Show cover of Raise the Line

Raise the Line explores solutions with top experts to strengthen the capacity of our healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


Making Rare Disease Treatments A Priority - John Crowley, Executive Chairman at Amicus Therapeutics
It was on a Friday the 13th in late winter 1997 when John Crowley’s life changed forever.  John and his wife Aileen had been noticing concerning symptoms in their infant daughter Megan for several months, and after a few rounds of testing she was diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy known as Pompe disease.  Doctors told the Crowleys their daughter likely only had a few years to live, an outlook that ultimately sparked John’s remarkable efforts to find treatments for Megan as well as her younger brother Patrick, who was also struck with Pompe. His family’s amazing journey was the inspiration for the movie Extraordinary Measures starring Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford.  Join host Shiv Gaglani in this captivating and inspiring conversation with Crowley, now the Executive Chairman at Amicus Therapeutics, to learn about how he and his team are shedding light on some of the rarest diseases in the world, the promise of new technology in genetics, and the need for an Operation Warp Speed to develop rare disease treatments.  As Crowley puts it, “We can beat nature, we think, in the years and decades ahead. We just oftentimes have to beat time.”Mentioned in this episode:
28:16 09/22/2022
Empowering Consumers to Make Better Health Decisions - Dr. Taylor Sittler, Head of Research & Development at Levels
Direct-to-consumer healthcare and how technology can empower people to be active participants in achieving and maintaining their own good health is a favorite topic on Raise the Line.  Today we’re going to take a closer look at how one consumer health device that’s growing sharply in popularity, continuous glucose monitors, can be used to drive healthier decisions.  Millions of Americans wear the devices to see the impact of what they eat on their bodies, but it can be difficult for people to use that information.  That’s where Levels enters the picture, a health tech company helping people discover how diet and lifestyle choices impact their metabolic functioning.  “We're enabling people to better understand what health decisions they should be making,” says Dr. Taylor Sittler, the company’s Head of Research and Development. Levels does that through an app that presents data from the monitors in a way that people can understand.  For example, you can see a chart showing your glucose levels over the course of the day.  Next up for Levels is supporting people as they act on the information, and providing data on exercise and sleep. Join host Michael Carrese as he explores this growing area of medical technology with Dr. Sittler, and how measuring and monitoring resilience can also play an important role in improving health.Mentioned in this episode:
23:26 09/21/2022
A New Tool to Improve Clinic Visits for Both Patients and Providers – Dr. David Canes, Founder of WellPrept
Unlike many young children who are fearful of visits to the doctor, Dr. David Canes was fascinated by his.  This early interest set the foundation for a career in medicine, leading him to become a skilled urologist and robotic surgeon. But he started to feel unsatisfied with the repetition of information he needed to deliver during patient appointments. “I think there's a lot of other doctors like me who really love making a connection with another human being who needs your help, but if you are repetitively explaining things, you enter an autopilot type of mindset and it really bothered me a lot.” Ultimately, the patient-centered solution he developed grew into the company Wellprept, which empowers doctors to curate educational content that can easily be shared with patients before appointments via a single link.  Happily, it’s working well for both the physicians who are using the system and their patients. “The "ah-ha" moment seems to be that the patient comes back in and says, ‘thank you so much for sending me that,’ and then the provider notices that the visit is better.” Check out this wide-ranging conversation with host Shiv Gaglani, in which Dr. Canes shares his insights on other ways to reduce physician burnout, thoughts on improving the doctor-patient relationship, and tips on planning for a long-term career in medicine. Mentioned in this episode:
27:06 09/15/2022
A Mission to Maximize the Use of Donated Organs - Leslie McMahon, Organ Recovery Manager with Donor Alliance
