74 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Episode 12 - Amy Sherer - Midwifery, Lactation Consultancy and the power of informing women correctly.
In this week's show I spoke with the fabulous Amy Sherer. Amy is an Endorsed Registered Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She runs her own Lactation Consultancy, 'Her Luminary', as well as working at an outpatient clinic in Metro Melbourne.Amy began her journey in New Zealand, where she trained as a direct entry Midwife. As she touches upon in this candid discussion, she experienced and continues to deal with the clash in culture of values between the woman-centric approach of her beginnings in NZ and the medical model maternity system that dominates in Australia.This conversation was an insight into the personal world of a dedicated, woman-centred clinician. Here's a summary of topics covered in today's episode: Why evidence-based information and practice is crucial in maternity care. Amy's mission to provide clear, concise and accurate information to new mothers, and why this gives her so much satisfaction. What skills does a Lactation Consultant need? An outline of the broad skillset necessary for Lactation Consultancy work. How systemic challenges of maternity care contribute to stress and burnout and how nurses and midwives often aren't prepared for the physical, mental and emotional challenge of their work. Amy's personal experience of burnout and how she manages her own psychological and emotional health now. The power of mentorship and the influences Amy has had that led her toward leadership values of empathy, compassion, and being woman-centred. Amy's approach to leadership with students and junior colleagues. Why healthcare workers need to give themselves encouragement and credit for the challenging work they do. The book Amy has been creating on up-to-date, digestible information for new mothers (see her website below). If you'd like to check out Amy and her work, find her on the links below:https://www.herluminarylactation.com/LinkedInInstagram - herluminarywww.facebook.com/herluminary/----------I'm Nathan, a coach and Clinical Psychologist who works with healthcare practitioners to enhance their well-being and perform at their best.Check me out on the following links:https://nathanillman.com/https://www.facebook.com/NathanIllmanConsulting
37 minutes | May 21, 2021
Episode 11 - Professor Stephen Trceziak on Compassionomics -why compassion matters in healthcare.
Today’s guest is Stephen Trzeciak, Professor of Medicine and Chairman and Chief of the Department of Medicine at Cooper University Health, Camden, New Jersey. Stephen is a practicing intensivist and self-confessed “research nerd” who has amassed over 100 publications in the medical literature and a whopping 15,000 citations for his work. In today’s episode we talk about Stephen’s book “Compassionomics: The Revolutionary scientific evidence that caring makes a difference.” The book is a user-friendly narration of a systematic literature review him and his colleague, Dr Anthony Mazzarelli completed in which they gathered all available data from the research literature on the importance of empathy and compassion in a variety of healthcare outcomes. The book is simply phenomenal and it is undeniable that developing compassionate care is not only possible, but also essential to improve patient outcomes and also help with the crisis of burnout amongst healthcare professionals. As a true leader, Stephen shows a clear acumen for research knowledge combined with a willingness to be open and vulnerable in our conversation with his own journey into compassion and self-compassion. Some key points from the conversation to tempt you in… -Stephen discusses the research showing it takes less than one minute to demonstrate effective compassion in medical interactions with patients. -He discusses the three core components of burnout, how lower compassion can actually be responsible and not a result of this.-He discusses how mindset and beliefs around compassion matter - you've got to believe that you can do it, that you have time to do it, and that it can work. -His own experience of burnout and what he started doing about it. -Why compassion is beneficial for both the giver and receiver. Key Links for Stephen: His book, Compassionomics: https://www.compassionomics.com/ Google Scholar for his publications: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=9aod280AAAAJ Stephen on Twitter: @StephenTrzeciak
53 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Episode 10 - Dr Mark Cross on being an anxious psychiatrist and why it's okay that your patients know you're a human too.
