What Is It Like To Be A Family Member Of A Medical Professional? | Founder, The Flipside Life Hayley Harlock

KKH Trailer Wide


Hayley Harlock: [00:00:00] Knock,


Will: hi! Knock, knock, hi!

Hello and welcome to Knock, Knock, Hi! with the Glockenfleckens! I am Dr. Glockenflecken, also known as Will Flannery. I am 

Kristin: Lady Glockenflecken, also known as Kristen Flannery. And 

Will: we have a doozy of a show for you today. We’re talking about something we haven’t talked about yet on the show. We’re talking about physician families.

Kristin: That’s right. The flip side of a physician marriage. The 

Will: other, the, all the people that, uh, kind of keep. Physician lives going. Yeah, 

Kristin: right. I said marriage. That’s that’s a myth. It’s not just marriage Yeah, it’s uh, you know any sort of partnership. I don’t know parents. Best friend? Sure. Dog? Cat? No, you’re getting a little out of hand.

Will: Not so much, but you know, you know what I’m saying The people that like, you know, keep [00:01:00] just help. They’re there. They’re there. Well, 

Kristin: yes And not only that, but right the people that medical training and medical life is happening to also. That’s right 

Will: That’s right, the co 

Kristin: survivors. Right, that’s what I said, I’m a co survivor of medical training, man.

That all happened to me 


Will: Oh man, it sure did. Even in ophthalmology it happened 

Kristin: to you. That’s right. I mean, look, now it’s easier. But residency, no matter what specialty you’re in, is a sp Special breed 

Will: of health. See, that’s, that’s why that’s actually a good point. Like in my con, you know, I always make fun of all these specialties, right?

And I, I’m, I’m the first person to make fun of ophthalmology. I make fun of ophthalmologists all the time for our easy work life balance and all this stuff. But if you pay attention. I, I, I never do that, uh, to, to the residents, like to the residency programs. I don’t make fun of like, Oh, this residency program is so much easier than that residency program or make any jokes around that because all residency is hard.

Yeah. It’s, it’s grueling work. It’s, uh, it’s years of [00:02:00] your life. And, uh, and, and as this episode will show you, it’s just as hard, uh, on the, uh, the families who, who, who are there with the physician 

Kristin: going through medical training. Yeah. And that, that’s an angle that’s often 

Will: overlooked. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, but before we get into that, um, I do have to.

So, often we are sitting here in this office on Monday’s recording and, um, and our kids right now are home from, for winter break. Normally when we’re doing this they’re at school. They have no school today. They have no school today and so, um, right in the middle of the episode, uh, we hear a piece of paper kind of slide underneath the door.

And our kids are 8 and 11. This 

Kristin: is the 8 year old. They know they’re not supposed to like, knock on the door. They know they’re not supposed to come in. You know, like rules of recording. I’m sure everybody got a taste of it when we were all working from home. During 

Will: the lockdown. So we got this paper that says, I’m just gonna hold it up for our YouTube audience.

And I’ll say it. Are [00:03:00] you almost done? Are you guys almost done? That’s 

Kristin: what this says. Here’s what I wanna know. I’m not sure what is then expected of us. When we get one of these notes, do they think we’re going to like get up and like remove ourselves from the podcast conversation and like write a, write an answer and slide it back under the door?

Hold on 

Will: podcast guest. I’ll be right back. An urgent message from my children. I don’t know. I 

Kristin: don’t know. Kids, man. They, uh, they have different ideas about, I mean, look, they’re trying. You know, it’s kind of cute because they’re like, I know I’m not supposed to be noisy and bother them. So I’m gonna do this as silently as I know how.

Well, we should 

Will: probably get to our guest. Yes, let’s do it. This is Haley Harlock. She’s a, she’s a social worker. Uh, and turned advocate for, um, physician [00:04:00] families. She’s the founder of the Flipside Life. And is an adjunct assistant clinical professor at McMaster University. She’s done an incredible job, uh, bringing, kind of community building and bringing the support network for, uh, for, for physician families, uh, to have, um, you know, people to talk to and to, to learn from, and, and so.

Kristin: She’s a natural connector. That’s right. She connects people, she connects ideas, and some of what she’s doing is, um, you know, Really cool and, um, overdue. 

Will: So. So here she is, Haley Harlock.

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience or DAX for short. 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.[00:05:00] 

All right. We are here with Haley Harlock. Uh, Haley, thank you so much for joining us. Uh, we’ve been looking forward to this, uh, to, uh, to talk about some things we don’t normally get a chance to, to, uh, get to get into. 

Kristin: Yes, that’s right. Talk about the other side of the physician coin, I suppose. The physician family.


Will: so 

Hayley Harlock: thank you for being here with us. Well, thank you so much for having me. It’s a, it’s a pleasure to, uh, to be here with both of you and I’m excited to have our chat. 

Will: Yes, I know you and Kristen have crossed paths before, um, with the Flipside Life. 

Kristin: Yeah, why don’t you tell everyone, uh, what that is first and then, uh, we can talk about how we ran into each other.

Hayley Harlock: Yes, absolutely. So the Flipside Life is an organization that was established in 2019 to help support and connect physician families at all stages of training and practice. And it was actually initially when I started it. I started it, I was developing an app. I was working with a tech [00:06:00] developer to develop an app to connect physician partners, wherever, wherever we may be, you know, around, around the world.

And, um, that was sort of in maybe early summer, 2019. And, and, um, unfortunately pursuing the app became a bit cost prohibitive because I was self funding it. And then lo and behold, we found ourselves in a pandemic. And that’s when I realized that perhaps the app wasn’t What our community needed right now, but what our community needed was sort of, you know, boots on the ground, grassroots support.

And so, um, that’s when I sort of changed the plan and, uh, just started doing just really simple reach out. I mean, I don’t have the social media following that you guys do, but just went on, uh, On social media, the week the pandemic was declared and said, you know, our community is, is being hit hard. It’s going to be hit hard, you know, and I think like most people felt really helpless about wanting to help, wanting to do something.

And I just said, you know, I’ll be on Zoom at two o’clock on a [00:07:00] Tuesday that week and nine p. m. on a Thursday for any partners, uh, medical students or physicians that want to come and say hi or just want a safe space to hang out. And on that first week, when, um, You know, when the pandemic first started March 2020, I said to the people that came on those zoom calls, I said, you know, I’ll be here every week until it’s just me.

And when it’s just me on this zoom, and then I’ll know that our community doesn’t need support any, any more. And, um, well, it’s almost been four years. And it hasn’t just been me. So that’s kind of a little bit of, you know, where, where things started and the flip side life, the actual name, I mean, it’s a bit of a cheeky play on words, kind of what Kristen already alluded to in terms of the other side of medicine.

So Yeah, so that, that’s a little bit about where, where we started. 

Will: How did you, how did you get, I guess, where did the idea come from to even like, to, to be involved in this community and, and kind of the origin of 

Hayley Harlock: that? Right. Um, so, um, I’m a social [00:08:00] worker by training. I used to work clinically at a children’s hospital, um, and.

During that time, my, my husband, we, we, we’ve been together, uh, for many, many years, but he is a vascular surgeon. Uh, at the time he was not. I wasn’t going to 

Kristin: tell you that part. Oh, vascular surgeon. Okay. No, no, just kidding. Vascular surgery is the reason that Will went into ophthalmology. That’s 

Hayley Harlock: right. Yeah.

I think we need to circle back on that. For sure. But, um, It just made me realize, so, you know, at the time when, when my husband was doing his training, we weren’t married yet. And, and like I said, I was in a teaching center and I really thought I understood the experience of medical learners, of, you know, attendings of what, like I had a front row seat, right.

I worked with these people every single day and, Then, you know, the longer John progressed in his training, he finished medical school, started residency, uh, first general surgery, because back in those days you had to do five years of general surgery [00:09:00] before you did a vascular surgery 

Kristin: fellowship. 

Will: It’s like doing a second residency, basically.


Kristin: man. Yeah. 

