Dr. Shelley Meyer: Hi and welcome to the Dr. Shelly Meyer YouTube channel and the women in medicine be the change podcast I’m so excited to welcome Dr. Randie Schacter and we are going to talk about her experience in medicine her what brought her to her unique path that she’s doing right now and just hear about how she’s doing using creativity and her true love and passion for things and how she’s incorporating them into that helping other women so randy do you want to go by randy or doctor?

Dr. Randy Schacter: Randy is fine absolutely.

Dr. Shelley Meyer: All right Randy welcome to the channel on the podcast I’d like you to tell us about how you got to where you are now and kind of what shaped your path

Dr. Randy Schacter: um I let’s see I was I’ve always loved to listen to people tell me stories and wherever I went it seemed that people like to tell me stories so I started out as a psych major I thought I was going to do therapy I was at UCLA and somewhere along the way in that plan I felt like well I wanted more tools what if they needed more beyond just talking and so I decided I wanted to go to med school and um intimidated but I did it anyway my dad was a doctor he was really I smart I didn’t think I was as smart as he was but a friend of mine who was a year ahead was in med school and convinced me that regular people can do it so I said okay I’m going to try and I got it so I went to med school and yeah regular people can do it

Dr. Shelley Meyer: yes, they can I’m a regular person also where’d you go to med school

Dr. Randy Schacter: I went to Nikon New York college of osteopathic medicine at nit yeah, I went to the osteopathic school in Kansas City

Dr. Shelley Meyer: great school I love

Dr. Randy Schacter: I hear good things about Kansas

Dr. Shelley Meyer: yeah, it’s a good school

Dr. Randy Schacter: all right well then you are doing some really cool stuff now how did you get from there to here um so I I ended up practicing psychiatry which is basically the same concept of you know adding more tools and I always wanted to work with kids um and then as I worked with kids over the years what I realized was that if I can help women the moms then I can also indirectly help the children the healthier the mom is then the healthier the kids are like if we look at studies of mom and kids and depression often the phases go with the wellness of their parents as well and so my as I got older my comfort level of working with women improved too and my desire to do that so I basically treat women and children and so I have a private practice where I treat women and children and then um in the past couple years I started a program where I run groups for medical professional women to manage stress anxiety and burnout and that happened because of a whole I don’t know so many reasons

Dr. Shelley Meyer: right, it’s hard to wrap it up into one little story

Dr. Randy Schacter: um basically I have my own experiences with burnout and keeping it at bay over the years and what I use is tools so I learned from my dad very young that you need to have tools to navigate the stress of managing patients in life he used tai chi and carpentry

Dr. Shelley Meyer: awesome

Dr. Randy Schacter: and um so for me it is pottery cooking and meditation and um and uh so at some point I decided you know so over the years this has been helpful for me and burnout has kind of ebbed and flowed I also modify my practice to kind of navigate my burnout and keep it at bay so when I feel like things are too stressful I will stop taking patients when I think that I don’t have the capacity to handle the emotional toll of patients I will slow down the caseload even if there is space right the space is then used for other things to keep the noise from kind of taking over um and some people don’t do it that way but that’s what I need to do to kind of keep me present and capable with the patients that I do have my belief is that if I can’t be presence with the patient I have then I shouldn’t be adding more

Dr. Shelley Meyer: I totally agree and that’s how I’ve managed my own practice too tell me about some of the um situations that because we all have our stories right the situations that you’ve been in where you felt like this is not what I want to do not what I want to practice this is not the best way to establish a healing relationship with a patient like some of the jobs that have

