Difficult Conversations Podcast
Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician
Episode 162 | December 27, 2021
Holiday Episode - Highlights From 2021
Dr. Anthony Orsini and Liz Poret-Christ
President and Managing Director of The Orsini Way
Welcome to Difficult Conversations – Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician. This week Liz Poret-Christ and Dr. Anthony Orsini send a very special Holiday Message to all of their faithful listeners.
Liz and Dr. Orsini discuss the best podcast episodes of the 2021 and talk about all of the wonderful people who have honored them by being guests.
Dr. Orsini and Liz discuss the highlights of the year and what they have learned from their guests. We end with Liz Poret-Christ quizzing Dr. Orsini about quotes from the year and which guest said them. See how he does on the quiz by listening now.. If you haven’t been able to listen to each episode this year, this is a good review to find out which will be the next one you download.
To listen to any and all of the episodes that were discussed today, go to your favorite podcast platform or listen by clicking on the link to The Orsini Way Website
If you haven’t yet followed this podcast this is a great time to do it. As always we keep our promise that each week you will feel inspired and learn valuable communication skills that you can use now. Go ahead download and follow now.
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Welcome to Difficult Conversations Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician with Dr. Anthony Orsini, Dr. Orsini is a practicing physician and president and CEO of the Orsini Way. As a frequent keynote speaker and author. Dr. Orsini has been training healthcare professionals and business leaders how to navigate through the most difficult dialogues. Each week you will hear inspiring interviews with experts in their field who tell their story and provide practical advice on how to effectively communicate. Whether you are a doctor faced with giving a patient bad news, a business leader who wants to get the most out of his or her team members, or someone who just wants to learn to communicate better this is the podcast for you.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (47s):
Well, hello, everyone and happy holidays this is Dr. Anthony Orsini, the host of Difficult Conversations: Lessons. I learned as an ICU physician. This week we do not have a guest. I thought for the holiday season, this would be a great time for Liz Christ and I, Liz, as you know, is the Managing Director for the Orsini Way. And she was our host last week with Gunnar Esiason and I thought it would be a really good thing this week to just look back at this year in review about all the amazing guests that we’ve had for the last year. Talk about the highlights and all that we’re grateful for over the years. So today’s just going to be a short episode, but I think we’re going to hit all the highlights and even going to play a cool game, I think in the end.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (1m 30s):
So Liz is here with me, Liz. Thanks again. This is going to be a lot of fun,
Liz Poret-Christ (1m 35s):
There’s so much to be grateful for this year. The podcast continues to just amaze me with all the wonderful guests we have and all the insights and tips and just amazing conversations that we continue to be part of.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (1m 46s):
Yeah, I’m really so honored and humbled. I think we’re coming up on our 65th episode. I started as any podcast or new podcast or thinking, oh my God, what if no one listens? Oh my goodness. What if nobody wants to come on? And where our downloads continue to be very high we’re high on the charts, but what’s most humbling is that I asked people who are just incredible people. Who’ve done some incredible things and experts in their field to come on and they just say yes, and it’s just amazing. And there’s more to come. We’ve had so many highlights or just trying to think about who was on in 2021. And there’s been so many really great people like Cy Wakeman, and Mike Abrashoff, Liz help me out.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (2m 31s):
Liz. We have so many
Liz Poret-Christ (2m 32s):
Sure. Jonathan Fisher, Jason Schechterle, Dr. Marjorie Brewer. So many amazing guests, Dr. Michele Blackwood, BJ Miller’s, that’s such a great episode, just one after the other. There’s really not a bad one in the bunch.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (2m 47s):
And look at the topics. BJ Miller talked about death and dying and the incredible Cy Wakeman talked about ditching the drama. And she’s one of the top speakers in business. We had Anthony DiVincenzo who talked about a child advocacy, which is such an important topic. And the common theme here is that these are all Difficult Conversations and some of them are in business. Some of them are in medicine. It’s just amazes me that people are very willing to share their personal journeys with us Gunnar Esiason and Dena Carey as leadership we’ve had Lisa Stroman on, who talked about yourself and Dr. Robert Pearl, who wrote one of my favorite books of the year “Uncaring”. So these were just amazing highlights.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (3m 27s):
And the other thing that’s just great for me in this podcast. And I hope we can continue to do this over and over again is how much we learn from our guests. They tell us so much and they dig deep down into the hearts. We started out Liz and I, when we started this podcast, our two goals would be to educate and inspire. And I’m pretty sure that every single one of the guests really did that.