Hayley Harlock: And in particular, when you think that like you’re done after those five years, I mean, we’re done after those five years. And that was a whole nother story how I was told that we were not done after those five years, but, um, but just, you know, it’s, it’s easier to laugh now, but back in those days, and especially we have, we have three children and two of those not babies, they’re not babies anymore, but two of them were residency babies.

And, and it was hard. And there really was no, no support for, you know, people like me on the, on the flip side. And, and that’s why in 2019, sort of when When our family came out of, you know, maybe a not so great place and we’re on the upswing, that’s when sort of my instinct, my social work background, um, and just wanting to help others and recognizing that, you know what, this isn’t an easy experience for many people.

And you know, what, what could be [00:10:00] done differently? Because I certainly did not personally experience. Any support during John’s training years and, um, and so now that’s, I just, you know, just decided to maybe take one little action that perhaps could be impactful and, you know, 

Kristin: and yeah. Yeah. And one in one detail that’s important for Haley’s story here and for the Flipside Life is, um, she’s in Canada and please correct me if I’m wrong, cause I’m not Canadian obviously, but my understanding is that in Canada.

They don’t have a formalized, you know, support system for spouses of medical trainees or partners. Do we have one? We don’t. We have. In the U. S.? We have, yes, sort of, yes. We have the AMA Alliance is an organization Affiliated with the American Medical Association that is for spouses and then oftentimes residency programs We’ll have something, you know, to at least acknowledge the existence [00:11:00] of other members of their trainee family.

Sometimes. Sometimes. Yeah, that’s hit or miss. Um, but my understanding is that in Canada, there was basically nothing, right? 

Hayley Harlock: Yeah. And that’s correct. And, and. And it was almost just, it was so interesting because when I started doing this, so again, grassroots work, I mean, the, the number of things guys that I have Googled in the last four years, it’s pretty humbling when you feel like you know nothing, right.

And just trying to make leeway. And, and so when I came across the AMA Alliance, that was actually really surprising to me that, okay, that there actually is some infrastructure right out there that’s been there for a long time. I think like in the hundred, like I think in the. You know, they’ve just surpassed the hundred year mark and we didn’t have anything and our system is a little bit different in terms of we only, we have 17 medical schools across the country, right?

You have hundreds and you have hundreds of residency programs. So it’s a little bit smaller, smaller scale, but, but still there was nothing official. And um, and it has been exciting in the last four years since I’ve been doing this work, [00:12:00] you know, I’ll get a message from. Someone across, you know, somewhere in, across the country, not just in this country, but outside of Canada as well, to be like, you know what, you made me think that perhaps I could do something too, you know, in my community where I am.

And so I think that’s, I think that’s sort of the idea of like, if you don’t like something, change it, right. And, and I had, um, I had the privilege in October, I attended the American conference on physician health. It was in California, um, at the beginning, beginning of October. And, uh, Dr. Carrie Cunningham, who is amazing.

She gave, uh. And that was one of the things that she said, like, you know, and she wasn’t talking about physician families, but when I heard her say that, that just really resonated. It was like, you know what, it’s in all of us. Like, it’s like help when you can, we all can do something, right. Whether it’s on, you know, a big scale, like what you’re doing with the millions of YouTube followers and TikTok followers, or if it’s on a really small scale of one to one or, you know, one to 10.


Will: Lots of ways to do it. I gotta ask. So, so your husband did, uh, [00:13:00] general surgery residency. Yes. And did he know he wanted to do vascular? When he’s, so at one point he came to you and was like, Hey, I’d like to do like three more years of this. Yes. Yes. What was your initial reaction to that? 

Hayley Harlock: So I’m going to set the stage for you Will.

So he’s not here to defend himself, right? Yeah. He’s at work today. Um, 

Kristin: so it was Surprise! Because he’s a vascular surgeon. That’s right. 

Hayley Harlock: Yeah. Um, so it was just before Christmas, and it was in 20 Oh, and I’m going to make myself sound really old. It was 2010. And That’s not 

Will: that bad. Um 

Kristin: It’s that like three years ago?

Yeah, right. 

Hayley Harlock: Okay. Couple of years. Yeah. Sorry. Thanks friends. That’s nice. And my husband’s birthday is actually Christmas day. So he, you know, yeah. So we always try to, you know, sneak away and have dinner just the two of us somewhere in a few days before, before Christmas. So we had went out, our kids were really little, we had a two year old and a baby and my mom was at home, at our home watching our kids [00:14:00] and we have this lovely dinner, you know, We have some wine at dinner and we’re driving home.

John’s driving, I’m in the passenger seat, and it was one of those like, you know when you’re in an encounter with a patient and it’s like one hand on the doorknob and then they’re like, Oh, doctor, by the way, it was like, Oh, honey, by the way, I’m considering this fellowship. He’s lucky he was driving and not me because I was just kidding.

Kristin: He pulled the birthday card on that one. He waited till you were almost home on his birthday. So you can’t make a scene. There was thought 

Hayley Harlock: put into this. I think so. I mean, we might have to have a follow up conversation so he can defend himself. You know, but the craziest thing was I, um, we’re really fortunate in Canada.

We get a, you can take up to 12 months of maternity leave. So I was actually on mat leave with our, our, our now middle child and. We had talked about, you know, that I was going to quit my job and I was going to stay home for a bit. And that was totally like, uh, something that I wanted to do. [00:15:00] So now he, he tells me that he’s going to do two more years of training and I’ve already, I haven’t written the formal letter yet, but I’ve let my employer know that.

I’m not coming back. You know, I was, oh, that’s why I’m like, no, what, what we’re, you know, we’re doing two more years of training, like, yeah, we we’re gonna be eating at the food bank. I’m like, have you lost your 

Will: mind? Yeah. You don’t exactly get paid a lot as a fellow. 

Hayley Harlock: No, no. And, and you know, like I was a sugar mama for a while, you know, back in those days.

Right. So, um, yeah, I think it took, I, I, I probably was in shock, but I actually think, um, it was. You know, I don’t even want to admit it, but maybe it was a really good choice for, for John. Well, it was a good choice for John and, and for our family, but it’s, that’s only looking back, you know, connecting the dots, looking back that you can see that.

So I 

Will: think it’s hard for, you know, for, for physicians, from my perspective, you know, we, we have to work so hard to get through medical education and training that in the [00:16:00] moment. It’s, it’s, it’s really hard to even notice like how much is falling on the spouse and how much, um, uh, what, what toll those types of decisions can take on the family.

And it’s great to be in a supportive relationship, obviously. And I had that and it sounds like you guys have that as well, but, uh, but because it’s so demanding, the training. Um, it’s kind of like, it’s having, we have that mindset, like we got to get through training without even really thinking about, Oh man, like I have to go do an away rotation for like six weeks in this other city that’s like two hours away.

Like what is, how, what’s going to happen there? Like with the family and it’s, it’s kind of just accepted as, as normal and like it has to happen. 

Kristin: Right. And that is a good example. Like at our residency program. You know, it was, it was kind of like a mixed bag because the response to that was, well, they give us an apartment [00:17:00] that the families can come stay and be with us.

And so that is above and beyond what a lot of people do. So I do want to acknowledge that. That’s something for sure. That’s actually amazing. I think it is amazing. Then I said, okay, six weeks, two hours from home. I have a job and it’s not remote. And we have two children that we pay for daycare and there’s like a year long wait list.

So if we pull them out for six weeks. They’re not going back in anytime soon and if we don’t pull them out, that means we’re still paying oodles of money for it. You know, like, so it’s not actually considering what the life might actually look like of the position’s partner, right? Like, to me, that felt like, while amazing that they do at least provide that apartment, it felt like they were telling me I should not be working, I should be Susie Homemaker and be able to just follow wherever he goes.

And [00:18:00] there is absolutely nothing wrong with people who would like to stay home and take care of children. That is the hardest job that I have ever done. And I’m no good at it. Like, I have to be I’m not saying I’m not a good I’m a good mom. But I’m not good at not having a job and being a mom. And so to me, it just felt like they were saying, you can’t be who you are.

