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Swift Healthcare Podcast

Swift Healthcare Podcast

Welcome to the Swift Healthcare video podcast! This Podcast is for you – healthcare folks. It’s about your needs, as providers, as leaders, clinicians, team members, professionals. Each episode, Dr. Swift will have a conversation with a thought leader touching on Healthcare and Leadership, including perspectives from within and from outside healthcare.


Madina Estephan, MD, MPH
How do you Deal with Resistance, Lead Effectively, & Find Joy in Your Work?

How do you Deal with Resistance, Lead Effectively, & Find Joy in Your Work? Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC guests on Swift Healthcare Podcast where we discuss all this and more! Tune in because you do not want to miss it!

 Ranked a Top 60 Healthcare Leadership podcast by Feedspot.

Show Notes, Links, & Transcript

How do you Deal with Resistance, Lead Effectively, & Find Joy in Your Work? Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC guests on Swift Healthcare Podcast where we discuss all this and more! Tune in because you do not want to miss it! 

Ranked a Top 60 Healthcare Leadership podcast by Feedspot. 

Nancy Jacoby on LinkedIn:


Music Credit: Jason Shaw from Audionautix.com



To help make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who like to read rather than listen to podcasts, we’d love to offer polished show notes. However, Swift Healthcare is in its first year. 

What we can offer currently are these imperfect show notes. The transcription is far from perfect. But hopefully it’s close enough – even with the errors – to give those who aren’t able or inclined to audio interviews a way to participate.  Please enjoy!


[00:00:00] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:00:00] Welcome folks to another episode of the Swift healthcare video podcast. I’m Patrick Swift, your host, I’m so excited about Nancy Jacoby being on the show. Nancy, welcome to the show.

[00:00:08] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:00:08] Thank you, Patrick. It’s a pleasure to be here with you today.

[00:00:11]Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:00:11] It’s a joy and the title of our show here is how to deal with resistance lead effectively and find joy in your work. I love that. And so folks, let me share with you Nancy’s bio here, which I love doing the top of the show. Nancy Jacoby is a former healthcare executive with 25 years of experience in the industry. She’s a board certified. She is board certified in healthcare management by the American college of healthcare executives and is a fellow of the college go ACHE. I’m a FACHE as well. So I’m delighted that you’re on the show prior to serving in leadership positions, Nancy, as a registered nurse with a passion for caring for the geriatric patients, she’s actually still licensed in two States and she founded Nancy Jacoby [00:01:00] consulting and Nancy Jacoby coaching and consulting. And I have to call out that you went to Xavier university in Cincinnati. Having a great love for the Jesuits. I got, I got to give a shout out for your you’re a Jesuit education and being a Xavier.

[00:01:13] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:01:13] That’s right. I’m proud to be a Xavier alum.

[00:01:16] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:01:16] Outstanding. So we’re going to talk about how to deal with resistance lead effectively and find joy at work. And if I may, let me also ask you, we did a little prep folks on before the show and about, you know, the arc of the book. Podcasts we’re taping here, but I want to also ask you what got you into health care. If I may what drew you into healthcare and the passion you have because it’s so strong and the impact you’re having you know, what’s your, what’s your, why? What drew you into healthcare?

[00:01:44] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:01:44] Well, you know, Patrick, it’s funny because you know, you fill out these child books that your parents give you, you know, year by year with, you know, your grade school teacher and your friends. And what do you want to be when you grow up and early on, I identified looking back, I identified a lot of focus [00:02:00] on. What I would call helping professions, you know, being a nurse, being a teacher and nurse stayed there for a good couple of years. Right. And you know, when I, when I first went to college at Xavier I started out as a psych major because I always had a gravitation towards people with, you know, emotional health needs. And I just, I got attracted to nursing because I felt like I could serve the whole patient and the whole person. And the mission of caring for the sick. I mean, what, what’s more noble than that, right? I’ve always been attracted to something where in some way, shape or form, I’m going to have an impact. That’s more than just on paper. Like I wanted to have a tangible impact

[00:02:44] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:02:44] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:02:45] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:02:45] and that that’s, that’s really what drew me to nursing. And. It drew me into healthcare administration, believe it or not, because I could make an impact on so many different levels. You know, people might say, well, that sounds [00:03:00] strange. How do you do that? Well, because you can, you can touch the patient. You can touch the organization. And then in a leadership role, you have the awesome responsibility to lead mentor and develop others. And it was probably one of the most fulfilling parts of my job.

[00:03:17] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:03:17] Aw. Oh, I mean, it’s really, I love that because it’s, it’s pulling together all of the intention you had of being in the helping profession, even as a young person. And then, and then being in the workforce and being a healer and coaching and helping others heal and. You know, I hope listeners are thinking about what got you into health care yourself, or if you’re thinking about healthcare the show is for, from the CEO to the new employee, to the aspiring healthcare professional we all can learn, we can all find inspiration and joy from each other.

[00:03:45] And thinking about what drew you into healthcare, Nancy I think is beautiful for our listeners also to think about what drew you into healthcare. Cause hell if we can connect more and more to a purpose, it is a protective. Barrier protective factor from [00:04:00] burnout. Because if we’re dealing with burnout, one of the biggest things we can do is connect to our meaning and purpose. And so I love you sharing that short story as a neuropsychologist. I know listeners can’t help, but be thinking about that question for themselves. Well, why am I doing this? And it gets back to purpose. So. One of the challenges in dealing with burnout, whether you’re a provider, whether you’re a physician, a nurse, a clinician, or a leader, or both is we all deal with resistance. And so I’d love to, I love this. You’ve got amazing blog. You’ve got a lot of great content out there. Let’s talk about, here’s the question? What do you mean by making friends with resistance?

[00:04:38] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:04:38] Absolutely. And people who are listening right now, they, they must be thinking, you’re crazy. How can you make friends with resistance? Right. It’s, you know, it’s funny because when people think of resistance, a lot of the times it’s, it’s something negative, you know? So if I’m doing a workshop or if I’m having a conversation like this, when I, when I ask people, well, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. When you think of resistance, it’s [00:05:00] often negative words like, you know, right. I hear words like obstacle, blockade, stubborn impeding progress, you know challenge, you know, conflict. Right. And it doesn’t have to be that way because resistance is really a natural part of any change that we’re bringing to the table. Whether it’s

[00:05:22] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:05:22] And you said the change work. Cause then people, then we can’t help, but think of like, Oh, blood pressure. Right. And what you’re doing is normalizing that normal part of what we do, right?

[00:05:33] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:05:33] absolute normal part of what we do, whether whether we’re undergoing an individual change that we think might be very simple, or whether we’re helping a team go through a change or, you know, Patrick at the organizational level, if we’re doing something huge, you know, like a merger and we’re going to bring two organizations together, like. The potential for resistance there on so many levels is very high because it’s normal. It’s, [00:06:00] it’s, it’s, it’s like a friend that you have next to you all the time. Just welcoming it to the table and saying, I know you’re here. Glad you’re here with us. Let’s figure out how to use you.

[00:06:11] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:06:11] I love that angle about how to then use resistance, because I love to contemplate the notion of the yoga of healthcare being a meditator and, and the notion of. Yoga of healthcare, this notion of developing our flexibility and our, our, our, our, our skills and our abilities and using resistance as part of the physical yoga. But here, you’re talking about using resistance  to be more. More, whether it’s effective, be more healthy, to be more happy to be more effective as a leader, this, this you know, you’ve written it can be a gift. So what are your thoughts about, you know, how, how is resistance a gift?

[00:06:53] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:06:53] Absolutely. Well, you know, if you think about why re why we resist, right. [00:07:00] Oftentimes on some level, there’s some sort of fear factor in there, whether it’s, you know, at the individual level we’re undergoing some sort of change or we’re trying something new, right. We may be kind of afraid of it. Going back to that big organizational context, like, you know, Holy smokes, we’re bringing two organizations together. And. This is huge, right? It’s huge on so many levels. We’re bringing together cultures and finances and teams and information systems, all these things that are coming together when the resistance is coming to the table. And you know, it’s funny. Cause I, I read a great book about resistance, a guy named Rick Mauer wrote beyond the wall of resistance and he talks about three levels of resistance.

[00:07:43] And when I think about some of the projects that I’ve led in healthcare, it’s, it’s just so on the money because when resistance shows up, it can, it can tell us three things. It can tell us that, all right, we don’t, we don’t get what’s going on. Like, you know, the, I don’t get it. I don’t, I don’t understand this. [00:08:00] Like, I don’t understand this change. I don’t understand the parts. Right. It could tell us that. Okay, we get it. But we just don’t like it. Right. So it’s like, I understand we’re merging. I understand we’re doing this and I am, I don’t like it. And oftentimes when that’s happening there is that very, very strong fear, underlying, underlying what’s in there.

[00:08:25] Right. And then on the third level, there’s, there’s the resistance that comes to the table. I don’t like you. And when he says, I don’t like you, it’s not necessarily, I don’t like you, Patrick. It’s, there’s something here that I don’t trust. Maybe it’s something from the past, you know, let’s say, you know, you and I are working on a merger team together. And we met in a past life. We were on a project and somehow I wronged you or I did something that violated your values. You don’t trust me. And you’re showing up with it. The point of talking about all of this is that. In those three [00:09:00] levels of resistance, there is so much information that’s coming to the table.

[00:09:05] If we just pay enough attention to what’s really going on. So a lot of the times when resistance shows up, particularly on a team where, you know, we’re doing some serious business in healthcare, those these are high stakes patients’ lives are at risks. Profit margins are at risk. I mean, we we’ve got some fundamentally serious stuff going on here. It’s easy to, to knee-jerk and take things personally and be very wrong active, but really when it, when we think about resistance showing up, it’s, it’s a gift because it’s giving us so much information into the state of mind, of our team members and what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling. And it’s telling them, it’s telling us, Hey, slow down leader. Pay attention to what’s going on here, because there could be some knowledge in here that’s useful to you in whatever you’re trying to do with your team, with your department, with your organization.

[00:09:57] Hmm.

[00:09:57] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:09:57] I appreciate that. Cause you’re you, you touched on [00:10:00] resistance being. I don’t, I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. I, I, I understand it, but don’t like it On a personal level. The interaction, the dyad, the pair, the the, I don’t like you or trust you. And you’re touching on the great wisdom there because it’s not just leaders, but heck listeners may have a coworker that they’re in a clinical setting or they’re in finance or in their they’re in other departments, whether you’re frontline back office, there’s always that. Resistance that can occur in the workplace. Right. And you’re touching on some wisdom that people can practically, at least you’re starting to, with the awareness. I mean, earlier I was reading your bio increasing awareness because once you’re aware, then you can do something about it. If you’re coming to the table and saying, I don’t get this, or I don’t like it, I get it. I don’t like it, or I don’t trust it as person. Practically. Is there coaching suggestion that you have folks for how to turn that into a gift?

