The Nocturnists

The Nocturnists

The Nocturnists is an award-winning, independent medical storytelling podcast, hosted by Emily Silverman, MD. We share stories that aim to humanize the practice of medicine, support clinician wellbeing, and transform the healthcare system. Each episode brings the humanity of healthcare workers to the fore, from stories told at The Nocturnists live shows, to raw audio diary recordings in our special documentary series, to insightful conversations with authors and filmmakers whose work intersects with health and medicine. Welcome to our community.

Episodes

December 15, 2022 43 min

In this episode, Emily speaks with physician-painter Matthew Wetschler about pushing limits, the tension between presence and absence, and how he’s remained curious in the aftermath of crisis.

Find show notes, transcript, and more at thenocturnists.com.

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Emily speaks with physician and author, Dr. Gabor Maté about his latest book, The Myth of Normal, which explores the connections between our environment, psychological wounds, and medical disease.

Find show notes, transcript, and more at thenocturnists.com.

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December 1, 2022 38 min

In this episode, Emily speaks with physician, artist, and author, Shirlene Obuobi about fiction as escapism, and the stories behind her debut novel, On Rotation.

Find show notes, transcript, and more at thenocturnists.com.

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November 29, 2022 2 min

Hi Listeners! Today is Giving Tuesday, and we wanted to take this time to express our gratitude and let you know what’s coming up on The Nocturnists podcast. Thank you for supporting our work in transforming medical culture through storytelling. 

To learn more, head to thenocturnists.com.

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November 15, 2022 35 min

Over the last nine episodes, we’ve listened to dozens upon dozens of clinicians tell their stories about shame. What have we learned? What can we take away from all of this? And where do we go from here?

Find show notes, discussion guide, transcript, and more at thenocturnists-shame.org.

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November 8, 2022 32 min

According to medical culture, a clinician should “fix” illness, not have one – especially not a mental illness. But in reality, mental illness is incredibly common, and a huge source of shame, which may prevent us from seeking help. In this episode, we hear stories of sadness, “madness,” stigma, grief, and the potential for healing.

If you or someone you love needs help, please see our list of “resources” in the episode show notes ...

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November 1, 2022 33 min

When healthcare workers put on their uniforms to go to work, what other roles, masks, or disguises do they put on as well? The norms and standards of our workplace culture are often more implicit than explicit, but many of us still go to great lengths to present a curated version of self at work that fits into this unspoken code of conduct. The right mask, we tell ourselves, will win the respect and trust of our colleagues and prot...

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October 25, 2022 41 min

1 in 10 physicians will get sued at some point in their career – but physicians rarely discuss this, much less prepare for it. How do we bring litigation, and all the stress and shame associated with it, out of the shadows?

Find show notes, discussion guide, transcript, and more at thenocturnists-shame.org.

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October 18, 2022 34 min

For most clinicians, the idea of harming a patient is a worst nightmare. But in a high-stakes profession, practiced by humans in a dysfunctional system, errors are nearly inevitable. So how do we deal with the shame that follows?

Find show notes, discussion guide, transcript, and more at thenocturnists-shame.org.

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October 11, 2022 40 min

In medical culture, shame is often wielded as a teaching tool. We shame learners for not knowing, for forgetting, for making mistakes. When does this serve us? When is it harmful? Is there a better way?

Find show notes, discussion guide, transcript, and more at thenocturnists-shame.org.

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October 4, 2022 38 min

On the path to medicine, we’re constantly taking tests: MCAT, shelf exams, step exams, boards, and more. What are these numbers good for? What are they not good for? What is the emotional impact of these tests, and their scores, on medical learners?

Find show notes, discussion guide, transcript, and more at thenocturnists-shame.org.

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September 27, 2022 26 min

We all arrive at the gateway to medicine carrying baggage from our past. We’ve had different hopes, hurts, and childhood arcs. How do these early life experiences guide us toward our careers? And once we “arrive,” how do they impact the way we experience shame in the workplace?

Find show notes, discussion guide, transcript, and more at thenocturnists-shame.org.

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September 20, 2022 31 min

Medical culture is filled with impossible ideals: the resident expected to work a 28-hour shift without complaint or error; the surgeon with the steel bladder; the doctor with perfect bedside manner; the student with all the answers. How should a doctor look, act, think, speak, dress, feel? What should they value?

In this episode, we explore the concept of “The Ideal Doctor.” Where do these “ideals” come from? How are they communic...

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September 13, 2022 25 min

What is shame? And how does it manifest in medical culture? In this episode, The Nocturnists teams up with two shame experts to investigate these questions. From a pool of over 200 stories submitted to The Nocturnists from healthcare workers across the US, the UK, and beyond, we’ll explore the tension between who we are, and what the culture expects of us.

Find show notes, transcript, and more at thenocturnists-shame.org.

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A 10-part audio documentary series on The Nocturnists podcast, “Shame in Medicine: The Lost Forest” explores how shame manifests in medical culture.

Shame is ubiquitous in healthcare. Shame experiences in healthcare workers contribute to burnout, depression, suicidality, impaired empathy, disengagement from learning, social isolation, diminished physical wellness, unprofessional behavior, and altered professional identity formation...

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August 30, 2022 44 min

In this episode, Emily speaks with pediatrics resident Nina Shevzov-Zebrun about movement, medicine, and the creation of The Ten Tensions Project, which explores core dilemmas of the physician experience through photography and dance

The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim credit for this episode.

Find show...

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August 23, 2022 50 min

In this episode, Emily speaks with physician-author Danielle Ofri about the science of writing, the art of medicine, and the imperative of recognizing stories as a tool for healing.

The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim credit for this episode.

Find show notes, transcript, and more at thenocturnists.com.

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August 16, 2022 38 min

In this episode, Emily speaks with data scientist and author Cathy O’Neil about her book The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation, which investigates how society exploits the powerful emotion of shame.

The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim credit for this episode.

Find show notes, tran...

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August 9, 2022 47 min

In this episode, Emily speaks with documentary filmmaker and journalist David France about his films How to Survive a Pandemic (2022) and How to Survive a Plague (2012), and the role of storytelling in documenting public health crises and holding institutions accountable.

The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to c...

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In this special episode, Emily speaks with The Nocturnists’ Executive Producer, family medicine physician and abortion provider, Dr. Alison Block, who recently published an Op-Ed in The New York Times called "Why I Learned to Perform Second-Trimester Abortions for a Post-Roe America."

The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth...

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