and where they can find you if you have those sorts of things you’d like to share with us today.
So to find out more about me and the things that I write, not just my book, but I write a lot of op-eds for national publications of various sorts on topics that are related to healthcare and some that aren’t, You can go to David Weil, David,
And on that site is an easy link to the national booksellers that I’m sure you’re all familiar with.
And you can easily get my book from one of those.
Well, Dr. David Weil, it has been a pleasure speaking with you today.
I really enjoyed your stories and hearing about your life in New Orleans as well as out on the West Coast.
Thank you so much for being with us. It’s been a lot of fun having a conversation.
Thanks Randy, really enjoyed the talk.

[42:04] Thank you so much for listening with us today. If you enjoyed the show, you can help us reach more listeners by leaving a rating and a review, especially on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
And if your app doesn’t have that option, please leave us an email or a voicemail.

[42:22] Through SpeakPipe at
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And we hope you’ll also follow our companion podcast, Life Changing Moments with Dr. Dale Waxman.
Special thanks to our producer, Craig Clausen, our promotions manager, Mariana Rodobaugh, and to Ryan Jones, who created and performs our theme music.
And remember, be sure to fill your prescription for success with my next episode.

[42:54] Music.