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We’re in the midst of a fertility crisis. Worldwide fertility has dropped more than 50 percent in the past 50 years, and the decline shows no sign of slowing. Shanna H. Swan, PhD, a leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologist, has spent more than two decades studying the impact of environmental chemicals and pharmaceuticals on reproductiv…
 
If you live in a WEIRD society—Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic—chances are you aren't getting enough exercise. And it's not because you're bad or lazy; it's because you're normal. On this episode, Harvard paleoanthropologist Daniel E. Lieberman, PhD, explains how evolution designed humans to avoid unnecessary physical activi…
 
Author, speaker and podcast host Luvvie Ajayi Jones shares tips for conquering fear and making good trouble. “Facing fear is absolutely a muscle,” Ms. Ajayi Jones says. “Being courageous is literally a moment-by-moment decision.” Her new book is "Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual." Help shape the future of Road to Resilience by tak…
 
Yvette Calderon, MD, MS, understands why vaccine hesitancy remains stubbornly high in communities of color. Growing up in New York City’s projects, she heard stories of forced sterilization in Puerto Rico and saw the medical system put other families first. Now Dr. Calderon finds herself on the flip side of the coin, trying to persuade reluctant co…
 
Sharon Salzberg was one of the first to bring meditation and mindfulness into mainstream American culture beginning in the 1970s. She's a co-founder of The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and the author of eleven books, including the New York Times bestseller, Real Happiness. Her podcast The Metta Hour, features interviews with leaders in …
 
Rachel Yehuda, PhD, has been at the forefront of trauma research and treatment for three decades. Her pioneering work with populations including military veterans and Holocaust survivors has illuminated the biology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite scientific advances, PTSD remains difficult to treat. Even “gold standard” cognitive-…
 
When COVID-19 hit back in March, Brendan Carr, MD, MS, was the first person we turned to. He oversees emergency rooms at Mount Sinai's eight hospitals. And when we spoke, Dr. Carr was in battle-mode, facing a poorly understood virus that threatened to overwhelm the U.S. health care system. Nine months later, in the midst of a third wave and with va…
 
With COVID-19 vaccines providing light at the end of the tunnel, we catch up with ICU nurse Jessica Montanaro, MSN, RN, nine months after our first interview to find out how she's doing, what she's learned this year, and how she and her team are fighting the pandemic's third wave. Ms. Montanaro is Assistant Nursing Care Coordinator, Medical Surgica…
 
The real story of how medicine moves forward, one smart person at a time. A new podcast from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Listen and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. https://realsmartpeople.buzzsprout.com If you're enjoying Road to Resilience, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Le…
 
How can Ancient Greek tragedies help communities build resilience in the face of stress and trauma? Since 2009, Theater of War Productions has used this “ancient technology” to break cultures of silence and spark cathartic conversations. They've performed for soldiers, prison guards, front-line health workers, and many other audiences. In this inte…
 
Over the past few months, physician assistants (PAs) at Mount Sinai have been engaged in a lively discussion about resilience. Their goal: To process their COVID-19 experience together and share strategies for managing feelings of stress, grief, and even guilt. In this episode, two PAs and a clinical social worker talk about why they joined the 11-…
 
Tanya Bhatia has had breast cancer for much of her adult life. Her first diagnosis, at age 23, took her by surprise and left her isolated and depressed. “I never wanted to have that experience again,” she recalls. So when her second diagnosis came, she chose to handle it differently. “I’m going to live my life, and I’ll just add chemo to my routine…
 
It was a dark and stormy night … Judith Hunt, 80, slipped and fell rushing down a dark hallway. She wound up in the hospital with a broken hip. It was the beginning of a medical odyssey that would include heart surgery, bowel surgery, and a brush with COVID-19. In this episode, Judith talks about facing death with grit and gallows humor, and the sm…
 
As a teenager, figure skater Gracie Gold won two US National titles and an Olympic bronze medal. But then depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder forced her to withdraw from competition and seek treatment. In this interview, Gracie talks about the pitfalls of pursuing Olympic glory, and how the same qualities that made her an elite athlete also…
 
