Self-Preservation And Leadership In A Pandemic/Post Pandemic Environment With Jaspal Singh, MD MHA MHS FCCP FCCM FAASM

CTT – DFY 2 | Leadership In A Pandemic

Having permission to show cracks in our armor is an important aspect of leadership. If there’s anything to learn from the pandemic, it’s that self-preservation is an important aspect of effective leadership. The primary focus of today’s podcast is around self-preservation and leadership in a pandemic and post-pandemic environment. And who better to speak to this than Dr. Jaspal Singh? As a critical care physician and experienced leader, Dr. Singh was at the forefront of the COVID-19 response as a leader while doing everything he could as a physician to treat critical ill COVID-19 patients during unprecedented times. Tune in and learn how to navigate uncertainty and manage the unexpected as a leader.


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Self-Preservation And Leadership In A Pandemic/Post Pandemic Environment With Jaspal Singh, MD MHA MHS FCCP FCCM FAASM

I'm welcoming to the show a great friend, former colleague, highly respected physician, and consummate leader, Dr. Jaspal Singh. Dr. Singh is a professor with Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he serves as a member of the faculty and practices clinically within the Department of Medicine, the Virtual Clinical Care Center, and Levine Cancer Institute.

He is board certified in pulmonology critical care and sleeps medicine. Highly credentialed and highly experienced physician. Not only is he a great teacher and an excellent clinician but I also want to welcome him to this show because of his leadership experience and the respect that I know his colleagues have for him in this space. He's the Medical Director of the Adult Critical Care Practice and Education with Atrium Health, as well as the Director of Innovation and Quality Improvement in Pulmonary Oncology.

Jaspal has been appointed as Chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee for Atrium Health Adult Medical Specialties, where he's a champion and advocate for the fantastic D&I work that I personally know is a passion of his and a priority of Atrium Health. Our primary focus is self-preservation and leadership in a pandemic and post-pandemic environment.

Who better to speak to this than Jaspal, who I know as a front leader and clinician during the COVID-19 response, treating critically ill COVID-19 patients, and leading teams in the midst of that challenge that the pandemic brought to us all? He can speak in this space like no other. Without further ado, let's get started and welcome Jaspal to the show.

Dr. Jaspal Singh, welcome to the show. I appreciate you being here. I know you are a busy man but taking the time out to be a part of this and contribute to the lives of physicians and other healthcare providers based on your experience means a lot to me. I appreciate it.

Thanks for having me.

Our focus is on self-preservation and how to manage the unexpected. You've held numerous leadership roles. You have been a physician for a number of years and are well respected in your field. I'm curious about your perspective. Let’s talk about COVID-19. At the beginning of COVID-19, I was in Winston-Salem when I heard about the first case in North Carolina.

It was up the road from me, not far from you, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wake County announced it. Now it's in our neighborhood. It's right around the door. Tell me a little bit about around that day of March 3rd or thereabouts. What was the response? What were you thinking as you realized that, “This is coming?”

We had a few advantages in North Carolina. One, we weren't hit as hard early on as some of the other cities around the country, particularly New York City and Seattle. We had a lot of headwinds that others had faced that we heard about from Italy, China, and other places like that. Fortunately, we were a little bit lucky that we had a little bit more time to prepare than other areas did.

We knew this was going to be pretty serious. We didn't know it was going to be like a New York or Seattle serious or something different. It was scary. There's no doubt. Many of us are frightened, frontline, whether you would be home, whether for the kids' schools, whether it be elderly family members. We all knew that we had to take this seriously.

When our governor in North Carolina called the shelter in place, and we were trying to figure out if people were going to work remotely, there were a lot of logistical things that were happening in the non-clinical areas of healthcare systems across the nation. It had to have been scary not to know what was coming. At that additional point, the vaccine was still up in the air. People were coming to the hospital diagnosed with COVID-19 and many comorbidities associated with that, trying to figure out the best practices from WHO and CDC. There was so much noise and information coming at you without any empirical evidence as to what would be best practice. How did you manage that?