You have to be this other thing because that’s what works for our training program. 

Hayley Harlock: Well, it’s interesting, like even, okay, I use the word amazing. That’s amazing. They found a new department. And as those words were coming out of my mouth, I’m like, we’ve actually set the bar pretty low. So they’ve agreed to find, you know, meet a basic need, right?

But the reality is the bar has been set really low because there’s tons of programs across North America, you know, beyond that, that’s not even a consideration. And I think that’s, that’s the problem is that, you know, there’s been this perceived disconnect forever in medicine, where it’s like, you know, physician, patient, healthcare [00:19:00] system, and then physician families over here.

And, and, and I use the word family, you can interpret like very broadly, right? Whether that’s your partner, your children, your parents, however, you know, your best friend, but there’s always been this perceived disconnect. And. It’s interesting when you think about it, because, you know, well, if you have a bad day at work, does it not impact when you walk in the door, even if you can compartmentalize, right?

Will: Oh, absolutely. It’s, it’s why I, I, yeah, I want to, I kind of, uh, uh, treasure my 20 minute commute now versus like three minutes, you know, because like sometimes I need that time. Right. 

Hayley Harlock: Or, or on, or on the flip side, on the flip side, if, if something’s going on big at home. You know, that is going to impact you.

I’m not saying it’s going to impact necessarily impact your, you know, ability to, you know, provide, you know, compassionate quality patient care, but in the back of your mind, of course, it’s going, you know, going to be impacting. And, and I think we’ve just, you know, medicine as an institution and medical culture just has never perhaps stopped to take into account [00:20:00] that, oh, there’s other people behind this physician, right?

It’s, but I think it’s, I guess, also, you know, that physicians perhaps, In the past, you know, you’ve been put up on this sort of pedestal, if you will, like physician, you know, physician, but not physician as human. Right. And I think that perhaps COVID and the early stages of the pandemic put a, put a bit of a tilt to that where it was now, okay, Doctors are human and then unfortunately, I feel like that was short lived and then there was parts of the pandemic where it was like doctors were vilified, you know, to a certain extent.

But I mean, I think at the end of the day, they’re just, I think in any profession, right? You was like, we’re all human and our work does affect our personal life and vice versa at times. 

Kristin: Right. Yeah, that is, I’m doing it again. What are my many soapboxes? Um, would you for Christmas, would you just get me an actual, like, soapbox?

Oh, I already did. Yeah. Okay, alright, good. That’ll help. Uh, no. Um, that medical training [00:21:00] doesn’t see It’s trainees as full people. It just sees them for what they can do for the system and what they need to learn in order to function in the system. And it doesn’t consider, you know, all of the rest of what goes into being a good 

Will: doctor.

I think part of that problem is also just historically, at least in this country, what, uh, how residents And trainees, fellows are, they’re perceived as cheap labor and, um, and, you know, a position that can be government funded, uh, and, and a system, a healthcare system like ours, that’s so focused on generating profit that is coveted.

Uh, and so some, some program, lots of programs, they approach residency the way it should be approached. Like we’re training the next generation of doctors to be empathetic and to be their best possible physician selves. But like there are programs out there that, that see it more as like, Oh, look, we [00:22:00] can, you know, just saddle this person with so much work.

And because, because, uh, look, look, look at the value of this, essentially they’re working 

Kristin: minimum wage. The grad student, you know, in the, in the more academic medicine realm, it’s kind of the analog to that. And so it’s 

Will: just, it’s setting trainees up for this kind of moral injury, the burnout, and, um, which obviously is going to extend to the family life as well.

And so, Can you speak to a bit about burnout and like, 

Hayley Harlock: well, can I just back up for one second? Maybe think about something, um, just as you’re speaking, but like, if you think about residency training and it’s, you know, you guys were together during your training and, you know, Kristen, you already gave a great example of, you know, even just having to pretend potentially relocate for six weeks.

Right. So why is it that we’ve never taken a pause to stand back and recognize that partners and significant others. are directly impacted by this experience, like directly [00:23:00] impacted. You know, there’s lots of, you know, sacrifices that go in along the way, whether it’s career, whether it’s family sacrifice, but yet there’s no sort of acknowledgement that they’re part of this journey, that the journey is, I mean, In our house, it was our journey that John was doing, doing the work at the hospital, but it was our journey.

And, and I think that’s something that, um, I think just like, like, like we’ll just said, like it just because historically, you know, trainees perhaps have been thought of in a certain way. So sometimes I think this conversation is really just a conversation that’s never been had before. Right. So sometimes when, when something like this is not rocket science, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s actually quite simple, but what if we just took a moment to, to just acknowledge, include, and support the people that are coming along to residency, right?

And, and, you know, something as simple as like when you, when you match to a program, once you’ve, you know, accepted the offer, you know, perhaps it’s like, you know, is there anyone, and this doesn’t always work, I understand if it’s, you know, a really large program. But even something like, no, an [00:24:00] email saying, who’s coming with you?

Is anyone coming with you that we should know about? You know, Kristen, I don’t know what your experience was like, but I feel like during my husband’s training, I feel like there were some years where I met the same people over and over again and I got reintroduced. And I was like, I remember who you are, like, right.

You know, it was like, and, and that was just sort of a, I don’t know, just almost like a defeating thing. When you’re already feeling like you’re, you’re not part of this. This experience that is directly impacting your life every single day, 24 hours a day. 

Kristin: And it’s never giving you anything positive. It’s only ever doing negative things.

And so it’s really easy to build a lot of resentment. Yes. And I think that’s maybe part that people don’t always feel like they can talk about. You know, there’s this image of what a physician’s spouse must be like. And historically speaking, it was the doctor’s wife, right? Yes. In that it must be this really glamorous thing and you’re so lucky because your husband makes all this money and you can just do nothing but lay around or whatever you want to do.

I don’t know, eat bonbons [00:25:00] all day. But, um, that’s not at all what it’s like. And nobody really talks about that. It, it creates a lot of anger, I think. At least for me. You know, even now, what, seven years or something out of training, I’m just kind of coming to terms with the fact that I have had to live through a lot of anger and resentment, but just stuff it down because it was no one’s fault per se, right?

And so you just live with it. 

Hayley Harlock: Absolutely. And I think, and I think you just like, you just nailed that one. It’s, and it’s true. And I think that’s where, you know, why community and connection is so important, especially during these formative years during training for, you know, for people like, think about, you know, maybe during your residency, well, like the people you were with every single day, right?

Whether like those become your people because you’re, you’re, 

Will: it’s another family. 

Hayley Harlock: Yeah. And there’s a lot of partners that don’t have. Have, you know, anyone to, to build community with. [00:26:00] And that’s something that, um, you know, like feel that feeling of like, oh my gosh, I have no right. I’ve, you know, I think we’re, I think physician families are exceptionally, um, altruistic.

I think that’s, you know, Mm-Hmm. runs very deep and I think we’re very quick to acknowledge privilege. But then when things are hard for us or we’re struggling, we’re quick to put up, you know, to say, okay What somebody else has it worse? And I think this idea, um, I don’t know if you guys are Brene Brown fans But I am and fun fact.

She’s also a physician spouse And I don’t know her wish I did but I don’t but she talks about you know This idea of comparative suffering and and I think that’s just it is that two things can coexist, right? You can be we can all you know acknowledge the privilege that we have but that That also doesn’t negate our own experiences.

And I think that was something that was perhaps maybe framed better for partners during, especially during the training years. I think the, like the resentment, that anger that you’re talking [00:27:00] about, Kristen, I think could be minimized, maybe even alleviated, right? If people had, had, had an outlet and, um, Yeah, I think 

Kristin: that’s something.

It’s a long time to just feel invisible or secondary, right, that, that you’re less important, right? There’s these, this is an entire program saying that, that the physician is the one that, you know, they are, not that they are treating them well either, but you know. Everything is revolving around that person.