[00:10:56] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:10:56] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You know, when, when you’re thinking [00:11:00] about, you know, the fear factor or the trust factor, it’s I tell my clients it’s a wonderful time. To sit down and engage in conversation with whatever is bringing that resistance. So if it’s if it’s you know, face-to-face kind of conflict or there’s a one-to-one relationship where something’s amiss or, you know, you’re leading a team and you’re sensing good grief, this dynamic is just not feeling good. And this is, this is really getting in the way it’s I, instead of running away from it, which. People want to do, because sometimes this is uncomfortable. Patrick, it’s uncomfortable to engage in these sorts of things. I tell them, this is the precise time to lean in with your authentic self and get curious about what’s going on with you. What’s going on with this team, but then being a leader, you know, what’s going on with us, like, you know, asking those questions and getting to what I [00:12:00] call the why’s. And, you know, peeling back that onion and saying, let’s, let’s dig in here and really, you know, understand with a spirit of compassion and generosity, you know, how we can, how we can use this fear or how we can learn from what’s happened with, you know a misunderstanding that created this.

[00:12:22] This lack of trust, if you will, you know, really, really showing up with a transparency with an openness. And then, you know, just thinking back to a client situation, I had the other day where we talked through how he was going to approach somebody who he had wronged and showing up and saying, you know, look, I I’m aware that this happened in the past and I, and I want to tell you, I’m sorry, I understand that I’ve, I’ve hurt you. And I understand that this is what I did, and it made you feel this way and I’m going to do my best to. To show up better and to repair this. So it’s, it’s really about coming to the table and leaning in engaging and being [00:13:00] curious.

[00:13:01] And then there’s an element of accountability where it’s like owning your role in, you know, am I, am I triggering resistance in somebody or am I triggering resistance in my team because I’m, maybe I’m not leaning in enough or, you know, maybe I’m. I’m rushing things when it comes to just, you know, pounding this change through, because Patrick you’ve been in healthcare long enough, you know, the deadlines are fierce, the pressure is high. You know, the stress is huge, right. And we’re all well-intentioned people. And we bring to that table that high achieving excellence, we’re going to get it done. But I Al I always remind people of what costs right.

[00:13:40] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:13:40] right. Yeah, because ultimately it’s about people and not the numbers. And you said a lot of great content there. And, and I just comment on the lean in. I’m glad you said lean in. Because of the back of my mind, I am thinking it’s, it’s your message here. I’m hearing and feeling is that when there is resistance, you’ve essentially got a choice. We’ve [00:14:00] got a choice we withdraw and we may end up avoiding something and may have a short-term benefit from it, but we lose. When we disengage actually we, we hurt ourselves. And so if there’s a listener, I want to encourage folks to think about what resistance you may be facing in your day. Well, heck and your personal life too, but in your workflow work-life if you’re, if you’re leaning back. And what consequences having, as opposed to leaning into it. And you said the word compassion earlier, and I was pleased and like surprised because it does tie into this and that’s a practical wisdom that the benefit of coaching and you and I, both coach people and. It’s more than just effectiveness and outcomes and, and these, these numerically driven concepts, but the deeper, more meaningful about compassion and meaning and joy, you know, this, the episode being titled the how to deal with resistance lead effectively and find joy at work. [00:15:00] I love that you touched on, on, on the, the compassion and, and so how does one Navigate this any other  story that comes to mind that that, that was inspiring that you came across.

[00:15:12] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:15:12] You know, it’s, it’s funny because I, I had changed jobs at one point and I was meeting with a new, very senior physician who, was in a very senior position on his service. And yeah, I’m brand new and I’m in my suit and pearls and I’m going to meet him, you know, as the new administrator. Right. You know, all excited to meet this guy. Well, Patrick, this guy was not excited to meet me. So I get into his office, you know, he’s got all the diplomas on the wall and things going on, right. He’s in his white coat with a  shirt and tie . Right. He’s got his arms folded and it’s glaring at know, I’m thinking, Oh dear, this is going to be fun. Right. And you know, after I greet him, you know, I’m Nancy Jacoby, blah, blah, blah, blah. I don’t know why you’re here. I don’t need you here. I don’t want you here [00:16:00] now. You’re you’re talking about some serious, some serious levels of resistance going, right. I think we got, I think we got a winner here. You both. Right.

[00:16:10] And you know, if I think about it, you know, retrospectively, I understand why, because a lot of administrators that he dealt with, you know, come in. And the first thing that I want to do is cut his budget and come in and tell him everything he’s doing wrong and everything that he should be doing. And here’s what you should do. And start like nine different change initiatives at a time and boss him around. So what he’s thinking, you know, so I’m. In my little suit and pearls, I’m representing the administrators that have been in the past and he’s thinking, Oh, here’s another flavor of the month. That’s going to come in and, you know, whack my budget and tell me what to do. And I said, all right. So in coaching mode, meet the person where they are. Right. You know, so I said to him, all right, You know, I’m really glad you shared that with me. And, and I appreciate your candor and, you know, I understand that it’s frustrating to have new people come in and what I really want to do with [00:17:00] you today, if it’s all right with you is just to learn from you because I’m, I’m new and I’d really appreciate you sharing with me. What’s going on on the service and what are the challenges that you’re facing right now? You know, what’s keeping you up at night. And then maybe you and I could talk about if there’s any possible way that I could help you, you know, at some point, yeah. Let’s, let’s just kind of hash that out and he kind of settled down a little bit and, and I’m not saying that, you know, we were peas and carrots from that day. We were not, it took a lot of time. Patrick was me, you know, showing up at his office, you know, showing up at his office again, showing up at his office. The same sorts of thing until , one day he, he looked at me, he said, you, you want to know, what’s keeping me up at night, come over to this computer.

[00:17:45] I want to show you this, you know, this EMR, I want to show you how many clicks I have to make. And I’m like, okay, okay. We’re getting somewhere. Right. Yeah. So fast forward, working with him, working with the team, we did get to be peas and carrots and it did [00:18:00] get to be a really great relationship. But, you know, you really, you really have to hang in there and make, be that way and lean in and get curious about, you know, what, you know, why is this guy so upset? He’s you said something before about intention. When we were talking about, you know, why I got into health care and nursing. So intention for a minute, thinking about resistance because we’re humans and the logical place, sometimes that we go is, Oh my God, this guy is such a pain in the neck. Why is he being this way? If we just stop and say, all right, this guy’s human to who like what’s what’s hap right compassion. Like what’s, what’s happened to him. That’s creating this reaction. Like what, what is it about me? That’s causing him to feel this way. And then how, how can I help?

[00:18:45] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:18:45] ties beautifully to, to values. You know, one of the thing I want to ask you is what what am I values have to do with it, of how to lean into resistance? How does that tie into it, Nancy?

[00:18:55] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:18:55] Yeah. Well, you know, Patrick, for me, two of the most important [00:19:00] values at my core are integrity and courage. Right? So. Saying saying what we mean, meaning what we say, doing what we say we’re going to do and saying what we’re going to do and having all of those match. So if I’m going to, if I’m going to call myself a leader, right. But then I’m when, when things are hitting the fan, so to speak, or I’ve got a difficult conversation or, you know, there’s something brewing, whatever you want to call it. If I’m kind of shirking away, you know, you know, I don’t, I don’t want to deal with that. Right. There’s a misalignment for me there. Right. We, we. I believe we have to have the courage to go there and open up that box and say, you know, listen, and, you know, showing up with our compassionate selves because I know in healthcare we’re compassionate, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Right. So there’s my third value is I would, I would call it really kindness. That’s the way I think about it. But, you know, integrity, courage and kindness, you know, leading with those three values. at [00:20:00] core

[00:20:01] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:20:01] I really appreciate that Nancy, because it is protection from burnout by knowing what your values are and for our listeners, I want to encourage folks to what are your values? Because when, when the proverbial stuff hits the fan to fit hits the Shan what are you, what are you falling back on? What are we falling back on? You’re touching on something I think really is beautiful. Personally professionally as a leader, as a healthcare person, Whatever your role is, if you, if you have a strong sense of what your values are, if you have some clarity, your value, you’re speaking about being able to have a clarity of your values that then helps dealing with resistance and not only dealing with it, but making it your friend and you be it. I think he did a beautiful job of it’s like this is a martial arts jujitsu of as opposed to going against the resistance to actually. hapkido , I think with the, with the letting, letting that resistance flow like that physician example you gave instead of obliquely going head on and [00:21:00] banging into people to, to be able to lean in with, and this takes courage.

[00:21:04] This takes courage, what you’re talking about. So with the episode title here, how do we deal with resistance lead effectively and find joy at work? I trust that that listeners are getting a better sense of how to deal with resistance, how to lead more effectively. By having that clarity to be able to join with folks, whether it’s on a personal leadership level or you’re a CEO of a hospital I don’t care. We’re all human beings walking each other home. And there can be joy in that. So I love that you talking about the values and. And that leads me to be able to ask you my favorite question as my guests, which is if you, for a brief moment had the attention of all the healthcare people around the whole planet for a brief moment, what would you say to us?

[00:21:46] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:21:46] Oh, gosh, you know, I would say, I would say healthcare is a serious business and we deal with some pretty serious stuff. Right. But we don’t always have to be so serious. So, you know, I would say [00:22:00] laugh, love, relax, and, and enjoy the ride

[00:22:03]Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:22:03] Hmm. I really appreciate that, Nancy. And I think about when I was a young clinician, when I had hair, no gray and coming into the healthcare profession, there is the sense of the gravitas  of healthcare. I wish I had had that within my quiver of arrows when I started. To recognize. Yes, there’s a gravitas,  but also the, to live laugh. Find that joy along the way. So thank you for saying that and for our listener if you’re new to the profession God, hang on to that wisdom from Nancy. And if you’re near the end of a career or nearing retirement, it’s not too late. This is the time, especially in the face of everything we’ve been dealing with in healthcare. With burnout and COVID and, and changes and, and resistance and all of this to be able to find some joy in what we do. So thank you for sharing that Nancy. And I want to ask you, if folks are interested in following up with you and learning more [00:23:00] about what you do where can they go?

[00:23:03] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:23:03] Patrick, they can visit my website njacoby.com. I also have a great guide. If they’re interested in learning more about resistance or want an exercise that they can go through when they’re experiencing resistance, they can text outcomes to 42828 , and they’ll get my free resistance guide that they can use over and over and over again, to help them navigate.

[00:23:23] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:23:23] Love it. That is so cool. Four, two eight, two eight.

[00:23:26] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:23:26] Four two eight, two eight

[00:23:28]Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:23:28] want to encourage folks if you want to follow up please follow up on that. It’s a great resource. I’ll have that in the show notes for the, for the podcast asked on the, on the website, Swift healthcare slash podcast. And I encourage folks to check that out, but Nancy I’m so grateful that you could be on the show and just thank you for bringing you’re you’re strengthened, compassion and wisdom and experience to be able to share with folks.

