The Surgeon General Wants To Connect With You | Dr. Vivek Murthy

KKH Trailer Wide


Dr. Vivek Murthy: [00:00:00] Knock, knock, 

Will: hi! Knock, knock, hi!

Hello, welcome to Knock, Knock, Hi! with the Glockenfleckens. I’m Dr. Glockenflecken, also known as Wolf Lanry. I’m 

Kristin: Lady Glockenflecken, also known as Kristen Flannery. 

Will: Still haven’t officially changed my name yet. I go back and forth. Sometimes I say Will Flannery and then also known as Glockenflecken. I know, I always 

Kristin: have to stay on my toes.

What’s more Pay attention to which way What’s more truthful? Oh gosh. I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, well, it depends on who you’re talking about also. Like, to me, you’re just always going to be Will, but That’s true. You know, other people know you 

Will: differently. We have a very exciting show. We do. We do.

Very exciting. We have Dr. Vivek Morthy. That’s right. 

Kristin: The U. S. Surgeon General, 

Will: Surgeon General, uh, and, and he’s not a surgeon, but that’s, that’s, it’s not a literal thing. It’s, it’s, it’s [00:01:00] just like, he’s like the most important top 

Kristin: doctor guy, 

Will: top doctor person. Absolutely. And, uh, and he has been just, uh, talking about a lot of really important issues, obviously, but one of those things that he’s.

He’s, uh, been talking about recently is the, um, loneliness. 

Kristin: Yes. Epidemic of 

Will: loneliness. Epidemic of loneliness. He’s been, he did recently did a college tour talking to young people, uh, about the importance of connection. Uh, and I’d really do think like you feel it, you feel, um, just with, with news stories, things you see on social media, it’s just like, we’re.

We’re just not as connected. The pandemic obviously plays a role in this, but, um, people seem to have each other’s throats a lot. 

Kristin: Yeah, just this greater sense of isolation, I think, might contribute to some of the division that we have in the country because we’re not connecting with each other. We’re just fighting each other.

So I 

Will: like the message. I think it’s an important one. So we talk to them a lot about 

Kristin: that. And it has a huge effect on people’s Physical health, [00:02:00] mental health, um, you know, it has a lot of relevance for people in the 

Will: healthcare field. And we also kind of soft launched my, uh, my public service campaign. Yeah.


Kristin: going to have to talk more about that. I don’t know that I 

Will: signed on to that. Hey, we’ll see. We’ll see what I run for. I don’t know. House of Representatives. Uh, President, 

Kristin: I mean, being on social media is one thing, but, 

Will: would you like to be first lady of Glockenflecken? 

Kristin: Who said it was gonna, why wouldn’t you be first man?

Will: figured I’d be running for president. Well. Would you be, you think you’d be a better president 

Kristin: than me? Oh absolutely, I would, yes. I think we need our audience to weigh in on this. But I am also, I am also smart enough to know that that would be a really miserable job. I’m not sure I would want to do 

Will: it.

Well, I, well, let’s, let’s see. Let’s, everybody, I want you to tell us who would be a better president as far as you can tell in these small, you know, morsels of conversation that you hear between 

Kristin: us. Yes, someone who sits in a room and puts on costumes and talks to themselves. Or, someone who [00:03:00] runs a business and our 

Will: life.

You’re already slandering me. We haven’t even gotten to a debate yet, and you’re already pulling out the big guns. I’m just stating facts. Okay, well, anyway, regardless of who would be a better president, me, uh, let’s, uh, one thing we have to address, though, before we get to the interview, is we had some technical difficulties.


Kristin: sure did. This made things quite interesting. 

Will: Um, so you guys, this might come as a surprise to you all, but sometimes government Wi Fi is not all it’s cracked up to be. So, uh, there were, there were a few technical issues, uh, over there in Washington, D. C., I suppose. And so we had to re record the second. A portion, like the last like 10 or 15 minutes of the interview, which we’re forever grateful for Dr.

Morthy’s team for, for, for coming back on a different day and recording this last little 

Kristin: section. That’s really just unbelievable. Like how lucky are we that we would 

Will: do that? Very nice. And so we really [00:04:00] appreciate that. But so you’ll notice, especially if you’re watching on YouTube, in between the two recording sessions, we, um, changed our.

Entire office. Yes, 

Kristin: we moved rooms. I’m wearing different clothing. So are you. We’re wearing different clothing. I think my hair is straight now and it was curly in the, I don’t know, something. Everything’s all 

Will: different. That’s the reason. That’s the reason. We tried to make it as seamless as possible. But, uh, you know, things happen in podcasting and we’ve learned some lessons from it.

Now we always have backup recording going. Well, we 

Kristin: did have backups, but there was even an issue with the backup. I mean, it got, it was. Horribly unlucky, but you know what? We, our producers are top notch, and Dr. Morthy was very generous with his time, and so everything came together. And if you’re listening on audio, you won’t even notice a thing, but if you’re watching on video, you will see us, you know, time travel.


Will: enjoy! Let’s get to it. Here’s Dr. Morthy.

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Nuance Dragon [00:05:00] Ambient Experience, or DAX for short. This AI powered ambient technology helps physicians be more efficient and reduce clinical documentation burden. To learn more about how DAX Copilot can help reduce burnout and restore the joy of practicing medicine, stick around after the episode or visit Nuance.

com slash Discover DAX. That’s N U A N C E dot com slash Discover D A X.

Doctor, uh, Morthy, thank you so much for joining us. It’s, it’s really a pleasure to, to get to speak with us. Uh, uh, get to speak with you. It’s a pleasure. Well, it 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: is a pleasure to speak with you 

Will: too. We are so happy 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: to have you. Thank you. And please call me Vivek. The way I’m informal. Okay. 

Will: Um, well, first thing, the first thing I wanted to ask you, and this may seem like a silly question, but, um, uh, do you like being Surgeon General?

Is that okay for me to ask? Yeah. Do you 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: enjoy this [00:06:00] job? I do enjoy it. Yeah, I do. It’s not a job I ever thought I would have to be honest with you, but, but I really do enjoy it. And at least something happens at least once a day. That makes me feel incredibly grateful to have the chance to serve in this post.

So yeah. No, I really do like it. Well, that was, uh, I was going to 

Will: ask you because, you know, uh, when we go into med school, like I had no idea what I wanted to do for my career. You know, I had no idea ophthalmology was even existed as a specialty when I started med school. 

Kristin: I can vouch for that. That’s true.

I was, I was there and I 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: saw. Exactly. Ah, okay. So you knew each other when you’re in, you’re going through med school. Oh yeah. We met 

Kristin: in college. That’s 

Will: right. Yeah. Oh, okay. She’s, she’s stuck by, uh, through all of it, through, um, through medical training, among other things as well. 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: But, um, So Kristen, was the, I gotta ask though, was the humor there in college or did it evolve thereafter?

Yeah, he 

Kristin: did some, actually all the way back to high school is when he started stand up comedy, but yeah, I got to see some of his early stand up shows while we were in college. And 

Will: it’s much better now. It’s come 

Kristin: a [00:07:00] long way. No, it was good then too, but definitely a different flavor back then. I 

Will: love it. So when, but when did you get set on the path to, to this position?