And so then it’s like, well, what about me and my goals and my needs as the partner to that 

Hayley Harlock: person? Even simple things like when I, you know, I’ve heard so many stories from, from both physicians and, and partners over the last several years that have been doing this work of just saying, like, you know, we didn’t even know we uprooted to a different city, sometimes a different state or province, country.

And we had no idea where to even start looking for housing, looking like just basic things that you need to thrive while you are, while you’re doing medical training. And, and some of these things, again, really simple to, to make better and don’t [00:28:00] cost a lot of money, but we just have to think about them a little bit differently.

And, um, yeah, and I, I think everybody’s deserving of support. Right. And. 

Will: It kind of reminds me of Kristen’s experience around my cardiac arrest and as the family member of somebody going through medical issues and just being recognized, or the lack of recognition there was. Very similar. Very similar. 

Kristin: And I, in fact, bring that into my talks.

I think the talk that, that we did, I say that I am a co survivor of medical training also. Yes. Yeah. Like, that all happened to 

Hayley Harlock: me too. And, and I’m, I’m so glad you brought that up. Cause that was, that’s something, I mean, I’ve, you and I have had that conversation. We’ve had it online, offline. I’ve, I’ve seen, you know, you talk about that on other podcasts that you’ve done, other episodes.

And it’s so true. And I think in healthcare, you know. We, we try to do, or we’re working on doing a better job at, you know, patient centered care, family centered care, you know, a [00:29:00] much more holistic approach. But what if we also did that starting in training with our, you know, our medical learners and, and their loved ones too?

And, and just to go back to, Will, what you started asking about, you know, burnout, you know, I really believe that physician mental health and wellbeing starts at home. And so if we’re, if we’re looking at physicians and physician families more holistically, then perhaps You know, perhaps maybe physician families are the missing link or the missing puzzle piece in the conversation related to burnout ends.


Kristin: Yeah. If you support the family, then that’s a huge, you know, burden off of the whole family, but including the physician to go do their, their work that’s so 

Will: demanding. Let’s take a, let’s take a break real quick cause I have some more questions for you guys.

Hey Kristen, doesn’t it seem like AI can do anything? It 

Kristin: seems that way, it’s everywhere. 

Will: It is, but have you heard of Precision? No, tell me. This is the first ever [00:30:00] electronic health record integrated infectious disease AI platform. That sounds fancy, but what does it mean? Yeah, it’s really exciting. So for any specific patient, It takes all the patient’s clinical data and automatically highlights better antibiotic coverage in real time.

Oh, nice! Yeah, it empowers clinicians to save more lives while also working more efficiently and quickly. To see a demo, go to precision. com slash KKH. That’s precision spelled with an X instead of an E. So, P R X C I S I O N dot com slash KKH.

All right, we are back with Haley Harlock, and, um, uh, I have another question, uh, uh, that I’d love to hear, uh, from the, uh, physician’s spouse perspective. Uh, how do you feel about medical conferences? Are these just, like, because it’s, it’s different than call. We already talked about call. And there’s this, like, kind of feeling like, oh, well, they need your help.

Uh, for the [00:31:00] most part, medical conferences are, are completely superfluous. Uh, for the Well Well, let’s be honest, like we can get our CME online. There’s some element of 

Kristin: luxury, yeah, sure, right, sure. 

Will: So is, is that, um, um, do you get frustrated when we have to go to conferences? Not 

Kristin: if you take me with you. If it’s a cool place, yeah.

Haley, do 

Will: you, do you 

Hayley Harlock: get to go? Yes. Um, I do. I like, I like the answer. If it’s a cool place, yes. Um, I mean, I think when, you know, when the kids were a lot younger, I think, and I didn’t see my partner very often. I think those conferences actually were an opportunity for us to see each other for a few minutes.

And then I didn’t feel bad if we were asking grandparents to come and stay, um, you know, so it was, it was kind of finding those silver linings. But, uh, my husband goes to Winnipeg, Manitoba every April for a conference and it’s right around our anniversary. And for many, many years, Like, he misses our anniversary, but he invites me to come with him.


Kristin: Winnipeg! What time of year? 

Will: [00:32:00] What time of year in Winnipeg? She said April. April. So it’s nice and 

Kristin: warm, right? I don’t 

Hayley Harlock: think so. No. So I’ve never, and no offense to anyone who’s in Winnipeg, but I, I’m just like, I, I was 

Kristin: It’s not exactly a vacation destination. Is 

Will: that southern, middle, or northern 

Hayley Harlock: province?

It’s like middle ish. Middle? Middle ish. Okay, gotcha. Um, but I, like, in the, you know, I have some friends that are from Winnipeg, and they have affirmed that it’s, you know, it can be, especially in the you 

Kristin: want to go to Minnesota in April? This is way worse. 

Will: Yeah, no, I mean, that’s a good point. April, that would be probably okay.

But yeah, it’s way further 

Kristin: north than even Minnesota. 

Will: I was once invited to speak in Saskatchewan in, um, in, uh, February. Yes, that’s cool 

Hayley Harlock: too. That’s 

Will: very cool. I had to think 

Hayley Harlock: about that one for a while. But I think, I think, you know, if, if like what Kristen said, if, if, if John invited to a conference that had Somewhere at the beach [00:33:00] and palm trees.

I’m all, I’m all in like, I’m your girl. I’m I’m there. Um, but, but actually that’s something that, um, that I’ve started to do in the last couple of years is partnering with some specialty societies to do adjacent events for partners, recognizing that there’s a lot of partners that do go. And sometimes, you know, sometimes it is great, you know, perhaps to have a little break.

So while you’re. Spouses doing the conference thing to, to be on your own. And then there’s sometimes where it would be nice to have a little connection with other people. So, um, I did, yeah, so I’ve been doing that and it’s, it’s been really, it’s been a really cool, um, experience where you can put a whole bunch of strangers in a room together.

And there’s only one common denominator and it’s this experience of being part of a physician family. And I know it sounds a little bit like cheesy or cliche, but it’s been so amazing to watch every single time where people come in the room or whatever it is that we’re doing, usually, you know, involve some food and you know, there’s social events, but watching people come in strangers.

And leave as friends and, you know, [00:34:00] numbers are being exchanged and things like that. And so it’s like instant 

Kristin: trauma bonding to be part of a family. 

Hayley Harlock: And so I think, you know, so conferences, maybe I have a different perspective now, Will, but you know, I’m still, 

Will: that’s great. I think there’s just such a good idea.

It really is a good idea. It’s really needed. And I’m curious, do you, and the work that you’ve done with Flipside Life and otherwise, do you, do you see more specialties represented in terms of people wanting that connection. I’m just curious, like, is there a difference between like neurosurgeon families versus family medicine or ophthalmology or internal 

Hayley Harlock: medicine?

Yeah, I think that there’s definitely some specialties that perhaps Well, it depends. Right. I think training is pretty, can be pretty difficult. It’s going to be hard regardless. 

Kristin: That’s an equalizer. Yeah. Any training, any 

Hayley Harlock: training. But, um, but I, I mean, I think, I think the underlying experience, the commonalities are still there, right.

And [00:35:00] perhaps just different, um, like maybe on a scale, right. Or, or it could also be, you know, season and like, like. Whatever the individual or family is going through, right? That makes it more challenging at the time. It might also 

Will: be like post training because like my life now in my job is 

Kristin: Oh, yeah, it’s a 180.

It’s so much easier, right? Yeah, that might not Well, yes and no. I mean, yes, you have a nicer schedule, but there are some things that are still I still take call. Like you do still take those easier call, but you Your schedule is so rigid and difficult to change, even if it’s just clinic. Any one small change in your schedule, then it like results in 15 other changes for other people.

Right. So then what that translates to is that even though I also am working, I’m the one that takes the kids to the doctor’s appointments. I’m the one that does anything with, you know, the plumbers coming over and, you know, anything that re that involves any sort [00:36:00] of. You know, more urgent need urgent or just, it has to happen during a work day, you know, like business hours.