I'm not sure I managed it or managed to struggle. All of us struggled with this. No one came out of this unscathed as to how to process information at such a rapid pace with so much uncertainty. Also, the tension around public health issues, information, misinformation, trust of information, sources, who to believe, and who not to believe. There's a whole lot of extra noise that was a distraction as well, the political stuff that was coming through. That was hard. Through any crises we are getting at when life is uncertain in these situations, you have to fall back onto your principles.

What are your principles? What are you here to do? The public needs you. Your family needs you. Others need you to be at your best. At times, it's hard. You are trying to make the most sense of it, and you must be honest. That includes being honest about what you know and don't know, what you think is the best guess, and then it comes to leadership styles.

Do you want to be the rah-rah cheerleadery without all the right information or do you want to be the authentic leader who recognizes and acknowledges uncertainty? I chose the latter. Other people chose differently. You have to decide for yourself what your team needs at which point. You have to toggle between the two. Realize that different situations require different skills of leadership. At times, that itself is challenging.

CTT – DFY 2 | Leadership In A Pandemic
Leadership In A Pandemic: Different situations call for different skills of leadership. And at times that itself is challenging.

This impacted your world as a critical care physician but it was impacting emergency departments. It was impacting some of the med surge floors. I know some critical care departments across the nation do not have critical care physicians or intensivists on hand. Many hospitalists were covering these sick patients, and I'm sure they were doing a great job.

As physicians are challenged sometimes to connect a purpose in the midst of the chaos, the midst of many of the challenges that are part of this healthcare environment, how did you stay committed to the purpose and recognize the value that you were bringing and then continue to support nursing staff, the ancillary staff, and your physician colleagues throughout this time?

I don't know if I did a great job or not a great job. History will judge all these things. We all did the best we can. The things that I stuck with, and I don't know how successful they were, to be honest with you but trying to find a role in this crisis that you can particularly be adept at, showing up for work at times when you can, protect yourself and your family. Not making excuses or hiding behind some other concern. The work starts well before a pandemic or any other crisis. How do we create relationships at work? Who do we trust? How do we get information? How do we sort through it?

I started years ago. They were hugely helpful as we came to a pandemic, from local expertise in our organization to external resources to some of the social media channels that I happen to be on. I learned to try to process things quickly and effectively communicate. That's the stuff that I'm probably better at than necessarily some of the operations, which wasn't my field. That's somebody else's role. In leadership, you have no one to follow. In that space, I followed. The part I had to lead on was the stuff that used the things that I can do better than perhaps the next person, and then try to make the team work more effectively.

I know part of your area of research and interest is team-based care. Tell me a little bit about everyone came together using that model and a mental model.

You have to think of the whole team. Kudos, we had a great respiratory therapist, for example. I have been in critical care for a couple of decades. I remember thinking respiratory therapists struggle for respect in the profession. Do they come through? Our critical care pharmacists, if they weren't at the bedside, they were on a virtual. They were available readily.

Nurses and all of us learn to rely on Telehealth solutions and others. The team expanded. You mentioned hospitalists earlier. They were critical, especially since there were no surges. They are still critical now. We recognize that we need skilled hospitalists and hospitalist teams to manage these complex situations. Building and leading teams and constantly leading teams take a lot of work.

You can't study that in a classroom. You got to be at the bedside. You got to learn some of it a little bit, work with the team when this situation is good, and then learn to develop relationships and trust. When you don't have people at the bedside that you can get to, then you find other means. The pandemic did allow us to leverage Telehealth technologies and other technologies that allow virtual communication. We got pretty good at online communication and other channels. Those are all things that we had to do, noting that team-based communication is imperative.

Having a clinical background myself and working with teams in mental health and psychiatry, I recognize the value. Physicians are leaders by default. When you walk into the room, the patient turns or the family turns to you. Nurses and other ancillary clinical staff yields to your expertise and authority. It's well deserved. Being able to maintain that contact with family and having to deal with some of the sickest of sick patients, not only from a COVID-19 perspective but the daily work that you do in that environment. How do you prepare yourself mentally and maintain the energy and the work that you need to get the work done about not showing cracks in the armor?