Liz Poret-Christ (3m 50s):
We nailed both of those objectives on every episode. And, and I think what stands out to me is the guests that we’ve had are not afraid to have a really difficult conversation about a really difficult conversation and the topics like you said, death and dying, Robin Simon’s documentary, Do No harm. Those are some really difficult, important conversations that people aren’t necessarily willing to have, that they have so readily with us. And I think it’s been such a great way to make people aware of topics they might not really want to talk about.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (4m 26s):
It’s funny sometimes when I’m at a party I’m speaking to friends and I feel like even Lauren said to me, my wife, one point, you know, it was like your name dropping. Cause I keep saying, I had Dr. Pearl, my podcast, or, you know, when I spoke to Susan Scott from Fierce Conversations, and I said, I’m not really name dropping, but something that they said is so pertinent to our conversation, that I just want to share their wisdom with the people that have been on. And she’s like, yeah, I get that. But you know, when you’re dropping big names like that, and I said, well, they are big names. I mean, I tell Jason Schechterle’s story all the time. What an amazing story. If you haven’t heard that podcast, you really need to hear it.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (5m 6s):
And the parallels of Marcus Engel, which was on the previous year are just there, you know, Michele Blackwood, as you said, with breast cancer. And she really educated our audience about breast cancer, but showed a guy once again, that medicine is not about science. It’s about the human connection and that’s been our theme at The Orsini Way. Anyway, it’s been our passion and it’s been really the theme of the podcast. So I’m just so grateful to all the guests and want to do a big shout out happy holidays to all of them. They’re the gift that keeps on giving because people are able to listen to these episodes over and over again, they find them on the internet.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (5m 46s):
But then when I try to get another big name guests and they hear that I’ve had people on like Lisa Stroman and Steve Lawler and Stuart Levine, they say, oh, okay, this guy is the real thing. And I’m going to come on too, because I want to be included in that. So just a lot to be grateful for.
Liz Poret-Christ (6m 5s):
And I love when people go on their favorite podcast platform and tell us what they love and episodes that they love. So please keep writing the reviews. We’re five star on apple podcast and the way we’ve touched people and the episodes that they love. It’s one thing for us to love them because they’re our guests and it’s our show. But when people tell us how much it’s changed their perspective of something or how much they loved a guest that maybe they didn’t know before, that’s the whole point of doing this project. And I will admit I was a little skeptical when you said, Hey, let’s have a podcast, but it’s been such a wonderful project. I’ve learned so much from our guests.
Liz Poret-Christ (6m 45s):
And we’re going to test you a little bit later, Dr. Orsini, because as you know, every time I transcribe the podcast, I write down my favorite quotes on post-its and my wall is full of quotes from our amazing guests. So we’re going to play a little game where I read the quote and you have to guess who it’s from.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (7m 4s):
Well, I would think that I would do well, but what, who knows, you know, before we started that up, I’ll give a shout out to, you know, that’s been a very high quality podcast, thanks to the people at Peachtree sound that Paul Barr has been. Our editor he’s editing is right now going, wow. They’ve mentioned my name. So that’s pretty cool. And we’ve been really fortunate to get on every podcast platform. And so it’s just been great and I’m ready to go and getting excited for the holidays. This will probably go live between Christmas and new year’s. And next year we already have five or six guests already lined up. I don’t know how long this is going to keep going, but I’m having fun. And thanks to Paul and Peachtree.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (7m 44s):
It’s easy for me. And I’m getting a little bit better at it every year to be able to say that we’re an apple top 100, which we get right away is something that I’m very proud of. All right. So,
Liz Poret-Christ (7m 57s):
Well, first I want to say if anyone has a podcast guest that they’d like to recommend, don’t hesitate to send us a note at info@The Orsini Way.com or you can send it to me, Liz@The Orsini Way.com and give us an introduction to your favorite person or someone that you’d love to see on the show, because we would love to talk to them too.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (8m 16s):
There’s so many topics that we still want to cover because Difficult Conversations are in every aspect of life. So Dorothy Roberts is coming on later on this year, she talks about race bias in medicine. There’s so many different conversations that we can have. So if you’re out there, you have something that you want to say, you’re an expert in a field, or you just want to talk, go ahead and just say, Hey, I’m recommending myself and that we’ll be happy to talk to you. Before you quiz me I’m going to ask you because this is hard because they’ve all been great episodes, but I know that your favorites, the ones that you’re on, no, I’m just kidding. No, my editors said, wow, this is really good. I said, good. She can start doing more and more, but what do you think over the year I sent you a list, all this year’s podcasts we got to exclude last year’s.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (8m 58s):
So give me one or two of your favorite ones.