That’s going to be me even now, 

Hayley Harlock: you know, and, and I think that’s, that’s, that’s also true and common, like sort of that default partner, right. That takes on the extra stuff. And then in dual physician families, there’s even like, there’s an element of one, you know, one, one person is kind of designated as the default, whether it’s like, you know, the kids get sick if there’s not someone else to go get them, it’s like, okay, well, I, you can’t leave the OR, but I guess I can leave my clinic, you know, right.

Kristin: Yeah, and it’s this like competition of who’s It’s really it’s whose schedule is more flexible, but it feels like whose work is more important, right? You know who gets to be the one that doesn’t have to deal with all the 

Hayley Harlock: other stuff Yeah, and I think that’s why it’s so important to have really really good Communication amongst partners, right, right from the very beginning.

And that’s something that I did not do well with my partner. And that, and when [00:37:00] I said before about feeling, you know, embarrassed or shameful was because as a social worker, I’m pretty good at communication. And, you know, if, if you want some tips, I can help you do that, but I wasn’t doing it in my own relationship and that made it really hard.

Right. And so I think, you know, if those, um, those, you know, strategies are. you know, employed very early on if, you know, between partners during training, then hopefully by the time you get to the point where you’re in attending, you know, maybe you have some good habits that are already in place that, that make life easier for everybody.

Kristin: Yeah, I think it’s really important to, communication is definitely one big thing, and then having your own thing is really important as a physician spouse or partner, um, because the schedule is so demanding, especially during training that, um, and it’s one of the reasons why the flip side life is so valuable is because it, it offers connection and opportunities to kind of find your own people and your own things.

Um, that is so critical because if you don’t have that and you’re just sitting at home waiting because you have like [00:38:00] a fantasy in your mind of what marriage is supposed to look like, for example, um, especially in those early years, uh, that’s not It’s gonna be what it looks like, probably. And so if you don’t have something else that fulfills you too, like, I always try to be really careful because I remember Googling when we were engaged.

I was trying, this was way longer ago than I would like to admit, but I was trying to find information about like, well, what is it really actually like? To be attached to a physician and, you know, be at the mercy of all of these systems and institutions. And so all I could do was Google, which is never what you want to do.

I found all sorts of horror stories and I just remember, I think you even came home or something and I was just on the couch. Just crying , you know, like, is this gonna be be my life? Right. So I always try to be very cautious about, like, there are, it’s not all bad. No. There are so many wonderful things. And you can still have a very [00:39:00] meaningful relationship.

Absolutely. It’s just that you should be aware going in that there may be these certain areas where there’s gonna be maybe a little bit of additional effort required. Mm-Hmm. . Or at least you know, some thoughtfulness. 

Hayley Harlock: Yeah. Ahead of time. Absolutely. And I think they’re, I think in any relationship, right?

Whether we’re talking about in medicine or, or, or not, but I think. Between partners, there’s seasons, right? There’s seasons in a relationship. There’s times where maybe I can only give 25%, but maybe my partner can give 75%, right? And, and, and that’s what, you know, that’s, that’s sort of dance of a partnership.

But if you haven’t had the, you know, haven’t had those conversations, those hard conversations, and You know, we didn’t have those hard conversations. We, uh, you know, and I, and I don’t know about you, Kristen, but I used to feel so sorry for John when he would come in, like after not sleeping for, you know, too long, he’d be out for a day and he’d come in.

And, and once we had the kids, you know, he’s an amazing dad. And so he would come in and I, I would try to sort of, I’d be like, Oh, don’t worry. I got the kids. And he’s like, no, no, I like, I, I want to spend time with them because that’s like, I haven’t seen them. And that’s, and [00:40:00] that’s sort of my, like, you know, I don’t like.

List of in his day, and so he would get on the floor and he’d play with them until he was pretty much asleep on the floor. And then there wasn’t time left or if something was bothering me, I would put it in my back pocket and be like, okay, I’ll talk to him tomorrow. And then tomorrow something else would come up.

And then when you continuously do this in a partnership, and you’re not talking about what you need to talk about. That’s where the, you know, the resentment or the anger, and then it doesn’t do anybody any good. But these are things that, you know, if we talk more openly in, in medicine about these things that are experienced, I think we would, it would be such a service to everybody, right?

Because they’re normal things. They happen to all of us, whether we want to admit it or not, but we don’t talk about it. And, and, you know, and I’ve said so many times. Communities found in our collective stories. So the more we share these stories and, and whether it’s about feeling, you know, isolated or not having support or whether it’s, you know, something maybe you’re struggling as a physician with mental health or physical health issues, right?

The more, the more we talk about it, what [00:41:00] happens? We can reduce stigma. And that’s something that we’re getting a little bit better at doing in medicine, but we have a long way to 

Will: go. I had a, I had a whole list of games that I could play with the kids where I was lying on the ground. Yeah. Lying on the floor.

It’s, uh, it’s great. 

Kristin: Yeah, race the car on daddy’s back. Um, check daddy out, be a doctor. 

Will: Because I remember those, those, you know, post call days, you know, and you’re just, you’re so exhausted, but you still want to, you know, be there for the, for the little babies. Yeah. 

Hayley Harlock: And it’s hard. And I think that was the one thing.

And, and, you know, I owe Jonna, you know, big, big apology, like reflecting back, but sort of. When you get stuck in feeling like you’re the only one experiencing this and like, what was that? Like, I got to be home with the kids. I got to be there and, and, you know, have all this time where he would have these little pockets of time and, you know, to recognize that, yeah, it’s hard on, on the flip side, again, for the, for the trainee or the, you [00:42:00] know, who’s going through this to be missing on, you know, missing whatever birthday parties, family events, right.

But that’s hard too. And, and I think that also needs to be recognized as well, that It goes both ways, right? That there’s things being missed out on, on both sides. 

Kristin: Right, and it’s too easy to make it into a competition, right, of like, I’m suffering this much. Well, yeah, well, I’m suffering that much. And, you know, the thing that helped me the most, I don’t remember where I heard it.

I wish I did. But, um, I think I heard it during residency and it was that it’s not, you can’t think of it as me versus you. You have to think of it as us versus. the world, right? Like us versus these circumstances that we are in. And it isn’t us, and it is hard for both of us in different ways, but we’re in it together.

Absolutely. And it’s not productive to kind of fight with each other about it. It’s more productive to see what can we do about this environment that we’re in, where can we find some release valves, you know, and some 

Hayley Harlock: [00:43:00] support. And it’s, it’s that idea of like, we’re on the same team, right? Yeah. And especially on days when it doesn’t feel like you’re on the same team, but you are like, and I’ve, I’ve done a lot of self talk over the years, right?

When I’m feeling like I can feel that feel we’re on the same team. That’s, you know, the affirmations of, and, and, you know, and I have this, I should pull it out. It’s in a, it’s in one of those memory boxes somewhere. But When, when we thought John was finished, like residency was coming to an end, he was studying for his board exams, um, and it was Valentine’s Day and I’m not a big Valentine’s Day person, but it was sweet.

He left this, this card and it was on like computer paper with black pen and his scrappy handwriting and it said happy V Day and I opened it up and, and the message inside and it’s still, it actually makes me choked up when I think about it. You know, to share this with you and it said, you know, Happy Valentine’s Day.

I can’t wait for this to be over. Over meaning training to be over. Right, right, right. 

Kristin: Not like your relationship. Yeah, can’t wait. Because that would be a different kind of Valentine’s Day 

Hayley Harlock: card. It would be, right? That’d be a post it note, I think. But so the idea of like, and [00:44:00] his, his acknowledgement in saying, you know, I know I’m a good doctor.

I know I’m a good dad, but I can’t wait for this to be done so that I can be a good partner again. And, and I think like, like it does, like that hurts my heart when I think about that, thinking like, how hard must that be on the other side? Right. To feel like that guilt of like, you know, you feel like you can’t, you’re not giving a hundred percent to anything except for your job.

And I think that’s really hard too. Right. 

Will: Right. I have to ask one more question about John. Um, Does, uh, when he, when he comes home, like much later than like, you know, you thought and everybody thought he’d be home, how often does he blame anesthesia for that? 

Hayley Harlock: Oh, you know what? And I’m not just saying this.