CTT – DFY 2 | Leadership In A Pandemic

I will be honest. I did show cracks in the armor. This was hard from every facet. A lot of us did. Having permission to show cracks is probably an important aspect of leadership. What you do is coaching and other things like that, which is important. People don't realize that it's okay. You don't have to be that stoic leader that holds everything inside. I can remember many moments where the cracks not just showed but were ripped apart. We lost family members and friends along this way to the disease and other factors. We've seen relationships fray during this whole course. Let's be honest. Life is hard sometimes.

You don't have to be that stoic leader who holds everything inside. Having permission to show cracks is an important aspect of leadership.

You take it one day at a time. The things that work for me, and I don’t know if they work for everybody else, you take it one step at a time. You try to look for healthy relationships and double down on those and reinvest in them. Try to find meaning in your work and other things outside of work. I know you do. I do have meaningful relationships outside of work as well. Trying to do those and then appreciating the humanity of it all. It sounds crazy. We saw so much death. It was awful but then we did see some people come through. We saw some people reconnect with family members. We saw some of the beauty in life.

Many of us, on days we weren't working, were outside enjoying nature. How often did that happen during the week? My family and I took daily walks when I was home. If I was working on a Telehealth solution in a Telehealth center, my shift ended, and I could go for a walk with my kid or play games with my kids. You got to learn to appreciate the good things and take it one day at a time because it is hard. It wasn't just a sprint. It was a series of sprints and a marathon, all mixed together.

I do a lot of work with burnout and stress and working with physicians and the coaching work that I do through our organization, the Institute for Healthcare and Academic Leadership. One of the things that I teach and that I coach around is the importance of taking care of yourself outside of work so that you will be more effective and healthier mentally, physically, and emotionally within the workplace.

Many organizations focus on how we can create a healthy environment but that healthy environment has to extend outside of the workplace. Otherwise, if you are not taking care of yourself personally, you will bring that to work, which only compounds the frustrations and the stress within the work environment. To hear you talk about taking time with family and self-reflecting or taking a break and taking a walk is important to that self-preservation.

I would agree with you. I would say it’s bidirectional. You also can bring the work home, which also creates additional stress. I also would say that creating a healthy work environment begins with yourself. It takes a lot of effort to massage your relationships, to manage your time effectively, all these pressures, all these uncertainties, and then recognize what you are good at or not good at

I had a lot of colleagues that suffer from a lot of anxiety with this aspect. Thank you for your coaching because people like yourself are helpful for them to help manage the complex emotions and the issues around this. To be honest with you, burnout, wellness, and resilience, whatever you call this field, was an issue for us before the pandemic. The pandemic put a hammer on it and hit it home that we need real solutions about what a healthy work environment looks like in healthcare and other industries.

You and I both have had friends and colleagues who have struggled with mental health concerns, substance abuse, and dealing with the challenges in unhealthy ways. There are opportunities to reach out while it may make you feel vulnerable. There are resources to help physicians, not only the work that I do but there are many others that do great work, as well as resources internally within the healthcare system.

Those that are reading this, I hope they will take advantage of those resources or reach out and let others be there for them. You and I have had some talks and sidebar conversations about the frustrations of healthcare. They are certainly not isolated to any particular healthcare setting or system. If we think globally across the nation and maybe even internationally, what are some of the frustrations that you experience or that colleagues within other healthcare systems that you network with may have experienced and could have been done better in preparation for COVID-19, as well as some other factors?

I was lucky, first of all, that our organization was on it. I feel very proud about that. I know plenty of people struggle with the basics, starting with PPE, Personal Protective Equipment. That was a huge issue early on for those who weren’t aware of how bad it was. We were talking about reusing equipment, gloves, gowns, masks, and even things that you breathed on or soiled at some point. We are talking about reusing stuff. I was lucky that we didn't have to deal with that part of the crisis as much. I thought our health system was good. Many colleagues, however, struggled with that. We struggled with all the conflicting information as well.