There’s good news in the world of organ donation and transplant.  For the first time last year, more than 40,000 transplants were performed in the U.S. and donations from deceased donors increased for the eleventh year in a row. And as we’ll learn from today’s guest Leslie McMahon, newer technologies are making it possible to evaluate organs for viability that previously might have been rejected due to concerns about trauma-inflicted damage or other factors. “They can put the heart in a box and watch its function outside of the body before implanting it. They have the same devices for liver, kidneys and lungs as well.” McMahonis Organ Recovery Manager at Donor Alliance, an organ, eye and tissue  procurement organization serving Colorado and parts of Wyoming, one of 57 OPOs in the United States dedicated to helping the 106,000 Americans in need of transplants. “Our vision is to maximize all donation opportunities. We are really focused on performance improvement to be able to meet that vision.” Don’t miss this informative conversation with host Shiv Gaglani in which McMahon shares her insights on the challenges of procuring organs for donation, the special connection developed with donor families, and why having a positive attitude is essential in growing a career in the healthcare field.Mentioned in this episode:
31:15 09/14/2022
Fixing Centuries of Inequities for Women in Healthcare - Halle Tecco, Executive Vice President of Everly Health
Inspired by her own challenges with fertility a few years ago, serial entrepreneur Halle Tecco saw a tremendous opportunity to rebuild the fertility and pregnancy experience for families from the ground up. She wanted to bring a human-centered approach to physical products that were largely designed and sold by male-owned incumbents in the space. She came home one day after interviewing a few potential CEOs and told her husband, "I'm so sorry. I know I said I wouldn't start a company, but I think that I have to do this, I'm just so passionate about it." With those words, Halle founded Natalist to offer fertility and pregnancy essentials for women and men who wanted a better solution, just like her. The company was acquired in October of 2021 by Everly Health where Halle now serves as vice president, focusing on developing and supporting women’s health strategy across the organization. Check out this episode of Raise the Line as host Shiv Gaglani sits down with Halle to hear all about her journey as an entrepreneur in the healthcare space, and discuss the many obstacles and challenges women still face navigating the healthcare system today.
29:52 09/08/2022
A Ukrainian Wellness Company Meets the Needs of Its Consumers and Employees Despite the War - Victoria Repa, CEO & Founder of BetterMe
Victoria Repa has known from her earliest days growing up in Ukraine how difficult it can be to lose weight. “In my family, everyone is overweight. It's our family problem and we can't overcome it.” Breaking that cycle provided Repa with the motivation to start her own journey toward better health, but she wanted to help others find their own motivation as well, and sustain it. Armed with business degrees from Kyiv University and Stanford, she launched the tech company BetterMe five years ago whose apps have already been downloaded 110 million times. Keeping that level of success going would be a challenge in any circumstances, but especially during the War in Ukraine which has required some staff to flee the country while others stayed to fight. Join host Michael Carrese for this inspirational conversation with a tenacious leader who is fighting for her country, her employees and the health of her customers all at once.Mentioned in this episode: to support the people of Ukraine.
21:52 09/07/2022
A Patient Perspective on Degenerative Brain Disease - Leonard Marshall, Former NFL Great and Dementia Advocate
It was a decade after NY Giants great and Super Bowl champion Leonard Marshall retired when he first started to notice cognitive issues and a concerning change in attitude. Five years, many doctor visits and countless hours of research later, the two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman received a diagnosis of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that’s common in former NFL players. He estimates taking over 30,000 blows to the head in his entire college and pro football career, which included 12 years in the NFL. “I knew what I signed up for when I started to play pro football. I knew there was a very strong chance I could end up getting a knee injury, back injury, neck injury, maybe a concussion or two.  But nowhere in that fine print did it say you could end up with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and no one ever talked about it.” Today, Marshall is using his high profile to support CaringKind, New York City's leading expert on Alzheimer's and dementia caregiving with a forty-year history of working with community partners to help affected patients and families.  Join host Shiv Gaglani for this touching opportunity to hear a patient’s perspective on a disease that is constantly in the headlines, and learn what Leonard Marshall is doing to support people facing the same reality.  Mentioned in this episode:
23:04 09/01/2022
Chasing Lifesaving Cures for Himself and Others - Dr. David Fajgenbaum, President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network
