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Harness the Power of Language When Discussing Weight with Stephanie Sogg, PhD

Physician's Guide to Doctoring with Bradley B. Block, MD

Release Date: 10/10/2021

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Physician's Guide to Doctoring with Bradley B. Block, MD

Luana Colloca, MD, Ph.D., MS, is a physician-scientist, professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Director of the TL1 program, Chair of the Pain and Placebo Special Interest Group for the International Association for Study of Pain Society (IASP), and steering member and treasurer for the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies of Placebo (SIPS). Prof. Colloca holds an MD, a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and a masters in Bioethics.   She completed a post-doc training at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and a senior research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in...

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Physician's Guide to Doctoring with Bradley B. Block, MD

After experiencing paralyzing burnout as a newly-minted primary care physician, Dr. Diane Shannon made the hard decision to leave practice and pursue a career in writing. Her focus for 20 years has been drawing attention to ways to address clinician burnout, system inefficiency, and patient safety problems. She is co-author of Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine, which was published in 2016.  Her personal experience with burnout and her desire to support clinicians motivated her to become a certified coach three years...

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Physician's Guide to Doctoring with Bradley B. Block, MD

Talya Miron-Shatz, PhD, is a leader in research at the intersection of medicine and behavioral economics. She is professor and founding Director of the Center for Medical Decision Making at Ono Academic College in Israel, senior fellow at the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest in New York, and a visiting researcher at the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge. Miron-Shatz was a post-doctoral researcher at Princeton University, and a lecturer at Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of over 60 academic papers on...

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I’m re-releasing this episode because of how critical it is. In my quest to be taught how best to have a fruitful discussion with those hesitant about the vaccine, I interviewed two science communicators, a social engineer, a lawyer, an expert in cognitive biases, and a motivational interview and of all of those, the last one was the most powerful tool for moving the needle on those hesitant to get the vaccine.  Motivational interviewing comes from addiction medicine, but using it for vaccine hesitancy actually precedes the COVID pandemic. It is used for new parents who are considering...

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Motivational Interviewing in the Vaccine Hesitant with Joseph Weiner, MD, Ph.D., Part 1 show art Motivational Interviewing in the Vaccine Hesitant with Joseph Weiner, MD, Ph.D., Part 1

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I’m re-releasing this episode because of how critical it is. In my quest to be taught how best to have a fruitful discussion with those hesitant about the vaccine, I interviewed two science communicators, a social engineer, a lawyer, an expert in cognitive biases, and a motivational interview and of all of those, the last one was the most powerful tool for moving the needle on those hesitant to get the vaccine.  Motivational interviewing comes from addiction medicine, but using it for vaccine hesitancy actually precedes the COVID pandemic. It is used for new parents who are considering...

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Harness the Power of Language When Discussing Weight with Stephanie Sogg, PhD show art Harness the Power of Language When Discussing Weight with Stephanie Sogg, PhD

Physician's Guide to Doctoring with Bradley B. Block, MD

This was one of my favorite interviews. I was a fledgling podcaster at the time when I interviewed Dr. Stephanie Sogg, a clinical psychologist at the Harvard Weight Center. She had been quoted in an article in the Huffington Post that lambasted physicians for not knowing how to talk to our patients about their weight. Interviews like this were the reason why I started podcasting. I emailed her and asked her if she could teach us the right way to have these discussions and she agreed! Talking to patients about their weight is fraught with landmines created by inordinately complex psychosocial...

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This episode is going to flip the script. I’m going to be the one interviewed. I was interviewed by Dr. Indu Partha, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tuscon, on her podcast, The Ajo Way, Primary Care Pearls from South Campus. We talked about dizziness. If you are an otolaryngologist like me, you can stop listening now, but for everyone else who finds dizziness to be mystifying, this will be a good primer to understanding otologic causes of dizziness. We aren’t getting granular here; no need to differentiate the saccule from the utricle....

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This was one of my favorite interviews. I was a fledgling podcaster at the time when I interviewed Dr. Stephanie Sogg, a clinical psychologist at the Harvard Weight Center. She had been quoted in an article in the Huffington Post that lambasted physicians for not knowing how to talk to our patients about their weight. Interviews like this were the reason why I started podcasting. I emailed her and asked her if she could teach us the right way to have these discussions and she agreed!

Talking to patients about their weight is fraught with landmines created by inordinately complex psychosocial issues. It is very easy to alienate a patient. Dr. Sogg teaches us the power of language and this has come up in other interviews since. Changing racial language from minority to minoritize and slave to enslaved changes the perspective of the listener. It subtly influences how that person is perceived. The same applies to discussing weight; when we change our language about body habitus to be less stigmatizing, it subtly influences the listener, be it our patients, students or colleagues. We also need to change the way we talk about food. According to Dr. Sogg, the only bad food has gone bad, tastes bad or is poisonous.

Dr. Stephanie Sogg is a clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She has treated patients with obesity at the MGH Weight Center since 2003. Dr. Sogg earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers University in 1998, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Harvard Medical School. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Sogg conducts research on obesity and bariatric surgery, and the intersection between obesity and addiction, and has published widely on obesity and related topics. She is an author of the Boston Interview for Bariatric Surgery, and of the official ASMBS Recommendations for the Pre-Surgical Psychosocial Evaluation of Bariatric Surgery Patients. She is the director of the Weight Center rotation for Behavioral Medicine psychology interns, and is active in national and international scientific obesity and weight loss surgery societies. She is currently serving as a member-at-large on the Integrated Health Executive Council for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

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