Liz Poret-Christ (9m 2s):
I was looking through the list and I smiled at every single one that we got to, but there was some common themes that I thought were really great. And one of the common themes that stood out to me was hope and guests like BJ Miller and Jason Schechterle and Dr. Margery Brewer, a lot of them brought up the topic of hope and how hope is an underlying theme in so many of the Difficult Conversations that we have. So I thought that that topic, not necessarily the guests, but the topic was so timely for now and for the way people are feeling. But I think if you had asked me my favorite episodes, couldn’t pick one, but I loved Jason’s episode.
Liz Poret-Christ (9m 48s):
I loved Jonathan Fisher’s to really reveal the hard parts about mindfulness and self-worth and self-care. I thought that was really important and we’ve established such a great relationship with him. That definitely was a wonderful guest in a wonderful episode and Cy Wakeman. So many quotes. I have like four Cy Wakeman quotes sitting on post its.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (10m 12s):
You are helping me now, giving me the answers.
Liz Poret-Christ (10m 13s):
The same thing with Susan Scott. I could definitely not pick one episode. There were so many wonderful ones.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (10m 19s):
That’s fair. Well, I’ll say first, also that the two themes that seem to, and we didn’t plan this, but there’s such hot topics right now that two themes that really go through the whole entire year with all the podcast guests was one leadership. And how important leadership is to the success of the company, but also to the success of the employees. And so early on, we had some great people about leadership and about compassionate leadership and servant leadership. And we had Linda Kaplan Thaler, her book power of nice is one of my favorite books ever, Dina Carey, and Kristin Baird all talked about leadership. And I really learned a lot and leaderships, you know, Noreen Bernard, leadership is all about your ability to communicate and bond.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (11m 4s):
And so that’s something that I firmly believed and all these guests. So this just kept coming out, this kind of theme. And then the other theme was the healthcare crisis with physician burnout and employee turnovers and Jonathan Fisher. And some of these guests, I truly call my friends now like Jonathan Fisher and Susan Scott. So Anthony DiVincenzo, I knew for a long time, but the healthcare crisis right now has been other common theme. And we have a lot of episodes about that, but that’s because it’s just always on everyone’s mind. As Robyn Symon said, physician suicide affects 900,000 patients a year. That’s crazy. And so it was really important that we had many guests on and we’re going to have more guests on this, but Jonathan Fisher, Susan Wilson talked about second victim syndrome.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (11m 52s):
I’m going through all these that just have to do it. Laurie Gunther did an episode on debriefing nurse leaders because they were so burnt out and sad. And the origins of that. So Dina Carey really gave a great episode, I thought on how to be a leader. And so those were the two common themes. I think it’s hard to say. I think some of my favorite ones, Mike Abrashoff , I’ve been a fan of so, so long. And one day I’d love to be able to have his speaking ability, but his story is just amazing. Cy Wakeman Of course, we brought up a couple of times she’s been amazing. God, they’re all so good. It was really hard to say. I think those are the two big ones.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (12m 33s):
Oh, of course Jason Schechterle. I mean, his story speaks for himself. So those would be my three, but again, wow. I have such gratitude for all these people who took time. I’ve been interviewed on many podcasts and it’s not easy. You’ve got to take the time. You got to make sure that you prepare for it a little bit. And you got to make sure that you have your stuff set up the landscapers, not cutting the lawn outside and your housekeepers not banging on the doors. And this is all stuff that happens behind the scene. You know, first few times I did the podcast. I’d get in the middle of it. And the landscapers got the air blower in the back and you have to kind of pause.
Liz Poret-Christ (13m 10s):
I think they are outside my house right now.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (13m 12s):
So anyway, I don’t want to take up too much time.
