Inside-Out Leadership

“Who we are is how we lead” - Brene Brown
Episodes in the "Inside-Out Leadership" series will focus on topics related to personal development and growth. We will discuss some of the literature we found influential in our own lives, how it impacts the way we approach our busy lives as medical students and development as future medical leaders. Below you can find our episodes and interviews for The Main Course:

Death, Humor and Bringing Humanism Back to Medicine w/ Dr. Ed Creagan

In this episode we interview Dr. Ed Creagan. Dr. Ed was first board-certified in medical oncology with a focus on malignant melanoma and lung cancer. He then transitioned into a career in hospice and palliative medicine.

He was the Mayo Clinic president 1999, 2000, 2001. He was responsible to the Mayo Clinic CEO who directed answered to the internal board of governors and the external trustees. He believes that this gave him a fascinating insight into what he called the Masters Of The Universe. On a local as well as an international platform. He was able to see the skill set of those who were incredibly effective leaders and those who were not. Every effective leader he noted was an effective communicator.

If you want to connect with Dr. Creagan, you can find him at his website or at @AskDoctorEd on Twitter, IG, LinkedIn. In this episode we talk about bringing humanity back to medicine, his perspective as a hospice physician, and how he copes with the inevitability of death.

Human Leadership & Mental Health with Dr. Alison Van Dyke

Dr. Alison Van Dyke is both a cancer epidemiologist and board certified in anatomic pathology. She earned her MD and PhD from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2011 with graduate training in cancer biology. She completed postgraduate medical residency training in anatomic pathology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and surgical subspecialty training in thoracic pathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Van Dyke completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Currently working in the Data Quality, Analysis, and Interpretation Branch of the Surveillance Research Program at NCI, Dr. Van Dyke directs the SEER-linked Virtual Tissue Repository Pilot and the SEER-Linked Pediatric Cancer Whole Slide Imaging Pilot and leads an effort to integrate tumor site-histology terminology and coding across standard setters. She is currently also pursuing a Master of Public Administration from UNC Chapel Hill.

In this episode she shares her story and some important lessons in human leadership and managing your mental health as a medical trainee and professional.

Addressing Burnout from the inside-out with Hamza Khan

Hamza Khan is a multi-award winning marketer, best-selling author, and global keynote speaker whose TEDx talk “Stop Managing, Start Leading” has been viewed over a million times. He is a top-ranked university educator, serial entrepreneur, and respected thought leader whose insights have been featured by notable media outlets such as VICE, Business Insider, and The Globe and Mail. He empowers youth and early talent through his work as Managing Director of Student Life Network, Canada’s largest and most comprehensive education resource platform, which reaches over 2.7 million students. From TEDx stages and international conferences to MBA classrooms and Fortune 500 boardrooms, Hamza is invited regularly to deliver keynotes and workshops around the world. His clients have included some of the world’s most dynamic companies and organizations, including PepsiCo, LinkedIn, Deloitte, PwC, Trivago, and over 100 colleges and universities. Learn more at

Tragic Optimism Pt. 1: The Pitfalls of Complaining

As a growing part of the healthcare team, we have seen it first hand. The medical students who gather in the cafeteria over lunch to complain about their instructors, but don’t take action to improve the curriculum. The surgeons who congregate in the lounge to grumble about how the scrub nurse wouldn’t hand them their instruments in the correct direction, but don’t work with the scrub nurse so that she can improve for the next surgery. The nurses who continually chat about the patients and physicians who are rude. As a community of healthcare workers, complaining is not just common, it’s endemic. Medicine is difficult and we’re not perfect, but that doesn’t mean that a culture of complaining should be the only way we share our dissatisfaction and identify problems in the healthcare system. These tendencies may be perceived as positive coping strategies to deal with the challenges of working in healthcare, but we believe this has unintentional negative consequences on the professional culture in medicine. In the first of our two part series on Tragic Optimism, we dissect the culture of complaining in medicine, and try to make the case for tragic optimism as a mindset that can improve your satisfaction as a member of the healthcare team.

Essentialism in Medical School

As medical students and physicians, we are constantly pushed to take on more responsibilities, add more things to our CV, do more research, and see more patients. While this constant pressure to add additional responsibilities to our lives may seem like the road to success, the disciplined pursuit of less can actually allow us to make a more substantial impact and lead fulfilled lives. In this episode, we explore the theme's from Greg Mckeown's book Essentialism, take a dive into the culture of “more” in medical training, and work to convince you that the disciplined pursuit of less may actually allow you to define and reach your highest point of contribution throughout your medical training and career.

Mindset Is Everything

While often overlooked as a leadership and personal development tool, our mind holds the key to how we see the world. With the myriad of troubles and challenges that we will face as physicians, a strong mind imperative to our success. Similarly to the basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, we believe that our mindset is something that can be trained and adapted, and this, in turn, will have an effect on our health and happiness. By adopting a growth mindset, we believe that it will be able to move the needle both for our personal development and ultimately our ability to lead others. In this episode we talk about Carol Dweck's idea of the "Growth Mindset" and contrast it to a "Fixed Mindset"; discuss what it takes to adopt a Growth Mindset; and how its helpful in your training as a burgeoning medical leader.