Yeah. No, he doesn’t. Really. No, he doesn’t. He’s a, you know, I told you. It’s very nice of him. Yeah. He’s a, he’s a nice guy. I 

Kristin: don’t know. I just, I just had to ask. You 

Will: know, you know. Maybe he thinks. Those anesthesia delays. They really put a, [00:45:00] you know. A damper on things? I don’t know. Wrenching everyone’s plans, but, but no.

Kristin: That’s telling me that anytime you blamed anesthesia, that no, you don’t even get anesthesia. I, 

Will: I don’t. We, we, uh. You don’t have that excuse. Yeah, it’s not, uh, it’s not something ophthalmologists really have 

Hayley Harlock: to. But next time, next time he’s late and I. Ask him. I’m gonna ask him. Was it, 

Kristin: was this you? can do if you want some points.

Yeah, like I know, anesthesia. They take forever every time. It’s okay. I’ll go yell at 

Hayley Harlock: him. But you know, one of the things that actually was a game changer in that, like expecting your, you know, him to be home and maybe some people think this is creepy, but I didn’t even know, like, thank, thank goodness for tech, but he would, you know, he would text and say, okay, I’m leaving.

And then three hours would go by and he was not 25 minute drive from the hospital or, you know, when the kids were younger, it’d be like, okay, well, we’re going to wait and eat with dad. And then. This is what happened. So then we had this thing of, okay, call me from the car when you’ve actually exited the parking lot.

And even, even sometimes [00:46:00] that always didn’t work, right? Where you’re leaving the parking lot and you can call back in. So then, then he said to me, he’s like, I put this thing on your phone or this find my friends thing. So he’s like, so you can just see, see where I am. And then you’ll know if I’ve left or not.

And I was like, wow, why genius? And how many, how many arguments are like frustration? So it’s like, we’re ready to, we’re ready to eat or we’re ready to go somewhere. And oh, dad’s still at the hospital. That’s it. And then I made the mistake one day of asking him, I’m like, do you ever look for me during the day to see what I’m doing?

Uh oh. 

Kristin: No, can you believe it? So yeah, but top tips. 

Will: Yeah. Right. I think, uh, the, the, the getting home time is always, is always tough. Um, and what I’ve learned is you, you can’t, you can’t really go backwards. So like I was a resident where I was getting home like routinely, like seven o’clock, sometimes eight o’clock at night.

And then now, um, you know, I’m a private practice ophthalmologist and I’m home by like five or five 30. And if I [00:47:00] ever got, uh, was going to be. You know, home, like after six, it’s like, what is going on? This is, this is, what a horrible, 

Kristin: what took 

Will: you so long? My God, this is terrible. 

Kristin: And I think back to the days where you would like, maybe not come home that night and be like, okay, this isn’t so bad.

We need to 

Will: keep, uh. And somehow figure out a way to keep perspective about some of these things, you know, with time. But, um, but, you know, I think 

Hayley Harlock: that’s the thing, like, I don’t know about your kids, but when our kids were really little, you know, uh, you know, John did a good job at showing up for as many things as he could.

And, and, you know, and he’s coached lots of our kids sports teams and things like that. And so he’s been as present. As he possibly can considering the job he does, but when they were little, you know, um, in the olden days, when, when, when he was a resident and a fellow, there was actually a pager, right? That would go off with that horrible beeping noise.

And our oldest, he would, it was like Pavlov’s dog. He would cry on demand when that thing went, like that noise would go off because he knew that that noise meant that his [00:48:00] dad might leave. And, and, and I think he was, it was, you know, Over the years, I’ve been able to explain to them and even when they were much younger that you know, why isn’t daddy here?

well, daddy’s not here because somebody else needs him right now more than than we do and sort of Reframing it and to be able to say like, you know, we’re sharing daddy today, right? Because somebody else and and I think that’s really You know, I think our kids are more compassionate and empathetic of other people perhaps a younger age than maybe they would be if they hadn’t had that experience of You know, their dad being a doctor.

And I don’t know if that’s 

Will: the same conversation, right? It was like, how do the, how do kids experience medical training? Like, cause a lot of people do have kids early on. You know, we had our first in, um, third year, uh, into my third year of med school and, um, and so, and I honestly don’t know if I’ve like ever like talked to her about it.

I mean, she was. You know, under five. [00:49:00] Yeah. 

Kristin: So, you know, I think she was, I think I misspoke earlier. It was the older one that said, that’s where daddy lives. So, you know, I think she would remember some of that. She remembers, um, living in that town and all of that. So, 

Will: and there, I think there’s a lot of kind of, uh, fear.

I know I felt it, you know, whenever I was working so much in residency that, you know, if it’s missing, even like the little things felt like a huge, like. I’m scarring this child for life, you know, because I’m, I’m not there to see her, you know, take her first steps or whatever it is. Um, which I, I think in the, in looking back on it now, it was an over, it was an exaggeration, you know, of, of the impact that, um, my absence at times would have on them growing up.

Because there’s, there’s ways to, you know, to, to, uh, compensate 

Kristin: and, yeah, I think if they feel safe and cared for and they feel your love and [00:50:00] they, as they get older, they start to understand that you’re doing. It’s not because of them that you’re leaving, right? They feel safe and loved. They’re gonna feel okay.

I mean kids are a lot more resilient than people give them credit for and I think they they do still form a really strong bond, you know, just because of that that love and 

Hayley Harlock: safety. Do either of your children have any Early interest in pursuing medicine? Not really. Well, 

Kristin: at times, at times. I have at times, yeah.

One of them is more like me, like she’s into this, she’s into science a lot, but bodies are gross. Right. She and I are similar that way. And then there’s another one. Has expressed some interest in being an eyeball doctor. Like daddy, she also just is very much like whatever the other people are doing.

That’s what she wants to do. 

Hayley Harlock: You know? So we’ll see. Our youngest used to say when he was really little, he’d say, I want to be a vascular surgeon like daddy. So I work with him. And so sometimes on the weekend, if [00:51:00] John was going to go in and see a patient, he would take our youngest with, and our little guy loved going.

Uh, but he’s now decided a professional sports is where it’s at. And, and it’s funny, our daughter. Um, She used to say for the longest time that maybe medicine was something she was interested in. I don’t know that any of our children are going down that path, but, um, she had kind of had a cool experience, uh, earlier in November, there was, um, the first, uh, the first Wednesday in November is take your kids to work day if you’re in ninth grade.

And so she got to go to work with her dad and she was sending me texts and she told me that this was just like the best day ever. And, and I think that’s something right. Like where, again, when you talk about partners or families or children, you know. Your work as a physician is almost like a bit of a mystery, right?

Like, it’s not like your partner or your kids get to go to work. Well, for the most part, right? Like I’ve never gone to the OR with John to hang out and, you know, have a snack and watch him work, right? And sit there. And so I think that that’s like another piece that’s, that’s missing out of sometimes of, of feeling part of the experience or [00:52:00] not really understanding.


Kristin: True, and how cool is it to get to see, you know, the person that you love and are sharing your life with, in their element, doing the thing that they’ve been trained to do? You know, that would be really cool. You 

Hayley Harlock: know, so, um, 

Will: she felt I mean, I could, I could pull up some cataract surgery videos for everyone.

No, it’s alright. Like, you just, like, just load it on YouTube, just get it going. 

Hayley Harlock: Have you never had the, um, the experience, when our kids were younger, John would have, I guess, I don’t know, I’m not techie enough, but whatever, our TV in our family room would be hooked up to. something on his phone. So when his phone, like that’s great.

And so there’d be like bloody, like, like things, I don’t 

Kristin: know. Yeah, sometimes I’d be flipping through his phone, like cute pictures of this. Oh my God. Yeah. Horrible 

Hayley Harlock: eyeball. It would be on the screen, right? It would be on like the TV. And they would, and so our kids are pretty unfazed, but they are, they, they, they’ve been, um, trained because they’d say like, what happened to this?

