SoundPractice Podcast

SoundPractice Podcast

The business podcast for physicians and health care leaders.

Leadership Training in the U.S. Armed Forces with Dr. Neil Grunberg

The U.S. Armed Forces have been making efforts to properly care for soldiers and sailors since Jonathan Letterman became medical director of the Army of the Potomac in July of 1862. Battlefield care requires skills and procedures different from civilian care. In this episode of SoundPractice, Mike Sacopulos discusses with Neil E. Grunberg, PhD, how the U.S. Armed Forces trains physicians and promotes leadership skills for the benefit of service members. Grunberg is the director of Leadership Research & Development, professor of Military & Emergency Medicine, and professor of Neuroscience at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He has been educating physicians, psychologists, and nurses for the Armed Forces and Public Health Service since 1979. He has published more than 220 papers addressing behavioral medicine, drug use, stress, traumatic brain injury, and leadership. [email protected] Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at  
November 1, 2023

Gretchen Morgenson and Role of Private Equity in Healthcare

Gretchen Morgenson is the senior financial reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit. A former stockbroker, she won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her “trenchant and incisive” reporting on Wall Street. Previously at The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, she and coauthor Joshua Rosner have written a new book, These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs—and Wrecks—America.   In the 1902 State of the Union Address, Theodore Roosevelt said, “Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inventible development of modern industrialism. We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good.” What would President Roosevelt have to say about private equity’s recent interaction with healthcare?   As private equity firms invest in everything from dermatology practices to emergency room staffing companies, the impacts are not always obvious. Gretchen Morgenson’s new book, excellently researched and compiled, examines private equity influence in America. You will be surprised by the findings.   Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at
October 18, 2023

Patient Education and Physician Leadership with John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer at WebMD

We all know a family member, friend, or a patient self-diagnosed with the help from search engines. Although some clinicians roll their eyes when patients arrive armed with information from online research, the Internet has opened the door to health education.  And we know that more engaged, informed patients have better clinical outcomes. John Whyte, MD, MPH, is chief medical officer at WebMD, and leads the development of strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important public health issues. He has written extensively, creating award-winning health content for TV and the web, and developed numerous initiatives addressing diversity in clinical trials. In this interesting discussion with host Mike Sacopulos, Whyte talks about his career path and provides a behind-the-scenes look at WebMD which provides an important service by presenting quality health information to our citizens. Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at  
October 4, 2023

The Path from Mathematics and STEM to Meta and AI Research with Dr. Kristin Lauter

Mike Sacopulos speaks with Kristin E. Lauter, PhD, about her chapter titled, “Trust, Access, and Visibility,” in the book, Lessons Learned: Stories from Women Leaders in STEM. Lauter is the director of Research Science, North American Labs for Meta AI Research. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a series of articles looking at AI in medicine. After spending more than 20 years at Microsoft, Lauter is now at the forefront of AI research at Meta.  In this interview, she describes the basics of AI and how the power of AI will be powerful for society. She also describes risk inherent because of human involvement; how humans could misuse the tools. As a past president of the Association of Women in Mathematics, Lauter has been a strong advocate of women in STEM positions.  She describes her philosophy of the goal of “1/3” and her work in launching the Research Networks program to support and advance women in math and computer science.  She finds the chapters in the Lessons Learned book to be inspiring – both in messaging to younger professionals that, “You are not alone” and in advocating for both access and recognition of work of women and other underrepresented minorities in the sciences. Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at  
September 20, 2023

Mentorship, Women Physicians, and Leadership with Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH

Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, is the Myron M. Levine MD, DTPH Professor in Vaccinology, professor of medicine and pediatrics, and is the director for the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Mike Sacopulos speaks with Neuzil about her chapter in the book, Lessons Learned:  Stories from Women Physician Leaders, her work for a non-profit, and her work in academic medicine. Throughout her career the power of mentorship, both as beneficiary and as benefactor, has been an inspiration to her. But what makes a good mentor?  How do women find role models who balance a family and a successful career? How has the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on women and young families advancing in their healthcare careers? Neuzil’s leadership story is inspirational. She shares how small acts of kindness, via mentorship, can result in tremendous returns. Her clinical and policy talent, anchored on the bedrock of science, has benefited countless people around the globe. Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at  
September 6, 2023