Dr. Randy Schacter: right a couple things happened so one um I worked at a hospital and when we first started um call was like four hours a day on the weekend and by the time that I left it was like 12 hours sometimes 16. the charlotte grew charlotte grew very fast it’s a very fast you know fast-paced growing city and as people move here it also means that so does their mental health issues and so they tried to get help with coverage but it didn’t really happen we were supposed to have call every six it was often every fourth because they couldn’t recruit fast enough and then I had you know petitioned for a while to have a late Monday where I worked three hours later and then on Tuesday Wednesday Thursday I would leave an hour earlier and it worked really great for my patients who then didn’t have to miss school or the parents didn’t have to miss work and then it allowed me to be home when my kids got home from school or close to it and so I like to practice what I preach if I’m treating kids and their parents and saying please be present for your kids I want to be home and present for my own kids what’s the point of having them if you can’t be with them

Dr. Shelley Meyer: exactly

Dr. Randy Schacter: and so it was great and it went really well for a year or so patients loved it I loved it staff just seemed to be fine with it one staff stayed later with me and they got to leave early the next couple days too so I went away on maternity leave and then um I had some complications here’s another issue that was stressful with my job is that I had bleeding during pregnancy and I needed to um be on bed rest and it didn’t seem to be received well even though there was a medical letter like what do you mean you can’t work I’m like I this isn’t my fault

Dr. Shelley Meyer: right, I’m not choosing to do this

Dr. Randy Schacter: right I had like a csv and there was complications at CVS or whatever it’s called I can’t remember it’s that chronic villa sampling yes yes and um I I couldn’t help it and so they were a little bit annoyed and you know I can understand that you had trouble with getting coverage but and that’s annoying but you don’t take it out on the pregnant lady you just like that was lame yeah um but that was the office manager and she just seemed I don’t know maybe it was her own baby issues I can’t answer that question didn’t like the feeling

Dr. Shelley Meyer: right

Dr. Randy Schacter: um and then so when I got back from maternity leave, they had decided that they were doing away with the evening issue

Dr. Shelley Meyer: without even asking you just did it themselves right

Dr. Randy Schacter: right no they decided they no longer thought it was a good idea or viable or benefit and clearly it was a benefit to the patients and clearly it was a benefit to me and now I have a brand new baby which makes it even more important to me um what what are you doing so I worked for a couple more months and then I just and call was even worse and my baby was having issues and I just felt not supported not cared about they wanted to move my I was very strict that I had 30 minutes with patients and they wanted to move that to 20. new patients were an hour and they wanted to make it 45 for child and adolescent psychiatry

Dr. Shelley Meyer: psychiatry right

Dr. Randy Schacter: right that’s not realistic right um and or or authentic or engaging or it’s none of those things how do you I do therapy with my patients they let me do they let me do but it wasn’t allowed on a consistent basis they let me that is not how I wanted to practice after all of this effort in medicine was being told what I was allowed to do or not allowed to do for the benefit of my patients so I said no thank you I’m done it was not healthy for them it was not healthy for me and I left

Dr. Shelley Meyer: that’s good and then you did you start your own practice

Dr. Randy Schacter: yeah okay that’s right you said that so then I took this very very scary leap yes it is really scared but scared and did it anyway so my dad had a private practice and he was very happy I looked into joining other people and then I decided no because then I I need to negotiate oh do we want to use this phone do we want to get this EMR do you want to blah blah blah no I don’t I don’t want to I don’t want to ask permission if I can go on vacation I want my own and my dad had his own and he figured it out on his own I can do this you know I would use to think that my dad was this amazing man I still think he is bigger than life and that I couldn’t do what he could do so I was afraid but then I went to med school and he did that and so then I thought oh I couldn’t open a private practice but he did it so why couldn’t I and I did and so what I realized is that he’s really I great and I can do it too if he you know humans you