Liz Poret-Christ (13m 15s):
And I was going to say, a friend of mine just listened to Dr. Michele Blackwood’s episode and she texted me and said, I hope I never have to meet her for medical reasons but she sounds like a really great person. She absolutely is. Yeah.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (13m 29s):
And these people really give me new hope about what medicine is supposed to be. And that’s really what you and I do with the Orsini Way. We reinvigorate our team members, the nurses, the doctors remind them that medicine is about relationships. So all these people give me hope that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel,
Liz Poret-Christ (13m 47s):
Linda Kaplan Thaler’s episode, where she tells the story about Frank, the elevator guy. That’s such a great story that the elevator guy introduces himself to the C-suite people on the way up to see if they wanted her company to be their agency. And because of all the amazing things that the elevator guy said, they got the job. That was such a great story that stuck with me because it just shows the power of being nice to people and be considerate of the people around you. I just love that one.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (14m 18s):
And I’m glad you brought up her episode because her episode, I don’t think got the attention that it should have. If you’re a subscriber, if you’re listening to this and you didn’t get around to listen to Linda Kaplan, it’s an amazing episode. She’s not huge on social media. I think that’s probably why. I mean, she still got a lot of downloads, but if you are listening to this, go back and listen to that one because you’ll just listen with your mouth open because there’s so many words of wisdom. It was really a great interview. And I think I’m going to try to get her back on too, because she’s got so much to teach us.
Liz Poret-Christ (14m 48s):
Okay. You ready for your quiz here? My favorite quotes, let’s see if you can figure out who said them, I’ll start with an easy one.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (14m 56s):
Okay. Ready? This
Liz Poret-Christ (14m 58s):
Is really an easy one. You’re going to get it in a second. That conversation is the relationship
Dr. Anthony Orsini (15m 5s):
That is easy one. And that is Susan Scott and a fierce conversations. And as Susan, if you’re listening, I’ve used that quote in a couple of my lectures, but I do tell everyone, it’s your quote. So I do give you your due credit for it, but what a great line, the conversation is the relationship. I love that
Liz Poret-Christ (15m 25s):
You’re like brain explodes. It makes so much sense. Right? Okay. The next one, there is nothing as powerful as a made up mind.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (15m 36s):
Scroll through my name’s here. Jason,
Liz Poret-Christ (15m 40s):
Jason Schechterle. Well done. Well done. Okay. This is a long one, but a goodie. We have a choice of whether to believe certain thoughts that go through our mind. Are they a fact or are they a thought?
Dr. Anthony Orsini (15m 56s):
I was going to say Jason Schechterle, but I don’t want to say two in a row. So was that Susan Wilson?
Liz Poret-Christ (16m 2s):
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 4s):
Jonathan. I’m sorry, Jonathan. I didn’t mean to insult you. That makes sense though. That’s what Jonathan does.
Liz Poret-Christ (16m 11s):
So What You permit- you promote
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 14s):
Liz Poret-Christ (16m 15s):
You are good. You are on it. Okay. Hope is very powerful medicine.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 27s):
Dr. Michelle Blackwood. Don’t fix the culture. Fix the climate.
Liz Poret-Christ (16m 33s):
Give me a hint, is this is a healthcare one or a business one? It is a business one. And someone you quote all the time. She also said suffering is optional.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 47s):
Is that Linda Kaplan Thaler?
Liz Poret-Christ (16m 47s):
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 48s):
Oh my God. I do quote her all the time. The quote I use all the time and trying to think which one, oh, what would great look like
Liz Poret-Christ (17m 1s):
Me too. Thanks Cy. We use that all the time.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (17m 4s):
Cy, I’ll give you credit. And I take the liberty to say, this is a quote from my good friend Cy Wakeman. So that’s what I consider now. You as a good friend, anybody who’s been on this podcast, I consider a good friend now.
Liz Poret-Christ (17m 14s):
Okay. This one’s going to make your brain explode. When well people see sick people, they want to stay well. When sick people see, well, people they want to get well,
Dr. Anthony Orsini (17m 29s):
Liz Poret-Christ (17m 30s):
Nope, Dr. Margery Brewer.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (17m 31s):
That was my first impression. And I said, no, I don’t think so.