Moral Injury in Healthcare with Wendy Dean, MD

Wendy Dean, MD, is a writer, speaker, podcast host, and the president and co-founder of The Moral Injury of Healthcare (, a nonprofit focused on alleviating distress in the workforce through training and consultation. She and her co-founder, Simon G. Talbot, MD, began the conversation about moral injury in healthcare with the publication of their seminal work in STATNews on July 26, 2018. They have also recently published the book, If I Betray These Words: Moral Injury in Medicine and Why It's So Hard for Clinicians to Put Patients First. In this interview with host Mike Sacopulos, Dean discusses what constitutes a moral injury and how technology and compensation models can add to the problem for healthcare employees. They discuss the boards of medicine and their role in protection to physicians. In addition, she shares some ideas on viable solutions to the situation currently in healthcare. [email protected] Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at  
August 23, 2023

Author Dr. Deborah Shlian on Lessons Learned: Stories from Women Physician Leaders

Describing her own path as a physician leader, Deborah M. Shlian, MD, MBA, also shares her book plan and the resulting project with 30+ contributors to the book published by the American Association for Physician Leadership, Lessons Learned: Stories from Women Physician Leaders. Fascinating stories from women in leadership roles – as models and templates for other physicians. Further, Shlian discusses with host Mike Sacopulos the main reasons keeping women from leadership roles, the statistics on women in medical school and medical training, and COVID-19 and its impact on women physicians. Shlian is a board-certified family practitioner with more than three decades of clinical and management experience. She has been able to balance work-life with writing, producing several nonfiction articles, chapters, and books on medical management issues. She also writes fiction. Her works of fiction have won literary awards, including the Florida Book Award’s Gold Medal. Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at  
August 9, 2023

Treatment-related Medical PTSD and “Difficult Patients” with Brenda Denzler

Brenda Denzler, PhD, is an author and editor. Her career as an editor and writer was cut short after her diagnosis with inflammatory breast cancer in 2009, at which time she was also diagnosed with treatment-related medical PTSD springing from medical encounters she had experienced at the age of five. After a difficult and re-traumatizing (but successful) course of cancer treatment, she began writing short pieces focused on cancer and, increasingly, on mPTSD that were published in local venues, on the Cure Today website, on MedPage Today, and in the British Medical Journal. The Facebook support group that Brenda Denzler moderates for treatment-related medical PTSD now has 1000 members. In Brenda Denzler’s discussion with Mike Sacopulos, she describes how patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by past medical treatments, choose to call themselves “treatment-traumatized” patients although healthcare professionals may categorize these patients as, “difficult.” The American Association for Physician Leadership takes the opportunity to share Brenda’s story with the SoundPractice audience of physicians and inter-professional healthcare providers. A complete list of her health-related work can be found at: Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at  
July 26, 2023
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SoundPractice, hosted by the American Association for Physician Leadership®, delivers practical information and fresh perspectives for physician leaders and those running healthcare systems. Physician advocates Michael Sacopulos, JD (healthcare attorney, author, speaker) and Cheryl Toth, MBA (business writer, speaker - former practice consultant and healthcare tech executive) bring you the best thought leaders, crisp humor, and pithy tips to help your healthcare organization thrive.


Cheryl Toth, MBA

Cheryl Toth, MBA

Cheryl Toth, MBA, is a professional development leader, trainer, and content creator. Her passion is empowering physicians and practice teams to achieve goals, improve performance, and enjoy their work.

She brings 25 years of practice management consulting, training, healthcare technology leadership, and content development to her projects.

Cheryl has a BS, Music from Western Michigan University and an MBA, Finance from Loyola University Chicago. She received coaching training from Erickson College. A distance runner and life-long learner, Cheryl enjoys culinary, visual, and performing arts, loves to travel, and aspires to speak Spanish fluently.
Michael J. Sacopulos, JD

Michael J. Sacopulos, JD

Mike is the CEO of Medical Risk Institute (MRI), a firm that provides proactive counsel to the healthcare community in order to identify where liability risks originate, and reduce or remove these risks. Mike’s unlawyerlike pragmatism and clever wit make him a sought after speaker by national specialty societies MGMA national and state chapters, and trade associations.

Mike is General Counsel for Medical Justice Services where he is tasked with keeping the organization’s members out of meritless lawsuits. In a fit of madness, Mike agreed to work with a Lloyd’s of London firm, to write the first cyber insurance product designed exclusively for healthcare industry.

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