Welcome to episode 10! If you are a doctor or healthcare professional who suffers from intense anxiety, this podcast is for you! I I speak to Dr Mark Cross, a psychiatrist with clinical experience over three decades (further info on his bio at the end of the show notes). Mark wrote a book last year all about his own experience with anxiety; he's something of a role model in the world of being open about his very human difficulties, whilst still operating at the top of his game in psychiatry.In this conversation, some of the questions and themes covered are: What happens when you start to be more vulnerable and disclose your own difficulties to the world and people in your profession? How do colleagues respond? How do patients respond? Why it was easier for Mark to speak about his sexuality rather than anxiety, and how his sexuality has helped him develop a strong relationship with certain clients. The nature of anxiety difficulties being the struggle you have internally, which may not be visible to the outside world. How do you navigate boundaries with patients when trying to be open about your own "stuff"? The difference between "normal" anxiety, and that which is more debilitating. The importance of self-acceptance as healthcare professionals, as this determines how we treat our patients. I hope you enjoy the episode. About me:My name is Nathan and I'm a coach and clinical psychologist devoted to helping healthcare professionals keep well and perform at their best.If you are a doctor who struggles with self-doubt and confidence, then feel free to join my FREE Facebook group where I provide weekly resources for overcoming that niggling feeling that you're not good enough. Click here and sign up.You can also check out my website at www.nathanillman.com MARK'S BIOHe graduated as a doctor in Cape Town, specialised in the UK, and has worked as a specialist in Sydney since 2005. He holds senior conjoint lecturer positions at the Universities of NSW and Western Sydney.Mark has special interests in sexuality issues, mental health in the workplace and improving the care and quality of life of people with lived experience, and carers.In 2015, he received the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists NSW Branch Meritorious Award for his “significant contribution” to psychiatry. Mark is co-author of ‘Changing Minds,’ mental health guide for you, family and friends, published by ABC Books/Harper Collins, and was the Lead Psychiatrist in the ABC TV series ‘Changing Minds.’ He is a well-respected speaker on MH issues, a SANE Australia board member, and a passionate advocate on the importance of preventative mental health. He lives with his husband John, they have 2 sons, and a cat. Check out his website with links to all his stuff, including his books, HERE.
65 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Episode 9 - An interview with me: How to overcome barriers to changing careers in healthcare.
Welcome to Episode 9 of the podcast!In this episode I bring you a special interview. My wife, Olivia, kindly agreed to interview me on a topic which I think is really important - how do you successfully change career direction in healthcare?By way of background, I am a clinical psychologist and I have changed jobs several times and shifted career pathways twice in the 5 years since I qualified from my doctorate. I also had started out initially in the academic world, before realising I wanted a more clinical role.In this episode you get access to all of my thoughts, feelings and worries that surrounded all of these decisions. I talk openly about the pressures I felt faced in a competitive healthcare industry in London, and how I learned to let go of expectations and rules about who I should be or what I "should" be doing with my career.I talk about the challenges this caused, the uncertainty, the self-doubt but also the enormous growth and ultimately freedom these changes have created for me. Currently, I work part-time doing what I now absolutely LOVE - psychological therapy, as well as the other half of my time on my own business which is truly aligned with what I want to do in the world - helping other healthcare professionals.I talk about how making a number of changes in quite a short space of time, whilst daunting, led me to a place where I feel satisfied and very fulfilled with what I'm doing.This podcast should be helpful not just for psychologists considering career changes, but other healthcare professionals. This is because we talk about the general fears, beliefs and barriers one is exposed to, and ways of overcoming those.I hope you will find this episode helpful and inspire you to change your direction if you're currently not happy in your role!Feel free to check out my website and Facebook page:www.nathanillman.comFacebook
54 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Episode 8 - Dr Caroline Walker on her journey through mental ill-health, doctor well-being and founding The Joyful Doctor.
This week I talk to Dr Caroline Walker, a psychiatrist from the UK who created The Joyful Doctor, an organisation devoted to supporting the well-being of doctors and other healthcare professionals through coaching and training.Given that Caroline’s and my mission are virtually identical, albeit serving people in different parts of the world (UK and Australia), it felt only natural to reach out and have a good old chat with her about her journey. Caroline’s story is so inspiring. She dreamed of becoming a doctor from a young age, and after the dream came true realised that it was not what she had expected. Struggling as a junior doctor, Caroline also suffered from mental health difficulties and she talks openly in this conversation about how bipolar disorder and addiction affected her and what her recovery has been like. We talk about doctor mental health and well-being and some of the positive behaviours that we both believe are important for supporting other people such as role modelling vulnerability, reaching out to tell others it’s okay to not be okay, and modelling imperfection. We reflect on how thoughts about things not being good enough and imposter syndrome continue to arise for us, and Caroline shares her wisdom about how to address self-doubt. The heart of this conversation is really about the importance of taking care of ourselves, and it is punctuated by reflections from myself and Caroline about our approach to well-being and how doctors can take care of themselves. It will be a must listen for all doctors out there! Caroline is doing some incredible work especially now during the pandemic, providing helpful resources to doctors in the UK (which anyone can access!). Check out her stuff here: https://www.joyfuldoctor.com/Twitter Facebook If you are a doctor who struggles with self-doubt then you will also find my free Facebook group helpful. I share weekly content designed to help improve doctor confidence, reduce stress and promote healthy living: Free Overcoming Self-Doubt Facebook Group for Doctors
50 minutes | Jan 9, 2021
Episode 7. Danny Hills and his successful nursing career through taking risks, opportunism and trying new things.
