Targeting PTSD with two Navy SEAL Physicians. Sean Mulvaney, MD with guest host, Robert Adams, MD

Guest Host: Robert Adams, MD

Specialty: Special Operations and Family Medicine

Location: Raleigh, NC

Guest: Sean Mulvaney, MD

Specialty: Special Operations, Sports & Pain Medicine

Location: Annapolis, MD

Today we are thrilled to embark on a new adventure here on PeerSpectrum. The first episode of our new guest host series. We’re inviting back some of our most popular past guests and handing over the microphone. As Keith and I have learned over the past few years, there is an art and craft to interviewing. Playing on the field has given us both a deeper appreciation and admiration for the true masters of the game. Masters such as the late Larry King (who passed away just last month) and his very close friend, and our most recent guest, Cal Fussman. As we discussed last time, one of my all-time favorite podcast interviews was Cal Fussman interviewing Larry King, on Tim Ferriss’s podcast. It was a rare opportunity to listen in as two masters discussed their game. These types of conversations are likely more common than we think. It’s just not as common to hear them.

Today we are happy to have our good friend and past guest, Dr. Robert Adams back with us. As you may recall, Bob is a former US Navy SEAL and command surgeon for the army’s elite Delta Force. A recently retired family physician in the UNC health system, Bob is also the author of two books, “Six Days of Impossible,” and “Swords and Saints: A Doctor’s Journey.” 

Today Bob is joined by his good friend and former colleague, Dr. Sean Mulvaney. Sean is also a former US Navy SEAL turned army physician. Their conversation will take us all around the world from the battle fields of Iraq and Afghanistan, to a surprise birthday party for Colin Powell aboard a US Navy warship.   

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Big Questions with legendary interviewer & Esquire’s writer-at-large, Cal Fussman

Name: Cal Fussman

Specialty: Journalist and Writer at Large for Esquire Magazine

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Think of someone accomplished, someone famous, someone you truly admire. Have you met them? If so, how did it go? What did you talk about? If not, what would you talk about? What questions would you ask them?

For us, today’s guest is just that person.  His name is Cal Fussman and he is a long time writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine through their “What I learned” series. He is also host of the Big Questions podcast. Cal has interviewed everyone and I mean everyone…Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Bill Maher, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Jack Welch, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Dr. Dre, Quincy Jones, Walter Cronkite, Woody Allen, Barbara Walters, Pelé, Yao Ming, Serena Williams, Danny DeVito, Eric Clapton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Muhammad Ali. Just to name a few.

For amateur interviewers like us, today’s conversation was like getting to play 18 holes with Arnold Palmer. It’s like being one degree away from Kevin Bacon. Cal interviewed both by the way.

Cal is literally one of the best in the business. We discussed his extraordinary career and his new mission in our world of medicine. Most importantly we’ll cover how all of us can be more aware, more thoughtful and effective with the questions we use. With that said, let’s get started…

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Eisenhower’s Legacy of Lessons. “How Ike Led” with Susan Eisenhower

Name: Susan Eisenhower

Specialty: Author and President of The Eisenhower Group

Location: Washington, DC

On the release of today’s episode, we find ourselves in October of 2020. Still deep in the Covid-19 pandemic, and exactly one week away from the 2020 presidential election. Instead of piling on with our own opinions and speculation, we’re heading to the past for lessons and perspective that might, just might, help us make better sense of the world around us. Lessons from someone I think many of us wouldn’t mind having around today. A man who led the fight to liberate Europe from the darkness of Nazism. A man who spent decades patiently preparing and training for that role, never knowing if it would ever come. A man who’s deep footprint on history still shapes the world we live in today. A man who served through multiple heart attacks, strokes, and other severe illnesses. A leader tested by pandemics from the 1918 Spanish Flu to Polio. A true citizen of the world who, as Lyndon Johnson described, left, “America…a better nation—stronger, safer, more conscious of its heritage, more certain of its destiny—because Ike was with us when America needed him.”

Today’s guest knew Ike well, though she never addressed him as General or Mr. President. She called him grandpa because Susan Eisenhower is one of Dwight Eisenhower’s four grandchildren. She is a writer, policy strategist and national security expert who leads the Washington, DC based consulting firm, The Eisenhower Group.

Her recently published book, “How Ike Led, The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions,” and her personal perspective growing up with her grandfather are the focus of today’s episode. With that said, let’s get started.