I’m curious, like how, how does that happen 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: exactly? Well, it didn’t happen by design. You know, I’ll tell you that when I was asked to serve, uh, or asked if I was interested in this position, it was at a time where I actually wasn’t even thinking of working in government, uh, much less, you know, serving in this specific position.

Um, and I, I was actually at the time I was practicing medicine, I was teaching. at Students in Residence and I was on the side working on a couple of other things on a technology venture to try to accelerate collaboration and research and I was doing some advocacy work to try to extend, extend sort of, you know, insurance coverage to more people.

You know, those are the kind of things I was doing on the outside. Uh, but what happened actually to me, interestingly, is, uh, I was coming off a red eye flight one day, uh, from L. A. back to Boston, uh, where I lived, and I was about to go home to go to sleep, but I [00:08:00] realized I had left my dry cleaning at the dry cleaners for like a week.

I was like, I should probably go make sure it’s still there. So I went and I ran, picked it all up, my hands are full, and right when I’m like walking to my car with my hands full, my phone rings, and it’s a 202 area code number. And I didn’t recognize the specific number, but I knew it was Washington, D. C.

But I just kept walking. I was like, I can’t, I can’t take this right now. Kept ringing and finally I just picked up the phone. And that ended up being a call from the White House asking me if I’d be interested in serving as Surgeon General. So, uh, I’ll tell you that despite not, um, being interested in a role in government and the truth is I had actually been approached about six months before that and about, uh, you know, about whether I had an interest in serving in the administration and I had actually declined at that time saying, you know, I can refer other people in like there are people I think are much more talented than I would like serve in policy positions, et cetera.

But I didn’t think that there was really a place for me. But there’s something very unusual. Uh, about this role, uh, in government, which is that it’s one of the few roles in the administration which is [00:09:00] truly independent, which means that your job is, is driven and shaped not by, uh, sort of politics or party, but by science and the public interest.

That’s supposed to be what, uh, you’re shapes what you do, what you say, what you prioritize. And you also, as Surgeon General, you do establish your own agenda based on what is in the interests of the, of the public. And that’s why I’ve been blessed to be able to choose issues like mental health that I think are really important that need to be focused on.

And so I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to be science driven, to be independent at a time where, gosh, we’ve got so many health crises going on in this 

Will: country. Yeah, I guess I didn’t realize that. I assumed that the, the, the issues, the topics that you, you talk about and that are focus of your job, it was part of the admission.

I didn’t know that it was kind of as independent as it is. So that’s, so how did you, so when you started the job, how did you decide what topics you wanted to, to really focus in on? [00:10:00] Obviously you, you know, things going on in the world, right? But were there things that are very, you know, I guess, um, very special to you 

Kristin: and your life.

Yeah, like if Will were Surgeon General, we’d all be talking about nothing but eyeballs. That’s 

Will: right. Yeah, I’d be on a rant against Visine, I’d be outlawing Visine, uh, which I, you probably don’t even have that, like, ability to outlaw things, but you know, you know what I’m saying. You’d be trying. But 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: that wouldn’t stop you, Will.

I understand. It would. Absolutely not. Yeah, that’s right. Well, and, you know, I’ll tell you then. Well, I had a list of things that I wanted to work on that I talked about during my, my Senate confirmation hearing the first time, you know, I did this job and, you know, while I had that list going in, it was driven in part by what I was seeing as a doctor, but also based on my read of public health data, trying to understand what’s causing the greatest amount of death, disease, and disability, like in our country.

And how can I. You know, to address those or contribute to that. [00:11:00] But then when I became Surgeon General, I decided, um, and I had a long time to think about what I wanted to do because my confirmation process the first time took a very long time. Uh, but when I began the job, finally, I realized that you know what I really want to do?

I said, as I just want to go. and listen to people and travel around the country and ask people like, what are they going through? What do they think is important? How could I be helpful? And that ended up being a really pivotal experience for me, that listening tour, because I heard about some things that you might expect.

Uh, like I heard a lot about the opioid epidemic and the addiction crisis more broadly, but the volume is even higher than what I may have imagined. But I also heard about things like, like e cigarettes, for example, from educators and parents who back in 2015, were really concerned that more and more kids were vaping, but there were no policies around it in schools and in communities because people didn’t know how to think about it.

But then I heard about issues I didn’t expect to hear about at all, which are issues like loneliness and isolation. [00:12:00] And this wasn’t just coming from. older adults who maybe worked at the, you know, later years of their life and who had lost a lot of family members and were living alone. I was hearing about loneliness from college students who are on campuses surrounded by thousands of other students, yet they felt like nobody really knew them for who they were and they felt profoundly alone.

So those conversations really helped shape what my agenda was. So my first term, for example, uh, back in 20, you know, 14, 15, 16, and early 17, I ended up focusing on e cigarettes, on the opiate epidemic, on broader issues related to emotional health and well being. And my time this, uh, second, you know, term as Surgeon General, I came in during the COVID pandemic.

So I certainly focused a lot on COVID in the beginning, but from the beginning, even before I started, I was particularly concerned about the silent toll it was taking on our mental health and about how that had, mental health had been a long struggle in our country for years with rising rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.

COVID was making it worse, but it wasn’t certainly the instigator of it. And so [00:13:00] I knew that I wanted to dig into that issue and into trying to help address some of the root causes of what was driving the mental health crisis. 

Kristin: Yeah, that’s something that’s very, I was going to say near and dear, but that’s the wrong terminology.

It’s something we are, we are deeply familiar with, um, because we’ve had a lot of, um, kind of in a, in a different way, but we’ve had a lot of major health crises as young adults. Um, you know, Will’s had cancer twice and, and a sudden cardiac arrest and, and I did CPR on him and all of that had a lot of really profound impacts on us, obviously, but it’s a very, especially as young adults, when you go into the hospital and you see all the brochures and you know, it’s people three times your age and it’s issues, it’s talking about issues that older people have, but not younger people and it’s leaving out issues that younger adults might have.

Like, what do we tell our children, for example, like it’s all a very isolating and lonely community. experience, you know, on top of all of the other things about our society that are creating a lot of loneliness. So [00:14:00] this is definitely something that I’m really interested. I’m so glad you’re doing, um, because I feel like, you know, physical health and mental health, at least within the healthcare system, they’re often looked at separately, or at least historically they have been, uh, but that distinction between them is really pretty arbitrary.

Um, I studied psychophysiology, uh, as an undergraduate and a graduate student. And so this is something that is like. I love it. You’re speaking my language and I’ve been on a soapbox about it forever. But can you talk a bit about, because our audience is largely healthcare workers, so can you talk a bit about, you know, what is medically relevant about social disconnection or loneliness?

And do we know any biological mechanisms that are kind of underpinning all of this or is it, is it just correlation, causation? What are we talking about here and how is it relevant for a medical audience? 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: Yeah, it’s a really important question and look, I think for [00:15:00] most people out there, most of our colleagues in the health field, they probably never really learned about loneliness or isolation in their training.

