Podcast Episodes for Season 2
Hippie Docs 2.0 Re-humanizing Medicine
Hippie Docs Season 2 Episode #8
Doctor as Writer/ Author as Physician: Narrative Medicine is Quietly Revolutionary, and Paul Converses with Pediatrician and Memoirist Dr. Claire Unis to investigate the synergy of practices.
Dr. Claire Unis
Dr. Claire Unis is a writer, pediatrician and mom living and working in Auburn, California. The author of the recent memoir Balance Pedal Breathe: A Journey Through Medical School, Claire embraces and blends both facets of herself, and uses her passions and skills as a pediatrician, memoirist and practitioner of narrative medicine in concert, to work with her young patients and forge a new path for herself and her colleagues. There is a huge overlap with writing and medicine, involving the power of observation; not to mention the need for doctors to engage in other activities to remain sane and healthy. Claire finds this union of disciplines particularly helpful and satisfying with adolescents, as well as helping healthcare workers process tragedy and trauma. Join Paul and Claire for a fertile conversation about the power of journaling for both patient and doctor and how regular emotional check-ins can create a path forward for patient treatment and healing the healer.
@LiteraryArtinMedicine on Instagram
Dr, John Mendelson
Hippie Docs Season 2 Episode #7
A Deep Dive into Primary Care Medicine: A Conversation with Dr. John Mendelson, an addiction researcher and physician, startup co-founder, and primary care doctor for 30 years.
Medicine is more of a team sport than we might like to admit, and yet the romance of one-on-one care glorified in TV shows like Marcus Welby, M.D. continue to be mythologized. Airing from 1969-1976, the show starred Robert Young as the title character, a family practitioner with a kind bedside manner, who was on a first-name basis with many of his patients (and who also made house calls).
There have been tectonic shifts in medicine both in terms of treatments and the delivery of care since the 1970’s and our balkanized healthcare system was struggling before Covid. In the last 30-40 years, the escalating costs and dizzying systemic gyrations—from HMOs structures to the ACA overhaul—have left many patients confused, underserved and overcharged. Despite heroic efforts from practitioners there will most certainly be lasting structural and care delivery effects from the pandemic, so it is a good time to take a look at this pivotal role in our healthcare system. Primary Care Medicine is supposed to serve as the patient's entry point into the health care system and as the continuing focal point for all needed health care services. A primary care physician is a specialist in family medicine, general internal medicine or general pediatrics who provides patient care and takes continuing responsibility for providing the patient's comprehensive care. Healthcare delivery and structure is ever morphing in our for profit system, and we are once again seeing a big shift. Join Paul for a lively conversation with Dr. John Mendelson, an addiction researcher and physician, startup co-founder and primary care physician for more than 30 years. John recently gave up his primary care practice, but has tremendous insight into the past, present and future of Primary Care Medicine.
Hippie Docs Season 2 Episode #6
The Psychology of a Pandemic: How Covid has Transformed both the Clinical Psychology Practice and Patients of Dr. Jeb Berkeley
Jeb Berkeley, PhD is a clinical psychologist in San Francisco whose practice focuses on the treatment of the symptoms of anxiety and depression expressed in the realms of love, family, partnership, loss, addiction, work, health, uncertainty and pleasure. With 40 years of experience, Dr. Berkeley shares mental health insights into the challenges and opportunities the global pandemic has created during the last two years. With therapists sharing the trauma with patients, and unable to provide a physically ‘safe’ environment for therapy, most counseling went online. He says he recently heard a comedian say “doing therapy on zoom is like sex with a condom; it’s safe but you lose something.” And yet, as a person who self describes as someone ‘who runs hopeful,’ he found a number of positives in his practice during this difficult era. The unique global experience of uncertainty, created immeasurable stress and suffering for so many, but despite a trend of Covid divorces, Jeb says he witnessed some surprising unexpected areas of growth for patients and therapists. Join Paul for a revealing conversation about
how this crisis has upended, transformed and changed the course of therapy, while stimulating both profound suffering and remarkable resilience in so many. The covid chronicles are far from over, but it is enlightening to investigate the odyssey of our times, and the implications for health and wellbeing, all with a warm sense of optimism and humor.