Please don't forget to leave a rating for the podcast on Apple Podcasts and share the episode with anyone who may like it! Episode 7 Show NotesDanny Hills is an Associate Professor of Nursing and Deputy Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Federation University in Ballarat in rural Victoria, Australia. Danny has a really varied background in nursing and in the past ten years or so has pursued more of an academic path by completing his PhD and doing research investigating violence and aggression in the workplace for nursing staff. I ask him about his own personal experience of violence in the workplace, and he reflects on his approach to building relationships with patients has been one of the key factors in helping him avoid such situations. We talk about his strategy for career development, with a focus on being opportunistic and not afraid to take risks and move onto new things. We both share the same feeling that our relationships with our wives is a huge helping factor in supporting us to grow, develop and remain positive about things despite life's challenges. We also discuss the anxieties created by moving into more senior roles, and the challenges of giving feedback to junior members of staff. One of my favourite quotes from this conversation was something Danny said in relation to how it can feel giving others feedback: "Sometimes we feel a bit guilty because we know we're far from perfect ourselves". I think this admission of imperfection is something I try to do consciously, and it was great to hear Danny share this reflection. We cover a number of other topics in this conversation such as Danny's old rock and roll days, how our identities and behaviour has changed over the years, and why it's not crucial to have your whole life mapped out at the age of 21. During the episode we talk a bit about some of Danny's research, including his newly published articles, which you can find below: Kidgell, D., Hills, D., Griffiths, D. & Endacott, R. (2020). Trade agreements and the risks for the nursing workforce, nursing practice and public health: A scoping review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 109(103676), 1-10. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103676 Hills, S., Crawford, K., Lam, L. & Hills, D. The way we do things around here: A qualitative study of the workplace aggression experiences of Victorian nurses, midwives and care personnel. Collegian, ePub ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2020.02.012 To find a list of Danny's other research publications, check out his academic page at Federation University.Finally, Danny's band's album from decades ago has been rediscovered and released on vinyl and it's AWESOME! Check out the details here: https://vote1thecritics.wordpress.com/
53 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
Episode 6 - Dayna Lee-Baggley, Clinical Psychologist, on keeping well during COVID, showing up as a human and the challenges of parenting.
This week I was delighted to have been joined by a wonderful guest on the other side of the world in Canada, Dr Dayna Lee-Baggley. Dayna is a Clinical Psychologist and researcher in Nova Scotia, Canada and has interests in psychological approaches for management of chronic health conditions and also preventative measures for enhancing well-being. Dayna recently wrote the book, "Healthy Habits Suck" which is all about health behaviour change and draws primarily on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is a science-based approach to behaviour change. I had heard Dayna talking on a great podcast earlier this year (People Soup), where I was captured by her great ability to explain concepts in straightforward language and her willingness to open up about her own struggles. Dayna has a wonderful ability to use metaphors to describe experiences and this conversation did not disappoint. I won't spoil all of these for you but to give a taster, she talks about the difference between our cave man brain and our frontal lobe (which is more like a battery), and how COVID is affecting these. We talk about how it’s important to acknowledge that we’re often asking clients to do more than what we would implement in our own lives. We discuss how we both evolved the use of self-disclosure in our work and how we see ourselves as fundamentally the same as people we work with due to our common humanity and suffering. Dayna talks about the role of being a mom and parenting at different points in our conversation and I really love how candid she is about this experience. She talks about struggling to take care of herself when her son was younger, and whilst her self-care has improved over time she still battles with a self-critical mind about her parenting ability.I love how Dayna is so down to earth; she's someone who believes strongly in taking care of herself and others and at the same time is very realistic about the challenges COVID creates and how this means there are barriers to doing our normal routines. Enjoy the episode and check out Dayna's book and socials on the links below. Links and resources: https://drleebaggley.com/ twitter: @DrLeeBaggley instagram: @DrLeeBaggley https://www.facebook.com/drleebaggley Healthy Habits Suck – Dayna’s book: https://www.newharbinger.com/healthy-habits-suck
59 minutes | Nov 29, 2020
Episode 5 - Alicia Perkins on the realities of nursing and the things you can't "unsee".