I certainly didn’t. Nick Agich, Shahnti Brooke, Omer Ben Zvi, Nick Agich, Omer Ben Zvi, Nick Agich, Omer Ben Zvi, And, you know, I could show up as a, as a human being and try to be kind and try to be empathic and listen as best I could. But in the back of my head, I was thinking, is there something else I should be doing here?

Is there, like, how concerned should I be? Like, is this a medical problem? Is this like, which I call social work? I just, I didn’t know what to do as a medical student and as a resident. And, you know, even though I was seeing it really commonly, it was only when I started doing a listening tour of Surgeon General that I realized, wait, hold on, this is not just something that I’m seeing in my clinical experience.

It’s not just something that I’ve. experience in my own life, which I have many times as a child and later as an adult, the [00:16:00] challenge of loneliness. I realized it was everywhere. So I started to dig into the science around it. I think 50 years ago, we thought about health as all physical. A couple of decades ago, there was more recognition that there’s a second dimension of health, which is mental health.

And now I think what we have got to recognize is that there is also a third dimension, which is social health. And our social health has a profound impact. on our mental and physical health. And so it’s a critical component we’ve got to pay attention to. 

Will: So you mentioned the, knowing that, you know, this problem has existed for quite a while, but the pandemic kind of put a spotlight on it in a lot of ways.

Kristin: Accelerated it. Accelerated. Like so many issues. Yeah. 

Will: And so how did you go about, you know, wanting to tackle this problem How do you navigate this, the big elephant in the room of, of the pandemic and, and fear and anxiety and that comes with that to, to develop a strategy to attack this problem and try to.

Kristin: Yeah, it feels like such a huge issue. Um, [00:17:00] you know, it feels like it can get discouraging to think about how many things. need to change. You know, we have a society that’s built around really incentivizing work over people sometimes in a healthcare system that, you know, is primarily focused on disease, not necessarily the people with the disease.

It just feels like such a Herculean task to try to overhaul all of this. So what are some Some manageable things that people can do to not be discouraged and to actually take action towards, towards making some progress on these fronts, especially healthcare 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: workers. Well, you’re right that addressing loneliness and isolation is a big challenge because there are a lot of societal underpinnings to the current crisis.

But the good news in my mind is that there are actually steps we can take in our day to day life that can help us start feeling more connected today, and we can build on those to then create greater connection in our workplace, in our schools, in our neighborhoods and communities. But in our own lives, for example, [00:18:00] just simply taking 10 to 15 minutes a day to reach out to and connect with somebody you care about.

It can make a profound difference in how connected you feel over time. Second, making sure that when you’re connecting with them, that you’re actually giving them your full attention. You’re putting devices away and just focusing on them. That really ups Did you hear that? That’s right. This is a common struggle.

That’s why you’re 

Will: talking directly to me. 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: I’m sweating over here. 

Kristin: Kristen did call you to say, the Surgeon General told you to put your phone away, next time I need to talk to you. 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: Well look, and it’s something, Kristen, I’ve got to remind myself of too, because from time to time I Catch myself talking to a friend, but then somehow, like my hand is reaching my pocket and I’m scrolling through my inbox or looking at the scores on ESPN or something, you know, these are the things that we do, but they did really diminish the quality of our interaction with one another.

And so just even me giving people the benefit of your full attention can really deepen, uh, that the experience of [00:19:00] connection. And the third thing that I’d recommend, this is like a very small, simple thing, is actually pick up the phone when your friends call, right? Now this seems like so basic, but a lot of times like If we’re busy, right, or if we’re not in the right space, whatever, we might just say, I’ll just call back later.

We silence the phone and then like we maybe put them on a list to call back when we have an hour of free time, right, which sometimes takes weeks or months or never happens. Um, I’ve certainly done that, but I’ve since realized in recent years that even if I just pick up the phone to say, Hey, It’s great to hear from you, Kristen.

Can I, can I call you back? I’m about to step into this podcast interview. Um, and then I hang up and it takes all of 10 seconds. Hearing your voice and you’re hearing my voice, it really does make a difference. Like we are so hardwired for a connection. We’re such magnets for it. And even a little bit of high quality connection.

can make a big difference in how we feel. And lastly, I’ll just tell you this. Look, I’m just finishing this college campus tour that I’ve been doing called our We Are Made To Connect tour, where we’ve been visiting college campuses around the country to [00:20:00] engage directly with young people on these issues of isolation and loneliness.

And we actually introduced them to some of these simple techniques, but there’s, we launched in the fall on these campuses something we called our 5 for 5 challenge, which is where we asked college students to take five acts of connection, one per day over five days. And they could be really simple.

Expressing gratitude to someone, extending support to someone, or asking for help. And we actually usually do the first day’s, you know, challenge actually right there in the room with them. It just takes 60 seconds. We ask everyone to think of someone that they’re grateful for. And what’s interesting is I usually will ask people, raise your hand if you have someone in mind.

Every hand goes up. Because everyone, regardless of how lonely or connected you feel, there’s somebody in your life at some point who’s done something for you that you feel grateful for. And then we actually ask them in that moment to actually pull out their phone and to compose an email or a text to that person and then to send it.

And then we ask them finally to turn the flashlight on their phone [00:21:00] after they’ve hit send and then to hold it up. And you see all of these rays of light go up, like in the room. And you start to realize that in 60 seconds, we can actually do a lot to actually help extend connection, uh, to other people and they feel good and we feel good.

This, this is how we start the process. of building connection. And we can then extend it to our workplaces. You know, I, I think about the, my residency training, for example, like I, I, I trained in internal medicine. It wasn’t an easy program. You know, I would say we worked long hours pretty hard, you know, um, just like most residency programs.

But I’ll tell you this, Every day when I came to work, I felt like I was coming to work with friends. And that’s because of the very intentional effort that was made to create the kind of culture where we got to know each other, we supported one another, we looked out for one another. Um, that really does make a difference.

You know, our relationships are natural buffers for stress. And at a time where people are dealing with so much stress in their lives, from work, from [00:22:00] trauma, from other sources, we need those relationships more than ever and we can start building them with these small, simple steps. I’m glad you 

Will: mentioned residency because, um, it’s Seems like we’re in a time period where it’s very hard for healthcare workers to get that connection, uh, with each other, the time constraints that people are under, uh, with staff shortages, but, but also, uh, just the, the healthcare system that we’re operating under and the, the, the documentation requirements and, um, and prior authorizations.

And, and so how, how do, what would you tell, you know, physicians, nurses who have these constraints, like how in healthcare in 2023, how do you navigate that? Yeah. How do you, how do you still maintain that connection with people in the face of, of 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: so many barriers? Well, it’s really important. I will say when I went through training, which [00:23:00] was now, you know, about about 20 years ago I would say that the the number of barriers to connecting with one another was less And so I really feel for folks who are going through training right now because I do think that the number of things you have To do outside of direct patient care have multiplied the number of prior authorizations You have to navigate, which frustrates me and I know many others to no end, uh, just the amount of non patient care related work and, and there often I don’t think is enough of a priority placed on protecting time for trainees to actually engage with one another and get to know each other.