Dr. Jeb Berkeley
Dr. Jennifer Guo
Hippie Docs Season 2 Episode #5
Psychedelics as Agents of Transformation: A Conversation with Psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Guo, Director of Psychedelic Medicine at Mindful Health Solutions
There has been a renaissance of interest in the boundary-pushing, consciousness-altering medications for alleviation of suffering in psychiatric patients. Bipartisan in nature, and with a growing public interest from politicians and donors, this movement is spurred by a cultural shift away from the War on Drugs. Mainstream explorations and writings by the likes of Michael Pollan have raised public awareness of how psychedelics may work in treating Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD. Medicines such as ketamine, MDMA and psilocybin work in the brain by inducing neuroplasticity, lighting up the brain in a sense. This process can help patients confront deeply rooted traumas and modify their maladaptive reactions and responses in a variety of life situations. These groundbreaking treatments are provided in conjunction with psychotherapy and take place in calm and therapeutic settings, contrasting with the recreational use of these substances. Join Paul and Dr. Guo for a deep dive into this creative therapy -- an innovative tool and much in demand given the mental health crisis exacerbated by Covid.
Hippie Docs Season 2 Episode #4
Roots of a Crisis in the Profession of Nursing: A Conversation with Dr. Sharon Goldfarb, experienced clinician, educator, and public health advocate.
The ravages and toll of the Covid pandemic with its associated breakdown in civility, complicated by a flawed pipeline in Nursing education, define the current challenges facing our beleaguered Nursing workforce in the U.S. An insufficient investment of both time and money, a misplaced hero worship, disinformation, and an unrealistic expectation for sustained effort in the face of perpetual tragedy contribute to a slow but steady erosion of the foundation of Nursing. Dr. Sharon Goldfarb knows this all too well. Ranging from her early days working via an outreach van with a group of HIV-positive substance-using people in Harlem to her distinguished career as an educator to her clinical and administrative field work with the unhoused to her current role as a vocal advocate for the national pandemic response, Goldfarb has witnessed the arc of change in the world of Nursing. She continues to work tirelessly to ensure the sustainability and future of the vocation from all these vantage points. Join Paul for a rousing discussion on the state of Nursing in 2021 and the implications for this vital and essential part of our nation's health care system.
This is Our Shot: A national, grassroots movement of healthcare heroes and allies that aims to build vaccine-trust for a COVID-free world and combat misinformation by elevating the voices of healthcare heroes as trusted messengers through stories, photos, and videos. This is our shot to get back to the things we love and miss most in our daily lives. We are proud to work alongside VacunateYa, our sister-campaign in Spanish.
Osmosis: Learning medicine made simple. The all-in-one health education platform where educators teach effectively and students learn efficiently. A comprehensive platform that helps people around the world understand health more thoroughly, created to empower the world’s clinicians and caregivers with the best learning experience possible.
Health Impact: Health Impact the Nursing Workforce and Policy Center
Project Roomkey: Housing and Homelessness COVID Response
Hippie Docs Season 2 Episode #3
Global Mental Health Care & the Empower Initiative: A Conversation with Dr. Vikram Patel, Psychiatrist and Endowed Professor at Harvard Medical School
When it comes to treating depression, it's the rest of the world that is delivering health care innovations to the United States. The global burden of unrecognized and untreated depression in terms of suffering and lost productivity is staggering. This is not just true in economically developing countries, but in the United States as well. A lack of broad access to affordable, effective, quality-based mental health care is a universal problem. In recent years, innovative research has driven the development of treatment strategies for depression, with the bulk of this work occurring in under-resourced areas of the world such as India and Africa. Much of this research, and its application has come from the scholarly work of Dr. Vikram Patel, a UK-trained Psychiatrist and Endowed Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Patel's work has focused on the burden of mental health problems across the life course, their association with social disadvantage, and the use of community resources for their prevention and treatment.
Dr. Patel speaks with Paul about these challenges and possible solutions provided by the Harvard-sponsored ‘Empower Initiative’ program, which is a model for improving depression care at the community level. This multi-dimensional, holistic, and humanistic approach is now being brought to Texas in the form of the "Lone Star Depression Challenge". Using strategies honed in rural communities worldwide, the project seeks to make depression care more widely available via the use of front-line health workers using evidence-based digital treatment tools. In our third episode of Season 2, focusing on health equity, Paul and Vikram delve into these topics, describing a potential roadmap to reducing the global burden of depression into the 21st Century.
