How Michael Boninger, MD Supports Wellness

Submitted by Michael Boninger, MD, Professor and Endowed Vice Chair for Research at the University of Pittsburgh

I remember the resident guiding me while I was placing a central line as an intern. His words about advancing the line slowly are as embedded in my memory as the alarm of the cardiac monitor when the patient went into an arrhythmia and coded. The patient was sick, and might have died anyway, maybe it wasn’t caused by the catheter. That didn’t give me much solace. I went home, told my wife that he had died, and slept better than I would have thought possible. I fell back on something that I have repeated over and over again in my head for years; it’s likely something I told myself on the first day of internship and in every job since. They were stupid enough to hire me. I was doing my best.

I believe psychologists call this deflection. It’s really helpful. The next time I did a procedure, I was more cautious, I probably listened better. My far-from-perfect best became something better. This balance between accepting my imperfection while learning from the mistakes I make all the time is part of what keeps me well.

While we are dealing with classic psychological patterns of behavior, denial is another technique that keeps me going. If something scares me, like firing an under-achieving employee, an upcoming root canal, or hiking in and out the Grand Canyon in a day with friends, I just tell myself I can call in sick (no one argues with explosive GI problems). I have never avoided something that way, but telling myself I can, gets me through the hardest part – the waiting.

Exercise, me time, placing priority on family and friends are a given that require vigilance. I suggest adding a dose of deflection and denial.

How Kristjan Ragnarsson, MD Supports Wellness

Submitted by Kristjan Ragnarsson, MD, Chair Emeritus at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

After a 7-hour sleep, get up early enough to do your morning exercises, eat a healthy breakfast, finish what is not done, plan for the day ahead and then show up before you have to. Stay ahead of the game all day long!

How Dixie Aragaki, MD Supports Wellness

Submitted by Dixie Aragaki, MD, Program Director at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and Clinical Professor at UCLA

Here are my recommendations for making little therapeutic lifestyle changes:

Talk the talk.
Walk the walk.
Walk and talk.

Nurture your nature.
Seek natural nutrition.
Nibble and nap in nature.

Read a book.
Feed the cook.
Read a cookbook.

See a free show.
Show you care freely.
See! You’re carefree!