Summary This week I’m excited to bring you the first of my conversations with a nurse! Alicia Perkins is a lecturer in nursing at Federation University in Australia. She has worked clinically in a variety of areas across her career, including cardiology and critical care. Notably, her leadership roles have involved managing a variety of cardiac catheter laboratories in both Cyprus and Australia (this is a hospital room where doctors perform minimally invasive tests and procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.) Alicia provides a really great overview of her own experience of nursing but also the profession in general. She tells us how “the reality of nursing is not Gray’s Anatomy.” One of my favourite quotes from this conversation was: “You can’t unsee things, you can’t unhear things, you can’t unsmell things.” She gives us a raw account of what nursing involves and also why it is so satisfying. We talk about the impact this work has on nurses and other healthcare workers; namely, through trauma. Alicia candidly talks about some of her own traumatic experiences that she explains left a lifelong mark on her. We also talk about the gender disparity in nursing and Alicia shares some reflections on how this impacts the distribution of men and women into leadership roles, and how this did (or did not!) affect her career. This conversation inspired me even more with the work I do in supporting healthcare professionals take care of themselves. I hope it inspires other people and helps laypeople appreciate the role of the nurse even more. Resources Check out this latest article published by Alicia that examines the psychological constructs that influence male perceptions of nursing as they seek to navigate the profession, and what aspects influence men to consider nursing as a career: https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe10030051
62 minutes | Nov 12, 2020
Episode 4 - Josh Rosen on why doctors may ignore emotions and the realities of medical life.
I’m excited to bring you a conversation with Dr Josh Rosen. Josh is a pathology registrar working in a rural hospital in Victoria, Australia. In this fascinating conversation he talks about the realities of medical training and what it's like to be a doctor. He delves candidly beneath the armour of medicine and reveals the attitude in medical training toward recognition of emotions; the focus on technical skills; insights into doctor behaviour and culture and discusses the pros and cons of assuming the doctor persona. Josh provides us with an overview of what medical training is like, as well as some of the realities of being in medicine; he paints a balanced picture and outlines the rewards, as well as the costs to devoting a life to studying and protecting the health and saving the lives of the community. This is a fascinating conversation which should be a must-listen for doctors, healthcare providers and the general public alike. Enjoy!Resources: In this episode I alluded to some research showing better clinical outcomes for patients when doctors show empathy and compassion. If you're interested, check out this systematic review of empathy from Derksen, Bensing and Lagro-Janssen in the British Journal of General Practice. Also check out this great paper by David Jeffrey (2016) in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in which he outlines different terms such as compassion, sympathy and empathy and outlines some of the reasons why "affective empathy" helps improve patient outcomes, primarily by increasing patient-physician trust. Finally, check out this inspiring TED talk by Paul Rosen pediatric rheumatologist.
68 minutes | Nov 1, 2020
Episode 3 - Professor Ian Hickie on going against the grain in the world of psychiatry.