[00:23:49] Nancy Jacoby RN, MBA, MHSA, FACHE, ACC: [00:23:49] Well, Patrick has been a true pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Madina Estephan, MD, MPH
21. How to Lead People & Places that Thrive w/ Quint Studer

How do you lead people & places that thrive? Quint Studer guests on Swift Healthcare Podcast where we discuss his Wall Street Journal bestseller “The Busy Leaders Handbook,” the importance of addressing our own emotional health as well as the emotional health of our workforce, and critical concepts that all leaders and aspiring leaders can benefit from hearing. Plus what’s next on the horizon from Quint’s upcoming book titled, “The Calling.” It’s a MasterClass from a legend in healthcare and you do not want to miss it!

Show Notes, Links, & Transcript

How do you lead people & places that thrive? Quint Studer guests on Swift Healthcare Podcast where we discuss his Wall Street Journal bestseller “The Busy Leaders Handbook,” the importance of addressing our own emotional health as well as the emotional health of our workforce, and critical concepts that all leaders and aspiring leaders can benefit from hearing. Plus what’s next on the horizon from Quint’s upcoming book titled, “The Calling.” It’s a MasterClass from a legend in healthcare and you do not want to miss it!

Ranked a Top 60 Healthcare Leadership podcast by Feedspot.

Listen & Watch: https://swifthealthcare.com/podcast/

Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3aFpEpl 

YouTube: https://youtu.be/g5QLzwVc9CM

(A Top Healthcare Leadership YouTube Channel)


Quint Studer Links for Show notes:






Music Credit:

Jason Shaw from www.Audionautix.com



To help make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who like to read rather than listen to podcasts, we’d love to offer polished show notes. However, Swift Healthcare is in its first year. 

What we can offer currently are these imperfect show notes. The transcription is far from perfect. But hopefully it’s close enough – even with the errors – to give those who aren’t able or inclined to audio interviews a way to participate.  Please enjoy!


MasterClass: How to Lead People & Places that Thrive w/ Quint Studer

[00:00:00] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:00:00] Welcome folks to another episode of the Swift  healthcare video podcast. I am so excited about our guest for this show. Today, we have Quint Studer, Quint. Welcome to the show.

[00:00:10] Quint Studer, MS: [00:00:10] I’m pumped about you being here, in fact, and I own a minor league baseball team and it’s all about high energy, high fun. And if you’re not, if you’re thinking about getting a side job on healthcare, we could use you at the ballpark now. So thank you.

[00:00:24] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:00:24] I would, I would jump at that chance, , you know, be careful what you ask for Quint. I’m a,

[00:00:28]Quint Studer, MS: [00:00:28] We’re ready.

[00:00:29] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:00:29] My wife’s in Miami right now, visiting some family. I think I’d be happy to get down on the Pensacola. Folks, if you can feel the love. , I hope you can because the man we have on the show here, , I, , have the greatest respect for, and you are in in for a treat and, , Quint. I know you’re a humble man. , and I just want to acknowledge how, , you have impacted this profession. So folks, if you are listening, pay attention because I have a master class for you in this conversation.

[00:00:56] And most importantly, with my values, it’s about joy, [00:01:00] hope, compassion, courage. And who better to have on the show than Quint Studer. So here’s Quint’s bio. If you don’t know who Quint Studer is, listen to this Quint Studer is a well-known healthcare operator, author, coach, and mentor to many, many, many, many.

[00:01:15] He has dedicated the last three decades to creating tools and techniques that make healthcare a better place for physicians to practice medicine, patients, to receive care and employees to work. He’s written numerous books. I’ve got a couple here on my desk. I’m going to show you articles. And his work is always based on evidence, research and tools and techniques. So Quint Studer, welcome to the Swift healthcare video podcast.

[00:01:40] Quint Studer, MS: [00:01:40] No, no, I’m excited to be here. Thanks for the opportunity.

[00:01:43] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:01:43] Absolutely Quint. So let’s kick it off with some fun here. And, , uh, I want to ask you in your own words what got you into healthcare? Why do you do what you do? Quint?

[00:01:54] Quint Studer, MS: [00:01:54] Well, it’s going to be way different than most people think. , alcoholism got me into healthcare. [00:02:00] Um, I was,  When I was 31 years old, December 24th of 1982, I crashed, I surrendered personally. All of a sudden I had that moment of clarity. They talk about, and I said, this isn’t my life’s not trending in the right direction.

[00:02:16] And so I sought help and I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’m in my 39th year of sobriety. So how I got into healthcare was I was, it’s going  to 12 step meetings at a hospital that treated people for alcoholism. And I was going to meetings and, , I saw an ad that they were looking for someone to work at the treatment center in, in working with school districts and employers. And because I was a teacher of children with  special needs. and when, once I got in recovery, I started something called a student assistance program. It mirrored an employee assistance program, but for students that they could reach out, particularly if they had a family member or so on. So i.

[00:02:55] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:02:55] you did Quint. That’s great. That’s fantastic!

[00:02:59] Quint Studer, MS: [00:02:59] I, I, [00:03:00] um, talked to them and they hired me as a community relations rep. And I did that for three years and one employee, a worked in a hospital before they went back to work, we did something called a back to work. And I, , went with them to talk to the human resource person about how do they reenter the workplace. And one day a human resource person at a hospital in Wisconsin said, you know, we have an opening here. In marketing community relations, you really do a good job. Why don’t you come here? So that’s how I got into healthcare. So when I speak to colleges, they want to know my career track. I say, well, it might not be the one you want to follow, but it is what it is.

[00:03:38] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:03:38] Uh, I, I love that Quint because I love the expression. , Turning your, your kryptonite into super your super power. And, , what you’ve done in the arc of this story even is acknowledging, , the, the sorrow and the rock bottom and the insight and the compassion that arose from that. And by [00:04:00] that suffering and sorrow has led to, a global impact on raising the bar in healthcare,

[00:04:06] Quint Studer, MS: [00:04:06] Yeah, we

[00:04:07] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:04:07] in

[00:04:07] Quint Studer, MS: [00:04:07] You know in recovery when you help, when you help somebody recover, they call it 12 stepping or bringing 12 steps to them. And I tell people I’ve been 12 stepping healthcare now for a while.

[00:04:17] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:04:17] I love it. I love it. So folks, , step on up let’s step here. , I I’m, I’m inspired by that. , , , Phrase, turn of phrase. We’re we’re, we’re 12 stepping healthcare here. , there’s so much for us to talk about in thinking about this conversation. One of the first questions I want to ask you, , is listen, folks I’ve got Quint has published many books. I’ve got. , the busy leaders handbook, how to lead people in places to thrive, building a vibrant community. , but the first one I read of Quint’s , this is my favorite. , you can see it’s dog ear-ed and got all kinds of notes on it  ears, hardwiring excellence. And, , I happen to love this book and I wanted to ask the author. , what, , what about that book, , is your favorite [00:05:00] part, your favorite message that stands out of that book?

[00:05:02] Quint Studer, MS: [00:05:02] Well, I think that my favorite part is when you read the stories about people recapturing their purpose in healthcare. For example, on page 251, I got, I got a letter from a person who I’m and I’ll just read it real quick and I’ll, I won’t read the whole, whole thing. It says, ,

[00:05:18] I know I make a difference. One of my employees who had been here just about a year, became employee of  the month when it was announced, she received the recognition of brought tears to her eyes. She was pleased during the whole month. Usually she was very quiet and somewhat withdrawn. During this month. She was one of the girls. We talked about things with their coworkers that she had never talked about before.

[00:05:37] The moment I realized just how much it meant to her was when she was diagnosed with cancer is during the month she was employee of the month while talking to her husband about a return to work. He mentioned to me that she never felt so included and proud in her whole life. The job here at the hospital is a dream job for her, and she had really not felt worthy of working here.

[00:05:55] Just so proud of her employee, of the month plaque , that she  hung in her living room for all to see during your [00:06:00] illness. She felt she had an extended family. She said she felt loved by her coworkers. We visited her on a regular basis and called her several times a week to see if she needed anything about five months later, Susan, our coworker died. We were very sad at her passing. I personally attended her funeral with four other women from our office. As we approached the coffin, we saw something at the exact same moment that we could not believe on the back of her coffin. next to her  shoulder was her  employee of the  month plaque and a card signed by all of us in the office at that moment in my life. I thought of you for, I had made a difference.

[00:06:32]That’s that’s what I love, you know, health care. We come in with a full emotional bank account, but because what happens there there’s withdrawals . So what I love the most is when I see people, , sort of recapturing it. And once you recapture it, you realized how much you missed it, and then you keep it.

[00:06:51] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:06:51] Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And in the face of the burnout and the suffering and the sorrow that our colleagues in healthcare, whether you’re [00:07:00] new to the profession, whether you’re a CEO, whether you’re near retirement, it doesn’t matter. There’s been, there’s been so much sorrow and suffering and burnout and, and what you’re touching on, , is connecting to that purpose.

[00:07:13] And connecting to that meaning and that’s embedded in the book. And, , I’d add, , the title hardwiring excellence. , if you’ve been in healthcare while you’ve heard that term used about we’re hard wiring things, and even with some cynicism, , we’re hard-wiring things as if we’re we’re we’re, , can be programmed.

[00:07:32] And you’re speaking to, it’s not about the, the, the hard-wearing, , these, , tactics, just for the tactics sake, you hit the nail on the head in the whole cycle of life. In that story, I think because it touches on in healthcare, we’re, we’re saving lives, we’re improving lives, but we’re also helping people, , through their whole life transition and finding meaning in what they do. So I think that’s a, a [00:08:00] beautiful, , beautiful story. I appreciate your you’re touching on that one.

[00:08:03] Quint Studer, MS: [00:08:03] Well, thank you. I think also not only, , think of the impact the coworker had , and I think what happens here is in healthcare, like you’re, you’re absolutely right. You know, there’s a lot of withdrawals that happen in healthcare just naturally, that just happens naturally. And so I think we’ve got to get to way to the . Maybe to the extreme of making sure we’re doing deposits for people because there’s natural withdrawals and I’m sorta in looking at deposits and the thing I’ve been talking a lot, , this last eight, nine months, Patrick is. tools and techniques to actually help people see that seeking help. You know, we, I think we’ve overplayed, resiliency. I think we said, Oh, we gotta be resilient. We have people teaching resiliency, coaching resiliency, but you need to add in there. That part of resiliency is getting help. So you can be resilient. It’s not playing through pain, it’s not sucking it up [00:09:00] and cause, and not saying you don’t have to suck it up once in a while, but it really means that.

[00:09:05] And what I look at in healthcare is one of the top one, two or three, um, pharmaceuticals that employees are going to be. They’re looking at in any healthcare system you go to as an antidepressant. I’m not against anti-depressant whatsoever. I’m on the board of Hazelton and Betty Ford, but I do believe that. It’s good to match it with other things and other type of services. Um, yet, one of the least utilized services in all health care is the employee assistance program. So we’ve got a, uh, an industry that has some of the best mental health benefits in the country yet. And some of the best EAPs in the country. Yet we have a stigma. I’ve been speaking a lot to medical schools. Medical school and residents and they, uh, I can give the name of the school, but I give them credit for surveying all their medical students and residents. And 50% of them said they were eating different, not sleeping well, but eight to 10 said they were [00:10:00] using substances. That probably aren’t the best for long-term health or short-term health of them. So they’ve said we’re really. Sort of off grid here a little bit or getting off grid, then the question is, would you seek help? And it went almost down to zero because they were terrified of the stigma, terrified what would happen. So, you know, I think part of

[00:10:19] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:10:19] got a lot of work to do.

