A Surgeon's Survival Guide

February 9, 2015
Hosted by Dr. Raji Menon

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Guest Information


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Episode Description

The healthcare field is one riddled with stresses. There is no way to avoid stress. The best one can do is find ways to manage the stresses better. Dr. Jonathan White is professor of Surgery at Calgary, Canada, has a very busy schedule, and yet finds ways to include fun in his life. He talks about how he does it, and what is important to him. He shares a few tips on how to maintain your sanity in the midst of a busy, stressful life. Most importantly, he encourages you to do things you enjoy, and to take time off on a regular basis.

Stress Busters’ Corner

Stress Busters’ Corner

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

This show is about the pervasive problem of burnout amongst healthcare professionals. While the show is about healthcare professionals, it really will help anyone who deals with stresses regularly in their lives - which means, everybody! We discuss the significance of this problem, the difference between stress and burnout, and how to recognize the signs of each, and how repeated stress over a period of time can lead to burnout. We explain how burnout can be very costly, not just for the individual, but also the workplace, and society in general, and why it is important to avoid it altogether by taking better care of oneself, and learning to manage everyday stresses. We feature some strategies to deal with burnout. Our guests weigh in on different aspects of the problem. You’ll learn why everyone needs a coach, and how a coach can help avoid burnout.

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Dr. Raji Menon

Dr. Raji Menon

I am a General Surgeon, surgical educator, speaker, mother of two, and a Certified Professional Coach. I coach healthcare professionals, who work stressful jobs, and are at a constant risk for burnout. I have always had an interest in Self-Development, and always wanted to be a source of inspiration, to help people recognize their full potential. Through my own life experiences, I have a clear idea of how the stresses, added over time, can be detrimental to one’s health and wellness. I suffered, without recognizing the signs. I was unaware of any available help other than prescription drugs, and therefore had to rely on my own resources, to help me out of depression. I want to make sure that nobody else ever goes through the same experiences, thinking that they are alone, or not understood. More importantly, I want to help people avoid getting to the stage of burnout, by giving them tools to deal with their stresses in a constructive way. As a Life Coach, I help individuals from different fields reflect on their lives and their problems, examine different perspectives, decide on their priorities, and develop structures and strategies to make the changes they want in life, taking it from where it is, to where they want it to go. I help them manage their stresses better. The sense of empowerment and accomplishment they feel, when they start to see progress is incredible.

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Episode Directory

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

Dr. Kiran Dintyala



Dr. Kiran Dintyala is a full time practicing physician, located in Palm Springs California. Dr. Kiran Dintyala is an internal medicine physician by profession. He is an author, speaker and stress-management Expert. He also holds a Masters in Public Health (MPH). He learnt his stress management skills, while doing his Masters. His passion is to create stress-free organizations so that the individuals and the organizations may reap the benefits of stress-free living. “Many years ago, when I was in the spell of a perfect storm of stress in my life, I accidentally stumbled across certain principles that saved my life. Those principles helped me calm down instantaneously and gave me the ability to take control of my life situation. That ability to calm down in the midst of chaos not only saved me from a dismal failure that threatened my career but also paved a path to the career of my dreams. The concepts I learnt over years through many life and death situations got solidified into 'Principles of Stress Mastery'. These principles are simple and easy to follow. They melt away stress instantaneously. These Principles work with a mathematical accuracy! Having benefited from these principles, now I am on a journey to help others to reap the same benefits I reaped in my life”. View Guest page

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Betty Healey



Betty Healey, MEd., BScPT refers to herself as your travel guide for self-discovery. An award winning author of four books, her most recent books, ME FIRST – If I Should Wake before I Die and the ME FIRST Playbook, are dedicated to the seven directions of awakening to your full potential. Betty’s work invites YOU to engage passionately in your life so as to live more fully and authentically. Betty has a Masters of Educational Psychology from McGill University, with a specialty in adult learning. She is also a licensed Lumina Learning Practitioner and facilitator. Betty began her career as a Physical Therapist and holds a BScPT from McGill University. She worked for twenty-five years in the Canadian Health Care System, including acute care, long-term rehabilitation, geriatrics and home-care. In the final years of her health care career Betty held both management and education positions. Betty launched her company roadSIGNS, a coaching - consulting firm dedicated to ‘awakening spirit in the workplace’, in 1997. While no longer working in ‘traditional health care’ settings, Betty believes that she still has the heart of a health care professional and is dedicated to improving the health of her clients, body, mind and spirit. To learn more about Betty and the work of roadSIGNS, go to www.roadSIGNS.ca. View Guest page