That is really, really vital. But a couple of things I’d say to that, one is like to leaders of programs. residency program leaders, uh, and hospital system leaders. It’s really important that trainees not only hear directly from you about the importance of creating space to build social connection, but that you follow that up with actual space and time in the [00:24:00] schedule for people to know one another.

One of the things that my program used to do is on a regular basis, they would, they would actually allow or facilitate a small group of us to come together and to actually talk. through some of the challenges that we were encountering in the clinical setting and to whether it was, you know, a patient who had coded and we had lost and we were still struggling with how to process that, or a patient that we had had a difficult encounter with.

We were trying to figure out how to make sense of that. And so that, those circles were ones where we not only processed, but we actually bonded with one another. Uh, and that was really vital. So, but that only happened because their program made it a priority and carved out time and space. Right. Now, there’s a setting where somebody could look at that and say, Hey, you could have been taking care of patients during that one hour that you’re getting together.

You could have been attending a Grand Rounds lecture. Look, why, there could have been other educational value here, but that’s where I think we have chronically underestimated how powerful and important those bonds are that we build one another. It’s a, it’s not a nice to have. It’s really a necessary. [00:25:00] to have.

And finally, just for individuals who are going through this who may not have a program yet that has this kind of time and space, I would just remind you that if you are feeling kind of lonely and disconnected from folks in your training program, it is highly unlikely you are the only one who is going through this.

I know it seems like to all the rest of the, you know, the world, like everyone’s doing fine. They’re posting happy pictures on social media. They’re talking about like the great events and parties they went to and how great life is. But we have now, we now have good data that tells us that Behind the scenes, under the surface, people really are struggling.

In fact, often the majority of people with some sense of loneliness and isolation. If you can even start to reach out and talk about this with even one, uh, you know, residency classmate, um, you can help open up a conversation that could be powerful for both of you. and arguably a conversation that could happen amongst more of your classmates.

And that itself could help build the kind of community that we so desperately need, especially when we’re going through stressful experiences like training. It’s 

Kristin: kind of a catch [00:26:00] 22. I mean, when I, when we were, when, when he was in training and I was there too, um, you know, it’s, You have to kind of, um, it’s, it’s sort of counterintuitive because in order to create community, especially with medical training, where you move around so much and all of your social connections are upended and you have to make new ones, you know, it is.

It feels like you’re just alone and it’s counterintuitive that you should reach out to other people. If you want a community, it actually works best to try to create it, right? And then it’s, it’s reciprocal. So you feel like you’re waiting for people to reach out to you, but actually if you reach out to others, then very often they will reciprocate and now you have something that’s starting to build.

Dr. Vivek Murthy: That is so well put, uh, Kristen. You’re exactly right because, and this is actually a somewhat counterintuitive thing about social connection is that it’s when we, we may feel lonely and isolated ourselves, but when we actually look to help others and serve [00:27:00] others, it actually helps us address us. our own loneliness because we forge a bond with them but we also rest remind ourselves that we have something of value to bring to the rest of the world.

I remember coming in to route pre round one day during internship and I had like I had some sort of like sinusitis or upper respiratory infection something was like But you know, I didn’t have a fever and I wore a mask hoping that I wouldn’t infect anyone else. And I just came in because in those days, like everyone, there wasn’t always a whole lot of backup.

You had to come to work. And I remember when I was pre rounding, one of my co interns saw me like, kind of, you know, limping along having a bit of a hard time. And I remember he pulled me aside for a moment just to say, Hey man, are you okay? Like, do you need anything? Can I get you something from the cafeteria?

Do you, do you want me to pre round on this patient for you? Do you want me to pull the vital signs for you so at least that’ll make your note easier? Like, he was just asking me, like, how could he help me? He probably spent in total about two minutes with me. Nick Agich, Aron Reuben [00:28:00] Korney, Shahnti Brooke, Rob Goldman, Omer Ben Zvi, Nick Agich, Nick a powerful two minutes.

And that is like one of the blessings that I try to remember is that it’s not about quantity of time that we spend with people. It’s about the quality of time and our interactions. Uh, when I was in medical school, I remember a classmate of mine, her father got sick. And he needed surgery and we were all, you know, the four of us, I remember in our clinical group, we were all, you know, concerned about her and we were also curious about what her dad’s experience was like.

And so we asked, I remember after he got through the surgery and everything, we asked her, hey, who was his favorite doctor in the hospital? We’d heard all the stereotypes, you know, of different doctors, and we want to know which one, like, who did he bond with? And to our surprise, he said, um, she said, she said, the surgeon was his favorite out of everyone who came to see him, like the internist, the cardiologist, everyone.

And we’re like, wow, we heard, we had heard that surgeons don’t have a lot of time for [00:29:00] patients that they primarily want to be in the operating room. Um, that was a stereotype, just to be clear. And she said, oh, no, no, he only saw my dad for five minutes and it was at like 430 in the morning, like when he was bleary eyed.

So we were like, well, what gives then? Like how, how did he bond? And she said, it’s what he did in those five minutes that really mattered. He didn’t stand at the doorway. He came in, he sat on the bed next to my father. He held his hand. He looked into his eyes. He actually listened to what my father said and responded to my father’s questions as opposed to driving his own agenda.

And at the end of that, my father felt like that five minutes was 30 minutes and it was what he looked forward to most every day. And that has stuck with me all these years later as just a reminder that those few minutes that we have, that we, where we choose to look out for someone, ask someone how they’re doing, express solidarity and support with someone, that can go a long way toward helping them not feel alone and helping us feel the same.[00:30:00] 

I, I relate so 

Will: much to several of your stories there. Um, when I was in residency, I was a chief, uh, no, I was, uh, yeah, it was my final year of residency. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, this is my second time with it. And I, you know, I had that typical, like, physician mindset, I can’t 

Kristin: take a day off from work.

Are you kidding me? I told him, it was lunchtime, I was like, come on, just have someone cover for you, we need to go. 

Will: I’m not gonna put that on somebody else, that was my, my thinking, right? And so I, I walk out of radiology having just received this diagnosis. Like literally minutes before. And I, I have like the on call pager.

And the pager goes off and like, I, like, like, you know, a minute ago I was told I, I was having, I had to have surgery and all this other stuff. And um, and it was a terrible trauma case in the emergency department. And I, I just, I kind of broke down. I just started crying. I was like, I can’t, I can’t handle this.

And fortunately one of the [00:31:00] fellows in the ophthalmology department was, was with me. And he, uh, he’s like walking by at that time and he saw me, knew something was wrong. And he just offered to take the pager from me. He said, like, go home. And, and I still think about that. And I will for a long time. I still tell people about that story.

And it’s, it’s You’re so right. It doesn’t take much time at all. Uh, and, and it can be a life changing moment for people. And it also does start at the top, right? The, the program directors, the people who are in leadership positions, like they have to set that example because that’s how, that’s how the trainees, that’s how med students, they come up, they see those examples and, and they’re going to take away a lot from that.

I had a program director. Who, with, when I had that cancer diagnosis, he like offered to, to babysit our kids for us. 

Kristin: And he told him to go watch Mary Poppins with our [00:32:00] four year old because we needed a little bit of magic right then. I mean, it was the kindest thing. 