“I knew I wasn't going to survive unless I found a drug that could save my life,” says Dr. David Fajgenbaum, who has almost died five times from the rare disorder idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease, which he developed while in medical school. Now a physician and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Fajgenbaum has led research efforts into a cure for Castleman, discovering a drug that has kept him disease-free for eight years and is helping other patients. As he continues pursuing new therapies for Castleman, Fajgenbaum is also spearheading an effort to create a system for identifying alternate uses for existing drugs, something which could benefit millions in the rare disease community and beyond. “One of my favorite examples is tocilizumab, which was made for Castleman in the 1990’s and is now the first drug you'll receive if you're admitted to the ICU with COVID,” he tells host Shiv Gaglani.The non-profit effort is being announced this month at a Clinton Global Initiative meeting. Don’t miss this deeply inspiring conversation with many lessons on the importance of collaboration, laughter and hope, and the perspective gained from feeling like you are living on borrowed time.  Mentioned in this episode:
26:50 08/31/2022
On the Medical Frontlines of the War in Ukraine – Dr. Oleg Turkot, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital
On this special episode of Raise the Line, we get an eyewitness account of how medical needs are being met in the midst of the war in Ukraine from Ukrainian-American anesthesiologist Dr. Oleg Turkot, who has been coordinating resources and treating patients since the war started. As he tells host Shiv Gaglani, one important focus for him has been working with the Butterfly Network to distribute hand-held ultrasound devices. “If you have an ultrasound that weighs sixty pounds, lugging that as you're fleeing from a rocket attack ends up not really being your best priority versus something that you have on your belt.” Dr. Turkot is not new to improving medical care in under-resourced countries. For years, he’s been working with Kybele, an organization that creates healthcare partnerships across borders to improve childbirth safety.  Tune in to this fascinating and important conversation to hear more about that work, how Twitter can be a powerful resource in crowdsourcing medical devices, and about some of the unique differences between the healthcare systems in the United States and Ukraine. “I think the most important thing is to continue to support organizations that are doing the work on the ground because this is going to have to continue for years.”Mentioned in this episode: 
25:30 08/30/2022
Overcoming a One-in-A-Million Disease: Akiva Zablocki, President of the Hyper IgM Foundation
When Akiva Zablocki found out his infant son Idan had a one-in-a-million immune disorder, he and his wife Amanda were terribly worried, as all parents would be. But unlike most parents of children with rare diseases, Akiva could draw on the expertise in navigating the healthcare system he gathered when successfully overcoming his own rare and scary ordeal with a brain stem tumor. Thanks to that know-how, his wife’s background in healthcare law, some amazing clinicians, the couple’s tenacity, and Idan’s spirit, he is now a healthy ten-year-old enjoying summer camp. On this episode of Raise the Line, Akiva shares the remarkable details of his family’s journey with host Shiv Gaglani, and tells the story of how the Hyper IgM Foundation, which the Zablockis launched, is helping patients all over the world. Be sure to stay tuned for some heartfelt advice for current and future providers as they encounter patients and families with rare diseases. Mentioned in this episode:
31:58 08/25/2022
How Healthcare Can Harness the Potential of AI - Dr. Karim Lakhani, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
In this super insightful conversation with host Shiv Gaglani, Dr. Karim Lakhani breaks down the difference between “strong” and “weak” artificial intelligence, and how the healthcare world can not only adapt to it, but harness its full potential. But, he stresses, the system has some important groundwork to do before that can happen. “Process change is the biggest work that has to happen in healthcare, from discovery to the clinic and beyond. Otherwise, we're basically pouring digital and artificial intelligence asphalt over old cow-paths." As professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, founding director of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard, and the Principal Investigator of the NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Lakhani is a powerful intellectual force in understanding AI, open-source software and crowdsourcing. He’s also the author of the book Competing in the Age of AI. If you’re curious about how artificial intelligence might transform the healthcare system, this is a can’t miss opportunity to hear from a leading expert in the field.