Dr. Shelley Meyer: got to pass those limiting beliefs in your life correct

Dr. Randy Schacter: exactly and so I when I would I I always knew I was going to open my own practice and this is one of the things I always tell people when I was in residency uh every single private practice supervisor that I had I would get all of their notes like what kind of forums did you use what I was your pricing how did you pick your patients what was your screening instead of just the supervision about like therapy and med management it was always asking about their office model I don’t think all residents bothered to do that but I called everything and kept them in folders so when I went into private practice I basically picked through all of them and then created my own forms like oh I like that questionnaire oh I like this format this was the heading I was going to use yeah and then created my own and actually I think there’s like a handful of practices in this city that um have started their own like have left since I left that hospital and they use my forms but with their their letterhead on top because they’re good

Dr. Shelley Meyer: awesome so now you’re allowed to practice psychiatry you’re allowed to practice that therapy and counseling with patients and yeah that’s always as a family practice doctor you know referring out to psychiatry and I remember when I first started my own practice and I think hearing well my psychiatrist my psychiatrist just manages my medications that’s all

Dr. Randy Schacter: right, what’s the point of that

Dr. Shelley Meyer: yeah so, I was pretty shocked and now I’m used to it because it is the norm right isn’t it the norm now that

Dr. Randy Schacter: I think it is more common yeah yeah so, I think it’s only because the hospitals and the insurance companies force them to

Dr. Shelley Meyer: right it’s all about the the revues and the volume and and all of that Dr. Randy Schacter: it’s the same across all specialties we’re all feeling it well let’s flip sides here and tell us about the um the retreats you’re doing the courses you’re doing all the fun stuff you’re combining that has your passions in it and helps other women you know really ignite their passion as well so i run these programs for medical women professionals where they can um eat yummy farm-to-table food each session is like a different area region country

Dr. Shelley Meyer: wow

Dr. Randy Schacter: and um Matthew’s farmer’s market is a local farmers market it’s lovely and then I have this community sustaining agriculture it’s a you pay a share into the farm and then the farm gives you whatever a share of whatever they produce for that season every week we get yummy fresh vegetables and

Dr. Shelley Meyer: wow

Dr. Randy Schacter: all kinds of wonderful stuff and then um typically we read a journal article beforehand and we kind of go over it the article is usually either related to mindfulness or CBT or benefits of art and therapy or what is burnout what is secondary trauma what are the different symptoms that you might like familiarizing with what you might be feeling understanding what these things may be helpful for where do you fit in in this and does it resonate and some of them are stories of like different experiences or how somebody might present if they were secondary traumatized like the shift in personality style um

Dr. Shelley Meyer: awesome

Dr. Randy Schacter: so that we learn from others to know where do we fit in in that process like is this happening to me no I’m not there yet but I’m over here and I don’t want to go there so what do I need to do um and then um after we eat and we chat and there’s a lot of laughter which is really important and very appealing and very funny um then we make pottery so I teach them a technique and every week it’s a different technique sometimes it’s going into the yard and picking herbs from the garden and then we kind of put them into a plate so that you can have like imprints of nature into your platter or we’ll make a mug or something and then they after we’re done making the pottery we’ll do some form of meditation CBT or mindfulness and I’ll teach them that scale and then we have dessert and then they go home and then by the end of the course they have a handful of pieces that they’ve made themselves they’ll I have a kiln they bisque fire it then they come back and they paint it or they glaze it and so either it’s gifts for themselves to remember forever or gifts that they give away and one of the things that are important is that they learn how to be mindful of the pottery that they do so in one session they get these two little round discs one is bisque and one is not and they paint on each of them and the concept is to actually notice the difference in texture the difference in absorption the slight differences in how these techniques vary because one is cooked and the other is raw and so in everything that they do the goal is for them to notice the slight changes or differences so even when we eat the food like the reason that every meal is a fresh preservative free and farm to table but from a different region is because I want to expose them to all kinds of flavors and smells and colors that they may not be familiar with or as alien to their culture so that they can kind of promote shifts in their palette and awareness that maybe they didn’t have before and then be like oh this invokes some memory from this blah blah blah and it brings feelings and things up that might be wonderful or if not then they can discuss that vulnerable oh my god I had this when I was on call and that’s what I used to call this chicken empyema or blah blah whatever