[00:10:20] Quint Studer, MS: [00:10:20] is healing our inside. And when we heal our inside, when we, you know, leadership’s an inside job and when we get our inside, right, the outside gets better.

[00:10:29] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:10:29] We’ve got a lot of work to do. I love that quote. Um, we’ve got a lot while we’re to, you know, I’m a, as a, as a psychologist, I’m treating patients in

[00:10:35] Quint Studer, MS: [00:10:35] Yeah, I almost want to lay down here. I most want to lay down for the

[00:10:39] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:10:39] get comfortable. My job

[00:10:40] Quint Studer, MS: [00:10:40] night. My wife said I’ve never met a mental health therapist. I didn’t want to lay on the couch for a few hours.

[00:10:45] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:10:45] yeah, yeah. But what you have to do share Quint is so from the heart, um, and I so value that, and I really hope folks are your, if you are listening, um, please open that heart, open those ears on what we’re talking about are [00:11:00] profound concepts that can transform health care.

[00:11:03] And, um, as a, as a psychologist, I’m supporting burnt out healthcare professionals and as an executive coach supporting healthcare professionals, Trying to move the needle forward. Um, Quint what you’re touching on is that it’s critical to ask for help. And there’s a stigma against asking for help.

[00:11:20] Quint Studer, MS: [00:11:20] Yeah. And people say to me, I’m lucky. You’re pretty open about this. And I said, well, because it allows me to help people. And so for example, I was speaking to a university virtual to MBA, MHA students, and I just brought it up. And two days later I got contacted by one of the students and he said, I really know, I know I have an alcohol problem. And he said, but I’m so terrified if anyone finds out, it’ll ruin my career. What do you think? So I don’t think it’s hurt mine all that much, you know? And, and the good news is I was happened to be on, uh, with him virtually, uh, about two weeks ago. And he celebrated his first 30 days of sobriety. And I know [00:12:00] that’s not what this conversation is about, but I think in healthcare, we’ve just got, you know, when I say make it a better place for employees to work.

[00:12:08] I think sometimes we think, um, you know, we, if we teach them how to handle. A difficult situation, which I get, I mean, I went, I do TM the whole bit, get, you know, what I really want. I just want to places to run better. I think sometimes we treat, we think that the symptom is the cause. And the story I tell is a physician was coming to see me one time. And the nurse manager on the unit said he was very caustic, a rude to us this morning. And he’s coming down to see you and you need to tell him he can’t do that. I said, well, did anything happen? Before that she said, well, he’s a surgeon and he was waiting for the patient and surgery. We didn’t read the orders.

[00:12:46] Right. We fed the patient, he had to cancel the surgery. And I said, I get, he shouldn’t have said that. And I’m not trying to put up. Put a blame, but I talk a lot. I wrote a book called healing, physician burnout, [00:13:00] and one of the ways we reduce burnout is just running better organizations and investing in our leaders.

[00:13:06] So they have better skillset, making sure people have the tools and equipment to do the job and making sure. They know that it’s okay to call the EAP. It’s okay. To get help. So I’m really pumped about healthcare. I’ve never been more excited about healthcare as I think the pandemic has been terrible, but it’s also shined the light on certain things that we’ve needed to do for years that we haven’t done deep enough in which is again, making sure we provide people that training. That they need, because the other thing with COVID is a lot of training has been stopped or paused, and I get that it had to be, so I think we’d get back into the training, the development, but also really looking at the whole, like, we want to look at the whole patient. Um, you know, I, I saw a cartoon years ago on a neurosurgeon and he went in and he looked at the person’s head and he said, he looks all right to me. And then they showed there was no body there they’re [00:14:00] so busy looking at the, you know, they’re part of the person. And, and I think this, this pandemic has, has made it, uh, we can no longer not touch on the emotional health of our workforce.

[00:14:13] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:14:13] Amen to that. Amen to that. That’s a perfect segue to the next question I want to ask you, which is, uh, using the parallel of a primary care physician for our listeners. You’ve coined the phrase  being a primary care leader. And that is such a powerful concept. And I want to ask you to share with us, what do you mean by that?

[00:14:39] Quint Studer, MS: [00:14:39] Well, I, I thank you. I think as a primary care physician, I have great respect for primary care specialist. Is is they can look at the broad picture, but they also know what they can treat and what they shouldn’t treat. When somebody calls me and say, my doctor’s referred me to a certain specialist. I said, well, then you have a good doctor [00:15:00] because they recognize their limits.

[00:15:01] That’s not bad. That that’s good. And, and I believe I’m more of a primary care person. So for example, um, when I go to an organization I’m really good at, I can tell them some things they can do. I mean, I have certain tools, certain techniques that I think are really quite good right now. I can tell them how to measure. Well in a stress and burnout. I have a tool for that, but now for certain, um, I can tell them like the other day, a healthcare system called me and said, Quint, we’re really looking at creating better metrics to measure our leaders on. Now I could have sent them some metrics, but I said, well, here here’s who you should call.

[00:15:39] This person would be really helpful because this is what they do. Full-time or, you know, I’m looking at, um, looking at teaching, um, the clinicians, how to have difficult conversations with family members. We’re here. I’ve been around long enough that I like have a Rolodex of people that are better at these things than I am.

[00:15:58] So I, I try, [00:16:00] um, Supply chain management. I know some of the best supply chain management people in the world. So what I try to say as a primary care doctor, I can help your organization and I can help them do some things where you are self need. You don’t need to get a consultant. You don’t need to go anywhere else, but I also can provide them with really good services of who are the best people in the country for, for what, what they’re looking for.

[00:16:24] So for example, if you look at the gratitude symposium, um, We have Susan keen Baker. Who’s just great at helping people look at empathy in a different way.

[00:16:35] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:16:35] Steven Beeson.

[00:16:37] Quint Studer, MS: [00:16:37] yeah, if you’re looking at that, if you’re looking at that at what you are, one of those great people.

[00:16:41] so you look at that’s what I meant by a primary care. You know, I, I think, and I like it because I think sometimes, um, organizations want to provide everything. So, you know, I can, you know, sort of like go into a law firm and they keep wanting you to use lawyers that they’re affirmed, but maybe they’re not the best lawyers at their firm. [00:17:00] Um, just cause they’re there.

[00:17:01] So what I’ve tried to do is always find the right resource for a healthcare system that I think fits their needs. And the beauty is I do it in a way where there’s no relationship with me. There’s no referral for me. I’m just trying to find them the best person to meet their needs.

[00:17:18] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:17:18] You love with your customer and addressing your customer’s needs, whether it’s you doing that or someone else. And I know the point of this podcast is to explore the intersection of healthcare and leadership for listeners that are from the CEO to the new employee in a hospital, from environmental services to any part of the organization. Right?. And your describing this, , primary care leader. concept and you have grown to become essentially a primary care leader. For the planet and that’s not, , hot air, , folks Quint Studer. , if you don’t know, has had a profound impact on healthcare around the globe. And so, um, you’ve you Quint have grown into [00:18:00] this primary care leader who can consult on a national level international level community level, down to Pensacola level, right. For our listeners. , for someone who wants to grow as a primary care leader, what advice would you have for someone who let’s say in middle management or aspiring to management, um, how to, how to become a better leader in the sense of primary care leader. If you’re not going to be a specialist in one certain area, um, how, what would Quint Studer say is, is important for becoming a primary care leader?

[00:18:35] Quint Studer, MS: [00:18:35] If you’re a , middle manager. You’re a primary care specialist cause you you’ve got to do it all. And you know, I was on a curriculum committee at the Harvard business school and we went through like the 15 fundamental foundational skills that every leader needs. Now, some of them you need more than others. So for example, if you’re a med surge nurse manager, you probably don’t have a revenue stream, you have to worry about, but there are, there are a number of things you have to be. And I [00:19:00] think the key is you really need to be good at benchmarking. And I think that’s sort of a missing skill in healthcare because we’re so busy. , you don’t get to see other managers doing it cause you know, you’re on your unit. The only time you might see the other managers is that the month-to-month manager meeting almost, you don’t see them.

[00:19:20] And it’s a tough profession. I own a minor league baseball team and they see each other all the time. This batter sees this batter. This pitcher sees this pitcher is constant benchmarking against each other. So like one of the skills that every manager needs is to go out and be okay, figuring out who can I learn from and not feeling like I’m less than because I have to.

[00:19:42] So. For example, , when you look at rounding, the person who really, we learned rounding from us, Michelle Wasco, and she’s passed away. She was a nurse manager at Holy cross hospital in 1993, and we were trying to improve our patient experience and we were pretty [00:20:00] bad. We thought. You just came back and we said, we’re in this percentile, this percentile, then Don Dean started digging into the data and said, you know what?

[00:20:09] One of our nursing units is people are alot. Patients are a lot happier on this nursing unit than the other nursing units. And, you know, it’s the same. Semi-private room, the same Intercom system, the same, everything. So what’s different in that unit. So Don went up, I said, Don go spend a week with Michelle.

[00:20:29] I’ll pull it. He was the radiology tech. I said, I’ll pull you out of radiology for a week. And watch her. Cause we asked Michelle what she was doing. And she said, Oh, nothing, nothing different than anyone else because she didn’t know. So, so Don went up on the unit and just watched her and watched her Monday, watched her Tuesday and Wednesday .

[00:20:50] He said, you know, Michelle, I noticed when you come to work here, right, good morning. The first thing you do is visit every patient. And she said, Well, what doesn’t everybody do that? Nah, no, [00:21:00] we really weren’t doing that. So should we call her the mother of rounding? Um, you know, we’ve perfected over the years, but see that’s that benchmarking and, and we have to be careful because, um, sometimes our stuff gets in the way of benchmarking, you know, we rationalize or we blame or we, you know, why their different, I call it terminal uniqueness.

[00:21:19] So I think there’ll be a primary care physician. You really need to have good self-awareness which knows what you’re good at. And what you need improvement on and you also really need to be coachable. And then you also very much need to be comfortable seeking out, help people that can help you be better.

[00:21:38] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:21:38] Love that love that, uh, folks, I really wanna encourage you to listen to that point, , to be, , open, to looking for help asking for help and Quint spoke about rounding. I know a lot of healthcare folks have heard about the concept of rounding, right? And so if you’ve heard that, I know there can be a cognitive bias to think, okay, I’ve heard this stuff.

[00:22:00] [00:21:59] But what Quint just shared was the process recognizing, okay, benchmark, where are the numbers? How, how am I doing? How are we doing? And then looking for the solutions and what I just want to underline Quint . What you just shared is the process of looking at the numbers and then being curious, well, what is working and what’s not working. And the answer in this story, you just shared was rounding.