34:58 08/24/2022
A Planetary Perspective on Healthcare - Dr. Maria Guevara, International Medical Secretary at Médecins Sans Frontières
As a young girl, Dr. Maria Guevara was inspired by her parent’s volunteer medical missions in the Philippines where they helped repair cleft lips and palates. The deep impression that work created led her on a path to medicine and eventually to her role today as International Medical Secretary at Médecins Sans Frontières (aka Doctors Without Borders). In her eighteen years with the agency, Dr. Guevara has traveled the world tending to the needs of people who have been victimized by armed conflicts, natural disasters, and disease outbreaks such as Ebola. Founded in 1971 in the wake of the Biafra war in Nigeria, Médecins Sans Frontières now operates as an independent medical organization in over seventy countries with more than forty-six thousand members. Join host Shiv Gaglani for this riveting conversation with Dr. Guevara in which she shares her experiences in the field, provides her thoughts on global health as a discipline, and shares lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic with an eye on the looming challenge of climate change. “We’re getting dress rehearsals on a regular basis to see how we can fix ourselves. It's like Mother Earth is saying, ‘We’re going to teach you. Learn!’”
31:37 08/17/2022
The Growing Role of Students As Partners in Medical Education: Dr. Ronald Harden, General Secretary of the Association of Medical Education in Europe
“From the beginning, my approach was that we need to challenge the system,” says Dr. Ronald Harden, General Secretary of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE). In the 1970’s as a young medical professor in Scotland, this mindset led Harden to create the Objective Structured Clinical Examination, or OSCE, which dramatically improved the way medical students are evaluated. Many years and contributions later, he continues to push the field through AMEE, which is holding its popular annual conference starting August 27 in Lyon, France. As he tells host Shiv Gaglani, his latest focus is on the evolving role of the student, which will be described in a book being published by Elsevier next year. “The student has a changing role as a partner in the learning program. They're not just there as a client or consumer, but as a partner.” This partnership could extend to the area of helping to assess peers on resilience and problem-solving -- qualities newly recognized as important due to COVID -- and ones that students might be in a better position to observe than professors. Check out this inspiring wisdom drop from a veteran educator who has not lost even a wee bit of enthusiasm for his work.  “I think we have an exciting future ahead in medical education. There are so many things still to be done.”For more information on the AMEE conference, visit
31:58 08/16/2022
An Entrepreneurial-Minded Approach to Medicine - Dr. Robert Lord, Partner at LionBird Ventures
“So much of healthcare actually does have parallels to the business world, insofar as much of our job is to help align people to the next steps that are in their best interest,” Dr. Robert Lord tells host Shiv Gaglani.  Dr. Lord, who recently completed his medical degree at Johns Hopkins, understands the parallels between the business world and the healthcare world better than most. As a Partner at early-stage digital health venture capital firm LionBird Ventures, Dr. Lord works with all sorts of exciting companies focusing on elements of healthcare that can range from the back office of compliance, to front-end clinical devices. Prior to LionBird, Dr. Lord co-founded Protenus, which provides healthcare organizations with risk reduction solutions.  Robert’s insights have been featured in Forbes, The Baltimore Sun, and many national conferences, and he has briefed the U.S. Senate on cybersecurity threats to our nation's healthcare systems.  Tune in to this insightful conversation to get an inside-look into some of the exciting new start-ups Dr. Lord and his team at LionBird are working with, as well as many take-aways for aspiring medical professionals and entrepreneurs alike.  (Dr. Lord’s comments reflect his personal views and do not represent those of the organizations with which he is affiliated.Mentioned in this episode:
36:17 08/10/2022
What Rare Disease Patients and Families Need From Clinicians: Philippe Pakter, Rare Disease Parent
“It's a strange odyssey being a rare disease parent. It sort of forces you to question everything about life,” says Philippe Pakter, whose daughter Lysiane was born with Pierre Robin Sequence, a condition that impedes normal breathing and feeding. In this compelling interview with Shiv Gaglani, he shares the wrenching details of his family’s daunting emotional, medical and legal journey. “It's tough, but you just have to keep going and from the hardship can potentially come very beautiful things.” Among the brighter spots of their story are finding a non-surgical treatment that helped with part of Lysiane’s condition, and connecting with a network of dedicated clinicians focused on improving treatments for Pierre Robin Sequence. (Pakter recently interviewed one of those doctors, Stanford’s HyeRan Choo, about non-surgical approaches. Listen here.) Don’t miss this opportunity to hear hard won wisdom about ways clinicians can approach their work to be mindful of rare diseases and how they can be a resource for patients and families who are often desperate for answers.  Pakter is a great example of how well-informed rare disease family members are, and why clinicians should listen closely to what they have to say.
