Medical Journeys: Kinder Doctors and Resilient Patients with Adam Stern MD & David Richman

Original Air Date Wednesday, November 23, 2022 

A staggering statistic of today’s medical care is that in the average doctor-patient interaction, the doctor interrupts the patient within 18 seconds. This quick interruption offers very little time for a connection to be formed between a doctor and their patient.

This transactional approach hinders the clinicians’ ability to provide solutions to patients who may not feel as if they were unable to express their true needs. To discover the steps being taken to raise the bedside manner bar, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two authors about medical journeys, kinder doctors, and resilient patients. Dr. Adam Stern is a psychiatrist and author of Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training. He is back on the program to share how he teaches the softer side of medicine to doctors in training and the therapeutic power of listening. David Richman is an author, public speaker, and endurance athlete who interviewed hundreds of people about their medical journey and the impact of cancer on their lives. His book, Cycle of Lives: 15 People’s Stories, 5,000 Miles, and a Journey Through the Emotional Chaos of Cancer shares those stories and offers insights into how caregivers can find relief from the pressure of compassion.

Adam Stern — Kinder Doctors:

  • Connection is the essential value in a doctor-patient relationship. [1:48]
  • Adam shares the three areas he focuses on when teaching the softer side of medicine. [4:30]
  • When interacting with patients with severe mental illness, curiosity can be a soft yet solid approach. [7:06]
  • Adam describes how the pandemic has changed healthcare, and how new doctors are trained to provide care in the new technological medical frontier. [11:32]
  • Unpacking the sheltered lives of doctors in training including their conscious coupling and asynchronous relationships. [17:21]
  • Adam shares examples from his work of how he holds hope for his patients. [24:47]

Adam Stern, guest of new episode of Harvesting Happiness with David Richman about medical journeysAdam Stern, MD, is a psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He has written extensively about his experience as a physician including in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the American Journal of Psychiatry. He lives with his family near Boston.

Book: Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training


Adam Stern MD
@adamphilipstern on Twitter
@adamsternmd on Instagram

David Richman— Creating More Resilient Patients:

  • The power of a story, how David became part of Cycle of Lives. [33:00]
  • After David’s sister was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, he jumped on his bike to discover how to talk through trauma. [35:39]
  • The healing medicine of listening to patients and caregivers. [38:54]
  • After writing, Cycle of Lives, David felt compelled to teach therapeutic expressive writing workshops. [45:58]
  • Everyone is dealing with trauma is David’s takeaway from the myriad of conversations he had while writing, Cycle of Lives. [50:52]

David Richman, guest of new episode of Harvesting Happiness with Adam Stern about medical journeysDavid Richman is an author, public speaker, and endurance athlete whose mission is to form more meaningful human connections through storytelling. His first book, Winning in the Middle of the Pack, discussed how to get more out of ourselves than ever imagined. With Cycle of Lives, David shares stories of people overcoming trauma and delves deeply into their emotional journeys with cancer. He continues to do Ironman triathlons and recently completed a solo 4,700-mile bike ride.

Book: Cycle of Lives: 15 People’s Stories, 5,000 Miles, and a Journey Through the Emotional Chaos of Cancer


David Richman Website
@cycleoflives on Twitter
Cycle of Lives on Facebook
@cycleoflives on Instagram

This podcast episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about medical journeys is sponsored by:

LinkedIn — What does it take to elevate your business? Where do you go to find the best, qualified talent to build your team? Check out the LinkedIn Jobs app. Posting on LinkedIn Jobs is a snap and it is the go-to resource for team talent. Post your ad for free at

Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now? 

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.



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