Machismo almost killed Neil Carroll. Growing up in the Bronx in the 1970s, he was taught that when bad things happen, real men suck it up. So after experiencing trauma in the Air Force, instead of looking for help, Neil turned to drugs and alcohol. “I had all the wrong coping mechanisms,” he recalls. Then came 9/11 and a host of new challenges, inc…
 
Autism has always been a part of Alison Singer’s life. When she was a little girl in the 1970s, she would visit her older brother, who has non-verbal autism with a cognitive disability, at the now-infamous Willowbrook State School on Staten Island. “I just remember hearing a lot of screaming and moaning,” she recalls. “I hated it.” By the time Alis…
 
In late March, while coronavirus cases surged in New York City, Shahonna Anderson, 40, was diagnosed with stage three cancer. She’d already had an orange-sized tumor removed from her chest, and now she faced daily radiation and two cycles of chemotherapy at the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai. “After five minutes of crying, I said, ‘Alright, …
 
After the most destructive earthquake in a century struck Puerto Rico on Jan. 7, Hansel Arroyo, MD, and Lyse Aybar, LCSW, joined a team of mental health workers headed for the island. With the ground still trembling, they went door to door, listening to survivors' stories and providing mental health assistance. In this interview, recorded before th…
 
Neuroscientist Daniela Schiller, PhD, grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust. Her father was a survivor, but he refused to talk about his experiences. Propelled by his silence, Dr. Schiller became an expert on how the brain stores fear memories. In 2010, she published a landmark paper in Nature that shed light on a neurological process called “reco…
 
Lynne Richardson, MD, wanted to become a doctor ever since she was a kid. But society had other ideas for a black girl born in Harlem in the 1950s. "I remember the first time I told my family physician. He said, 'Don't be ridiculous. You'll get married and have children,'" she recalls. Dr. Richardson went on to become an emergency medicine physicia…
 
Jordyn Feingold, MAPP, shares three evidenced-based techniques for harnessing the power of the positive in bleak times. Jordyn is a Positive Psychology Practitioner and a Medical Student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. REVAMP: A Novel Approach to Well-Being in Medical School PEERS Program The Office of Well-Being and Resilience @REV…
 
When COVID-19 hit New York City, David Putrino, PhD, Director of Rehabilitation Innovation at the Mount Sinai Health System, converted his lab into recharge rooms for front-line healthcare workers. Informed by the latest research on the connection between natural environments and stress-reduction, Dr. Putrino and his team created multi-sensory expe…
 
Writer/producers Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani talk about navigating all the corona-feels. They're the husband-and-wife team behind the hit 2017 film The Big Sick, which was based on their real-life courtship. They're also the hosts of the podcast Staying In with Emily & Kumail, about the up's and down's of being stuck at home during the pand…
 
Hospital Chaplain Rev. David Fleenor draws on multi-denominational spiritual teachings to find comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic, including about the importance of rituals and making peace with an unknowable future. Rev. Fleenor is Director of Education at Mount Sinai's Center for Spirituality and Health. Links Coronavirus (COVID-19) Facts & Res…
 
Parenting was already hard enough. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re worried about being the best parent right now, or helping your kids cope, developmental psychologist Aliza Pressman, PhD, has reassuring advice for adjusting to the new reality. Dr. Pressman is co-founding Director of The Mount Sinai Parenting Center and host of the …
 
With more than 90 percent of Americans under stay-at-home orders, Deborah Marin, MD, Psychiatrist and Director of the Center for Spirituality and Health at the Mount Sinai Health System, offers tips for safeguarding your mental health while social distancing. One piece of advice: Build structure into your day. “I've substituted my babysitting hours…
 
ICU nurse Jessica Montanaro, MSN, RN, describes what it's like to treat COVID-19 patients, and explains how nurses in her unit are banding together to meet an unprecedented challenge. Ms. Montanaro is Assistant Nursing Care Coordinator, Medical Surgical Trauma ICU at Mount Sinai Morningside. Recorded on March 26, 2020. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update…
 
As the number of coronavirus patients in New York City continues to climb, Brendan Carr, MD, Chair of Emergency Medicine for the Mount Sinai Health System, talks about the tough decisions he’s facing, and how he’s coping with enormous pressure to save lives. COVID-19 Facts and Resources from the Mount Sinai Health System: https://www.mountsinai.org…
 