Will: He set an example and, and, and that is, that is what we need, uh, uh, to, to, to just keep this idea, keep this, uh, this campaign going forward to try to, to.

You know, improve, um, this 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: loneliness issue. Those are beautiful stories, by the way. I mean, just, I had chills when you talked about the, your, your colleague asking, saying I’ll hold a pager and your program director babysitting. I mean, you know, I’ll tell you the, one of the things that I am struck by is how powerful these moments of kindness are yet how.

little we seem to value kindness as a source of strength, right? Like even I think about the terminology in training that we often use, like, I don’t know if you guys use the term strong work, which people would say all the time, like, Oh, yeah, right. Yeah. Strong work. Strong work. Of course. So I think [00:33:00] about what we used to apply that to.

Right? Like, when somebody, like, clinched a diagnosis and wanted a report, we’d say strong work. When somebody ran a good code, we’d say strong work. When somebody remembered, uh, like the, the, you know, the, the article, like in the literature, uh, that supported a particular, you know, therapeutic decision, we’d say strong work, right?

Right. But we didn’t often enough, like, recognize, like, the person who went in to the very difficult, complicated family situation and sat there and patiently listened to a patient and their family who were frustrated and, and got everyone to a point, uh, where they were at peace, you know, and willing to move forward together and feel like they were on a team again.

Like, these, like, These moments, which we often dub as soft skills, you know, of talking to a patient, being kind, being empathic, being understanding. There’s nothing soft about those skills, right, they are incredibly valuable, they’re central, uh, to our effectiveness, I think, as clinicians, but also to our [00:34:00] effectiveness as colleagues.

And so I, I would love to see a culture where we redefine strength, uh, not, not solely as you know, how many papers I can publish and remember and how much information I can cram into my head, but also as my ability to reach down into my heart and bring forward the kind of kindness and empathy that we need to truly heal.

Kristin: Yeah, I always say in my work, keynote speaking and writing, I always say, you know, remember, it’s what I told him as a med student, uh, and since then, you know, remember that before you are a physician or a nurse or a, you know, nurse practitioner, whatever you are, before you are that, before you are the surgeon general.

You are a human. Yes. If you just think about it that way of not how would I interact with this person? You know professional to patient but how would how would I interact with this person just human to human and typically, you know That’s all it takes and it’s usually like we’ve been saying a very short easy thing to do just asking How are you while [00:35:00] making eye contact for example?

and I think that that I know, at least in my experience, that goes a 

Will: long way. Yeah. Let’s, let’s take a short break and we’ll be right back with Dr. Morthy.

Hey everybody, exciting announcement. Do you want to tell them or should I? Oh, you can. I’m so excited. Due to popular demand, we’re adding more live shows in California. Sunday, March 10th, we’ll be at the San Jose Improv and on Sunday, March 24th, we’re returning to the Irvine Improv to share our amazing story.

Yeah, we’ll talk about that time 

Kristin: you died. And came back to life. It’ll be a tragicomic, multimedia, memoir, stage show, extravaganza! 

Will: You gotta check it out. To buy tickets, click the link in the description below, or you can go to glockenflecken. com slash live. We’ll see you there! Kristen, are you familiar with AI?


Kristin: I have not been living under a rock. 

Will: There are AI tools for everything now. That’s right. Well, guess what? We have Precision. [00:36:00] This is the first ever EHR integrated infectious disease AI platform. This is super cool. For any specific patient, it automatically highlights better antibiotic regimens. It empowers clinicians to save more lives while reducing burnout, just makes their life easier.

That’s pretty cool. Yeah. And also antibiotic stewardship. Yeah. Really cool things. To see a demo of this, go to precision. com slash KKH. That’s precision spelled with an X instead of an E. So PRX. C I S I O N dot com slash K K H.

So we’ve talked a lot about, uh, the importance of human to human connection, Dr. Morthy, and, and obviously that’s so important for, for healthcare workers to feel connected with each other, but also with patients. But I know a lot of people feel like it’s just becoming increasingly more difficult to achieve that, uh, in the, in, you know, in the line of work as in [00:37:00] healthcare.

And so what do you think that we can do from a policy standpoint to help make it easier for healthcare workers to have connection and maintain connection with patients? You know, we’ve talked about like Pryoroths and, and, and some of the stressors that we have, but where do we 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: go from here? Well, I think this is such an important question because the connection that clinicians have with their patients and with each other is a huge part of what fuels us in, in the work that we do and cutting off that fuel, uh, is a, is a recipe for burnout.

And I do think that that is what we are seeing. I think there are a number of things that we have to do from a policy perspective to more broadly support clinician wellbeing. And some of this will feed into human connection as well. I think number one, like we have to start rigorously, transparently and consistently The well being of clinicians in our health systems.

You remember that old saying that many of us were taught in medical school, if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t matter. And you can’t manage what you don’t measure. That is true here as well. You know, if we truly believe this is important, the well being of [00:38:00] clinicians, we’ve got to measure, we’ve got to be transparent about it.

The second thing we’ve got to do is recognize that safety is a really important and critical part of any work environment. And right now, a lot of clinicians don’t actually feel safe in their work environment. 80 percent of clinicians during the height of COVID actually said that they had been verbally or physically abused at work.

That is an extraordinary number. We’ve got to have better provisions in our workplaces to not tolerate that kind of violence or zero tolerance policy in general that helps protect clinicians from harm. For Another thing that we’ve got to do though is we’ve got to recognize that a lot of the stressors that clinicians are, are experiencing, they can hit us all in different ways.

Some can, uh, result in, in burnout. Some can, some forms of, of, of stress, and I would say even trauma can result in, in PTSD. We have a range of impacts on clinicians that we’ve got to account for and also make mental health care available, uh, to clinicians. The clinicians are, Yes, they may be busy. Yes, they may be caring for other people.

It doesn’t mean they don’t [00:39:00] need care themselves. And right now, what many clinicians, you know, tell us around the country is that a lot of times that care isn’t even available. And even when it is in theory available, practically speaking, their cultural norms are against seeking that care. Right? And you and the three of us may remember, like, early days of work hours restrictions when, in theory, the work hour restrictions were on the books.

In practice, the culture was not set up for people to actually follow those restrictions. And in fact, there’s a lot of pressure not to, to work long hours, but just to put down, uh, 80 hours on your weekly log. 

Will: Yeah, that, that pressure is still there. I feel like that’s, it’s still, uh, you know, it’s hard, it feels hard to, to change the priorities of our healthcare system sometimes, you know?

Like, we still have a big focus on, on billing above all else, above, above working those, those long, long hours. 

Kristin: Well, and now we have private equity coming along too, and a lot of consolidation, and, and that contributes, I think, to being, making it more [00:40:00] difficult for, for any sort of priority from the physician’s standpoint, you know?

Will: So, to your point, it does seem like it’s not just going to happen by itself, right? That’s right. We have to, it has to be a focused, like, assertive effort to make these changes 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: happen. It has to be a focused effort from leadership in healthcare institutions, in policymaking bodies, which is why I think the presence of clinicians in those bodies is so vital and can’t be replaced.