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Wayne Markell



Wayne began his pre-hospital career with St. Lawrence and District Ambulance Service directly out of high school, at the ripe old age of 18. He pursued his education on a part-time basis, working five 24hr long shifts each week while attending night classes on his 2 days off. He graduated with Distinction in the EMCA program from St. Lawrence College in 1981. He joined the management team in 1988 and became a Primary Care Paramedic in 1996. Wayne has been quite active since the download of services to the communities, graduating with Honours from the Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP)program at The Michener Institute for Applied Sciences, serving as ‘D’ Platoon Commander, teaching college paramedicine classes, acting as Preceptor for numerous new ACP’s, serving as Paramedic Honour Guard Liaison Officer, a Ministry of Health Ambulance Service Review Team Inspector, Health and Safety/infection Control Officer, Designated Officer for worker exposures to Communicable Disease, Provincial EMS Section 21 sub-committee member that writes Guidance Notes for the protection of Paramedics of Ontario. In 1998 Wayne was awarded the Governor Generals’ EMS Exemplary Service Medal and has since received the 10 year bar for that award as well. View Guest page

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Dr. Theresa Nicassio



Dr. Theresa Nicassio is a Registered Psychologist, Gourmet Raw Food Chef, Raw Food Nutrition Educator and mother of two, who lives in British Columbia, Canada. A health, environmental and humanitarian activist, she is deeply concerned about the growing global food, ecological and health crises. While in her mid-thirties, Theresa began to experience chronic health problems, leading her to explore how food could heal as well as harm. In particular, discovering the role that gluten and lactose intolerance played in her debilitation was difficult but, surprisingly, also offered a source of hope. Theresa’s counselling background, combined with her personal experiences, lends a depth and sensitivity to her understanding of the emotional, social and practical concerns facing those with dietary limitations. She has recently written a book called Yum: Plant based Recipes for a Gluten free Diet, and launched a website: The web address is: www.yumfoodforliving.com View Guest page

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Dr. Jonathan White

Jonathan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and lived for most of my life by the shores of the Belfast Lough in a little town called Carrickfergus. He graduated from the Queen'sUniversity of Belfast in 1993 and trained as a surgeon in Northern Ireland before moving to Calgary for Surgi-cal Oncology fellowship training in 2004. He tells people that he came to Canada by accident. He is currently a consultant surgeon at the Royal Alexandra Hospital with a practice focused on colorectal disease and pelvic oncology. He describes his current role there as his "dream job", and cites this as his reason for staying in Canada. Jonathan is married to his teenage sweetheart Paula; they became Canadian citizens in 2012. Jonathan has been involved in surgical education for more than 15 years and obtained a Masters Degree in Medical Education from the University of Calgary in 2009. He teaches in a variety of settings in medical school and residency and has won national, university, fac-ulty and departmental awards for innovation and leadership in education. He was selected as the John Provan Canadian Outstanding Surgical Educator for 2010/11 and was awarded the University of Alberta’s McCalla Professorship in 2010 for Research in Teaching. He is also the co-creator of the ‘Surgery 101’ podcast series. He has published 40 peer-reviewed papers and 120 peer-reviewed podcasts, and has given over 200 presentations at national and international meetings. In 2011, Jonathan was named as the University of Alberta's first Tom Williams Endowed Chair in Surgical Education. In 2014, he became the first surgeon ever selected as a 3M National Teaching Fellow, and also received the University of Alberta’s Rutherford Award for Excellence in Teaching. View Guest page

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