49:30 08/09/2022
Virtual Care That Creates Real Connections Between Providers and Patients - Ryan McQuaid, Co-founder & CEO of PlushCare
Ryan McQuaid was facing chronic back and joint pain so intense he could barely stand up in the morning.  Without a primary care doctor to reach out to about his symptoms -- and little experience navigating the healthcare system -- he turned to a friend, James Wantuck, who happened to be a Stanford-trained physician.  Through this relationship, which was largely conducted via text messages and FaceTime calls, Ryan’s condition was diagnosed and he received effective treatment.  It was out of this experience that PlushCare was born. “We said let's take that experience, this human-centric personalized care done digitally, and democratize it and give it to every American.” Today, the company provides nearly instant access to primary care from a desktop or smartphone, making it easy for patients to get the care they need without ever having to leave their home.  The company has grown considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now has provided primary care and behavioral health care to hundreds of thousands of people in all fifty states.  Tune in to this conversation with host Michael Carrese to hear where the future of virtual care is headed, and how PlushCare’s team is tackling a major problem in the U.S. in an innovative way. Mentioned in this episode:
21:47 08/04/2022
Leading the Fight for Global Health Equity - Dr. Sheila Davis, CEO of Partners In Health
With its mission to bring the benefits of modern medicine to places that have been impacted by poverty and injustice, Partners In Health has been at the forefront of the battle for global health equity since it began in 1987.  Founded by a group of like-minded physicians and philanthropists, including the late Dr. Paul Farmer, it has focused on strengthening health systems in the communities that need them most. “Paul really saw that the link between academia and clinical and the community had to be a deliberate and authentic one," says Dr. Sheila Davis, CEO of Partners In Health. Dr. Davis began her work as a nurse fighting the HIV pandemic in the 1980s and has since built an amazing career in healthcare and philanthropy, holding multiple leadership roles at Partners In Health over the past decade. In this informative conversation with host Shiv Gaglani, she gives us an inside look at the organization's current work, provides insights on what it takes to strengthen healthcare systems, and stresses the importance of taking a community-grounded approach.  Mentioned in this episode:
27:53 08/03/2022
Using Technology to Create Deeper Learning Experiences - Dr. Peter Decherney, Faculty Director of the Online Learning Initiative, University of Pennsylvania
Like many academics, Dr. Peter Decherney wears many hats, but in his case you can also add a virtual reality headset.  That’s because in addition to being a professor of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he’s also a filmmaker working in both the traditional “flatty” format and virtual reality, with subjects ranging from artists in Puerto Rico to a Jewish community in Ethiopia. Choosing which medium to use to tell which story is a newer part of the process he enjoys. “Filmmaking is often about this kind of obsessive control. It's a challenge to be able to give up some control and create lots of different opportunities and learning experiences for audiences,” he tells host Michael Carrese in this episode of Raise the Line. Using technology to create learning experiences is also a big part of his job as the Faculty Director of UPenn’s Online Learning Initiative, a role that put him at the center of perhaps the largest, quickest, and most significant change in higher education in modern times when the pandemic forced the universal use of remote learning. “The pandemic was a moment of reflection and it was kind of amazing to see people across campus just think about education and pedagogy in a really deep and new way.” Check out this wide-ranging conversation to find out what that new thinking is leading to, what he likes about online instruction himself and one of the most important things universities learned about themselves during the pandemic.Mentioned in this episode: Information on Film About Ethiopia: https://www.dreamingofjerusalem.orgKalobeyei Refugee Settlement Video: Website:
22:07 07/28/2022
The Tech Behind Successful Student Journeys - Greg Vanclief, President and CEO of Elentra
“Curriculum is at the heart of everything a university does, so it only makes sense to architect the solution we provide based on the core offering of the universities,” says Greg Vanclief, President & CEO of Elentra.  The tech industry veteran and his team are on a mission to transform the delivery of higher education and nurture life-long learners through an end-to-end platform featuring a wide range of tools to support everything from scheduling to curriculum mapping to testing and accreditation management. The global reach of Elentra’s advanced education management system is growing in part because it allows universities to consolidate multiple existing software tools into one.  Join host Michael Carrese as Vanclief provides a peek into the tech support underpinning successful student journeys, and shares his passion for entrepreneurship and transforming higher education.Mentioned in this episode:
19:42 07/27/2022
Training Doctors to Be Active Citizens, Focused on Equity – Dr. Paula Termuhlen, Dean of Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
In the last decade, a projected physician shortage drove the establishment of new medical schools across the country. Among these was the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, where Dean Dr. Paula Termuhlen is working to forge an identity for the young institution. She says they’ve settled on “health equity” -- a vision that emphasizes teaching and practicing among the undeserved in the local community. This, she tells host Michael Carrese, doesn’t just mean more people get care, but it also shores up public trust in doctors, and brings new potential populations into the medical education pipeline. “We've come to recognize that you really have to reach down into elementary school to inspire young people to continue their education,” she says. Tune in to hear about what it means to build a medical school from scratch, why communicating clearly with the public is among the great medical challenges of our time, and how the pandemic has opened up new possibilities for emerging health care professionals to shape the field for the better.