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The Quantified Surgeon. Haptic sensors, wearables, and performance analytics. Stanford surgeon scientist, Dr. Carla Pugh.

Name: Carla Pugh, MD, PhD

Specialty: General Surgeon. Professor of Surgery

Location: Stanford University School of Medicine

You’ve no doubt heard this famous quote from science fiction writer, William Gibson, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” What better way to describe technology and medicine?  The runway for technological innovation and adoption is just a little longer in our world. What other profession or industry can you think of that still uses pagers and fax machines?

So where can we look for a sneak peek into the future? How about sports? Motion tracking sensors, video analysis, performance modeling, biometrics, wearables, “Moneyball” data analytics. This is old stuff for the coaches, trainers, scouts, and team managers who use these technologies every day. But what can we learn by putting this same technology to work in the operating room? To answer that question, we’re thrilled to have Dr. Carla Pugh with us today. Dr. Pugh is a professor of General Surgery, and Director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is one of the world’s leading researchers in the use of sensors and simulation technology to assess and quantitatively define hands-on clinical skills. This was a fun and eye-opening episode on what is coming around the corner. With that said, let’s get started…

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The Mad Men of Medicine Avenue. Investigative Journalist and PHARMA author, Gerald Posner.

Name: Gerald Posner

Specialty: Author and Investigative Journalist

Location: Miami, Fl

All right, welcome back. If you think you have a pretty good handle on the opioid crisis, the pharmaceutical industry and how it all works, today’s episode may challenge that assumption. It certainly did for us. The modern pharmaceutical and biotech industries are like no other. How they got to where they are is a story like no other. The same businesses that have given us incredible lifesaving advances have also given us disasters like the opioid epidemic. The history of the pharmaceutical industry is more complex and captivating than you might imagine. 

Today’s guest in award winning investigative journalist, Gerald Posner. He’s written twelve books including national best sellers such as “God’s Bankers,” “Mengele. The complete Story,” and The Pulitzer Prize finalist, “Case Closed.” His latest book, “Pharma,” is master class history of the modern pharma and biotech space. Understanding that history is critical to understanding the present opioid crisis. In-fact, we didn’t even cover the opioid crisis until the final 15 minutes of the podcast.

With so much to cover, we asked Gerald for an extra 30 minutes beyond our usual hour. Even that wasn’t enough, but it was lot of fun, and hopefully all the reason you need to read the book yourself.  With that said, let’s get started…

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Overcoming rejection. Renowned transplant surgeon & heart transplant recipient, Dr. Robert Montgomery.

Name: Robert Montgomery, MD

Specialty: General Surgery. Transplant Surgeon.

Location: NYU Langone Transplant Institute. New York City.

Imagine losing your father at 14, losing your brother a decade later, and looking down the barrel of the same heritable heart condition that killed them both. Imagine learning in your first year of surgical residency that your continued existence will depend a new implantable device, called an ICD. A device so new, you will likely be the first surgeon in the world to have one implanted. A device that will allow your life to continue, but most likely put an end to your surgical career.

That’s exactly what happened to today’s guest, one of the nation’s renowned transplant surgeons, Dr. Robert Montgomery. Robert has performed over 1000 kidney transplants and his research has advanced the field in areas such as desensitization, multiple organ transplants, gene and cell-based therapies, and perhaps most famously, domino paired donations. And if that’s not enough, he is also credited in the Guinness Book of World Records for most kidney transplants performed in one day.

One more thing…Robert is also heart transplant recipient. A heart transplant performed by the very surgical team he hired, and currently leads as the director of the Langone Transplant Institute at NYU. Wondering about the Ave Maria intro music? Well, that’s Robert’s wife, world famous mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves. Get ready for a wild journey of an episode. With said, let’s get started.

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“No Man’s Land.” The trailblazing women doctors of WWI with journalist & author, Wendy Moore.

Name: Wendy Moore 

Specialty: Journalist and author 

Location: London, England 

Barbara Tuchman, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the WWI classic, “The Guns of August,” once observed, “The unrecorded past is none other than our old friend, the tree in the primeval forest which fell without being heard.” Not only must history be recorded, it must also be examined and retold. For most of us, who are not professional historians, we approach history through the curation and re-telling of the past, mainly via books and documentaries. Perhaps we are not so different from our ancestors, and their oral traditions. History may be written by the victors, but it’s kept alive through the story tellers.

