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Burnout is an epidemic that is killing doctors and patients alike.

Our featured guest today is Dr. Thandeka Myeni.

Thandeka Myeni, MD, MPH, affectionately known as Dr Thandi, is a board-certified ophthalmologist with double specialty training in glaucoma, cataract surgery and LASIK. 
 
Dr. Myeni received her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and later earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University. She obtained her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and then completed her medical internship at Boston University Medical Center. 
 
Her ophthalmology training began with a residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. She has completed two fellowships, one in Glaucoma at the top-ranked Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, and another in Cataract and Refractive Surgery with Dr. Paul Koch who has consistently been ranked among the top cataract surgeons in the country. 
 
While Dr. Myeni was born and raised in the United States, her family is originally from Southern Africa. She spent a large part of her childhood in Swaziland. 

 

KEY POINTS FROM DR. THANDI:

  • I am child of the world. I was born in NYC, but my dad is South African and my mom is from Swaziland. I spent part of my life in Swaziland. 
  • When I went to medical school, I was always interested in women's empowerment and thought I was going to become an obstetrician gynecologist. But then, in my mid twenties I realized I needed glasses. That was the first time I realized the importance of vision and how much it impacts your life if you don't see well. I also witnessed my first LASIK surgery and saw someone go from being legally blind without glasses, to being able to see without glasses in less than 10 minutes. And that's when I decided I wanted to do ophthalmology.
  • Dr. Thandi shares a story about ‘Lisa' who had advanced stage glaucoma at the age of 34 and legally blind in one eye.
  • Lisa had gotten eye exams every year
  • One of the reasons I ran for Mrs DC America was to empower people with the information they needed
  • Glaucoma is a series of diseases, it's not just one thing
  • All these diseases cause damage to the optic nerve
  • The optic nerve is like a cable, like the one that hooks up to your tv. It goes from your eyes to your brain.
  • If you cut the cable on your tv, you don't get a signal
  • Similarly, if that cable, the optic nerve, gets damaged enough, you go blind.
  • Glaucoma is painless. It begins by impacting your peripheral vision. 
  • There are different types of eye exams and sometimes people don't realize it. There are exams where they are just checking you for glasses, but it's not a medical exam. And there are medical exams where they are checking you for diseases. 
  • It is important when you go to the eye doctor, you get a dilated eye exam.
  • Dilated means they put drops in your eyes and make your vision blurry. 
  • If you have any type of medical or eye condition, you should do that at least once a year
  • What we bring attention to, people notice 
  • Here's a mnemonic to help you remember what to ask for: 
    • Are you all SET?
    • S – Are there any signs of glaucoma?
    • E – What was my eye pressure?
    • T – Is there any testing we need to do? 
  • In everything, give thanks!
  • An attitude of gratitude got me through a challenging season
  • My suffering was not in vain. The lessons I was learning was to benefit me and others
  • I started the Happy Doctor Mom Facebook Group. Our tagline is to find joy and harmony in the midst of work and mayheim. And that's my life: motherhood, work and a whole lot of mayheim. 
  • African proverb: if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.
  • Talking to and meeting these other doctors and moms, I wanted to create a place we could share our best practices together
  • Burnout is an epidemic that is killing doctors and patients alike
  • Did you know that the number one cause of death for female physicians under 35 is suicide
  • Physicians have the highest rates of suicide of any career
  • Female physicians are 250% more likely to commit suicide than any other occupation
  • Male physicians are 70% more likely to commit suicide than any other occupation
  • Burnout is a constellation of symptoms that occur when your energy account has a negative balance over time. 
  • When you are in pain, patients stop becoming people, they become annoyances.
  • Burned out doctors provide crappy care
  • We need doctors seeking help from therapists and coaches
  • BE THANK FULL AND PLAY
  • BE – Be Still. Have a stillness practice: meditation, mindfulness, or be one with nature. 
  • THANK – gratitude. Oprah – everyday she writes down 5 things she's grateful for everyday. If you don't write it down, speak it.  
  • FULL – live a life of fulfillment. Walk in your purpose. Know why you're here. Identity why 
  • PLAY – Have fun. Do things that are fun. We are here once, we might as well live it to the full. 
  • Love yourselves and take care of yourselves

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

 

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