Dr. Scott Cook
Hippie Docs Season 2 Episode #2
Health Equity for Communities of Color: A Conversation with Dr. Scott Cook, a Physician and International Lecturer on Health Disparities
‘If America catches a cold, black folks get pneumonia’ is a common phrase in the African-American community, and we have seen the suffering during Covid fall disproportionately on communities of color. Thirty years ago, Dr. Scott Cook wrote his thesis on “The Public Health Implications of Institutional Racism and how it Affects the Health of African American Males”. He was given some pushback on the topic at the time. Homicide, gun violence, and alcohol/drug dependence just then being understood as public health crises. Today, climate and environmental dangers, housing issues, nutrition, trauma, and poverty can be added to the growing list of forces that are associated with poor health outcomes. Dr. Cook, a physician, international lecturer on racism and health disparities, as well as an addiction specialist, has spent much of his medical career identifying, studying, and attempting to remedy these social determinants of health. If racism = prejudice + power, we have a long road ahead of us in our work as a society to achieve health equity, diversity, inclusion as well as recruitment and retention in medicine among people of color. Join Paul for his conversation with Dr. Cook as they explore these facets of the American medical system, and how we continue to attempt and fail at making medicine— both an art and science— more equitable and just. What are the best ways to improve experience and outcomes? This frank and personal discussion, with a prominent and vocal agent of change, yields many insights and prescriptions for how we can and must do better.
Podcast and book links to come
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Dr. Raj Patel & Dr. Rupa Marya
Hippie Docs Season 2 EPISODE #1
Inflamed: Deep Medicine & the Anatomy of Injustice
A Conversation with the Academics, Authors, and Activists Drs. Rupa Marya and Raj Patel
The Covid pandemic has starkly demonstrated the reality that those individuals experiencing poverty and social inequality get sick and die at higher rates than the general population. This is also true with other illnesses. Inflammation is the body’s response to infectious agents and environmental toxins but also to chronic stress and suffering inflicted by things like poverty and structural racism. It is not hyperbolic to say at this juncture that we are an ‘inflamed’ society and planet, and radical change is needed.
“Most patients you sit with long enough will tell you why they are sick,” says Marya. However, for doctors to truly identify and treat the underlying causes of ill health, the authors argue that we must start by understanding how systemic racism, inequality, and environmental degradation all contribute to a type of persistent, harmful inflammation leading to an illness of not just the body but also of our political, economic, and health care systems.
As doctors and advocates, these two disruptors have both been in the trenches, the streets, the villages, and worked in some of the most prestigious academic and medical institutions in the world. Dr. Patel is a PhD, journalist, author, father, and academic, often referred to as "the rock star of social justice writing”. Dr. Marya, when not working as an internal medicine specialist at UCSF, is an activist as well as a mother, composer, singer, and guitarist, fronting the global alternative group Rupa and the April Fishes, infusing her music with the same passion and urgency.
It is this combination of activism, academia, medical experience, creativity and tireless spirit that has propelled our guests to demand radical change in our world view and approach to illness and medicine. They are daring us to not only listen to their analysis, but become a part of the change.
In this provocative and groundbreaking work, the pair endeavors to shift the traditional paradigm. Marya and Patel explain the unique tasks performed by each operating system of our amazing human bodies, head-to-toe and everything in between, tying each to its approximate counterpart in our healthcare system. Inflamed is not a work of naivete but one that delivers a message of precarious hope, offering a clear diagnosis and treatment plan but with a truly uncertain prognosis.
Join Paul for a lively discussion of the book, their life’s work and the revolutionary path they are proposing to humanize medical care for all.
Podcast Episodes for Season 1
Hippie Docs 2.0: Re-humanizing Medicine
Dr. Coleen Kivlahan
Hippie Docs EPISODE #1
Pandemic: When the Doctor Becomes the Patient
Months into the Covid-19 Pandemic, we know more about Coronavirus and its epidemiology than ever before, but still not enough, as this dastardly virus continues wreaking havoc on lives and economies across the globe. A Professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF, Dr. Coleen Kivlahan sees patients on the front lines of the pandemic. In addition, as one of the first healthcare workers in SF to contract the virus from a patient, Dr. Kivlahan knows Covid-19 intimately.
Join us for a candid discussion about her own symptoms, illness and recovery, and a deep dive into her unique perspective on how we can tackle and manage this disease. The United States, with its fragmented healthcare system, operating in a highly politicized framework, has so far failed to manage the pandemic effectively resulting in a disproportionate number of deaths from Covid-19. One can find grounds for optimism, however, as scientists and health care professionals focus on the epidemiology and scientific breakthroughs to meet the challenge. Hear from Dr. Kivlahan, as we navigate the intersection of social justice movements with the immediate healthcare imperative.