What lessons would I take from here moving forward? The first thing is developing clear relationships, not just with yourself and your colleagues but also with every stratum of a leadership structure. Many health systems are hierarchical but high-performing organizations are not. The leadership models the people who are able to move laterally, vertically, sideways, all the different directions, who understand, look, see, and get to know their colleagues in different directions are the ones that are going to be more likely to be impactful, successful, and more gratified, especially if they are listened to and at least acknowledged in some shape or form, ideally, deeper relationships.

I'm a strong believer that deep relationships also impact your wellness. The ones I worry about in my circle are the people that don't have an outlet, that doesn’t have someone they can vent, and that don’t have someone with who they feel isolated. They might have gone through the pandemic and now been separated from their significant other or deal a lot of other stresses. Those are the people I worry about. I'm going to reach out to them more actively. I'm going to try to find and help get them back on track if I can, if I have the ability to help them, even in small ways. Going forward, we also need to make sure that we manage information better.

CTT – DFY 2 | Leadership In A Pandemic
Leadership In A Pandemic: Deep relationships also impact your wellness.

That's a societal aspect. I will disagree with that. What is the truth versus what is meant to potentially cloud people's judgment? We need to come back to scientific rigor and message that appropriately. As much as I'm not a huge fan of social media, I stay active on social media because I realize that if I don't, somebody else is. I teach physicians and encourage others to try to experiment with social media.

Even though you may not like it, somebody else needs it or someone else relies on it. Trying to understand those aspects, modern communication, and other methods. We have a great marketing team, and they've done an incredible job trying to get good messages out. Working with them has been a huge honor and a huge privilege because they are committed.

Things like that are important. The third thing is getting back to where you started, which is having a growth mindset, recognizing I can only control the things I can control, and starting those things I can control are my attitudes, behavior, and actions. I am myself a work in progress, and I need to work on myself no matter what the situations are externally. I always have something to learn and grow from.

I appreciate you sharing that. If you don't have those outlets or opportunities to vent, share or make yourself vulnerable. We, as men, let's be honest, don't often have close relationships with other men, people that they can connect with. That personal accountability that we share with one another as we allow ourselves to be authentic and vulnerable, as well as an outlet, is going to help us manage many of the frustrations and challenges, self-doubts, and so forth. It is okay to show those chinks in the armor. It is okay to show that we don't have all the answers.

As a physician, you know physicians are competitive and have a history of being type A. Many of the things that made you successful as a medical student, a resident and a physician don't necessarily help you as a leader. They could undermine you with that competitiveness. What would you tell leaders that are leaders of physicians as well as other staff? What are some of the key takeaways that you've experienced that are important?

I don't know if my comments were applicable to everybody but number one is that you and I have talked a lot about competencies. The competencies of true leadership are vast and deep. They are broad and vertical. They can go on multiple levels. What type of leader would I want to be led by that looks different than my colleagues? Recognizing that different people want to be led differently and that you need different competencies to manage different types of leaders is important.

You can't pick. I tell my trainees, “When you are walking into a family meeting, is it the hardest procedure you will ever do?” They look at me, surprised. I'm like, “Yes, because this can go sideways so many ways. You don't know the other people as well as you think you might. You can't read. Giving information isn't giving them information. It's difficult.”

Same thing with leadership. Leadership is hard. It takes a lot of work. You are going to mess up. You are going to have to be honest with yourself and with others when you mess up. It's not much different from being a parent of two teenage daughters now. I will be honest with you. The same skills translate. I've messed up with one of my kids. I have to pull back, learn, and grow from that. I don't think there's any difference from if I was leading a colleague.

CTT – DFY 2 | Leadership In A Pandemic

If we were to see another pandemic on the horizon because now we are in the middle of flu season. People are challenged with keeping themselves healthy, winter we are anticipating at this point but regardless, if we saw it coming, what would you recommend as a way of preparing not only logistically but personally for something like this on the horizon?

