The 5 Secrets to Setting Boundaries at Work

Karen is a 35-year-old physician recently recruited to lead a newly formed department at a large academic health system. She was new to leadership and initially let the prevailing culture dictate the ways meetings were held. There were many tangential conversations...

Hello, Health Care Organization Leader, Are You Listening?

I’m not an organizational leader, a member of the C-suite, a department chair, or a VP of anything. I’m a coach who guides physicians as they try to provide exceptional care and actually have a life. But I know a lot about...

Can You Name the 3 Places Where Physicians Have Control?

Toward the end of my clinical career, I didn’t feel like I had control over much at all. The patient safety issues loomed large. We used ridiculous workarounds for broken processes. The constant vigilance to provide excellent care in a suboptimal environment was...

The #1 Most Stress-Reducing Hobby Ever

A few years ago, I stumbled upon what has become a regular practice for me. I refer to it, tongue in cheek, as a hobby, but honestly it may look more like obsession. At least it’s a healthy one, involving no mood-altering chemicals, empty calories, or a high risk of...

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How to Grow through Life’s Transitions

When my first child was born and I stepped over the mighty threshold to “parent,” I felt elated, awed, and grateful—and at the same time as if my life had completely fallen apart. Meditation had been a daily sanity-saving practice for me. Have you ever tried to...

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Images I Can’t Unsee

Sure, there are happy images from my clinical days—before I left primary care for a writing career—like the sheer joy of birth when suddenly another live being entered the room; the relief on a patient’s face at being heard and helped; the grateful smiles from...

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Why We Need Rituals, Now More than Ever

A few weeks ago I started a ritual that I’ve only done once before, and come August, won’t do again. I began creating a “movie” for my 18-year-old son to mark his leaving home. Three years ago, I spent several months before my daughter left for college creating a...

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The Challenges Women Physicians Face: What’s Needed to Shift from Striving to Thriving.

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Diane W. Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC

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