21:24 07/21/2022
Building Awareness and Communities Around Rare Disorders – Dr. Edward Neilan and Rebecca Aune of NORD
In medical school, when taught about differential diagnoses, students are often taught, "if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras” says Rebecca Aune, the Director of Education Programs at National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).NORD, she says, represents twenty-five million American zebras living with rare diseases every day, many of whom undergo a deeply frustrating and isolating odyssey as they seek an accurate diagnosis. The reasons for this are numerous, Dr. Edward Neilan, the organization’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, tells host Michael Carrese. But NORD is working to address many of these problems at once, at the level of the patient, the doctor, the research, and the medical system as a whole. Tune in to hear how at 1980s law dramatically increased research into rare disorders, how the human genome project has revolutionized their treatment, and what a future of better diagnostics could look like.Mentioned in this episode:
23:08 07/20/2022
Opening Doors for Medical Students of Color - Bridgette Hudson, Executive Director of the Student National Medical Association
The Student National Medical Association has been fighting for equity and diversity in the medical field for almost 60 years. Unfortunately, it’s a need as pressing today as it was when the association began, with Black doctors making up only 5% of the physician workforce in the nation.  And beyond making sure Black Americans are aware of the path to, and through, medical school, SNMA Executive Director Bridgette Hudson also works closely with her team to make sure medical students have the opportunity to be great leaders as well. “We have an amazing pipeline of learners who are going to be primed to be physician leaders to make sure positions and influences are diversified not just on the floors of the hospital systems, but also in those decision-making suites and in our accreditation spaces.” On this episode of Raise the Line, Hudson joins host Michael Carrese to discuss the importance of maintaining support for the record number of first-year medical students who are Black to ensure they graduate, how SNMA supports diversity in medical research and the role of medical educators in breaking down stereotypes about race and health.Mentioned in this episode:
23:35 07/14/2022
Designing a Curriculum That Serves and Reflects Your Community – Dr. Steve Riley, Dean of Medical Education at Cardiff University in Wales
One of the things that convinced Dr. Steve Riley to remain in Wales after leaving his native England as a youth to attend Cardiff University is what he calls its sense of citizenship and social accountability. It was a good fit with his own values, and when given the opportunity to help shape the curriculum at the University’s School of Medicine, he wanted it to reflect those sensibilities. “For me, it’s about trying to structure a course that recognizes the needs of the local population and seeing how a school of medicine can contribute back to make things better for the population,” he tells host Michael Carrese. Among the ways to achieve that are having students teach health literacy in local schools and aligning the School of Medicine’s research strengths to positively impact local communities. Tune into this thoughtful look at medical education in the UK to find out why medical students were an asset, not a liability, to doctors in Wales during the COVID crisis, how to how to help students navigate the ever-increasing amount of evidence and data at their fingertips, and why Riley thinks being a doctor should be fundamentally enjoyable.