In April 1989, Trisha Meili was attacked while jogging in New York's Central Park. The case of the "Central Park Jogger" made headlines and sparked a national conversation about race and the criminal justice system. But behind the media frenzy lay another story—Trisha's. On this episode, Ms. Meili talks about how focusing on the present moment and …
 
On September 11, 2001, Lauren Manning suffered burns on over 80 percent of her body and lost hundreds of colleagues at the World Trade Center. Facing near-certain death, she found a determination to live that would carry her through a long recovery and turn her into a national symbol of resilience. In this special interview, she talks about how pit…
 
NFL legend Curtis Martin went from a latchkey kid in a violent neighborhood to a Hall of Famer and celebrated philanthropist. His unlikely rise was powered by faith, hard work, and near superhuman discipline. In this interview, he talks about facing fears, practicing values, and the near-death experience that changed everything. For more resilience…
 
Oncologist Gabriel Sara, MD, is a maniac about the truth. Whether delivering a tough diagnosis, or sharing his feelings with colleagues, he refuses to sugarcoat. It's a lesson he learned as a medical intern in war-torn Beirut, where the truth was a matter of life and death, and over the years it's become central to his practice. On this episode, Dr…
 
When writer Marisa Bardach Ramel was a teenager, her mother, Sally, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Amid the sadness and uncertainty that followed, they made an extraordinary decision to write a memoir together. Now, almost 20 years later, The Goodbye Diaries: A Mother-Daughter Memoir, has at last been published. On this episode, Marisa talks a…
 
Parenting trends come and go—remember “tiger” moms?—but the challenge of raising resilient kids remains as critical as ever. How can we make sure our children respond to stress in a healthy way? And how do we support our kids without becoming “snowplow” parents? Aliza Pressman, PhD, a developmental psychologist and co-founding Director of The Mount…
 
Learning to overcome your fears is a key stepping stone to becoming resilient. But it’s easier said than done. Fear memories—from agonizing missteps to traumatic experiences—have a way of haunting us. On this special Halloween episode, Mount Sinai neuroscientist Anthony Lacagnina, PhD, takes us inside the brain to understand why. Dr. Lacagnina’s wo…
 
George flees anti-gay violence in his native Ghana and seeks asylum in the United States. This is the story of what happens next. Featuring Elizabeth Singer, MD, MPH, director of the Mount Sinai Human Rights Program. The program provides medical evaluations to support the claims of victims of human rights abuses who are seeking asylum in the United…
 
A new study has found that optimists have a substantially reduced risk of cardiovascular events and premature death compared to pessimists. Lead author Alan Rozanski, MD, explains why optimists are healthier than pessimists, what optimism really means, and how to start seeing the glass half-full. Dr. Rozanski is a cardiologist at Mount Sinai St. Lu…
 
Nobody knows what was in the dust cloud that blanketed Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. But we’re increasingly sure about the health consequences, including asthma, PTSD, and cancer. On this episode, a 9/11 health expert and a volunteer responder talk about what it was like to work at Ground Zero, what we know about 9/11-related illnesses, an…
 
Five kids. Four Grammy nominations. One pear-sized brain tumor. When a life-threatening diagnosis turned comedy writer/director Jeannie Gaffigan’s life upside-down, she and her husband, comedian Jim Gaffigan, turned to faith, family, and of course—humor. Jeannie's new memoir is “When Life Gives You Pears" http://bit.ly/2HqD5KU. Joshua Bederson, MD,…
 
Mount Sinai researchers have published the first large, empirical study examining the mental health of children in immigration detention. Co-authors Craig Katz, MD, and Priscilla Agyeman, MPH, talk about what they found and what it means for all of us. More about the study (http://bit.ly/2yl3swP). The Mount Sinai Human Rights Program (http://bit.ly…
 
Overwhelmed by grief for patients who had died, an oncology fellow embarks on a self-care journey that leads to unexpected places. Cardinale Smith, MD, PhD, Director of Quality for Cancer Services at the Mount Sinai Health System, shares the ritual she uses to process loss, offers tips on having hard conversations, and reflects on the end of life. …
 
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