You know, um, Anyways, but yeah, they’re 

Will: Well, vascular surgery is, is like the bloodiest 

Kristin: thing ever. Yeah, it’s in the [00:53:00] name, you know, right? Yeah, for sure. Dinner table conversations in physician homes are not for the faint of heart. Well, 

Will: as, as we, as we mentioned at the beginning, like, it’s because of the vascular surgeons that I chose ophthalmology as a career.

The stuff they do in vascular, it’s, it’s cool. Like, it’s, it’s really, uh, it’s hard specialty, but you know. Do you have 

Kristin: a full drawer in your bedroom full of compression stockings? Um, I do. I’m 

Hayley Harlock: actually a convert. Um, but I don’t know, even she’s got it. I’m going to send you some. What color do you want, Kristen?

Kristen, but I, so I don’t really like socks, like, but I wear, I’ll wear the athletic sleeves where your feet are free. Always on airplanes, always. 

Will: Oh, so it’s pushing the, yeah, keeping you from getting swollen and, 

Hayley Harlock: yeah. Yes. So, you know, but yeah, I don’t know. 

Kristin: Spanx for your legs. That’s right. 

Hayley Harlock: The leg spanx.

Just, you just, one of these days you’re going to check your mailbox and there’s going to be a little, little [00:54:00] surprise. There you go. I 

Will: can’t wait. Looking forward to it. Well, um, Hayley, before we let you go, um, we want to make sure, you know, we, we mentioned again, the, the, the things that you’re involved in.

So we talked about the flip side life. Um, and then also, do you have anything else that you’d want the, our audience to know about? 

Hayley Harlock: Well, I think if you are the partner of a medical student or a physician, and perhaps you’re feeling like maybe a little bit isolated, a little bit lonely. I think the take home message is that you’re not alone.

There’s a whole community of us out there, you know, waiting to meet you, welcome you. Um, the Zoom calls that I continue to do, they’re Thursday nights. Um, there’s a little bit of a hiatus until after the holidays, but those, everybody’s welcome to those. There’s no signup required. There’s no, there’s no cost to join.

Where can people find those? So if you, on social, you can go, um, I’m pretty easy to find. So Haley Harlock, if you look me up on social and everything, that’s my personally, um, Is associated with the flip side life. Okay. Um, [00:55:00] you can, or go to the flipside life.com and, and some of the events, uh, including the, the Thursday night calls are also listed on the, the website.

Um, and stay tuned. Like we’re, we also do some fun events. We had a holiday party last week. It was a, a holiday fiesta. We did a, a Mexican cooking class with a Chef Lloyd from Mexico City. That was pretty fun. Um. And, and some of, you know, some of the work with, with some of the specialty societies and associations.

I look forward to doing more of that in, you know, in 2024 and beyond of just, you know, making, making, um, physician partners feel more, more a part of, uh, of this journey. But, um, one of the things that I’ve been working on with a small and mighty team of researchers from McMaster University is a project looking at, um, the experience.

Of residency and fellowship on both the medical learners and on partners. And this is, I know this is a, a cause obviously near and dear to my heart and it’s, it’s, um, it’s really important and it’s exciting because we just don’t have enough data on what that. [00:56:00] And so, um, hopefully we’re just writing up, um, a paper that hopefully will be published soon on the first phase of that project, which was a, it was a survey, cross sectional survey, and we just wrapped up last week, uh, qualitative interviews with residents, fellows, and partners, and they were, Yeah, amazing that people, um, you know, gave us their time and, and really wanted to share their stories and their experience.

And, and I think, you know, once we have more data, you know, doctors, medical culture, medical systems like data, once we have more data, then we can, you know, design some interventions to make this experience better for everyone. And, and I think one of the things that, you know, that I know myself and the team that I’m working with is really proud of is that we’ve, um, tried really hard to make this a really diverse, um, you know, So, um, understanding that it’s not a one size fits all approach in terms of what the experience looks like, but looking at everything from race, culture, gender identity, things like [00:57:00] that, uh, PGY year as well.

Um, so I feel like we’ve, we’ve cast a wide net in terms of, um, who’s been part of this, this first and second phase of our project. And, and I think, you know, we have a responsibility once we, once we know more. We have to do better, right? And I think if change happens early on in training, that’s when we’re going to see the change, the long standing changes, you know, in practice as well.

That’s great. 

Kristin: I love that. One of the, and Haley would never say this about herself, but one of the other things that’s so great about Haley is she is such a champion for not only physician families, I know that’s kind of in your, uh, on your website, but she is a champion for, for women. Like she is the biggest cheerleader that you will ever find.

If you are a woman, Trying to accomplish anything at all and Hayley finds out about you. She will do everything she can to Lift you up and support you and and you know, she’s just she’s been a really big Advocate and champion [00:58:00] for me even and and I’ve seen you do it for for so many other women as well.

And, um, that just really stands out to me about you too. So it makes perfect sense to me that you’re doing what you’re doing, because that’s just the person that you are. That’s, that’s 

Hayley Harlock: really kind, Kristen. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. And, and I think, you know, um, Like I said earlier, it’s humbling when you’re doing something that maybe hasn’t potentially been done in the way you’re trying to do it.

And, and there’s a lot of, you know, in the last four years, like, you know, knows, um, people just not responding to emails, you know, virtual doors closed. And, and I think the exciting part now after four years is Now there are seats at the table. Now there are doors being opened. Um, and people are recognizing that the experience of physician families does matter.

And, um, so I think it’s a really exciting time too, to be doing this work. And, um, yeah, so I’m, I’m, I’m excited. I’m excited to see what, you know, the next year brings. And, and this was, this was a lot of fun. I’m, I’m [00:59:00] so happy, you know, to be invited. 

Will: It’s fine, it’s great to finally meet you because Kristen said, you know, told me a lot about you, so, so well, uh, yeah Thank you so much for coming on.

This is a real pleasure. Thank you so much guys, and we will be right back with listener story

Hey Kristen. Yeah, our anniversary is coming up. Yes. That’s right. You know what I got you. What? 

Kristin: A bouquet! Oh, you 

Will: shouldn’t have. They’re Demodex mites. That’s why you shouldn’t have. Look how cute those faces are, and the little legs. It’s kind of cute, know what these things do? What? They cause you to have like, itchy, red, irritated eyelids.

That’s not cute. Well, it’s a disease. It’s actually a pretty common disease called Demodex Blepharitis. How do you 

Kristin: know if you have it? What does it look like? Well, 

Will: you end up with this crusty, flaky buildup on your eyelashes. It’s pretty easy to see if you just look at them under a microscope. Pretty gross though.

Yeah. So, well, you don’t get [01:00:00] grossed out. Okay. You gotta get checked out. 

Kristin: Okay. That’s a fair point. Yeah. You gotta go 

Will: in. And, and, and we’ll look at your eyelids. You just go to eyelidcheck. com to get more information. Okay. That’s E Y E L I D CHECK. COM to get more information about Demodex blepharitis. These cute little guys.

Yeah, it’s the most 

Kristin: romantic anniversary gift you’ve ever given me. You’re 

Will: welcome.

All right, today we have a fan story from Kate D. Kate D. says, I have been a dentist for 10 years and was humbly reminded recently of why we are required to confirm a patient’s date of birth, not just the name. You know this, this is already a good story. I think I know where this is headed, yep. I brought my patient into the dental chair for his book deployment for a filling.

Getting him to my surgery, Getting him to my surgery took a little bit longer than usual as he had an amputated leg and getting both out of the waiting room [01:01:00] chair and then into the dental chair was a bit tricky. I confirmed his first and last name then proceeded to update his medical history on the computer to note he was an amputee and needed mobility assistance as this was new info in his file.

I asked when he had his leg amputated as when he was last in a couple months ago when I did his last filling. He still had his leg. He insisted that it had been gone for years. I insisted that he had two legs only two months ago. Oh no. Turns out, the patient was right, of course. Uh, there were two patients in the waiting room with the same first and last name.

The other one had two legs and needed a filling. 