Dr. Shelley Meyer: memory it brings up

Dr. Randy Schacter: yeah

Dr. Shelley Meyer: wow that’s so great because it’s incorporating the meditative aspect of the pottery the texture the mindfulness, you’re bringing mindfulness into the food mindful eating is so important too

Dr. Randy Schacter: and we do pottery on yoga balls because that’s how I do my pottery so they’re actually having to be aware of their posture and where they sit as they do their work and sometimes, we do it outside in the garden and sometimes we do it inside depends on what the weather permits there’s lighting outside and stuff if it’s nightfall and we can meditate in this in the under the stars

Dr. Shelley Meyer: wow

Dr. Randy Schacter: next week um I have a retreat that I’m co-hosting with two other doctors in charlotte and we have about 28 physicians coming and the beauty of it isn’t just so there’s no pottery there it is a rest restore reset there will be yoga in the morning yoga in the afternoon there will be a meditation there will be a keynote speaker that’s talking about sleep that’s Nancy Barron’s and she’s lovely she’s this the director of sleep medicine at Novant which is the local hospital awesome there will be a nutritionist talking about kind of like how to find healthy snacks and nutrition for the busy days like make sure you’re anchoring at least while we’re running because that’s what we do but even if we’re not running on empty we should not run on empty basically right we shouldn’t be running but if we’re running try this to make it less dangerous I think is the idea and then um a little bit about kind of finding what your core values are and how to kind of keep integrity while all these moving parts are trying to kind of shift from who we are right we have all these demands from corporations and things telling us but how do we kind of hold as hold the line and keep your integrity and what the core values are and where do you shift to kind of maintain that and then another one is kind of life hacks and how to do things in a way that cuts time and mind space so that you can get stuff done and move forward

Dr. Shelley Meyer: wow that’s all so important

Dr. Randy Schacter: and then the fun part for that retreat is that we basically canvassed the town and said these doctors are tired and they have been working their butts off and they need to be celebrated help us and so we have like um spas donations and so many people have like sponsored little stuff for grab it like to put in the swag bag and to raffle off like from the local community that they will totally feel loved and cared for by this community

Dr. Shelley Meyer: that’s amazing and so you’re fine are you finding that well so I know for your live and eight-week course it’s doctors in your area are people coming in from other areas, or is it?

Dr. Randy Schacter: we did it for this retreat we really made it specifically for the local charlotte docks so that they can kind of find their local community too

Dr. Shelley Meyer: awesome

Dr. Randy Schacter: at some point we may make it larger but it was just finding your buff next door kind of deal

Dr. Shelley Meyer: well then for those uh physicians’ women physicians that might be listening how can they learn more about what you’re doing locally there in North Carolina

Dr. Randy Schacter: um so my website is silverspaces.org um and that’s the way to find me but my next step is to be global I plan to do a retreat in Portugal in the coming year and that is not local and that would be an eight day imagine that my program is eight sessions it would be eight days but it would be condensed we would do pottery meditation in the morning yoga at you know sunset

Dr. Shelley Meyer: oh awesome

Dr. Randy Schacter: pottery in the morning and then do excursions on a few days few days on your own teach a cooking class have farm to table chefs cook for us swim in the pool on the rooftop

Dr. Shelley Meyer: nice

Dr. Randy Schacter: one goes on a wine tour go island hopping

Dr. Shelley Meyer: oh, fun yeah, I think hopefully our viewers and listeners will really want to join you on that so you’ll have that on your website eventually when you

Dr. Randy Schacter: yes, I secure it right

Dr. Shelley Meyer: I know for your I’m not sure if it was your eight-week course or your retreat there’s come is that correct?