[00:22:24] Quint Studer, MS: [00:22:24] Well, and then I think also having, having this specific outcome, you want my. You know, so, so for example, um, I’m a big believer in peer interviewing. So when I was president of the hospital, we introduced peer interviewing. Okay. So that means when I’m rounding, I’m going to be asking employees, are you involved in peer interviewing? Have you been, has your manager told you about peer interviewing? What do you think appearing peer interviewing ? All it takes is about three days and every manager knows I’m out there asking about peer interviewing and everybody knows about peer interviewing, , for in fact .

[00:22:56] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:22:56] Could you unpack that for the audience? What is peer? What [00:23:00] is peer interviewing?

[00:23:01] Quint Studer, MS: [00:23:01] Yeah. Well, uh, uh, doctors, uh, we were dealing with, um, hospital acquired infection rate, which was way too high. So we started drilling down. And every day I saw a doctor, I would ask them about, are your patients getting any hospital acquired infections here? Cause we’re really focusing on that. But if we’ve gone down to 2%, which is best practice, but I still want to go down to zero.

[00:23:23] What are you noticing? So I think the challenge with my book. It gave an example and everybody thinks those are the four or five questions I have to ask. Nah, it rounding’s just a toolkit. You asked the question on the outcome you want to be looking for at that moment. So for example, doctor, we’ve read our first case start case now is up to 92% of our first cases as are starting on time. Have you noticed the improvement in the, or, Oh yeah, I think I have or one, no, I haven’t look at it. So yeah, I, I think. You know,

[00:23:56] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:23:56] It’s the conversation.

[00:23:57] Quint Studer, MS: [00:23:57] you learn from others. One of my [00:24:00] stories and I’ll, I’ll quit with this. It’s just such an example, go to a big healthcare system and you find a certain department that does something really, really well. And then, and then you tell everyone that this place does really, really well. And you encourage them to go visit this manager. Then 90 days later, you asked that manager, how many people have visited you? And it’s, it’s very small, but I think that’s where leadership comes in to make those comfortable conversations, to make those safe conversations that you’re not thinking.

[00:24:32] Less of someone when they seek help either. You’re you’re think more of someone. I was just talking under the owner of the Jacksonville jumbo, shrimp and baseball, and he’s a AAA  guy and I’m a AA guy we’re talking, talking about, you know, exchanging staffs so we can learn from each other. So every industry learns from each other, but healthcare is a little more difficult because we’re, our managers are pretty isolated.

[00:24:55] They don’t see each other. They’re out in their unit . And, and that’s why [00:25:00] I think we’ve really got to work really hard at providing them resources to improve their own skills. So that’s the values, the other part of my heart wrong outcomes. I like, I make a very strong statement. You can tell the values of the organization on the investment they make in training and development. Because who would want somebody to be in a job without having training and development and healthcare? Sometimes we, we have, we got better, but I think the COVID just naturally has paused some of that. So I think as the pandemic, it changes a bit too. Healthcare is going to have to play some real catch up on training and development.

[00:25:36] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:25:36] Couldn’t agree with you more and, and the notion of hardwiring excellence, what you’re . Sharing and pointing out is the thought process. The mentality I love that you touched on earlier, , that, , the rounding, you acknowledged that you’d written in the book and then people saw these questions said, okay, I need to go ask these specific questions and your point, isn’t ask these specific questions.

[00:25:57] It’s the mindset. About being [00:26:00] curious and having those conversations. And that’s what hard-wearing excellence is about. It’s, it’s the, the, the number one, the psychology of the mindset of how to go about, , , fomenting and driving excellence in an organization through tactics, but we’ve got to adapt them, right. We have to adjust and be curious and, and, and look at what’s working and then do more of that.

[00:26:21] Quint Studer, MS: [00:26:21] Yeah, but what I look at hardwiring really what I was trying to get across is putting in systems. So there’s consistency. Because one thing that drives doctors crazy is in his inconsistency. The one thing that drives employees crazy, isn’t it. Is inconsistency is one thing that drives middle managers. Crazy is inconsistent. You’ve heard that doctors would say to me, I want my patients on this unit, uh, employ, will say, I’ll work. I’ll go I’ll, I’ll take our skull work as a nurse on that unit, but I’m not going on that unit. And really my whole goal was just to provide resources, to create a more consistent experience for everyone.

[00:27:00] [00:27:00] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:27:00] Love it. Love it earlier. You said, and I was planning on asking you this, but earlier in the show you said, um, leadership is an inside job before you can get the outsides, right? You have to get the insights, right? What do you mean by that Quint?

[00:27:13] Quint Studer, MS: [00:27:13] Well, I go back to self-awareness again. And I asked Harry Groener who’s runs a pretty big venture capital firm. Before you invest in a company. What do you look for? And he said self-awareness of the founder and coachability, and I’ve really taken that over the years as self-awareness I, I entered into recovery with, when I finally could look at myself differently.

[00:27:37] Not through Rose colored glasses, not being, you know, I used to tell people I lived in two islands, the Island of self-pity and the Island of being a delusion anyway. So I think what I mean, getting the inside right is there’s great books out there on leadership. There’s great coaches out there on leadership.

[00:27:56] Most, every organization I know, wants their leaders to do well. There [00:28:00] is no C-suite CEO that wants their managers not to do well. There’s resources. So, you know, I look at an organization of 900 leaders and 800 of them are having a lot of success and a hundred of them are struggling and they’ve all gone through the same training, the same book, the same consulting.

[00:28:21] So what’s getting in the way of those hundred now, I don’t know, but I can give you some thoughts that get in the way of people. Number one is, um, blame. They fall into the trap of blaming somebody for their poor results. You know, it’s either the room I’m in or my corporate headquarters or my boss. That’s why we always try to find

[00:28:43] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:28:43] The staff, the patients.

[00:28:45] Quint Studer, MS: [00:28:45] Well, we try to find success in the same organization. Cause if all of a sudden Quint says, it’s the problem is compensation and benefit yet, Patrick’s got the same compensation benefit plan for his employees and he’s having success. It takes away that, [00:29:00] that blame. So I think we have to look inside. Have we fallen in the trap of blaming somebody for the issues instead of looking.

[00:29:07] Really, what can we do? I think there’s rationalization in healthcare. I mean, I call it sort of terminal uniqueness, but, but we’re a little bit different here. You don’t understand, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re Minnesota nice are where we’re, but South, you know, we got into geography reasons. Why, w w we’re not, or it’s usually, well, we don’t have enough staff yet.

[00:29:29] You find another person with, you know, Exact same staffing levels that are having success. So what I meant by that is you got to get rid of your blockages and sometimes what’s holding us back is us, but we don’t know it. So once somebody can say, okay, what’s getting in my way. Am I blaming? Am I feeling sorry for myself?

[00:29:50] Am I rationalizing? I think envy has a lot to do with issues of benchmarking. Then if I, if I, you know, I say this, [00:30:00] Patrick is. I go into an organization and a CEO will say, Hey, look at this unit. Wow. They’re doing really, really good. Let’s everybody. give  them a nice round of applause and I can tell the culture right then. Because of everybody applauses they’ve got a good culture. Now the CEO has just asked you to be compliant with a very simple ask clap. So when I look around and people aren’t clapping, I’m wondering, did they not hear the CEO? Do they not know how to clap or are, they may be possibly a little envious of somebody getting recognized.

[00:30:38] And one of my things I always would ask organizations to send me some of your success. I was in Detroit and they sent me the fact that on the ninth floor, this patient care unit was just having great success in patient experience. So I just got up and thanked them and I didn’t know what type of floor I just knew it was the ninth floor. And immediately two people ran up [00:31:00] to me at breaks. I want you to know that’s the OB unit now. Why, why did think they needed to know that?

[00:31:06] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:31:06] I know that story.

[00:31:07] Quint Studer, MS: [00:31:07] Yeah. Well, and I, you know, this idea that birth

[00:31:11] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:31:11] a happy place. There’s new births. It’s it’s, it’s, they’re, they’re unique. They’re unique. And that’s why they’re doing

[00:31:15] Quint Studer, MS: [00:31:15] right. So that’s what I mean, you, you, you, you’ve gotta be willing to get your inside, right. And once you get rid of the blockages, then all of a sudden you become more coachable. And then you’re on your way to have an, a great, great success.

[00:31:29] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:31:29] Yeah. And that’s that’s leadership is, is the growth and, and I want to transition to, um, your book and, and here’s the copy of the book. I encourage folks to check this out. It is a delicious book, the busy leaders handbook. How to lead people and places that thrive sounds like a great episode title for our conversation here, how to lead people in places that thrive. , tell me about the, the, the latest book and, , , , , what that means to you.

[00:31:53] Quint Studer, MS: [00:31:53] Well, I think, I think that the latest book, I’m going to talk about a little second, cause that’s coming

[00:31:57] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:31:57] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:31:58] Quint Studer, MS: [00:31:58] that’s coming out in June. But, [00:32:00] um, what, what I did over the last couple of years is I look at, you know, if my son or daughter came to me and said, you know, Hey, you’ve been in this healthcare or you’ve been in leadership, just leadership for a long time. What are some best practices? So I went about and collected, I thought 41 best practices, and I’ve always been a Peter Drucker fan right on my desk at home as the Peter Drucker daily book reopened it up and every day you learn something. So I, I think I wrote that book because of my love for middle managers and recognizing their tough job they have. And I can go as a middle manager to a two day LDI leadership development Institute. And it’s nice. I hear great things. But I probably won’t really learn it until I have to use it. So that book is meant to do is Whoa. I, I do have to have a difficult conversation. Let me, let me catch up on how to do that. Or I do have to do this. So it’s really 41, just it’s 41 best practices. That can be a [00:33:00] desk reference guide. And it was really neat because the other two things happened recently. One, I spoke at Baylor university’s MBA program. And, and they were supposed to all come up with a question for me. And one of the people  wrote me and said, you know what?

[00:33:14] I had a bunch of questions, but then I read busy leader handbook and they’re all answered in there. The other thing is yesterday, I talked to neonatal specialist on burnout and stress. And when I got introduced, the physician said, Hey, I’ve read busy leader handbook. And it’s really been helpful to me. So, so that’s it. But now in June, in June, I’m very

[00:33:34] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:33:34] Quint hang on. Before you get to the book, this, this busy leaders handbook. What I love about this is there’s three sections. The leader in you. , there is, we share with listeners here, optimizing employee performance, and the third section is strategic foundational topics. There is an arc here.

[00:33:53] I have benefited from this book. There’s a focus on you and there’s focus on you being a leader and then there’s [00:34:00] strategy. And this is a great resource for folks, to get, , very practical, , manual that can be on your desk as a resource for you. It will come in handy if you get a copy of it. , so I wanna, , I want to endorse that, but, , so what’s coming down the pike.

[00:34:14] Quint Studer, MS: [00:34:14] Well, , I’m very excited. , , I’ve been, you know, I teach people, you know, I’ve written a lot of books, but, , I’m like that musician where your first album was your, your greatest album and you’ve been trying to. Yeah, you’re trying to duplicate it for the last 20 years. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, absolutely. More than a feeling anyway.