Liz Poret-Christ (17m 35s):
And here’s the last one. So this one’s a really good one. And you’ll get this one. Our lives succeed flat-line or fail gradually, then suddenly one conversation at a time
Dr. Anthony Orsini (17m 51s):
Is that Susan Scott, BJ Miller said something similar about something that had been suddenly. But yes, Susan, Scott, what did we learn a lot from her
Liz Poret-Christ (17m 59s):
BJ Miller. So I’ll tell you that’s who it is, but his quote, which I thought it was so powerful is your love of life is the most powerful thing to help you through your death.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (18m 10s):
Liz Poret-Christ (18m 11s):
Isn’t that so amazing? Like so many amazing quotes, amazing thoughts, amazing humans that we get to interact with. I think it changed me as a person. For sure. I learned so much.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (18m 22s):
I love the fact that you’re putting little post-its for the, So I send me, can you put them in a word document and send them to me? I want to remember them, but yeah, Lauren gets a little annoyed cause I’m constantly quoting these people. Dr. Robert Pearl gave us a story in his book Uncaring. He talked about physician culture and how it hurts us and how it helps us. And I’m always quoting him and people are looking at me like you’re talking about your podcast again. I’m like, well, it’s not the podcast. It’s that I’m learning so much. And so I’m learning and borrowing and stealing. I used the word stealing, of course, but I use credits, but it’s kind of joking. And we’ve gotten some clients from this. And a lot of these people are, these are ongoing relationships.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (19m 2s):
Now, as I mentioned, Jonathan Fisher, he invited me to speak during his big global conference that he had on physician burnout. Anthony DiVincenzo is an old friend, Michelle Attwell, who was one of the earlier ones this year. She is now an instructor for the Orsini Way. Cause she lives right here in Orlando with me, Michelle shares her real wisdom about her daughter who is so sick and how she went into healthcare. And now she is giving back. And that’s the other theme, right? How many of these people are giving back Michelle Atwell, the Jonathan fishers and who else? There’s so many people here that just tragedy. And then at the triumph,
Liz Poret-Christ (19m 41s):
Absolutely, you know, when Susan Wilson taught us about second victim syndrome, I don’t know if I ever thought about that, but it makes so much sense. And when Lori Gunther talked about leadership fatigue, well leadership fatigue during the time of COVID is enormous. And the responsibilities and impact that leadership has now is so much more important than ever before. So there are so many topics that just came up that you might’ve never thought about.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (20m 7s):
Yeah. And Lori Gunther, she just had our 25th conference at Sonova associates and she asked me to do a workshop there. So these are really lifelong relationships that I’m just so grateful to have in you and I have been working together since 2011. And so that’s a long-term relationship. Lauren is so busy at work I probably talk to you more during the day than I do her, but this has been just an amazing journey. And the Orsini Way, I was just telling a friend of mine and a colleague The Orsini Way is really catching on and we are getting busier and busier. And I think our message is finally getting out, doing a lot more keynote speaking.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (20m 48s):
And we’re, you’re doing a lot more patient experience workshops and programs. Our “It’s all in the delivery” program has been really taking off. I think people are starting to get the message. That patient experience is all about communication. And so I couldn’t be more grateful at the end of this year.
Liz Poret-Christ (21m 4s):
Me neither, when I think at the number of physicians that we’ve trained in the past 10 years and the amount of lives that, that improvement in how they communicate, how many lives that it’s affected, it’s a staggering number. You’re talking probably hundreds of thousands of patients that will now have better conversations, even if they’re difficult because of the training that their physician had with us and learned some really key techniques on how to have difficult conversations, break bad news better. And I’m so blessed to be part of this company and have this job. My husband says I’m evangelical when I talk about what I do for a living.
Liz Poret-Christ (21m 45s):
And it’s just because of what we do is so important.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (21m 47s):
And we love it. And so it doesn’t seem like work and we’re going to keep doing this as long as we can. And again, I’m just so grateful. Liz, do you want to say anything before we sign off and wish everybody a happy holiday, whatever you want to say,
Liz Poret-Christ (22m 1s):
Thank you to our amazing audience for all that you do and all that you give us back. We love doing this for you. So reach out to us. If there’s any ideas that you have, we’d love to hear them be safe, happy holidays. And we’ll see you in 2022.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (22m 15s):
Thank you, Liz. And this is a call to action for everyone. Who’s listening, help us get our word out. It’s not about the number of downloads. It’s not about sponsorships. And by the way, we failed to mention our sponsors have been amazing. It’s not about that. It’s about this message. And Liz and I talk about, we have this message that we’re screaming from a mountain top, and we want people to hear it. And that we’ve benefited so much from the wisdom of these guests. If you are a subscriber, if you do listen, just because your friend up in the beyond, please go ahead and promote this on your social media. Let’s double, triple and quadruple the downloads. Not because we want downloads, but because we want our message to get out. So thank you everyone for listening. My gratitude is to infinity for everyone who’s been supporting us.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (22m 57s):
I wish everyone a happy holidays and we’ll be back in two weeks with another amazing guest. So have a great new year in 2022 is going to be amazing. So thank you everybody.
Announcer (23m 9s):
If you enjoyed this podcast, please hit the subscribe button and leave a comment and review your contact Dr. Orsini and his team, or to suggest guests for future podcast, visit us at Orsini Way.com. The comments and opinions of the interviewer and guests on this podcast are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of their present and past employers or institutions.