It’s also going to take a lot of advocacy from a grassroots perspective to ensure that healthcare systems and policymakers know that they have to respond to these extraordinarily important needs. I mean, you were saying, Kristen, about private equity. This is like, The thing about healthcare that I think is obvious, I think, to many people listening to this podcast, but doesn’t seem reflected in how we manage healthcare, is that the value that clinicians deliver is about so much more than dollars and cents.

I’m not saying that dollars and cents don’t matter, we need to be able to have the resources to pay for [00:41:00] gloves and gowns and procedures and equipment. I get that. But if that’s only where we see the value, then we are missing just the human component of care. Like how do you put a price tag on helping a patient feel more at peace with their diagnosis, with the relief a family member feels when they know they have a partner, like in their care, when they know that they’re not alone.

These are Powerful elements of healing that aren’t captured, uh, in a spreadsheet, uh, that someone may be doing if they’re just trying to assess, you know, expense and revenue, uh, for an organization. And so I think le having clinicians in leadership is so important to keep some of those priorities clear and straight.

But last two things I’ll mention to you, which I think are really important, is I do think it’s essential that we change the quality of work that clinicians are experiencing. Uh, you know, there are, there’s no clinician I’ve encountered who said, you know, I really dreamed of going into medicine as a child so that I could chart.

That’s really what it’s about for me. Like, nobody says that, right? Like, we do these things because, um, you know, we have to [00:42:00] and we, we need to, you know, we obviously need to keep good medical records. We want that to be available to people afterward. Um, but the sheer imbalance in the system right now has gotten extreme.

You know, when I issued a, uh, Surgeon General’s advisory on health worker burnout in 2022, one of the things that, and points I noted was that, uh, was a study actually that showed for every two hours. Uh, that clinicians were spending with, uh, with administrative work, they were only spending one hour with direct patient care.

That’s not the right ratio here, right? And it leads clinicians to miss the, you know, the quality of work that patient care brings, the fulfillment and sustenance and connection with patients that it brings. But patients are also wondering, why can’t I spend more time with my clinician? Uh, and they’re not always clear, like where the attention is being diverted.

So the quality of work matters, and that means addressing prior authorizations, which just sucks so much of the time and soul out of the practice of medicine. And a lot of times, they’re put in place, uh, to restrict certain procedures or medications. And I get [00:43:00] that you want to, you want to make sure that things are being prescribed or utilized for the right reason.

That makes sense. But I think we’ve gone well beyond that, to a place where it has now become obstructive and damaging to care, which is one of the reasons it was one of the most important changes that we called for in our advisory, and we’re happy now to be working with CMS, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is also now trying to push further along in advancing this effort to reduce prior authorizations, and we need the private sector, private payers to follow suit.

Finally, I think the issue of how we build connection, it’s influenced by all of these by the way. If you don’t have the energy to spend, uh, you know, time and build connection with patients because your time and energy being sucked by administrative tasks that are duplicative, that are not contributing to patient care, that impacts your ability to connect, uh, with patients.

But I think we can proactively do things. That, like, whether it’s helping to build and support, uh, peer support groups, like within the clinical system, whether it’s creating opportunities for clinicians, [00:44:00] especially in leadership levels, to talk openly about some of the challenges that they, uh, have had and are currently having and to actually help and support one another in that process of overcoming those challenges.

We need to build more fellowship, more community, and that, that’s got to come from the top as well. You know, that can be something we all do as clinicians ourselves, reaching out more, being, uh, you know, to others, supporting other clinicians who may be having a hard time, and just fundamentally recognizing that we’re not the only ones who are struggling, a lot of clinicians are.

But leadership in healthcare institutions have to also support this, have to make it a priority. Um, and if they do, then I do think that we can build a strong, vibrant community of clinicians who can do better and more fulfilling and effective work and who can build the kind of connections with each other and with patients.

I think we 

Kristin: also have some models within the government that maybe we can look to for, you know, lessons learned, whether it was, here’s some, some great things to do, or here’s, you know, the way not to do it. But the, the issue of physician mental health after the pandemic during and after, it reminds me so much of [00:45:00] PTSD in, you know, combat, you know, in soldiers and things like that.

And, and they would come back, you know, decades ago and, and we didn’t even have the word for it. for that, for what that was. Um, certainly no support, but, and there’s definitely still a ways to go on that front, but we also have come a long way in understanding that condition and understanding that those people need support.

And it’s, it’s very similar in my mind for physicians in the pandemic, the things that everyone saw and had to do and the ways that they were affected and their families were affected in the amount of loss. and tragedy and grief and all of these things. Um, you know, I think there, that it has some commonalities with that, that we could look to, to maybe look for some solutions as 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: well.

I think you’re right, Kristen. I think there’s a lot we can learn, uh, from how we manage the trauma and the pain that soldiers go through. There’s actually a lot of overlap, I think, between, uh, the experience of, of soldiers and clinicians in the following way. Uh, you know, I think both individuals who often approach their [00:46:00] job with a sense of mission.

Uh, who often have to, uh, endure very difficult circumstances, especially if you’re going into, you know, the theater of war, um, and who have to witness human suffering, uh, at levels that are unusual, and have to also experience pain themselves, uh, in the course of that work. All of that. And finally, when you experience all of that, and don’t always feel like people around you understand what you’re going through and you can’t talk openly about it.

Uh, that is really a setup for suffering. And I think that suffering we are seeing not only among, uh, so many of our soldiers who are struggling with PTSD, but among many of our clinicians as well. And to your point, Kristen, if we were going to take a page out of a book and try to understand, well, what has worked, what has been working in terms of caring for soldiers with PTSD, you know, I think one of the things we’ve had to do is to help, is to, to try to address number one, the stigma around mental health, which prevents people from talking openly about it.

And I think that stigma exists in medicine too. We don’t talk as openly among our colleagues [00:47:00] about our own struggles, whether it’s with mental health specifically, or more broadly, our struggles with burnout and with coping, uh, with what we’re going through. But I think the other thing that was really important was to make sure that we get treatment and support available to people as quickly and as easily as possible, which means that you shouldn’t have to make 15 calls and wait three months to get.

An appointment to see somebody who can help you with your mental health. Uh, there should be a no wrong door policy here. And many of the feedback, a lot of feedback we were getting from nurses and doctors, you know, from around the country was that, you know, sure, I’d be happy to go see a clinician, but like, when am I supposed to do that?

I’m working 16 hours a day. Uh, when am I supposed to take care of my mental health? Some of them said, if you had a place where I could go in the hospital, Uh, a private room where I could have a telemedicine appointment and talk to a counselor, you know, like, right after my shift, right before my shift or on my break.

I would do that. They said, that’s not the problem. The problem is the logistics. So I think you’re right that there are lessons that we can learn from other sectors. And this, I think, should be our moment as a country to [00:48:00] recognize that our clinicians, the people we have tasked with helping to heal those who are struggling, that they too need healing.

They too need support. They’re human, uh, as well. And so we owe it to them, I think, to provide. that immediate support, but also to build a better healthcare system that can let them do what they came here to do, which is to spend time with patients, to take care of them, and ultimately to build the kind of therapeutic relationships that I dreamed of when I was a young child thinking about going into medicine.