[00:34:32] So, um, Hardwiring Excellence  is, you know, is really it’s, it’s so gratifying um, my other books since then, I think have, been I wanted to write hardwiring excellence  I wanted to write it, uh, passion, you know, as a book, uh, a passionate textbook is what I called it. It’s got the passion, but it’s like a textbook of tools and techniques. I think my book since then, have gone more tools and techniques because there are workshops I’ve done. There’s things I’ve done. So [00:35:00] they’re very tactical oriented. So over the last year, With what’s been going on. I’ve just been looking more and more into what is it that makes healthcare so special. And I believe there are some common things that make healthcare worker so special.

[00:35:17] Number one is they want to be helpful and useful. And while other people run away from danger and responsibility and accountability, healthcare people run. To it. And I say healthcare I’m including emergency medical personnel and all sorts of things.

[00:35:33] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:35:33] All of us.

[00:35:33] Quint Studer, MS: [00:35:33] So, so the thought is, I think healthcare, people have a calling in their DNA. I think healthcare is called them as much as they’ve called it. So when I’ve traveled the country, I’ll say to people in healthcare, when did you first think about being in healthcare and I’d hear stories like fifth grade. Eighth grade high school. Now they might know exactly. Most physicians knew they wanted to be in medicine in high school almost, [00:36:00] or maybe college.

[00:36:01] They didn’t know exactly until they went to medical school and rotated exactly what area, but they sorta  had a calling. Then I talk about people that aren’t clinicians. So if you look at the pandemic. , we’ve got environmental services. We’ve got IT . People we’ve got security people, we’ve got food and beverage workers.

[00:36:20] We’ve got all these people , that could work, do their job anywhere. And one of my stories I love is the parking lot attendant who convinced a family, they were in the right place. Cause he just said, you’re, I’ve been praying for you. And they said that parking lot attendant. Changed everything for them. Now, if you come out of the mall and the parking lot attendance, as I’ve been praying for you, you’re not going to have the same feeling. So I wrote this book called  The Calling: Why Healthcare is Special , and I’m very excited about it because it really talks about our DNA. And so if people want to be helpful and useful, [00:37:00] then our job. Is to create cultures that don’t get in the way of them being helpful and useful. And so that’s really what the book is about. Um, I’m very excited about it.

[00:37:10] I met John Maxwell years about two years ago and they asked John Maxwell what’s his favorite book. And he said, the one I’m writing right now. And I thought for me, hiring excellence was always my favorite, but the other books are nice, but that was the one. That was my favorite. And now I know what he means because the callings really resonated with me. So I’m started trying to create the 2021 , , version of Hardwiring Excellence

[00:37:36] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:37:36] Yeah. Yeah. And I’ve seen, uh, you’ve, you’ve shared a advanced version of it and I’ve had the great, good fortune to be able to, to, to read through it. And, , I’m really excited about what you’re doing with that book and where it’s going, because it really speaks to, especially in the face of all the burnout and challenges we’re facing in healthcare.

[00:37:53], this is a time to, to double down on why we do what we do and find meaning in [00:38:00] the work we do, because there’s so much burnout and sorrow that we’re dealing with and being able to connect with that, meaning connects us to that. Calling connects us to our, our soul. It connects us to our strength that connects us to the joy of the work we do.

[00:38:13] So, , I’m excited about where that that book is going and, for, for, for this episode, I. want to ask you , there’s been an amazing arc of your career Quint, and I want to ask you, you know, what’s next for Quint Studer? The book comes out, where are you going? What’s next in the work that you’re doing?

[00:38:33] Quint Studer, MS: [00:38:33] well, if you look at my, my career, normally I, I take it a day at a time and, um,

[00:38:41] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:38:41] I kind of believe that and I kind of don’t.

[00:38:44] Quint Studer, MS: [00:38:44] Well, I think there’s a couple things. Number one, I certainly am very, very excited about healthcare. Um, I, I think healthcare needs leaders and needs more than they ever have before, but they need a different type of leader. They need a [00:39:00] leader that’s not, not lives and dies on metrics, but lead, but understands relationship leadership,

[00:39:07] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:39:07] And that speaks to strategy that speaks to strategy. How about how you think about the now and the future?

[00:39:12] Quint Studer, MS: [00:39:12] I got asked a question yesterday and they said, quit. What’s the number one skillset, a leader needs today. And I said, how to show empathy? I wouldn’t have said that maybe four or five years ago.

[00:39:22] I so-so. But, but, so I think that the other thing Patrick is, is you might know that I’ve been very involved in his brain development of young children and, uh, About four or five years ago. I got very, I just, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but I knew that we are having problems supposedly in third grade, reading fourth grade math, and I started looking into it and I got into looking at kindergarten readiness. And I, then I ended up at the university of Chicago with John List, PhD. Who’s in the economics department and Dana Suskind, MD a physician who’s at Comer children’s hospital. [00:40:00] And we’re looking at, they were studying brain development both from the medical term and the economic term. John List feels  that at the kindergarten readiness is the longterm economic health of a community. So we met with Dr. Suskin and they were doing some neat work in communities. And I said, what, what if we got mom before she left the hospital? Because of 80, 85% of the brain is developed by age three, it seems like every day. That goes by, we miss an opportunity. And she said, do you think you could get hospitals to do that?

[00:40:33] I said, well, I know I can get three hospitals in Pensacola, Florida do it. So we became the pilot for the university of Chicago. Now over the three-year period that every mom, before she leaves the hospital, gets a tutorial on how to build her baby’s brain and they then have followed it up. And now we have peer reviewed research that shows that we are making progress.

[00:40:56] Then we partnered with Harvard on something called basics. [00:41:00] So every mom gets a text message twice a week, depending on the age of her child on tips that they should be doing to build their baby’s brain. We were in the pilot for them too. So we now have peer reviewed research on that. So  somebody asked me the other day.

[00:41:16] If I had a billion dollars, what would I do? I’d say I would make sure every mom that leaves a hospital has been given the gift of understanding how to build her baby’s brain, because that’s the difference maker. So I’ve got this thing called, build a brain, build a life, build a community. And I’m really hoping now that we can take this everywhere. Um, cause we do have now a few other hospitals that are. Implementing it or even putting it into the electronic health record for pediatricians, for well-baby chucks to have that brain conversation. What our peer referred shows, Patrick is women with a higher social economic. Probably, um, [00:42:00] don’t have as big a gain from what we’re doing, because they’re already doing it. But children that are in a lower socioeconomic here, 30% less words, which are the deal that drives the brain and our period versus research shows that we’re doing quantum leaps with that group. So I’m, this probably wasn’t what we were talking about, but I think the reason I’m excited about being in healthcare, because if you know me, no matter what we’re talking about, By the time I leave, we’re going to have that early brain conversation.

[00:42:30] No matter why you let me come into your organization, we’re going to talk early brain. And, uh, I was just, I’m in Dixon, Illinois. And you know, once you explain it, The CEO goes, why? Gosh, we’ve got to do this. And the labor and delivery manager says, my nurses would love this because when a mom leaves, she knows how to bathe her patient. She knows so many things to do with her baby , but we’ve never touched on how to build your baby’s brain. It’s like we only touched the shoulders down when they leave. And I think we have to move [00:43:00] up the shoulders up also. So I’m very excited about the work we’re doing and build a brain build a life and build a community.

[00:43:06] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:43:06] That is outstanding and I pray that just continues to grow and grow and grow literally as the brain’s growing. But I, but this has a global implication and, , it’s profound and, and I, I pray that that, um, is, is very successful Quint .

[00:43:19] Quint Studer, MS: [00:43:19] That’s very inexpensive. That’s the beauty. I try to create things that are scalable and the way you scale things is make them affordable because remember the staff is already there. So we’ve made it very, very inexpensive to the organization.

[00:43:33] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:43:33] And you said earlier, if he had a billion dollars, that’s what you’d invest in. , I want to ask you a similar kind of question. If you had the attention of all the healthcare folks around the planet, all of us for a brief moment, what would you say to us Quint ?

[00:43:47] Quint Studer, MS: [00:43:47] Be kind to yourself. I think we’re too hard on ourselves. I think healthcare people tend to look at what’s wrong instead of what’s right. I get that. We’d look at negative variances. We look at, we usually talk to [00:44:00] someone. We, when we have something negative to say, you know, nobody calls, facilities and engineering and says the temperature, the temperature is good.

[00:44:08] So I think we really have to. Be kind to ourself. I said, if I did a cartoon of a healthcare worker in a boxing ring, there’d be no other boxer with them and they’d be wondering who’s hitting them cause they hit themselves. So I think kindness is really what I would tell people is give them, you know, just pause and, and love yourself a little bit.

[00:44:28] And I don’t mean it in a self-centered way, but you do great work. You’d make huge differences. And sometimes I think healthcare workers just are too hard on themselves.

[00:44:39] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:44:39] Hmm This show. is about courage, compassion, joy, and hope, and what you just depicted with the notion of this boxer hitting themselves, , and the need for us to be compassionate with ourselves. , I, I wish people could hear that. I wish people would hear your voice every day. Hearing that message as a reminder, , whether you’re beginning your career, the middle of your [00:45:00] career, the nearing the end, the sunset of a career, or to hear that message to be compassionate, because you started with your kryptonite becoming your superpower, , in this arc of this episode, , , being compassionate with yourself and here we’re talking about, , helping our colleagues, , whether you’re. , developing tactics and tools for leadership. It all boils down to being compassionate with yourself and then having the mindset to be able to make that difference. I love it.

[00:45:26] Quint Studer, MS: [00:45:26] Well, thank you. I, I get a lot, I do a lot of work  with AUPHA does, um, programming for, um, student faculty and students and healthcare ministration. I’m on the board of Cammy, which accredits universities in healthcare administration . And so I’ll be like, I think with George Washington university next week, and one of those things, the students always ask me, if you could give me one piece of advice in healthcare, what would it be? And I say, be kind to yourself.

[00:45:52] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:45:52] Yeah. You just heard it right from the mouth of  Quint Studer. I love it. Quint . If folks are interested, I want to encourage folks, [00:46:00] where can they go? Where can they get copies of your book work? And they learn about this brain development program , where can they  learn more about, , what the, the, the Studer family foundation is doing.

[00:46:08] Quint Studer, MS: [00:46:08] No, no. Um, well, I, I like getting direct people, you know, people write me and, or they’re surprised because I’ve responded. It’s quint@quintstuder.com  that’s my email my phone number’s  (850) 232-4648. So they can text me, they can email me, um, and I will respond and try to be as good a primary care person as I can possibly be.

[00:46:38] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:46:38] I love it. I love it. Folks. Bear in mind, a Quint is on Eastern standard time, New York city time. So bear that in mind, depending on the hour that you text him, one. Two , is there a website folks can go to, to learn more about the books etc?

[00:46:54] Quint Studer, MS: [00:46:54] A couple of websites. Um, I get mixed up

[00:46:56] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:46:56] put them in the show notes. I’ll put them in the show notes too.

