The Podcast by KevinMD

The Podcast by KevinMD

Social media's leading physician voice, Kevin Pho, MD, shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from. Welcome to The Podcast by KevinMD.

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How to (almost) never have a bad shift

"To understand how to create good shifts irrespective of external factors, I turned to the ancient philosophy of Stoicism. One of its core tenets is that we must focus on what is within our control. Epictetus said: 'Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.' Too often, we ignore his admonitions, and we focus our efforts on things that are outside our control while paradoxically relinquishing control of things that are within our control. Things within our control, per the Stoics, are our own thoughts, emotions, and actions. We relinquish control of them by allowing our emotions to be unduly affected by external things. 'That person said something that made me upset,' or 'I’m angry because I couldn’t get something I needed.' On the other hand, we try to control things that are outside our circle of control, such as other people’s actions or opinions, politics, coronavirus, or even the weather. We try to control them in our minds by resisting their presence, continuously wishing them away, or perseverating that they should be different. In order to have the inner tranquility and outer effectiveness Epictetus encouraged, we must give up the fiction that we can control things outside ourselves and maintain better control of ourselves." Christina Shenvi is an emergency physician and can be reached on Twitter @clshenvi. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How to (almost) never have a bad shift." (
January 22, 2021

Unmasking inequality: the power of community organization during COVID-19

"Touted by some as a 'great equalizer,' the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront long-standing disparities in access to health for Black, Latinx, immigrant, and low-income communities. While we are all in this fight together, some are bearing the burden more than others. Studies have shown that Blacks in the United States are especially affected, with them being represented twice as often among COVID-19 deaths as they are in the population (13 percent of the population vs. 27 percent of COVID-19 deaths). In New York City (NYC), primarily Black and Latinx neighborhoods are being ravaged, while whiter and wealthier areas are seeing fewer cases and deaths. Furthermore, there has been a mass exodus from whiter and wealthier neighborhoods, while New York’s Blacks, Latinxs, immigrants, and those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds have been unable to escape financial, mental, and literal suffocation by the virus." Aishwarya Raja is a medical student. Inginia Genao is an internal medicine physician. They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "Unmasking inequality: the power of community organization during COVID-19." (
January 21, 2021

General surgery, palliative care and the new meaning of the phrase, “going viral” 

"Today and for the foreseeable future, COVID-19 is a serious threat, virulent and contagious, not only leading to an impressive display of human vulnerability and arrogance, but also demonstrating how innovative and creative humans can be during a time of crisis. On a daily basis, I am inspired by the outpouring of courage, empathy, and compassion, as well as the injection of original and mutated ideas that will govern the blueprint of our destiny.  The truth is that the coronavirus has gone viral and, in so doing, opened the door to other remarkable evolutionary adaptations.  Adaptations that will both thwart its virility and enhance our society’s immunity, resilience, and long-term survivability.' Pringl Miller is a general surgeon. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The new meaning of the phrase, 'going viral'." (
January 20, 2021

How shame almost ruined a physician's life

"I do want you all to know that shame is a very familiar brain track (like an 8-track tape, if you know what that is), but not one I am stuck in. The above experience of failing a class turned out to be amazing. I am now appreciative of how far I have come — of what I have learned, through much transformational therapy, mindfulness and coaching work. I am lucky enough to have a choice in my thoughts and to not disengage. I don’t have to be stuck there. I can put it on speaker-phone with trusted individuals in my life. I can dedicate the work I do now to the memory of my patient and her family. I continue to heal and offer healing. Life is really an amazing tapestry with short fibers, longer fibers, many colors and most of all — each thread woven to make a perfect whole. It is when we feel stuck that guilt and shame can get the better of us, impacting all areas of our life. I am sharing this very personal story to make a difference with those stuck in the negative talk and the feeling that the core of who we are is not worthy. Enduring shame is associated with depression, anxiety, PTSD and addiction. Shedding light into the dark areas of thoughts we keep secret make a huge difference." Robyn Alley-Hay is an obstetrician-gynecologist and can be reached at her self-titled site, Dr. Robyn Alley-Hay. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How shame almost ruined a physician's life." (
January 19, 2021

COVID vaccines, overcoming skepticism, and pandemic theater

"Environmental cleaning rightfully plays a more prominent role within health care facilities to control the spread of other diseases, but even hospitals have overreacted when it comes to contact precautions for SARS-CoV-2.  I recently went to get a flu shot from one of the hospitals I cover, and I couldn’t help but think that several steps in this process seemed wasteful.  Even though everyone was already masking and maintaining appropriate distance, recipients were each assigned one large desk and one pen to fill out the obligatory paperwork.  Once complete, the pens went into a “dirty” cup, and a gloved staff member had to wipe down the pen, clean the entire desk surface and dispose of the cup before anyone else was allowed to use that station.  Before I could sit down and receive the vaccine, I had to stand back and allow the administering nurse to wipe down the whole chair with isopropyl alcohol.  We didn’t go to these lengths before the pandemic, so why go over the top now for a virus that, for all intents and purposes, is not spread by contact?" Clayton Foster is an infectious disease physician and founder, AirborneID. He can be reached on Facebook and Twitter @AirborneID_CO. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "COVID transmission should not be a touchy subject." (
January 18, 2021

How ocean plastic picking made me a better pediatrician

"It has been over a month since I started this new hobby. I told my middle-school-aged daughter tonight, 'I am going to write a post about how ocean plastic picking has made me a better pediatrician.' She replied, 'You mean better than other pediatricians?' 'No, I mean a better pediatrician than I was before,' I answered in all seriousness. I know where her thoughts were coming from. I have always thought that anyone who makes it through the medical training process, including her mother, must have some level of narcissism and arrogance to make it and succeed. We have to convince parents, patients, and colleagues that we are just special enough to deserve their trust, their respect, and that we know what we are doing. Being mid-career, I certainly know I am competent. But the regular ritual of collecting ocean plastic has helped me be a better and more humble pediatrician." Vi Thuy Nguyen is a pediatrician who blogs at Dr. Plastic Picker. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How ocean plastic picking made me a better pediatrician." (
January 17, 2021

The Podcast by KevinMD

Hosted by Kevin Pho, MD, The Podcast by KevinMD shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from.

There are many physician podcasts out there, and I was hesitant to throw my hat into the podcasting ring. After all, there are many physician-interviewers better at the craft than I am.

Then I thought back to the mission of KevinMD: To share the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system, but are rarely heard from. Over the years, KevinMD gave a voice to those in health care who may not be famous or have a big name. But their stories are no less powerful or important.

I want to bring these voices into the podcasting realm, so you can hear them tell their own stories, in their own words.
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Kevin Pho, MD

Kevin Pho, MD

Kevin is a practicing, board-certified internal medicine physician, a national media commentator, co-author of the book, Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices, and an acclaimed keynote speaker.

The Podcast by KevinMD shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system, but are rarely heard from. We give a voice to those in health care who may not be famous or have a big name.

But their stories are no less powerful or important. ​I talk with KevinMD contributors who share their stories, in their own words. ​Each interview is designed to be 10 to 20 minutes in length: concise, digestible, and filled with information, insight, and inspiration.

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