Who I Am

This blog came about because in addition to being a pediatric surgeon, I am also a passionate educator and mentor. (It was actually my students who asked me to start this blog (thank you!) rather than just provide handouts on rounds on how to study, be healthy, and be whole.)

I started this blog in 2010 (wow… has it really been that long????) for three reasons:

First, I wanted a place to share information about how to really succeed in medical school and residency – not just academically, but personally as well.

The second reason I started this website was to publish a “tool kit” of specific ways to incorporate exercise, better nutrition, stress reduction, spiritual support, and other wellness habits into busy schedules. The faculty, residents and students I work with struggle with how to find time to take care of themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. (So do I, by the way!)… but there are techniques and strategies that can help all of us move closer to the goal of being fit, happy, and fulfilled.

The third, and maybe most important reason I started this blog was to have a way to talk about the joy of practicing medicine.  We are in a difficult time of transition in medicine, a time where it can be difficult to remember the meaning and purpose of this work. I hope sharing a little inspiration from time to time will  be a good antidote for those days we feel overwhelmed…

As I’ve thought about, studied, and written about the epidemic of burnout in medicine, I started to wonder if we might be dealing with a “spiritual deficit disorder” in medicine. Put a different way, as the practice of medicine has become more “corporate”, we’ve somehow been separated from the meaning of our work. Could that actually be an important part of the moral distress that leads to burnout? In order to better answer these questions and be better equipped to heal healers, I recently finished a Master of Divinity degree at Iliff School of Theology – and that’s where I am focusing my attention now that I have retired from practicing surgery. 

For information you might hear in the surgeon’s lounge (or in graduate school!) follow me on Twitter @drmlb (at least as long as I can put up with it..) I’m also on Bluesky and Instagram… also @drmlb .

I welcome guest posts, especially from medical students and residents.  Please contact me if you are interested!

Mary L. Brandt, MD, MDiv