There are probably a few things. I can't even think about all of them. If I was to sit down, there's a whole nice set of documents from the society group of medicine and other documents that go into all the different domains of which to think through. Things that come to mind are, number one, your basic resources, from protective equipment to supplies and ventilators, depending on the type of illness that you have, respiratory or other skin issues. It might be wound issues.

Thinking about making sure you have the supplies for the anticipated medical need, that you have these people to potentially provide that care, and that you have the public health messaging channels being worked on. Yet you and your teams are well apprised as to what's coming on the pipeline and as the science evolves that you have information firsthand, that you have a way to get the information transmitted, and that you have clear lines of communication.

Our health system did a phenomenal job of having leadership calls every week, and there are a lot of ways to communicate with other people. I thought that was well received. People like numbers and data. They like to know the truth because they may not believe what has been hearsay but they show them graphs, figures, and numbers that tend to do a better job than rumors and such.

The other aspect is getting to know your team, and all the people there and all the things that make them tick is something that you have to do regardless of leadership but it becomes magnified on the stage when you have a crisis. That's true for anything, whether it be code, medical crisis, non-medical crisis or family crisis, everything gets magnified, and things also get emotional.

Trying to learn to manage some of those things ahead of time, figure out how certain people respond, how they might respond. I was pretty proud of the people I worked with during this pandemic. As hard as it was, they came through in inspiring ways. I was always not only managing the pandemic during our first surges but if you may remember, India had a horrible surge. I lost family members along the way.

I'm managing ventilators at night through internet access while in the daytime trying to show my skin. It was hard. My own parents had long COVID. My dad suddenly died from the effects of it. Going through that at home while your kids are stressed about schools and what's happening with them, they see the effects on them, all that was part of my crisis.

If my leaders weren't paying attention, only thinking of one dimension, the day-to-day work, and they weren't paying attention to other parts of it, I might have felt isolated or if I didn't have an outlet. Luckily, I have good friends that helped with some of that and good family members that came through. You can imagine how hard that is for people with unstructured support structures. If you are a leader, make sure your people have a support structure. Help them if you can. Guide them towards setting up a more stable structure if possible. When the crisis hits, they are going to need that.

If you're a leader, make sure your people have a support structure. Because when a crisis hits, they're going to need that.

I'm sorry for your loss. I appreciate your willingness to share that. There are many things coming at you. It's hard to compartmentalize our lives. People talk about work-life balance. I don't believe it's a dichotomy. You don't take your physician cap off when you get home and then put it back on when you walk through the doors at work. Being able to manage that blend effectively while taking care of yourself because if you don't take care of yourself in the midst of that, then you are probably not the best you could be for your family, friends, and colleagues. Thank you for that.

Some would argue that we are in a post-pandemic era, and some would argue against that but regardless, we are certainly not where we once were. I'm thankful for that and for the great work that you and your colleagues across the nation have done in getting us through this. What do you think are some of the residual effects that we have to manage now?

We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg now. Obviously, there are staffing crises everywhere. There are financial headwinds everywhere. Some of the other factors but the pandemic, had a huge role in that. There are also political issues out there that are posing a challenge. There are environmental crisis issues happening. The pandemic has exposed a sense of stress out here that are out there.

There's a bit of anxiety. Whether it's a pandemic or not, or whatever's happening, there's a lot of uncertainty, whether it be financial, whether that be environmental, whether it be healthcare-related in the healthcare industry, particularly now, the staffing crises across the board. It's not just physicians or nurses. It's respiratory therapists, the pharmacists, the pipelines, the students. Many administrators burned out during this aspect.

You talk about the whole pipeline, the whole team all having some significant soul searching and some real challenges moving forward. On the positive side, to make sure your audience has something positive takeaway, wellness, resilience, and burnout are now common conversations. I'm thankful for that because we didn't talk about it. We buried it on the rug.

More importantly, we glorified the super hard worker or the person who put work over everything else. We didn't glorify the person who was a good family person. We are starting to realize that work is important, and the mission is important. Not to take away from that but the whole being has to have some sense of belonging, purpose, and wellness.