Kristin: Oops. Well, at least she found out before she started any dental work, because As if it’s not insulting enough to be told, no, you did have a leg two months 

Will: ago. That’s the thing that cracks me up. It’s like trying to convince someone, no, no, I’m pretty sure you had a leg two months ago.

Says here in your chart. Yeah, that’s the perils [01:02:00] of documentation. That’s a good, it is a good lesson though. Like, we always, like when we do cataract surgery, Like, five different times between when they walk in through the door to when It’s like two factor 

Kristin: authentication. Exactly. Make sure they are who you say 

Will: they are.

To when I, like, actually cut into an eyeball, like, first name, last name, date of birth, which I were working on. Yep. Like, four different times, 

Kristin: at least. Anyway. I’ve always wondered, like, when you go To the doctor and you, when you check in, you give your name and date of birth and all that, okay, that’s fine.

Then the nurse comes and gets you and like, you go, you do your weight and height and all that. You give your name and date of birth again. Then they put you in a room and then somebody else comes into the room and then you gotta get a name and date of birth again. I’m like, this is a little excessive, like.

But then you hear stories like that. Yeah, so now I, now I know it’s more about. There’s a reason for that. These are three different people. We have to make sure they know who I am. Uh, 

Will: thank you for that story, KD. You can send us your stories. Knock, knock, hi at human content. com. Uh, what a fun episode, uh, to hear, uh, [01:03:00] um, about a different part of medicine.

Kristin: That’s right. It’s kind of the invisible part that no one, um, ever thinks about or talks about as much, so it’s important to 

Will: take a look. I really, I, I do, I feel kind of bad. Like I didn’t fully like understand and recognize like the impact that my training had on my family. 

Kristin: Well, you know, it’s not something you need to feel bad about, um, you know, it is what it is.

It’s not like, yeah, you were being a jerk or something. It’s just, it is, it is difficult and it is nice to, you know, have it recognized by the partner and, and 

Will: Some of the things she mentioned, though, were, like, could, I think, really make a big difference. Yeah. You know, like having, like, orientation or something.

Right when you’re coming into residency. Yeah, 

Kristin: why wouldn’t you want to orient the whole family? Yeah, like like here’s the grocery stores in the area and here’s the daycares and and 

Will: I think a lot of plate because Iowa Did something 

Kristin: like that? They were better than most I was not [01:04:00] everybody 

Will: and it should be kind of just part of the whole thing, right?

Kristin: It’s like she said like, you know, it’s a low bar. She just had anything at all. Exactly. So yeah, I think Let’s raise it 

Will: Let’s get it up higher. Let’s, let’s 

Kristin: pole vault that. Let’s do it. Okay. I don’t think we use swear words on this podcast. All right. 

Will: Sorry. You can bleep that out. Um, all right, great. That was a lot of fun.

Let us know what you thought, uh, of, of the episode. And if you have suggestions for, for guests and things that you want us to discuss, you can email us, knockknockhighathuman content. com. Hang out with us on our social media platforms. Uh, we also have a nice little podcast family with human content on Instagram and TikTok at human content pods.

Check that out. Uh, thank you to all the wonderful listeners leaving feedback and reviews. If you subscribe, subscribe and comment on your favorite podcasting app or on YouTube, we can give you a shout out like. At [01:05:00] Bradford Freed 6175 on YouTube. Bradford Reed. What’d I say? Freed. Bradford Reed. Bradford Reed 6175 on YouTube said, I always know I’m going to learn something when a Knock Knock High slash Eye episode drops.

Aww. There you go. Yeah. Have you been listening? Have you been learning about Knock Knock Eye from me? 

Kristin: Full video episodes are up every week on Will’s YouTube. 

Will: Add D Glock and Fleck. You must have a Patreon. Lots of cool perks. Bonus episodes where we react to medical shows and movies. You can hang out with other members of the community.

Uh, we’re active in it. We’re there. Uh, we’re governing. And, um 

Kristin: We’ve gone from being a township to now we’re the governors. 

Will: Yeah, we’re, we’re, it’s a, it’s a, you know, there’s kind of, like, you can’t just have anarchy in a community. Like, there’s gotta be order. Alright, now there’s not a lot of rules. Alright, we have a few [01:06:00] ordinances, but overall, it’s a very free flowing community.

Are there 

Kristin: any 

Will: HOAs? No. No HOA fees. Okay. Well, there’s fees, but not HOA fees. Early ad free episode access, interactive Q& A livestream events, and much more. We do make, we can make fun of the HOAs in that community. Oh man. That would be fun. Patreon. com slash Glockenflanken, or go to Glockenflanken. com.

Speaking of Patreon Community Perks, I’m so, I’m so tired of saying my own freaking name. It’s not your 

Kristin: name! 

Will: I say it more than my real name now. I say Glockenfeiger, I tell you, I don’t know what 

Kristin: the I know, it feels like you’re coughing and like spitting up all at the same 

Will: time. Go to Glockenfeiger. com Community, uh, whatever, Patreon Community Perks.

New member shout out to Jocelyn. Michelle H and Roy R. Roy R. Thank you, Jocelyn, Michelle H, and Roy R. I felt [01:07:00] like I needed to say those again. I kind of flubbed them the first time. I kind of messed that up. guys for joining Patreon, and I’ll, as usual, shout out to all the Jonathans. You ready? Patrick Lee, CSE, Sharon S, Omar, Edward K, Steven G, Jonathan F, Marion W, Mr.

Grandaddy, Kaitlyn C, Brianna L, Leah D, KL, Rachel L, Keith G, JJ H, Derek N, Mary H, Susanna F, Mohammed K, Aviga, Parker, Ryan, Medical Meg, Bubbly Salt, and Pink 

Kristin: Macho! We got some really fun names in there. It’s growing. I really enjoy the ending there. Medical Meg, Bubbly Salt, and Pink Macho. Those are three good names.


Will: good names. Uh, and, uh, Patreon Roulette, shout out to someone on the emergency medicine tier. We have Julie P. Julie P, thank you for being a patron. And thank you all for listening. We are your hosts, Will and Kristen Flannery, also known as the Glockenflecken. our guest, Haley Harlock. Our executive producers are Will Flannery, Kristen Flannery, Aaron Broccolini Korney.[01:08:00] 

Rob, Goblin Goldman, and Shahnti Creekbrook. Our editor in engineer is Jason Portizzo, our music is by Omer Ben Zvi. To learn about our Knock Knock Highs program does the part you’ve all been waiting for. To learn about our Knock Knock Highs program, disclaimers, policies, submissions, barricades, and licensing terms, the April release terms!

Go to where? Blockofficial. com! Or reach out to us at knockknockhigh at human content. com with any questions, concerns, or fun medical puns. Knock Knock High is a human content production.

Knock, knock, goodbye!

Hey, Kristen. Yeah? You know, sometimes I come home from work and I just, like, feel really run down. 

Kristin: Yeah, because, you know, despite popular opinion, you actually do see a fair number of patients every day. 

Will: I do. My clinics are pretty busy, but I’m not the only physician that feels that way. So many people feel [01:09:00] overwhelmed and burdened.

So much that work life balance feels impossible. Yeah, nobody 

Kristin: gets into this job for the paperwork. Most 

Will: people, definitely not me. And, uh, but let me tell you about the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience, or DAX for short. Tell me. This is AI powered ambient technology. It sits down in the room with you. It’s transforming healthcare with clinical documentation.

that writes itself. Ooh, 

Kristin: that sounds nice. It’s like having a Jonathan there. Yeah, perfect. And I got some stats 

Will: for you. Oh, I love stats. You’re going to love this. Seven minutes is saved per encounter by reducing clinical documentation time by 50%. 

Kristin: Seven minutes, that’s an entire 

Will: surgery for you. Yeah, that’s what DAX can do for you.

And, uh, across all specialties, 70 percent of physicians report a reduction in feelings of burnout and fatigue. That’s pretty incredible. It really is cool technology. Uh, to learn more about the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience or DAX, visit nuance. com slash discover DAX. That’s N U A N C E dot com slash [01:10:00] discover D A X.