Welcome to episode 3 of BTA podcast! I was extremely pleased to get Professor Ian Hickie on this week to talk about mental health and Ian’s life and career. Ian is Co-Director, Health and Policy at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre and is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow. We cut across a range of issues in this discussion. As always, I try to guide my guests to talk about their own personal experience of their journey and not focus too much on career success and specifics about what they do. This episode didn’t disappoint. Ian tells us how he's been a disruptor and had critics but dared to do things differently. He explains that despite what people may see on the exterior, he describes himself as being sensitive, emotional and to his own surprise and delight, was recently described as compassionate by a colleague. We talk about the importance of relationships and family in mental health and resilience; Ian explains why he's not keen on the concept of individual resilience and instead champions the role of community and family. He talks about his own experience of mental ill health in the family and the difficult task of navigating the role between a professional who is deeply embedded within the world of mental health vs. being a concerned family member. He shares some great advice on this issue, around advocacy and having a support person when accessing treatment. Ian is someone who is evidently highly intelligent and knowledgeable, with an impressive career under his belt, but as you will hear, speaks to the importance of recognising group achievements, owning your failures, and the importance of continually pushing for better standards. There are so many pearls of wisdom nestled within this conversation, interweaved with some lovely reflections from Ian which give you a taster of him as a person underneath the exterior you may see in his work at the interface with politics and in more formal academic settings. His passion for mental health oozes through this conversation and I personally learned a lot talking to him. Resources: Ian’s profile page for the University of Sydney: https://www.sydney.edu.au/medicine-health/about/our-people/academic-staff/ian-hickie.html Ian on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ian_hickie Ian’s publications on Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=5cRsn2AAAAAJ&hl=en
65 minutes | Oct 14, 2020
Episode 2 - Liam Mason, Clinical Psychologist, on the truths about becoming a clinician-researcher, maintaining focus on long-term projects and reflections on leadership.
In this week's episode I chat to my good friend Liam Mason. Liam is a clinical psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist; he has a lecturing position at University College London and holds a Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship, with his work based at the Max Planck Centre for Computational Psychiatry. He also continues to provide some talking therapy treatment to people with psychosis and bi-polar disorder. Liam and I really get underneath all this impressive sounding stuff in our conversation. He talks humorously about his experience of being awarded a very prestigious and highly sought after Fellowship grant, explaining how gruelling the process can be but provides some wisdom for future hopefuls. He talks about feeling like an imposter in his current role, and we both reflect on the inevitable feelings of "not good enough" that arise when you get into more senior positions. One of my favourite quotes from Liam in this chat was "You regroup and you go again." and "The process rewards people with grit and determination, not people who are the most intelligent." I'll leave you to explore those further within the conversation. We share our routines for stress management and Liam explains his recent love affair with using saunas. Yes, you have read that correctly. He talks about his supervisory role both with research and clinical psychology students and we discuss his approach to leadership and how consciously he works on his own leadership behaviours. We get into a riveting conversation about hierarchy in academia and medicine and what it's like to devolve the boundaries and be humble enough to learn things from your junior colleagues, how this feels and why it’s important. As always, it was a delight talking to Liam and I know this conversation will appeal to a range of people. In terms of resources and things we mention in the podcast, here is a list: Brene Brown - see her site here with all her books etc: https://brenebrown.com/ Angela Duckworth, the creator of the "grit" concept: https://angeladuckworth.com/ You can also check out Liam's publications on his Google Scholar page here: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=2iG9vO8AAAAJ&hl=en
71 minutes | Oct 4, 2020
Episode 1 - Amanda Thompson, Speech and Language Therapist, on working with autism and how to stay positive.
Welcome to episode 1 of Beneath the Armour! I'm excited to bring you a conversation with my old friend Amanda Thompson, a speech and language therapist from the UK (this translates to 'speech pathologist' in other parts of the world!)Amanda talks to us about her journey to becoming a clinical team lead for autism within a county wide speech and language therapy service. She talks about her professional journey, beginning with a degree in psychology and after later experiences whilst travelling the world, realised she wanted to help people with autism. We talk about the value in being honest with colleagues and families, and how saying "I don't know" can actually build further trust. She talks about how her experience of working from the ground up had led her to feel more effective in her senior role due to understanding the challenges faced by the implementers of plans. I ask her about the emotional load of the work, and she talks about aspects such as delivering bad news and tough conversations with parents; and provides some wisdom on the importance of empathy and listening. Something that really shines through in this conversation is Amanda's positive mindset towards her work, which helps protect against the high stress endured when working in this area. She talks about this, and also how she has learned the ability to remain calm in her own life, and how the work has allowed her to shift her perspective on life and not let things get her down. I hope you enjoy the episode and don't forget to subscribe to have the next podcast waiting for you in two weeks.To check out the podcast webpage and subscribe to receive updates and new content via email, head over to: http://nathanillman.com/index.php/beneath-the-armour-podcast/