We are working through that. I worry, though, that some people have made it where they've oversimplified wellness where they've made it where, “My work is here. My home is here. I'm going to dichotomize it to preserve myself.” Now I see a lot of colleagues, especially younger ones, that are missing the opportunity to grow.

What was happening was that in that space of stretching yourself and stressing yourself a little bit, you learned so much. Not just about the technical aspects of the job but there's a growth emotionally, spiritually, and professionally in dimensions that you can't appreciate until you are at my stage, mid-career. You've done this for a little while. The technical stuff comes easier but that's the stuff that gets at you at that next phase of your development.

I worry that a lot of my colleagues have now dichotomized so much. “Work is here. I'm not going to stress myself at all.” They don't stress, and now they don't build resilience and the other aspects of their dimension that they've so much potential to achieve but tend not to achieve or they don't even try to achieve it. I do worry about that a little bit. That being said, when I see my kids, and there's how brilliant they, their friends and their colleagues are, I get a lot of hope at how great these kids are turning out.

Take that a couple of steps further as we wrap things up in the session. What advice or wisdom do you have for physicians who are questioning themselves, who have not done the things that you've described and are feeling frustrated within their role, wondering if they can keep going and maintaining the pace that they are maintaining?

I tell them to look at their lives and examine them. First of all, listen. “What is it that they want to do? What do they want to become? What goals do they have?” I may not know anything about their life, first of all. For the ones who I'm an informal mentor for, I try to get to know them first of all. Who will advise them if I don’t know what makes them tick?

Further, try to recognize that this is a challenge. Create a deeper relationship with them and then maybe give them tips and pointers about how to balance their life in different ways or achieve their goals or nudge them in certain ways. I'll never forget I had a mentor a few years ago who left our system. It was a Saturday. I was negotiating a new leadership role at that time.

I will never forget that moment. We talked about something over the phone. It was a Saturday afternoon. Both of us were catching on emails and these back-and-forth emails. I called him up and said, “I'm struggling with this question.” He's like, “What are you doing right now?” I'm like, “Nothing really.” He's like, “I know where you live. Might as well meet up for a cup of coffee.” We did. We spent three hours. In three hours, he helped me develop a career plan. You are like, “I will never forget that moment.” This is during that pandemic a little bit. We are just getting started in the surges. He helped me define a career path. I will never forget that.

I'm always grateful for something like that. When people do stuff like that, my job as a leader is to pay it forward. When it's my turn, I got to do the same thing. If someone calls me and says, “I'm having trouble. I'm struggling with these questions,” I will say, “Let's go for a cup of coffee or go for some tea. Let's catch up. Let's see what I can help you with.”

You've certainly touched on it. Expand a little bit more about what are the advantages of having a mentor.

Mentors, sponsors, and people that are confidants to who you can vent are all important. The more important part is that they say the classic phrase, “When the student is ready, then the teacher comes.” You have to have that growth mindset realizing that you don't have the answers. There are some things I do well. There are a lot of things I don't do well. From that perspective, what things do I want to focus on to do better at, to grow as an individual, as a professional, as a father and as a member of our community? I have different mentors for different roles or needs.

CTT – DFY 2 | Leadership In A Pandemic
Leadership In A Pandemic: When the student is ready, then the teacher comes. You have to have that growth mindset, realizing that you don't have the answers.

I'm lucky to have that. A mentor can help you in a lot of ways, recognize your blind spots, help you negotiate stuff, and help you through political issues. Sometimes find some resources if you are looking for some resources to get some things done. A lot of different roles for the mentors, sometimes to be a voice of clarity. As someone who's done this before or been in similar challenges and be like, “You're overthinking this.”

Oftentimes, they will tell you, and I've done for other people, I’m like, “You are way stressed out about this. You are doing just fine. Give it time. Continually work. If you have that mindset, you are going to be fine. Make sure you find time for yourself.” That's why I find myself over and over finding because the people who come towards me often are people that are burning the candle at many ends. They need to say, “Need to be told. Don't do that to yourself. Relax. You will be fine. I'm here to help.”