Dr. Randy Schacter: all of them

Dr. Shelley Meyer: oh, wow and so you do metrics to a measuring exactly

Dr. Randy Schacter: I measured before and after with the Copenhagen and a pro sol and clinical change right you’ve seen it right moves great clinically significant was the term yes, the needle definitely moves there is so much benefit and then um the come um for the eight week is 14 so it’s like a two and a half hour each time and you get 14 come

Dr. Shelley Meyer: wow that’s a decent amount that’s really good that’s a lot of come that’s good yeah, I’m sorry for the what were you going to say

Dr. Randy Schacter: I haven’t figured out what the retreat I mean so the retreat that we’re doing now is eight come and met in yeah in a week but I haven’t figured out what the Portugal eight day would be I’m assuming it would be something like 14 because I think that we would do some in the morning and then free time in the afternoon

Dr. Shelley Meyer: that’s amazing well everybody checks out her dry Randy’s website to learn more about that and then if you could share for those who can’t maybe attend you know the Randy’s local things that you’re doing uh what do you think are some good self-care things to keep in mind for women that are struggling with them

Dr. Randy Schacter: so, I think that finding something that you are create finding creativity right um find something that you enjoy doing for many people something three-dimensional can be more engaging than two-dimensional but there are people that are drawers that can zoom in and find flow and they don’t need the three-dimension process um if you’re struggling with how to meditate it’s not really just emptying your mind like that’s just a myth that I

Dr. Shelley Meyer: I’m not sitting there quiet

Dr. Randy Schacter: the only time my mind is empty is when I’m doing pottery I’m allows my mind to kind of but actually sitting and meditating it’s impossible and my mind wanders like crazy and that’s perfectly okay like that idea that mind should not wander is a is a fallacy I’m sure the best meditator in the world still has a wandering mind it’s recognizing that it wanders and bringing it back so really if you’re not familiar with meditating then find an app that’s going to introduce you to it and start there and only do it for a couple minutes don’t do a 50-minute meditation the first time do a five-minute one and just get a feel for it and don’t be afraid and guided is easiest at the beginning

Dr. Shelley Meyer: I totally agree

Dr. Randy Schacter: and insight timer is my favorite place to find them because there’s like gazillions and different voices and different styles and you can pick the duration and you can pick the type and um that’s where I would say to find if you want to try something new like that but creativity and meditation are such great tools to kind of give your brain a break for a little while from all the clutter and it needs a break

Dr. Shelley Meyer: I agree I mean I talk to so many especially patients but also other professional women everything that say they say exercise is their self-care which is great and I it is one of my pieces but I think you have to have that mindfulness piece in there too you could incorporate that with exercise you can incorporate with activity but I think having that quieting and that focusing is really important

Dr. Randy Schacter: absolutely after your yoga do your yoga nidra

Dr. Shelley Meyer: exactly yeah well this has been such a great discussion I’ve really enjoyed it really thanks so much for joining us and sharing your story and sharing your passions I love what you’re doing and I hope everybody else out there can learn from it and enjoy it and I hope your retreat goes well and just thanks so much for sharing your story

Dr. Randy Schacter: it’s my pleasure it was lovely to be here thank you Dr. Shelley

Dr. Shelley Meyer: I hope you enjoyed that uh episode and podcast with Dr. Randie Schacter it was so fun to learn about her using uh mindfulness for pottery and cooking and courses and everything she’s doing sounds amazing and just to hear their psychiatry perspective on the current state of medicine as well and burnout in women so if you enjoyed that I really encourage you to support our my mission here on helping women in medicine reclaim their mental and physical health and rediscover their love for medicine if you want to support you can like subscribe and share this video out hit the button to be notified when I post a new video every Friday if you’re watching if you’re listening to this on the podcast if you could share a review on your favorite podcast platform that would help the podcast grow and if you want to join us on patreon we’ll have a private group there for women physicians if you want to support the mission you can find out more about my patreon campaign in the description or in the show notes and I’ll put a link um on the screen as well so thanks so much for joining we’ll see you in the next episode.