21:36 07/13/2022
What a Long Strange Trip: The Fall and Rise of Psychedelics in Medicine – Dr. Jim Fadiman, Author and Pioneer in Psychedelic Research
The current interest in using psychedelics for mental health treatment is a ‘back to the future’ moment for Dr. Jim Fadiman, a pioneer in psychedelic research known as the father of microdosing. “The method that's been developed for administering high doses in a supervised environment is replicating exactly what we developed in the 1960s,” he tells host Shiv Gaglani.  At that time, the federal government approved his research, but when the Nixon administration criminalized this class of drugs for political reasons, all research stopped, creating a wide belief that they are unsafe when actually, he says, they’re among the pharmacologically safest drugs. In the absence of government-sanctioned research, what Fadiman calls “citizen science” has been thriving.  Hundreds of thousands of people have self-reported through social media and other means that the drugs improve their functioning and have no serious side effects. Other countries are sponsoring research yielding the same results. In the context of a deepening mental health crisis, Fadiman believes it makes sense to integrate psychedelics into treatment, especially when the pharmaceuticals in use are only modestly effective for a minority of patients. Make sure to listen through to the end of the episode to learn about his new book, Symphony of Selves on harmonizing different aspects of our personalities to reduce stress and increase empathy for others. This is a deeply-informed, revealing and fun conversation you won’t want to miss. Mentioned in this episode:
56:01 07/12/2022
Revealing New Connections Between Nutrition and Health - Dr. David Perlmutter, Neurologist and Bestselling Author
As a child, Dr. David Perlmutter developed an uncommon familiarity with the human brain. Exploring the surgical ward -- and eventually, the operating room -- with his neurosurgeon dad, he observed the possibilities of modern brain medicine, but also its limits. After becoming a neurologist himself, he grew dissatisfied with the medical status quo which he says tended to react to brain diseases like Alzheimer’s after they took effect. The numerous bestselling books he has since written draw on the latest science to explain how the brain interacts with the rest of the body and give readers the tools to adapt accordingly. The latest example is Drop Acid: The Surprising New Science of Uric Acid - The Key to Losing Weight, Controlling Blood Sugar and Achieving Extraordinary Health. Dr. Perlmutter’s work reflects a commitment to questioning the scientific status-quo. “I'm not saying to be iconoclastic day in and day out,” he tells host Shiv Gaglani. But he wants to “look at long-held tenants and recognize that nothing is sacrosanct. There's nothing there that can't be overturned.” Tune in to learn about a powerful new tool in everyone’s toolkit for keeping our brains healthy, and how doctors can get patients to actually follow through on their lifestyle recommendations. Mentioned in this episode:
34:33 07/06/2022
Investing In the Next Generation of Innovators – Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science
For decades, science fairs have kindled young peoples’ imaginations as they face down the conundrums of their time. Countless such fairs have been put on by the Society for Science, a century-old organization known for its science research competitions, its award-winning publication, Science News, and its outreach and equity programs that seek to help the young would-be-Einsteins living in “science deserts” to realize their potential. “We want to make sure every young person in this country can grow up to be a scientist or engineer if that's what they want to be,” Society for Science President and CEO Maya Ajmera tells host Shiv Gaglani. Ajmera sees effective science journalism and early scientific education as key strategies in the effort to combat rampant disinformation and scientific illiteracy. And she envisions new strategies for making sure more people have the chance to pursue a career in the sciences. Tune in to hear about Ajmera’s work as a children’s book author, how science fairs have launched so many successful careers, and why every medical professional should prioritize becoming a better communicator. Quote: “We want to make sure every young person in this country can grow up to be a scientist or engineer if that's what they want.”