[00:46:58] Quint Studer, MS: [00:46:58] Yeah. , I think [00:47:00] there’s, , http://www.quintstuder.com  there’s Studer I . I think http://www.studeri.org is a real good one. If they’re looking at brain, it’s http://www.studeri.org.

[00:47:09] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:47:09] Nice. Well, I want to encourage folks to check that out, man. Quint . I could stay here, us talking for hours, , getting to chat with you about all these topics, but I’m just so deeply grateful, , that you could be a guest on, on the podcast,  and just want to thank you for your time and all the wisdom and the impact you’ve had in the past. , what you’re doing currently and just the best wishes and all the efforts you’re doing in the future Quint .

[00:47:31] Quint Studer, MS: [00:47:31] All right. Well, I love you. Patrick’s Swift . I appreciate it.

[00:47:34] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:47:34] I love you, Quint . Thank you so much, brother. All right. Thank you.

[00:47:38] Quint Studer, MS: [00:47:38] Bye-bye.


Madina Estephan, MD, MPH
20. Challenges Facing Women Physicians Today w/ Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC

Tune into Swift Healthcare Podcast with guest Diane Shannon, MD. Ranked a Top 60 Healthcare Leadership podcast by Feedspot. Dr. Diane Shannon is a former primary care physician, a certified coach, and co-author of the book, Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing The Chaos And Returning Joy To The Practice Of Medicine. Her personal experience with burnout and conversations with hundreds of physicians motivated her to pursue coaching training and certification.

Show Notes, Links, & Transcript

Tune into Swift Healthcare Podcast with guest Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC

Ranked a Top 60 Healthcare Leadership podcast by Feedspot.

Dr. Diane Shannon is a former primary care physician, a certified coach, and co-author of the book, Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing The Chaos And Returning Joy To The Practice Of Medicine. Her personal experience with burnout and conversations with hundreds of physicians motivated her to pursue coaching training and certification. She now helps women physicians harness their superpowers and create lives in which they can thrive. She also continues to advocate for health system change through her writing, which you can find on LinkedIn or her website, dianeshannon.com.

Links for Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC:



Music Credit: Jason Shaw from www.Audionautix.com


To help make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who like to read rather than listen to podcasts, we’d love to offer polished show notes. However, Swift Healthcare is in its first year. 

What we can offer currently are these imperfect show notes. The transcription is far from perfect. But hopefully it’s close enough – even with the errors – to give those who aren’t able or inclined to audio interviews a way to participate.  Please enjoy!


[00:00:00] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:00:00] Welcome folks. In another episode of the Swift healthcare podcast, I’m delighted that you’re here and I’ve a wonderful guest for us. Diane Shannon, Diane. Welcome to the show.

[00:00:09] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:00:09] Thank you so much, Patrick. Glad to be here.

[00:00:11] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:00:11] It’s a joy having you here, Diane and folks. Let me share with you. Diane’s bio I want to encourage you to perk your ears. This is, this is going to be a good one. Dr. Diane Shannon is a former primary care physician. She’s a certified coach and a co author of the book, preventing physician burnout, curing the chaos and returning joy to the practice of medicine. Isn’t that delicious title. And I’m sure the wisdom in that book, doesn’t just apply to physicians. It applies to addressing burnout in general, but, uh, with a passion for addressing physician burnout is what that book is about.

[00:00:46] And her personal experience with burnout and conversations with hundreds of physicians and motivated her to pursue coaching, training, and certification. She now helps women physicians harness their superpowers. I love that [00:01:00] and create lives in which they can thrive. She also continues to advocate for health system change through her writing, which you can find on LinkedIn.

[00:01:07] And we’ll talk about her website. So stay tuned on that. But Diane. Welcome to the show. I’m delighted to hear Diane. And so let’s jump right into it. And the focus of the show we’re going to be talking about here is challenges. Facing women physicians today. And today is a loaded term because there’s so much going on.

[00:01:32] Socio-politically in health care. COVID the aftereffects of COVID. There are so many elements in here that I’m, I’m delighted that we can be spending some time talking about this with Diane and talking about her research, but I’d love to start Diane with just your, why w what got you into this work recognizing you described yourself as a former physician.

[00:01:52] But I expect my MDs and respect what you’ve accomplished in your academic career. So tell us about that, uh, in, in how you perceive [00:02:00] yourself and how you’ve been contributing.

[00:02:02] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:02:02] Right. So I was inspired to become a physician because of my mother. Like a lot of physicians are inspired by family members. My mother was a nurse midwife. And I was lucky enough to be able to shadow her. At times with her patients, she had her own independent birth center, and I saw this incredible experience where she had these amazing connections with her patients.

[00:02:28] And I saw how satisfying her career was. It was really amazing and meaningful every day. And so that’s what inspired me and I, uh, I happen to be good in biology. And so it was an easy movie, you know, Mo moved right into pre-med and then into med school and then into training and I chose primary care.

[00:02:48] Because I really, I really wanted that kind of connection with patients that, that meaningful connection that’s healing. And now I understand healing both ways when that [00:03:00] connection works. And what I found is really starting in the clinical years, the third year of medical school, that the environment, the clinical environment was not really conducive to supporting that optimal relationship with patients.

[00:03:17] And one of the things I noticed first, I think was patient safety issues. And that really concerned  me. Um, and this was back before the IOM report came out in 2001 that really, or 1999 and then 2001 that really focused attention on patient safety. So I was constantly aware of, okay, what do I have to navigate in order to protect my patients from something that might fall through the cracks?

[00:03:44] And I looking back now, I can say, I think that’s part of what led to the burnout I experienced. Um, it probably wasn’t all was also exacerbated by the conditions then, you know, there weren’t work hour restrictions and was regularly working a hundred [00:04:00] hours a week. And sometimes as many as 130, I mean, it really was, um, overwhelming.

[00:04:06] So, uh, I thought about leaving, but I kept thinking, Oh, I’ll just do the next thing. I’ll just finish internship. I’ll just finish residency. I’ll just, you know, get my boards on, you know, pass my boards and then I’ll, I’ll start practicing and things will be better. And they were a little better, the worst rep, the worst burnout experience or symptoms that I had were actually during residency.

[00:04:29] Um, and I really, uh, I struggled, I, I felt like I gave up so many parts of who I am in order to, to be present for patients and get through training. Um, I, and I actually started having memory problems at home. Like within work, I was fine, but then I would come home and I’d forget things like zip codes, you know, just. Basics. Um, and I just, when I practiced, I, you know, I, I thought about, well maybe if this were a little bit different, so I changed [00:05:00] to a different practice site. Maybe if this were a little bit different and I just didn’t see the kind of wholesale change to create an environment where I would feel I could connect with patients and also have a life. And so I made the decision to switch. And so I, I actually, in the last year I was practicing was part-time got a master’s in public health because I really love looking at the big picture. And then I transitioned into a job at a communications company. So really overseeing the accuracy of medical documents that they had and what I found, I fell into writing while I was there.

[00:05:42] I loved it. And I thought this is what I want to do. So I left and I was a freelance writer for more than 20 years. And I gravitated towards writing about the healthcare system to try to understand what’s going on with it. What are some of the patient’s safety issues? How could things be [00:06:00] better and was I’m so inspired by. Individuals and organizations who see that and then make a change and have improvement and watching how that improvement can have a ripple effect. So that was really inspiring to me. And while I was doing that happened to, um, run across the definition of professional burnout, a light bulb went  off and I thought, Oh, there’s a name for it. I had no idea.

[00:06:28] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:06:28] Uh huh.

[00:06:29] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:06:29] And I happen to be working with a coach at the time. And she said to me, Diane, why have you never told your story publicly about leaving medicine and burnout? And I said, are you kidding? Why would I do that? Like, it just, it felt like such a w and I carried shame about it. Like, I should have been able to hack this.

[00:06:53] You know, and so over time I began to see that it actually was courageous to leave something that [00:07:00] wasn’t working and to recreate a life that had some meaning. Right. And that worked for me. And so I did, I told my story, um, I wrote it, um, In a guest post on an NPR website and there was this amazing uptake.

[00:07:17] So there was something like 26,000 views in the first week. And this was, this was before much was written about physician burnout. So I think that came out in 2012 and physicians began contacting me and they’d say, I didn’t know, anyone else felt this way. Right. Here. Here’s what, here’s what my life looks like right now.

[00:07:40] And I can’t do this. Right. So that just inspired me to continue writing about it. I started a blog, um, ended up writing the book with my coauthor, Paul DeChant another physician. Now the book after interviewing all these experts about healthcare and the healthcare [00:08:00] system and burnout and physicians with burnout, what became so clear to us in writing the book is burnout is a reflection of a system problem.

[00:08:09] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:08:09] amen to that.

[00:08:10] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:08:10] Yeah. So I left that experience of, you know, writing the book. It’s thinking. The only way to fix burnout for clinicians is to fix these deep complex system problems. And that’s the only way that that was my thinking.

[00:08:27] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:08:27] yeah.

[00:08:29] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:08:29] And then I had an experience. What has helped me to see that it’s a, both and situation.

[00:08:35] So that is the core of what drives burnout are system problems? No, it’s the, it’s the incredible amount of administrative work, the documentation, um, all of the, you know, changing patient expectations, the productivity pressure. Right. All of those kinds of outside factors that are in the system. And at the same time, what I now [00:09:00] understand is that there are actions that individuals can take that mitigate some of those factors for them so that their individual daily work experience or life experience is better.

[00:09:14] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:09:14] Diane. And I’m sure that the experience you had as a physician absolutely must have helped you. Number one, have the empathy and the compassion and the wisdom to guide the colleagues that reached out to you right after you, right throughout that NPR article, , to , have that conversation, but then I’m sure that made you an even better coach, , because you’ve been in on both sides, , , in the direct care, as well as supporting the efforts that our colleagues are, , making and providing, and you acknowledging the, the documentation loads and stuff like that.

[00:09:46] I’ve, I’ve kind of crossed my eyes there first. Yeah. Cause I’m, I’m seeing patients and it’s just the thought of documentation still. It’s just it’s , I’ve I’ve got to shift that, that word for myself because documentation, all the struggles our colleagues you’re experiencing is very [00:10:00] frustrating. And the system that we work in, the healthcare system, so there’s systemic issues.

[00:10:05] And I, I want to acknowledge it and celebrate, , your decision to follow your Dharma, to, to follow that calling and to be there for others, , and bring your wisdom to it. And I know you’re doing some incredible research. , I know you were working on a white paper last we spoke. , and I’d love to hear, , , what drew you into this topic?

[00:10:24] Um, and what have been some of the top findings that had come out of the research you’ve been doing?

[00:10:30] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:10:30] Well, I I’ve been working with a number of women physicians and was really more, became more interested in what are the challenges that they’re facing. And I knew what I had experienced, but I really wondered beyond my experience and what I’ve. Noticed or observed with these women that I’ve worked with. What, on a larger scale are the challenges women physicians are dealing with today. And so I started thought, well, I’ll interview a few people, right. A few women physicians. [00:11:00] So I thought I’ll interview three. Just didn’t kind of set up some questions and I’m, um, I feel like I’m an experienced interviewer after years of writing.