God, I 

Will: love that. Yep. Man. All right. Well, uh, again, we want to thank you so much. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll wrap things up here, but, um, uh, before we go, I do want to mention again, the five for five connection challenge and, uh, and mentioned just, uh, where can people find information about this and, and bring it into their own lives?

Dr. Vivek Murthy: Oh, well, thanks for mentioning this. I’ve been so excited about this challenge. People can find more information about it at surgeongeneral. gov slash challenge and I’ll tell you what it is. The 5 for 5 challenge is where I have been challenging college students and now the whole [00:49:00] country to take one active connection each day for the next five days.

And that could be asking someone for help, it could be expressing gratitude, it could be extending support to someone who’s in need. Uh, but these simple actions, you could take it 30 seconds or a minute each day, but if you do them, you know, consistently over the course of five days, they will leave you feeling better.

Um, and I’ll tell you that one of the things that we do when we’re on college campuses is I often ask the students to take on the challenge, but to start it right there, uh, in the room while we’re together. Uh, and they can do that. And in fact, for folks who are listening right now, you can do that right now as well.

And by thinking about somebody in your life that you’re grateful for, uh, it could be anybody. Uh, it could be a friend who helped you out last week. It could be a family member who showed up for you at a time when you had lost faith in yourself and were just really doubting, uh, whether you had what it took.

Uh, it could be somebody who helped you at a time where you, you fell short and you failed. Uh, and they helped you to see that, you know what, they still believed in [00:50:00] you, that you still had what it took to move forward and that that failure didn’t define you. Whoever that person is, just think about that person for a moment.

Just think about how you felt when they showed up for you. Uh, think about how they lifted you up and how they believed in you. And then just take out your phone and we’re going to, you know, this is a way to use technology for good. And just compose a text message or an email to that person and just write, send them a very quick note.

It could be a single line. It could just say, Hey, I’m thinking about you and is remembering how you showed up for me that time when I was really having a tough time. Thank you for being in my life. It could be literally that simple. And then just click send. This is what we do. We are very grateful 

Kristin: that you have spent some time with us today.

Dr. Vivek Murthy: Absolutely. 


Kristin: appreciate that. And then again, with our technical difficulties, so thank you for, for putting up with 

Will: that. It’s no problem. And, and, and I, I will say if I, if I spent any more time talking to you, I might just have to run for office. Oh boy, oh my gosh. [00:51:00] I’m warning you now, Kristen. He’s, he’s, I’m feeling, I’m feeling pretty patriotic right now.

I don’t know. Oh my gosh, 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: if Kristen here gives you the green light, if Kristen 

Kristin: you might have to give me your wife’s phone number and uh, have to have a chat about that. 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: Just own it out there. I think we could use more people like both of you in government and in office. So, if you’re so inclined, I think it would be huge.


Will: you’re the one. I’ll just, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll be the, I’ll support you. Why don’t we get I mean, 

Kristin: that’s the real secret behind all of this. He’s just the pretty face. I’m really the brains behind the operation. That’s right. 

Will: All right, well, thank you again so much, Dr. Morthy, it was a pleasure to talk with you.

Dr. Vivek Murthy: Oh, so good to talk to you both as well. I’m so glad we did this.

Will: Hey, Kristen. What’s up? Name something that’s like crusty and flaky. 

Kristin: A delicious 

Will: croissant. I appreciate your optimism. Yeah. Yeah, you know what I was thinking? What? Demodex blepharitis. 

Kristin: That is not as delicious. 

Will: Do you know what these little guys are? What? These are [00:52:00] demodex mites. 

Kristin: Yeah, that’s not fun. They’re cute 

Will: though, aren’t they?

Those ones are cute. If you have red, itchy, irritated eyelids, you might be surprised to find out that it’s a disease called demodex blepharitis caused by these little guys, demodex mites. Do you ever see those in your clinic? Yeah, occasionally. It’s not 

Kristin: uncommon. Are they that cute when you see them under the microscope?

Will: Not quite. Alright, but you can make an appointment with your eye doctor and get an eyelid exam where they can help you know for sure if what you’re suffering from is demodex blepharitis. To find out more, go to EyelidCheck. com, again that’s E Y E L I D Check. com to get more information about demodex blepharitis and these little guys, demodex mites.

Okay. Let’s take a look at a story that was sent in by a listener. All right. We got a one that’s I’m, I know I’m going to love it. I haven’t read it yet, but I, I’ve read, I’ve seen the first line of it. Okay. [00:53:00] You’ll, you’ll understand pretty soon why I like it so much. So this is from, uh, uh, uh, Lori. A fan, Lori.

Okay. Says, hi doc, three years ago my retina detached. Oh, there it is. There it is. I had the floaters, the flashes of light, and then the dreaded black curtain started. That’s, that’s definitely, that’s retinal detachment written all over it. I immediately see my ophthalmologist. He says you have a giant tear in your retina.

Macula is on, so what that means is that’s, the macula is the center of your retina. Okay. If the macula is off, like it’s detached. Even worse. It, it actually means you can wait a little longer to reattach it. Oh. If the macula is on. It makes no sense. Well, because if the macula is on, that means it’s detaching and you don’t want it to spread to the macula.

Okay. So you gotta go quickly to try to prevent the macula from detaching. Okay. So anyway, just think macula on is like more of an emergency for something that’s already an emergency. Okay. 

Kristin: Alright. And so that’s what [00:54:00] this 

Will: person has. Yes. So they said, uh, the, the doctor said, uh, giant tear, macula on, you need to have surgery today.

Today. I need to send you to the only surgical group in Santa Barbara that works on retinas. They will be doing the surgery. I head over there and get the tests and a prescription for some pre and post surgical meds and am told to go to the hospital’s eye surgery building. at five o’clock in the afternoon.

Kristin: Well, now that’s, that’s odd, right? Five o’clock surgery for an 

Will: ophthalmologist. It’s an emergency. You got to do it. All right. Fast forward several days later. My insurance says we can’t cover this claim because you didn’t get a prior authorization. And further, the surgical group that you should have gone to are in Los Angeles.

Yes, they expected me to drive to L. A. as I am actively going blind. This all happened on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. So you can imagine the traffic. Yes. How ridiculous is this? Very ridiculous. So ridiculous. And it’s not, I’ve heard stories just [00:55:00] like that. Yeah. Even like 

Kristin: more egregious. There’s no common sense built into this.

Will: I heard a story of a, of a firsthand from somebody in Colorado, uh, who they had to send. A pediatric patient for a transplant. To California, even though there was a team in Colorado that does it, but because of insurance and who they, they contract with had to be sent across the country. That is 

Kristin: so stupid.

And how is that good for patient care? You know, making this transplant wait. Laura, you’re getting us riled up here. That was a comedy podcast. 

Will: Thank you for that story. And it’s horrible. We hate it. Uh, but, but thank you for sending it. And you can send us your stories. knockknockhighathuman content. com. Um, thank you all for joining us.

What a fantastic episode. Fantastic guest, Dr. Vivek Morthy. 

Kristin: That’s right. And you know, who knew back in sixth grade when you were cutting up in your mom’s class and she wrote you up and you had to get your [00:56:00] disciplinary report signed by your dad. Who? would have known that one day the U. S. Surgeon General would say, keep up the laughing, keep doing what you’re doing.