19:43 06/29/2022
Virtual Offices That Humanize Remote Work - Dr. Vishal Punwani, Co-founder and CEO of SoWork
“Our goal is to make things much more human,” says Dr. Vishal Punwani when speaking about the mission of SoWork, the company he co-founded to create virtual office environments that enhance the remote working experience. Recognizing that members of distributed teams experience a loss of self, SoWork allows people to customize their avatar and workspace in its virtual office environments. “When you have the ability to represent yourself authentically in terms of how your avatar looks and dresses and interacts with other avatars, you get to have some of your own representation back,” he tells host Shiv Gaglani. If virtual office environments improve employee satisfaction with remote work, Punwani predicts major improvements in quality of life – because people will be able to live wherever they want – and possibly a major contribution to fighting climate change due to reduced commuting, office construction, business travel and the like. “It sounds totally grand, and maybe a bit unbelievable, but there's a path to get there, and that's the one we're walking.” You won’t want to miss this warm and fascinating conversation between these longtime friends and colleagues as they explore the pandemic’s lasting changes on healthcare, education and work, and share advice about following an entrepreneurial path in healthcare.
32:24 06/23/2022
Using Audio Technology to Reduce Administrative Burden in Healthcare – Punit Singh Soni, Co-Founder of Suki
Responding to the crisis of medical burnout, Punit Singh Soni, a former product manager at Google, launched the company Suki with a specific goal: leverage the burgeoning field of voice technology to lessen the growing administrative burden on clinicians. Soni says enterprise contexts, and healthcare in particular, are well-suited for the next generation of assistive voice-activated software. “Whatever you’re going to do in medicine is going to be interwoven with technology in the near future,” he tells host Shiv Gaglani. But as the rickety state of so much current healthcare administrative technology suggests, the prevailing cultures in the tech and medical worlds do not easily mix. Rather than trying to reshape how doctors do their job, Soni seeks to meet doctors where they already are, seamlessly integrating a voice system into the fabric of their work so they can spend more time caring for patients. Tune in to hear about why “the biggest technology company ever built is going to be in healthcare,” and how a user-centric mindset can help you not just build a company, but craft a career.
27:50 06/22/2022
A Multipronged Approach to Incontinence: Vanita Gaglani, Physical Therapist, Author and Incontinence Expert
More than twenty-five million people in the U.S. experience bladder leakage every day and while the problem is more common in women, millions of men also confront this challenge. Unfortunately, says Vanita Gaglani, support for men dealing with this issue is lacking, especially after prostate surgery. “Men have been ignored and they have an equal problem. They don't know who to go to. There is no structure. There are no guidelines for them to follow.” Gaglani recognized this gap not long after starting her physical therapy practice in Melbourne, Florida thirty years ago, and now 90% of her patients are men. In that time, she’s treated thousands of people with a multipronged approach that resolves incontinence issues in a matter of weeks. “Kegels are not the end-all, be-all treatment. We have to have a complete approach,” she says, which includes nutrition, understanding body mechanics and lifestyle changes. Gaglani has detailed her protocol in a new book: Life After Prostate Cancer and Other Urological Surgeries: A Step-by-Step Guide to Stop Urinary Leakage in Ten Weeks, which is a follow-up to an earlier book that was geared more to an older population. Don’t miss this deeply informative conversation about the special characteristics of the bladder, insights on how men approach medical treatments, and advice about helping patients overcome reluctance to speaking about embarrassing issues. And, make sure to listen to the end to discover Vanita’s special connection to Raise the Line!Mentioned in this episode:
24:49 06/16/2022
Serving Others is the Best Medicine for Yourself – Dr. Stephen Trzeciak, Bestselling Author and Chair of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
After more than a decade studying resuscitation science in the ICU, Dr. Stephen Trzeciak felt himself burning out. He was skeptical of “escapist” options, like more vacations. “I thought something had to fundamentally change at the point of care,” he tells host Shiv Gaglani. Inspired by empirical studies linking human connections with increased resilience, he decided to lean into relationships with those around him and focus on service towardothers. Through his books, research, and his work as Chair of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Dr. Trzeciak has dedicated himself ever since to spreading the word about the often-overlooked importance of human connection. Amid a worker shortage in the healthcare professions, Dr. Trzeciak hopes a renewed emphasis on the bonds that connect us all will make the system, and the people who constitute it, stronger. Tune in to hear about his new book Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways that Serving Others is the Best Medicine for Yourself, how people are increasingly opting for self-care strategies that isolate them further, and why medical conversations often stay with patients and their families for the rest of their lives.Mentioned in this episode:
29:14 06/15/2022