SGO Issues May 18, 2017
Since December 2016, 73 new members joined the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and an additional 73 members transitioned to the next membership level. SGO congratulates the following new and transitioning members:
|Transitioning Full Members
Raleigh Israel Butler, II, MD
Madeleine B. Courtney-Brooks, MD
Takayuki Enomoto, MD, PhD
Wiley L. Fowler, MD
Geri-Lynn Fromm, MD
Dan Grisaru, MD
Marilyn Huang, MD
Valentin Kolev, MD
Jacob Korach, MD
Fabrice Lecuru, MD
Lyuba Levine, MD
Karen McLean, MD, PhD
Alberto Mendivil, MD
Stephanie Munns, MD
Gregg Nelson, MD
Jose Joaquin Nieto, MD
Sergio Pecorelli, MD, PhD
Kristine R. Penner, MD
Katina Robison, MD
Alexandre Rozenholc, MD
Muhieddine Seoud, MD
Kristy Ward, MD
Emese Zsiros, MD, PhD
Transitioning Candidate Members
Transitioning Associate Member
Transitioning Fellow-in-Training Members
Transitioning Resident Member
Transitioning Senior Members
|New Associate Members
Marco A. Duarte, MD
Dina Flink, PhD
Ghassan Saed, PhD
Britta Weigelt, PhDNew Fellow-in-Training Members
Liat Hogen, MD
Annie Yee-Lynn Liu, MD
Melica Nourmoussavi, MD, CM
Annick Pina, MD
Leeya F. Pinder, MD
So-Jin Shin, MD, PhD
Kristen D. Starbuck, MD
Amanda J. Stephens, DO
Jennifer Veneris, MD, PhD
New Resident Members
New Allied Members
“The aim of Positive Psychology is to catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life.”
–Martin Seligman, PhD, founder of the field of Positive Psychology
As physicians, we are in the business of “fixing things.” We are trained to seek out and identify those things that are abnormal with a laser focus. The problem with fixing things is that it only gets us back to our baseline. We become “not sick” or “not pathologic.” What would it look like if we spent time cultivating habits that allow us to flourish and actually become well? How can we achieve the holy grail of living the “good life?” What characteristics could we nurture to help us reach our full potential?
As we all know by now, burnout is associated with many negative effects for physicians, including personal and professional consequences. We are a population of intelligent, highly motivated problem-solving individuals. Yet, we have not figured out a way to combat burnout in our field.
Perhaps the problem is our perspective. What if we became proactive in our approach to physician well-being? What if we looked at how we could develop our own strengths and capacities to increase our resiliency and happiness?
Positive psychology looks at what makes life worth living. Positive psychologists look at a person’s strengths and emotions to allow them to develop what is best within themselves. They have also looked at institutions as a whole to identify systems that nurture the well-being of their members.
Research topics stemming from the study of positive psychology are broad and include emotions, personality, gender, genetics and education. What I find most interesting and hopeful about the field of positive psychology is the number of interventions that have been developed to improve a person’s well-being. These interventions have been studied empirically using several positive psychology metrics and have been found to improve anything from middle school student achievement to resiliency amongst U.S. soldiers.
There are several resources for those of you interested in learning more about positive psychology. The University of Pennsylvania is home to the Positive Psychology Center. Their website includes information about different specializations in the field, including grit, resiliency and authentic happiness. You can take several assessments to see where you may be able to improve your own well-being. I have listed several books below that are great reads and some of the most commonly cited texts. I also recommend an online course through the University of Pennsylvania through Coursera.org that allows you to obtain a certificate of specialization in the field.
I know your schedule is busy and you may think you do not have the time to learn more about this field, so I leave you with a quick exercise that you can do on your own called “What Went Well?” Tonight, and every night for the next seven days, take time to write down three things that went well today and why they went well. While this seems like a simple, insignificant exercise, this activity has been studied in several randomized control trials. In these studies, they found that a majority of people was able to continue this exercise over a six-month period. At the end of those six months, participants who stuck with the exercise scored higher on life satisfaction and were markedly less depressed.
The subject of burnout is complex, and it is unlikely that there will ever be a “one-size fits all” solution to physician wellness. However, positive psychology does offer us a number of positive interventions that can be adapted on an individual level. I hope that some of you will join me in discovering ways that we physicians can live the good life by further exploring the field of positive psychology.
“The good life is a process, not a stage of being.”
- Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, by Martin Seligman, PhD
- Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD
- GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth
- University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center
Monica Hagan Vetter, MD, is a graduating resident in gynecologic oncology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
Registration is open for a patient-focused educational webinar hosted by the Foundation for Women’s Cancer called “Ovarian Cancer: It’s Personal.” The interactive program is from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, and will provide information on current treatment options, role of genetic testing and risk management strategies. The presenters will be Angeles Alvarez Secord, MD, from Duke University Health System in Durham, NC, and Thomas Herzog, MD, at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute. This webinar is made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Clovis Oncology. Grant funding excludes input on editorial and course content.
The Foundation for Women’s Cancer will offer three free Survivors Courses before the end of 2017. Each course offers survivors, patients and caregivers the latest information about gynecologic cancers from leading experts in the field. Courses will be held on the following dates:
- Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
- Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
- Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, Washington, DC.