*San Francisco Chronicle 5/30/2020: The curious case of the SF doctor who’s been coronavirus-positive nearly 90 days and counting
*Wall Street Journal 8/10/2020: This Doctor Understands Her Long-Term Covid Patients—She’s Been One Herself
*San Francisco Chronicle 9/17/2020: Where are they now? Pandemic profiles
Dr. Robert Okin
Hippie Docs EPISODE #2
Silent Voices: A Psychiatrist's Quest to Understand Homelessness and Addiction
In his Marin County tree-house, surrounded by redwood branches, with squirrels dancing around us, Dr. Robert Okin, author, activist, distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry in the UCSF School of Medicine, and a leading psychiatrist and internationally known expert on mental health service reform, was interviewed by the Hippie Docs team. The conversation with Dr. Paul Linde was wide ranging and centered around Dr. Okin's approach to re-humanizing medicine.
Throughout his career, as a young psychiatrist in training all the way to his years as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital, Dr. Okin has felt compelled to understand society's most vulnerable people -- unhoused, frequently traumatized, and often addicted. In his retirement, he ventured out to those mean San Francisco streets with a smile and a notebook and a camera to hear their stories, to put a human face on them. His quest to highlight the plight of the homeless and find ways to ameliorate the seemingly intractable human tragedy is riveting, and culminated in his book: Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Street.
From a conversation about the negative impact of overeager and well-meaning 1970s civil rights attorneys to international psychiatric horror stories, this exploration of one man’s career and mission will enlighten and inspire. His interviews, stories and humanity are on display in this moving episode that will change how you think about the national disgrace and interconnectedness of homelessness and mental health.
*San Francisco Chronicle 9/4/2019: Open Forum: San Francisco’s war against the mentally ill
Dr. Emily Williams
Hippie Docs EPISODE #3
Exploring Psychedelic Assisted Therapies with Dr. Emily Williams
Our conversation with UCSF psychiatrist, researcher, and educator Dr. Emily Williams delved into her work exploring psychedelic-assisted therapies and her groundbreaking contribution to clinical studies utilizing MDMA for severe PTSD and psilocybin for end-of-life care, as well as her clinical work providing ketamine-assisted treatment for severe depression. Only a couple years out of her psychiatric residency, Dr. Williams represents the HippieDocs 2.0 generation, building on the work of many trailblazing physicians from the heady revolutionary days of the 1960s and 1970s, a movement halted by America's ensuing ‘War on Drugs‘. These interventions, once thought to be radical, are now finding their way into the 21st Century psychiatric tool kit.
Dr. Williams grew up in a devout, service-oriented, and artistic family residing in a conservative community in the South. Integrating her upbringing, education, and experience, she carries forward a unique and hopeful perspective, voice, and message, driven by her desire to serve and alleviate suffering. Her quest to help her patients find a zest for life and ease with engagement, seeks to unify the mind, body and spirit of those deep in a debilitating struggle. Join us for this in-depth look at these innovative treatments that engender powerful results.
*Dr. Emily Williams—Goop.com Author
Dr. Jeff Draisin
Hippie Docs EPISODE #4
The Heart of Medicine: A Conversation with Integrative Medicine Physician Dr. Jeff Draisin
Our healthcare system was already on the ropes pre-Coronavirus pandemic, as our country creeped towards some kind of national health coverage. Much of our current crisis highlights how fragmented, inefficient and unprepared we are to deal with this overwhelming catastrophe, despite incredible heroic actions by many on the front lines of this ongoing medical emergency. Before our current reality, Hippie Docs spoke with Dr. Jeff Draisin, a San Francisco based Integrative Medical Practitioner about his practice, inspirations and his holistic treatment ethos. Join us for a lively discussion that will open your mind to a medical approach that takes into account more than stats, metrics, tests and and exams. This powerful path, rooted in progressive mindset of hippie doc pioneers, offers a comprehensive and transformative type of treatment and many potential lessons for the future of how to provide comprehensive healthcare coverage for our citizens.
