Episode #29 of the Charged podcast
We’re taking a break from recording new episodes of Charged this summer for some much-needed rest and recharge time, and we hope you’re doing the same!
For many of us, summer means vacations—which sometimes means summer road trips and lots of time in the car. To help pass the time during your next road trip, we’re bringing back some of our favorite episodes from the first season of Charged in our very own Summer Roadtrip Playlist.
Stay tuned for new tracks weekly!
Track 1: Marcela del Carmen, MD, “Valuing Your Own Diversity”
What this episode is about: While today Dr. Marcela del Carmen is the chief medical officer at Mass General and a leader in gynecologic oncology, she started in a very different place when she fled Nicaragua with her family at age 10. Hear how these experiences in her childhood have inspired the career she has today.
Why we love this episode: Dr. del Carmen’s story moved and humbled us. Despite the adversity she’s faced, she has maintained such optimism and a positive spirit that she shares with both her patients and colleagues.
Track 2: Rochelle Walensky, MD, “HIV—Treating a Changing Epidemic”
What this episode is about: The current state of the HIV epidemic is explained from the perspective of Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at Mass General. The landscape for HIV and AIDS has transformed greatly since Dr. Walensky began her career in the mid-1990s, but she explains why there is still significant work and research to be done in order to expand access to care.
Why we love this episode: We learned so much! Many of us remember the AIDS crisis, but as HIV treatment has transformed this disease into one that is more manageable, our knowledge of the disease and the current state of the science hasn’t always kept up.
Track 3: Janet Wozniak, MD, “Bipolar Disorder and the Paradigm Shift in Pediatric Psychiatry”
What this episode is about: Bipolar disease presents differently in children, which is part of what makes it such a challenge to treat. Just 25 years ago, experts believed that bipolar disorder only affected adults—and to suggest otherwise was controversial—but Dr. Janet Wozniak has been at the forefront of research helping us gain a better understanding of the disease in these young patients.
Why we love this episode: It’s such an important topic. Mental health struggles are difficult for patients of any age, but early intervention in children is particularly important as these young people are growing up and forming their identities. We loved learning about the latest science in pediatric psychiatry.
Track 4: Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, “Living Well Through Palliative Care”
What this episode is about: The power of palliative care to help patients with serious illnesses like cancer. Dr. Vicki Jackson’s empathy for her patients is palpable as she discusses her passion for the field and her experience helping patients navigate the uncertainty inherent in facing serious illness.
Why we love this episode: Vicki brings an infectious warmth and positivity to her work in palliative care. We ended this episode wondering if we might all benefit from bringing some of the caring elements of palliative care into our everyday lives.
Track 5: Malissa Wood, MD, “Women and the Heart”
What this episode is about: You’ll learn why we need to think about hearth health differently for men and women. Dr. Malissa Wood helped found the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program at Mass General and has devoted her career to making sure women get the care they need—all while balancing the demands that come with being a mom of four.
Why we love this episode: We love Dr. Wood’s passion for women’s heart health. All hearts are different, and she is committed to helping women better care for not just their hearts, but their whole bodies.
Track 6: Gaurdia Banister, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, “Why We Need More Diversity in Nursing”
What this episode is about: Learn about what it looks like in action when a place like Mass General sets out to increase diversity within the organization. Nursing leader Dr. Gaurdia Banister is a longtime champion for diversity in nursing and is leading efforts at Mass General to bring more people of color into the field She explains why she’s committed to this work and how it benefits the organization as a whole.
Why we love this episode: There is a lot of talk these days about the importance of diversity, but Dr. Banister demonstrates what that means in practice—why increasing diversity in an organization is essential to helping it thrive.
Track 7: Chana Sacks, MD, “Solving the Problem of Gun Violence”
What this episode is about: Gun violence is not always thought of as a public health problem, but Dr. Chana Sacks makes a compelling case for why we need to treat it as one—and why she thinks we can solve it. This issue became personal for Dr. Sacks when her cousin’s seven-year-old son Daniel was killed at Sandy Hook, spurring her to become a vocal advocate for gun violence prevention research.
Why we love this episode: While Dr. Sack’s story is heartbreaking and hard to hear, her drive and determination is inspiring and has the potential to change our country for the better.