I know Atrium has had a successful physician mentoring program in the past but if you don't have a formal program that assists with some of that matching mentor and mentees, what's the best way to find a mentor?

The best way to find a mentor is to ask honestly. Usually, they are readily accessible to you. Other times, you might be lucky that in a professional society. All the major organizations in my field have formal mentorship programs. Mine is pulmonary critical care. In that, of those three major societies, all of them have formal mentorship mentee programs, and about maybe someone you trained with before, someone who you might have had some other interactions with, maybe someone on the hospital side, the clinic side or the different aspects.

Oftentimes, you would be surprised at how often people are eager to help you because most people in life, wherever you work, want to see you succeed. For your physician audience, particularly people who put a lot into physicians, I know there's a lot of chatter about physicians or this and that. That being said, the majority of people that I see and the majority of administrators and other leaders I talk to want to see their physicians happy and, more importantly, not just successful professionally but thriving.

You'd be surprised at how often people are eager to help you, because most people in life, wherever you work, want to see you succeed.

If you need something, voice it. If you don't voice it, the answer is always no. If we don't ask, the answer is always no. Voice that and say, “I need to get better at understanding strategy. I need to get better at understanding how to talk in certain situations. I get nervous on stage. I get this and that.” There's probably someone to help you with all those skillsets that you want but you have to first look deep inside and say, “What is it that I want to do? What is it do I particularly need? Can someone help me craft a strategy around that, if possible?” If not, let's explore some of those aspects. Let's flush them out a little bit to understand your needs, your desires, and what can make you the most impactful person you want to be or the person you want to become.

I want to wrap things up but I appreciate your time and the wisdom that you've shared with the audience and taking the time out. Do you have any last remarks or comments that you would like to share?

I want to say thank you, Todd, for all the work you do in this space because it's important. People need guidance. If they don't have someone immediately, then get a coach or get someone else to help you because they can help you in these spaces and help you not just for your job but for your everyday life as well in many facets.

Thank you for the work that you do. We will sign off. I look forward to seeing you in person and sharing a cup of coffee soon.

That sounds great. Take care, Todd.


That wraps up this episode. I would like to again thank Dr. Jaspal Singh for being part of our session and sharing his expertise as a leader and critical care physician in a pandemic and post-pandemic environment. I especially appreciate his input on managing physician and staff shortages, personal grit, and the importance of self-preservation while physicians face many of the challenges that exist within healthcare systems across the nation. I've noted in previous episodes that there's no other career that's experienced as much unexpected flux and change within their career as being a physician.

You take that constant curve ball that the practice of medicine and leadership throws at physicians, as well as many other healthcare providers. In place on top of that, a pandemic, you can only imagine the challenges and stress, the frustrations that our physicians face. Nevertheless, they continue doing great work, serving selflessly in providing excellent patient care.

As we are celebrating the season of Thanksgiving, let's not forget to show our appreciation on a daily basis to our physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers for taking care of us and our loved ones throughout the year. On behalf of the Institute for Healthcare and Academic Leadership and the Commit To Thrive show, thank you. Until next time, God bless.

Important Links

About Jaspal Singh

CTT – DFY 2 | Leadership In A Pandemic

Dr. Singh is a Professor of Medicine at Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC, practicing and teaching in the Department of Medicine, Atrium Health Medical Group, Virtual Critical Care Center, and the Levine Cancer Institute. He is board-certified in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine, serving as the Atrium Health Medical Director of Adult Critical Care Practice and Education, as well Director of Innovation and Quality Improvement in Pulmonary Oncology. He was recently appointed as the Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for Atrium Health’s Adult Medical Specialties.  

In addition patient care, his daily work includes teaching, writing, speaking, and serving in several capacities and leadership roles. Projects include working with enhancement of virtual care, data analytics, precision medicine and novel educational modalities with simulation to enhance patient care.