Custom art work by @amanzurallan
Dr. Sondra Zabar
Hippie Docs EPISODE #6
The Artist of Clinical Medicine:
A Conversation with Dr. Sondra Zabar
Paul chats with Dr. Sondra Zabar, a Professor of Medicine at NYU in the division of general internal medicine and clinical innovation. Dr. Zabar actively supervises hundreds of primary care physicians at NYU. Teaching the “art of clinical medicine” to an entire generation of medical students, interns, and residents, Dr. Zabar cultivates curiosity, active listening, and the development of a good bedside manner. Research has shown that these physician skills lead to better diagnostic reasoning, improved medical outcomes, and higher patient and provider satisfaction. Employing actors in NYC (what better place?) to portray patients with varying personalities and medical conditions, Dr. Zabar utilizes this innovative model to teach the finer points of the clinical arts. Join us as Hippie Docs 2.0 continues an in-depth exploration of medical practice and philosophy in our quest to re-humanize medicine, with this overarching conversation with a highly regarded medical educator who shares our goal of holistically training physicians and other providers of health care.
Dr. John Good
Hippie Docs EPISODE #5
An Original Hippie Doc: A Conversation with Dr. John Good
A one-on-one interview with Dr. John Good, one of the many inspirations for this podcast and an original hippie doc. Recently retired after nearly 50 years of practice spanning the Vietnam, Civil Rights, Women’s Lib, and AIDS eras, Dr. Good shares recollections from his long-haired, bell-bottom wearing, VW Bus driving days, to his most recent experiences treating Covid patients. This wide-ranging and colorful conversation will not only conjure memories of the 60’s & 70’s, but also focus on our mutual hopes for medicine's future, galvanizing energy for the next generation of Hippie Docs 2.0 and the ongoing quest to re-humanize medicine.
Dr. Coleen Kivlahan
Hippie Docs EPISODE #7
Human Rights Medicine: A Conversation with Dr. Coleen Kivlahan
Paul has a frank and sobering conversation with Dr. Coleen Kivlahan, Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, who is a local and global expert and leader in Refugee, Immigrant, Asylum and Human Rights Medicine. Her name may sound familiar as she was a previous guest on Hippie Docs 2.0, talking about her own experience as a patient with Covid-19. In this episode, Dr. Kivlahan describes her work in Sierra Leone, Guatemala, the DRC, Syria, and in the US, bringing large scale and personal atrocities to light and justice. Mass graves and the body tell the stories, and doctors — using forensics— serve as a powerful force in an attempt to answer the twin questions of "how?" and "why?" did these things happen. Dr. Kivlahan also talks about her role as an educator and leader of UCSF's Human Rights Clinic, which painstakingly documents both physical and psychological wounds in immigrant asylum-seekers. At the same time, the medical students, faculty, and staff working there perform the equally important work of emotionally supporting these immigrants, many of whom suffered unimaginable trauma in their home countries. She is partially inspired to do this work by her early experiences, growing up one of six children in a working class family, living in a small northern Ohio steel town, with no health insurance. But it was her gut-wrenching experience as a young physician, fresh out of residency, which charted her path as a reliever of suffering, truth-teller, and policy maker. She speaks about the deadliness of silence, the importance of bearing witness and how small acts of kindness can create hope. Join us for our latest episode in our quest to re-humanize medicine.
San Francisco Chronicle: Doctors: Federal family separation policy amounts to ‘torture’
Dr. Arthur Kleinman
Hippie Docs EPISODE #8
Caregiving Made Him a Radical Feminist: A Conversation with Dr. Arthur Kleinman
They were an academic power couple at Harvard University when Dr. Arthur Kleinman’s wife Joan became ill with early-onset Alzheimer's Dementia. Arthur became her primary caregiver. A harrowing odyssey of decline follows, challenging this capable and loving Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology and inspiring his poignant and revealing book The Soul of Care; The Moral Education of a Husband and a Doctor.
Paul talks to Arthur about his beloved Joan’s illness and care, and how he learned — through this devastating experience — that ‘care’ is the social glue of society. Once artisanal in nature, personal caregiving, now dominated by big business and at the mercy of government regulations, is at risk of losing its soul but for the compassion and love bestowed by individual caregivers in their work with patients. Dr. Kleinman describes how this crisis of 'care' in America is evidenced by caregivers being underpaid, undervalued, and often disrespected. These workers are often immigrant women of color doing herculean work. Dr. Kleinman believes there needs to be a moral movement for care, bringing together many currently siloed segments of the population, including parents caring for kids with autism, and those assisting seniors, disabled and sick family members. Recorded before the Covid Crisis, many details of his personal and family challenge, speak to issues underscored by the current pandemic. Join us for this moving tale of a self-described ‘unpromising caregiver’ and his rise to the occasion; one man’s experience in the trenches of care, and his call to action for cultural change to re-humanize care.