Today we are heading to London to meet with journalist and author, Wendy Moore. Like Tuchman, Wendy was also drawn to the period of “The Great War,” but in search of story many of you have likely never heard of. In a time when women in the UK, the US and most democratic nations were not even allowed to vote, there was a hospital called Endell Street. A hospital with women surgeons, women nurses, women administrators, and women staff. A hospital almost completely run by and run with women! A 573 bed hospital that performed over 7000 surgical operations and treated some 26,000 wounded soldiers, many with unprecedented battlefield trauma. A hospital led by two active suffragette doctors, one with a criminal record, having been sentenced to six weeks in prison for her protests.  A hospital that also treated Spanish Flu patients before being shut down and nearly lost to history…until now.

Continue reading ““No Man’s Land.” The trailblazing women doctors of WWI with journalist & author, Wendy Moore.”

Mountaineering, photography and the Dalai Lama. Emergency and expedition doctor, Andrew Peacock, MD

Images Courtesy of Andrew Peacock. http://www.footloosefotography.com

Name: Andrew Peacock, MD

Location: Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia

Specialty: Emergency Medicine

Today’s episode is not about Covid-19. Instead we’re going to give all of you a break and take you as far away from this as we possibly (and virtually) can. For that, we’re heading to Queensland, Australia to meet Dr. Andrew Peacock, an emergency physician, award winning photographer, accomplished climber and expedition guide for Lindblad expeditions, a travel company contracted with National Geographic.

This conversation takes us everywhere from Antarctica to Nepal, aboard a Russian ice breaker ship, technical climbing in New Zealand, and even a private audience with the Dali Lama.  We’ll learn how a lucky break in Antarctica sparked a side career for Andrew in photography. Best of all, we’ll uncover how a busy emergency medical physician has made this life possible, while literally setting the standard for work life balance.

This was simply an incredible episode. We had a blast doing it. With that said, let’s get started.

Overexposure. Law Professor and Health Economics Researcher, Christopher Robertson, PhD, JD

Name: Christopher Robertson, PhD, JD

Speciality: Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Research & Innovation, University of Arizona.

Location: Tucson, Arizona

In January of 2018, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon announced the creation of a new, co-venture, to tackle the rising costs of healthcare for their company’s employees. They immediately picked famous writer and surgeon, Atul Gawande to lead it. Short on details but big on promise, just the simple announcement of this venture sent shock waves through the media and the markets. Billions of dollars in stock value for insurance companies and other health sector players vanished over night. 

Two years later, we have a name for this venture (Haven Health) but little else. What they’re up to, and what they’re planning, is still a big mystery. Whatever ultimately happens here, it will matter, simply because names like Amazon and Warren Buffet are behind it. The question is, how much will it matter for the rest of us? How much can anyone (even powerful billionaires) really change the American healthcare system? 

Today’s guest is Christopher Robertson, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation and Professor of Law at the University of Arizona. His background and research interests overlap many academic disciplines, including bioethics, health law, incentives, behavioral economics and more. His CV includes a PhD in philosophy and a law degree from Harvard. 

Unfortunately, Chris doesn’t have behind the scenes access to Haven Health (we know, we asked him). But, he does have a new book exploring some unique ideas and research that should certainly be on their radar, and yours. The book, “Exposed: Why Our Health Insurance is Incomplete and What can be Done About,” also includes a historical overview of our modern American health system, a history often forgotten and overlooked in todays political debates. This was great conversation and we really enjoyed having Christopher on. With that said, let’s get started…

Accelerating Bench to Bedside. Stanford University School of Medicine Dean, Dr. Lloyd Minor.

Name: Lloyd B. Minor, MD

Location: Stanford University, Stanford, California

Specialty: Otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine

All right, welcome back. Today we have Dr. Lloyd Minor with us on the show. He’s an ENT surgeon, scientist, innovator and currently dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. We covered his early career path, a surgical treatment he actually developed and his new book, “Discovering Precision Health,” released just this month in March, 2020.

As the leader of one of the nation’s top medical schools, located right in the heart of Silicon Valley, Dr. Minor has a unique lens on medicine’s innovation pipeline. His new book and our conversation offer a glimpse into this world. With that said, let’s get started…