[00:11:09] Like that’s a lot of what I did and I love interviewing and their responses were so interesting that I decided to expand the project and interviewed 30 women from across the country. And I really try to get different specialties, , different kind of demographics. So they’re women from post-training.

[00:11:31] So I, I worked on worked focused on those post-training through post retirement and ask them about their top , their top challenges, what they want what’s getting in the way.

[00:11:44] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:11:44] Uh, uh,

[00:11:46] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:11:46] what I learned was some of it was, you know, what you might expect. Right. The top challenge that they virtually, all of them named on their own was work-life balance. Others [00:12:00] call it work-life integration or work-life harmony. And when I looked at the, the demographics of the 22 women who had caretaking. , responsibilities at home. So either children or caring for an elderly parent, every single one of them said work-life balance was a top challenge. And then most of the other eight did as well. So it’s kind of a, a widespread, this is what we’re seeing. Other things that came up kind of very, , more commonly than I would’ve thought, imposter syndrome and self doubt. And also some of the issues related to what’s been called the motherhood penalty. So policies that are in place that make it really challenging to come back to work after having a child or just parenting young children.

[00:12:54] So policies around maternity leave around lactation [00:13:00] support around child, uh, childcare access. , so that those were the, probably the top three that came up. What surprised me was how many times women mentioned some of those very particular challenges they faced, for instance, the lactation that came up over and over again.

[00:13:21] And what they said was we need more than a room in the basement. We can’t get there. We don’t know where the room is. We don’t have time to get there. And if we go to go down to the room to pump we’ve then run behind in our clinic. Like there there’s just so the stress for coming back, you’ve got a newborn, you’re trying to manage all of these new responsibilities and trying to get back to work.

[00:13:49] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:13:49] okay.

[00:13:49] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:13:49] So I see that as really, um, you know, an equity issue. And we want really, ideally we want to [00:14:00] support everyone with the accommodations. They need to do their best work and remain sustainable clinicians. Right.

[00:14:08] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:14:08] Yup. Yup. Yup. And I, I, you you’ve covered so much there. And, , I want to unpack that, , also in. The research that you did touched on the work-life balance and a listener, and God-willing, there are those who identify, however you identify. , but certainly not just women listening to the show. , yes. You touched on the work-life balance.

[00:14:32] Work-life integration. , but it’s so much more than that. And, , you’re touching on the, the motherhood penalty, , the challenges, , in even having lactation rooms that are accessible and not coming back to an onslaught of having to catch up essentially even a penalty, , for, for taking time to, to pump, , and balancing all that.

[00:14:51], from your perspective, Diane, what can we do to address this in addition to, in addition to just colleagues saying, yeah, that’s [00:15:00] an important issue.

[00:15:00] If someone’s thinking about that, what can we do about that? What needs to change from your perspective?

[00:15:06] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:15:06] And are you talking specifically about lactations.

[00:15:09] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:15:09] I’m talking specifically about, , , if we acknowledge there’s a larger cultural challenge here and you’ve identified, um, challenges women physicians are facing today, , I guess tying it to your findings, , that work-life balance. , I think of. , the administrator is willing to have a conversation having been in a hospital administrator, administrator myself, , having that for goodness sakes, just to bring up the topic of work-life balance with these female physicians.

[00:15:35], first we got to have a conversation about it, right.

[00:15:39] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:15:39] Yeah. So, so I’ll mention too two, um, initiatives I think are really interesting and there are a lot of, this is what gets me really jazzed is when I learned about some of these things going on. So one of them is that after I wrote a piece about, um, lactation specifically on my blog,

[00:15:57] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:15:57] okay.

[00:15:58]Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:15:58] , I learned that at [00:16:00] UCF, they started a program recently, specifically to support lactations for physicians.

[00:16:06] And so they looked at how do we provide education and resources that work for them. And they started without physicians in the outpatient setting and, and what they also did was for every four hour shift or, or clinic session they provided, I think it’s 20 minutes of paid time to go and pump. So now they’re working with, okay,

[00:16:31] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:16:31] That’s a strategy we can implement.

[00:16:33] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:16:33] Right. So that, that is for the outpatient. Now they’re looking at, let’s go talk to the anesthesiologists, the surgeons, and find out what do they need, because that same system is not process. Isn’t going to work for them. So that’s one. And that was, that was, you know, it’s, it’s understanding what are those pebbles in the shoe for specific groups and, and, you know, [00:17:00] And then what can we do?

[00:17:01] What’s an innovative piece that we can do to address that. And the feedback they got from women who were, had accessed the program, once it started was phenomenal.

[00:17:12] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:17:12] yeah. Yeah, that’s phenomenal. And the retention also, I mean, medical centers, health systems in a, so much in recruiting their staff and the phys, our physician colleagues want to have a diverse workforce. There’s no one there’s, uh, if, if they are, it’s a Neanderthal, the stuck in the past, we want to have a diverse workforce of, of, , colleagues from, from multiple perspectives.

[00:17:35], and so if we’re going to have an inviting workforce, we’re going to have women. That can take time to do what needs to be done in the short term. This isn’t a forever thing for goodness

[00:17:44] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:17:44] That’s exactly right. It’s not a forever thing. And I think the same applies for men, right? When you have young children, you want to be there. So if it’s possible to have a more flexible schedule for physicians with young children, right, that’s supporting [00:18:00] them, they’re going to be more loyal to that organization.

[00:18:03] And later when their time frees up in a different way, they will be able to, you know, work a different schedule or work longer hours. So I think it really pays to understand. What are the top challenges for this individual and maybe for this group of, of individuals. Um, and the other thing I’ll mention with that is that, um, it, one of the, the, I interviewed the physicians who founded this program at UCF.

[00:18:29] And one of the things they said was there was a physician couple. Right. So the, the parent, they had a newborn, so the wife was going to pump and she was losing time and money and falling behind and getting stressed while the father of the child was working the same hours and had no right, right. Cause he wasn’t needing to go and leave to pump for their child.

[00:18:51] And somehow that just brought it home to me that these physicians, you know, they’re both trying to do their best job at work. [00:19:00] And she is struggling in a way that could be helped and that eventually they started the program and that has helped other physicians there.

[00:19:07] Um, the other, uh, another program that, or initiative I’ll mention is, was started at mission health in North Carolina, and it’s called immersion day.

[00:19:17] And in the course of this, uh, program, they invite. Co of top leaders. So the C-suite basically executives and other leaders who don’t have clinical backgrounds to shadow a clinician for an entire shift. So they signed privacy agreements. They put on scrubs, they are with them in the OR . They’re sitting next to them.

[00:19:42] As they click a thousand times, they’re seeing the inefficiencies they’re seeing where there may be understaffed. Um, or staff who are not trained in, in the way they need to be to support the clinic. Other clinicians. And it, the effect of it in [00:20:00] terms of the relationships between the clinicians and top leaders, the understanding that top leaders then have of what the clinicians daily life is like, opened up so much for them.

[00:20:12] And. They also began to extend it and offer legislators, local legislators and journalists to come so that they had a better sense of what is it really like to be a clinician. And I just think that kind of opening up and what that says about the for for the culture of the organization is huge.

[00:20:33] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:20:33] Speaks volumes. And I love, uh, that, that this full circle of acknowledging the experience overall, um, for being aware of what the provider, the professional’s experiences are, uh, the focus of physician experience or provider experience to the C-suite paying attention to what, um, the healthcare professionals are going through.

[00:20:55] Um, and I love that it also heightens, um, the awareness [00:21:00] about. Challenges women physicians are facing today. Um, especially in light of, um, is getting back to lactation rooms time, uh, to be able to do what needs to be done, um, support from caregivers, um, uh, looking at the bigger picture. And so this, this compassion we’re talking about in leadership, this compassion, we’re talking about changing, moving the culture of health care toward, um, toward, toward more a heart-centered approach, um, is a benefit to all.

[00:21:29] And so I just, I, Diane, I want to applaud the work you’re doing in looking deeply at that these challenges women, physicians are facing, but also being part of conversations about bigger pictures and how this is all connected. And I’d love to ask you the, the, the question I love to ask my guests, which is if, if you had the attention of all the healthcare professionals, all of us around the whole planet for a brief moment, what would you say to us?

[00:21:54] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:21:54] I would say the same thing that I wish I had known. When I was in training [00:22:00] and that is it’s okay to be human. And that means you have feelings, you have needs, like you need to sleep, you need to eat, you know, you need to exercise. Um, you need to have a place to talk about a strong emotions when they come up from work.

[00:22:16] Um, All of those human needs that we have, that it can be so easy in medicine to just try to deny, you know, we learn so much about, um, just denying our needs to keep going and push through that delayed gratification that it can become a way of life. And I think one of the lessons that I learned from my burnout was, no, I am human.

[00:22:40] And by embracing that and helping others to embrace that, um, I think that that leads to, you know, stronger clinicians and a more resilient workforce and better satisfaction, um, you know, for work and also for your whole life.

[00:22:58] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:22:58] I love it. I love it. And [00:23:00] I heard many things in that one, um, being you may push through. Something I, what I hear between the lines, you’re also saying, yeah, push through. If you got to push through, push through, but I heard you say the word  about a way of life. And if it’s becoming a way of life, then that’s a zero sum game.

[00:23:17] And if you need some support on that, um, that’s a great opportunity to reach out to Diane. So I’m going to, I’m going to just turn it to, if folks are, uh, interested in continuing this conversation, , , this delicious conversation. How can folks learn more about you and the work you’re doing?

[00:23:34] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:23:34] Yes. So my website, very easy to remember DianeShannon.com. And the report that we were talking about is available on that, on my website. And I’d be happy to speak with people. Um, short conversation, longer conversation. Yes.

[00:23:51] Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, FACHE: [00:23:51] Good. Good. Outstanding. Diane, thank you so much. And thank you for, , I think it’s a good point to,  just say thank you and, and, , encourage folks to follow [00:24:00] up, , and take care of yourself. Apply this wisdom that Diane is touching on. And, , Diane, I just want to say thank you for being on the show

[00:24:07] Diane Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC: [00:24:07] Thank you.  It’s a  pleasure.



Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, CSSBB, FACHE

Patrick Swift, PhD, MBA, CSSBB, FACHE

President & Founder, Swift Healthcare

Dr. Swift is the host of the Top 60 Healthcare Leadership podcast, Swift Healthcare available on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and all major podcast channels.  Swift Healthcare was founded by Dr. Patrick Swift. A Certified Credible Leader Coach and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), Dr. Swift has cared for thousands of patients and coached countless healthcare professionals. He has served as a hospital CEO and in multiple leadership and clinical positions at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, NYU Langone Health, RWJBarnabas Health, and Select Medical. Over the course of his career, Dr. Swift has served as clinical assistant professor of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, and published in the clinical literature. Dr. Swift earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology, an MBA in Healthcare Administration, and Black Belt certification from the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Dr. Swift is a proud lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association, (BSA).

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