So, you could say, take that, mom! 

Will: I mean, yeah. It’s, uh, it really was, it’s cool. I mean, because we collaborated once before on a video about burnout, and that was a lot of fun. It was a challenge because we’re trying to, you know, edit together a video and we’re in two different places, but right So it was that was a lot of fun And so to hear that he wanted to you know, come on our podcast like I was like, yes, let’s do it 

Kristin: Yeah, it was very cool.

Very honored to have him as a guest and important work that he’s doing 

Will: Yeah, absolutely. So, um, I still think I could be a Surgeon General one 

Kristin: day. I don’t want to do that. 

Will: I could be the first ophthalmologist 

Kristin: general. Internet comedian ophthalmologist 

Will: general. The ophthalmologist Surgeon General. There you [00:57:00] go.


Kristin: Oh, I don’t know why that just did a thumbs up, because I feel like a big thumbs down on that idea. No, you’re not a fan. No. 

Will: We’re looking at our screen here and it’s doing funny things. Anyway, um Let us know, we want to know what you thought about this episode. Do you, do you, did you enjoy hearing about, um, about mental health issues?

I think that’s a really important, uh, thing that maybe we don’t touch on as much as we should. Yeah, 

Kristin: I think there should be more on that in medical training and education for sure. I mean, look, the brain’s a part of your body. It’s all your body doing things. It’s right there. In your body. It’s all healthcare.

Will: I didn’t get, uh, we didn’t get to a game. We didn’t do a game with Dr. Morphine, but 

Kristin: maybe next time. We want to, there was too much good stuff happening. We wanted to hear about it. That’s right. 

Will: Uh, he’s like, so, I’m sure he’s so busy too. Yeah. Like, what am I doing the rest of the day? 

Kristin: Yeah, seriously, you’re going to scratch your dog’s stomach for a while.

Maybe have a nap on the couch, like maybe dress up in a [00:58:00] costume 

Will: later. Oh, I will. We do have to, we have to take some pictures for a live show, by the way. So anyway, uh, lots of ways you can hit us up. You can reach out to us by email knock, knock high at human dash content. com. We’re on all the social media platforms.

Hang out with us in our human content podcast, family Tik TOK at human content pods. Thank you to all the listeners leaving wonderful feedback and reviews. Don’t you love those reviews? I it’s great. It’s 

Kristin: nice to hear what people think. I always want to know what 

Will: people. Oh, yeah Yeah, if you subscribe and comment on your favorite podcasting app or on YouTube and give you a shout out like today we have Francis Bowman on YouTube said this was the episode I needed this morning.

Love Dr. J Maxx’s initiatives around music and medicine. 

Kristin: Yes, that was a good one. 

Will: Talk about high energy. Oh yeah, that guy. God, I wish I had that kind of energy. Uh, and keep sending us things, you guys. Keep sending us your stories and your jokes and your guest ideas. We love seeing those things and you can, uh, uh Do a little, uh, [00:59:00] uh, comment on, uh, on YouTube or on TikTok.

I mean, I’m, I’m, I see those. Yeah, and so if you have 

Kristin: guest ideas, let us know. Spotify, Apple Podcasts, anywhere really that 

Will: you find us. Full video episodes are up every week on my YouTube channel at Deagle Ockham Flecken. We have a Patreon, lots of cool perks, bonus episodes where we react to medical shows and movies and hang out with other members of the Knock Knock High community.

We are a growing community. Uh, the top ten fastest growing communities in the United States. 

Kristin: Now I feel like that’s uh, perhaps the liberty you’ve taken. 

Will: We’re, we’re getting, uh, we’re, we’re, uh, applying for a township. Uh huh. Uh huh. Yep. Uh, zoning laws, you know, we got to deal with those. We’re, I mean, it’s, we’re a very quickly growing community.

Yeah. Huge. We’ve 

Kristin: got some, some urban Lots of Growth, some urban 

Will: planning going on, development issues. Absolutely. It’s, it’s kind of a logistical nightmare, but we’re, we’re, we’re getting there. We’re we’re doing, please join us. So early ad free episode access, interactive [01:00:00] Q and a live stream events, much more patreon.

com slash Glockenfleck. And we’re going to Glockenfleck. com. Speaking of Patreon community perks, new members, shout out to Shelly S and C10K.

Oh, well, 

Kristin: that’s interesting. Typo. 

Will: Maybe not. Mm. 

Kristin: I’m just gonna say it. This sound, it makes me think it’s like Christine, but, but they shortened 

Will: it. Christine, oh C yeah. Christine. K maybe. 

Kristin: CT or no, C-C-T-I-N-E-K-K-A-Y. Whoever you 

Will: are, we so happy. Please tell us how to pronounce your name. So happy to have you.

Thank you. Uh, shout out to all the Jonathans, as always. Patrick Licia. C, Sharon, S Omar, Edward, K, Stephen, G, Jonathan, f Marion, W, Mr. And Daddy. Caitlin. C Brianna. L Leah. DK, L. Rachel, L Keith. GJJH, Derek. And. Mary H, Susanna F, Mohamed K, Aviga, Parker, Medical Meg, Bubbly Salt, and Pink Macho! A virtual head nod to you all.

Patreon roulette random shout out to someone on the emergency medicine tier, we have Ryan! Thank you, Ryan, for [01:01:00] being a patron. And thank you all for listening. We’re your hosts, Will and Kristen Flannery, also known as the Guacomplacons. A special thanks to our guest today, U. S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

Our executive producers are Will Flannery, Kristen Flannery, Aron Korney, Rob Goldman, and Shahnti Brooke. Editor and engineer Jason Portizzo. Our music is by Omer Ben Zvi. To learn about our Knock Knock High’s program, disclaimer, and ethics policy, submission verification, licensing terms, and HIPAA release terms, reach out to us at knockknockhigh at human content.

com with any questions, concerns, or fun medical puns. Anything else? 

Kristin: Knock Knock High is a human content 

Dr. Vivek Murthy: production.

Will: Goodbye.

Hey Kristen. What? You know what people ask me about? How tall you are? No, sometimes. But no, they ask me about Jonathan. 

Kristin: Yes, I have heard [01:02:00] people 

Will: ask you about that. Everybody wants a Jonathan. Like, is Jonathan real? Can I have your Jonathan? I’m like, no, you can’t have my Jonathan. But you know what they can have?

What’s that? Dax Co 

Kristin: Pilot. Ah, yes. And that is basically 

Will: a Jonathan. It is like having a little Jonathan there. It’s, it’s, uh, uh, an AI powered ambient technology. It sits in the room with you and it helps create that clinical documentation while also allowing you to create a patient physician relationship that we all got into medicine to, to have.

We all want 

Kristin: that. That’s right. Nobody got in to start writing 

Will: notes. That’s right. And it is right now, everyone feels overwhelmed and burdened by all of this clinical documentation, uh, to where the work life balance, it just seems unattainable. So to learn more about the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience or DAX Copilot, visit Nuance.

com slash Discover DAX. That’s N U A N C E. com slash Discover D A X.[01:03:00]