Episode 015: Jim Martin PhD, Revelation Through Science, Organic Chemistry Makes Space for a Creator
In Episode 015 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, we explore the interface between science and spirituality, evolution and creationism, faith and the experimental method. I have a wonderful conversation with a dear friend and honorary family member, former governor of North Carolina and nurturing grandfather Jim Martin.
Jim is a Princeton PhD organic chemist who initially taught at his alma mater Davidson College During that time, he played principal tuba in the Charlotte Symphony and officiated high school football. Drawn to politics as a precinct worker, he was then elected three times as county commissioner, six times to the U.S. Congress, and twice as Governor of North Carolina. After twenty-six years of public service, he returned to his scientific roots in private life to serve as vice president of medical research at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. He and his wife Dottie have three children and five grandchildren in addition to being amazing family friends to my grandparents and all the Abbott’s in my loving family.
In our conversation Jim shares some amazing insights regarding the complexities of biology, organic chemistry, and physics as they relate to the current existence of humanity and our universe as a whole.
In distilling down some of the major ideas in his groundbreaking book: Revelation Through Science
Jim provides us with a small glimpse into some foundational scientific principles that perhaps, do not and WILL NEVER PROVE the existence of a God, but do indeed provide evidence POINTING TO the existence of a larger Creator.
Introducing the concepts of irreducible complexities, the remarkable relational geometry of DNA, RNA, sugars, and amino acids, we explore that miraculous machinery that allows for the storage and interpretation of genetic code and the eventual creation of an incredible array of proteins and biologic tissues.
Getting a little geeky, we, as two chemists explore the concepts of chirality or handedness of molecules. Why should we care if something is left handed or right handed? What does it mean to be left handed in the first place?
And what the heck is a enantiomer?
Changing gears, James and I explore Scripture and the biblical text
Can we treat the Bible as a scientific textbook or as a book of relational and interpretive wisdom?
Is it fair to judge the biblical text against our current understanding of the scientific method?
Dancing into the beautiful trinity of sugars, RNA/DNA, and amino acids, Jim creates the wonderful three way chicken, egg and creator conundrum, what came first nucleic acids, or ribose and deoxyribose, or amino acids or perhaps something we don’t even currently understand?
I am so grateful to Jim for sharing this space with me and engaging in a thoughtful discussion seeking to bring peace to the supposed dichotomy between science and spirituality, providing a middle ground for individuals to recognize that you can both believe in God and evolution, use the scientific method and rely on faith for understanding.
And please check out Jim’s book: Revelation Through Science, it really is a fascinating collection of thoughtful scientific inquiry accessible to both the rigorous scientist and curious layperson.
You can find links to Jim’s page and his book in our show notes, as well as slides describing some of the concepts we discuss in the podcast, for those, like myself, who are rather visually inclined.
I really hope you enjoy the show!
Use this link to access Jim’s website: http://www.beatenpathbooks.com/
Use this link to access Jim’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Revelation-Through-Science-James-Martin/dp/1524536083
Episode 014: Jordyn Feingold, Positive Medicine: Healing Our Healers, Cultivating Wellness, Resilience, and Meaningful Work
In Episode 014 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well-Being, I welcome student doctor and my new partner in all things well-being and resilience: Jordyn Feingold.
Jordyn, is now a second-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) where she is actively working toward her combined MD/ Master’s in Clinical and Translational Research. Before medical school, she attended undergrad and received a master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
As you will hear in the show Jordyn is a founding member of the student-trainee division of CHARM (the Collaborative for Healing and Renewal in Medicine), a national network of medical students and residents working together with physicians to identify best practices around physician well-being and promote the resilience of medical practitioners.
She is currently the co-chair of the student wellness committee at ISMMS and is working within her own school and with the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center to develop resilience trainings for medical students, trainees, and practicing physicians. Most importantly Jordyn rejuvenates by singing, exercising, cooking, and nurturing her relationships with family and friends.
Jordyn and I met as a result of the thoughtful connection from my previous guest in Episode 12: Grace Cormier. Following a short introduction, Jordyn and I were off to the races sharing stories of medical education, positive psychology and how we came to discover what exactly it was we were both called to do. Following our initial smiles and tears of disbelief, our passions for supporting fellow medical trainees has only continued to grow. As you heard in Jordyn’s introductory bio, we have recently collaborated to build a new social network of passionate medical trainees dedicated to supporting each other’s well being and changing the way medicine is practiced. We are so excited to share this collaborative group with you and as we discuss in the show, please reach out via email and explore the current database of students via the notes on the podcast past to join and share in our collective mission for wellness in medicine.
Besides sharing our excitement over this new network, our conversation today explores much of Jordyn’s fascinating background bridging early undergraduate coursework in positive psychology with her calling to pursue medicine.
Jordyn shares her views on “Positive Medicine,” and details her unique wellness program REVAMP. In the discussion she describes the creation of this unique, six faceted program and her active pursuits to help medical students, residents and physicians successfully focus on all the aspects necessary for living a fulfilled and meaningful life. From physical vitality and relationships, to accomplishment and positive emotions, Jordyn provides us with an amazing introduction to her multifaceted and revolutionary approach and shares her own experience in living it each and every day.
Jordyn is perhaps one of the most passionate and visionary individuals I have ever met, and I am beyond grateful for the connection that made our friendship possible. Jordyn will no doubt become a regular guest and contributor on the show and I genuinely believe you will resonate with her passionate mind and creative endeavors.
And please, if you enjoy the show, we would greatly appreciate if you could leave a positive review in I-Tunes/Apple Podcasts as this is the single best best way beyond word of mouth for others to find our work. I have been smiling from the beginning of this podcast, astonished by the increasing numbers of listeners with each and every show. I am so thankful for your support and couldn’t imagine finding the time or energy to write and record each week while navigate the 70-80 hour work weeks of my family medicine residency program. Your words and support make it all possible and never fail to keep a smile on my face and joy in my heart every step of the way.
I hope you enjoy the show!
Read more about Jordyn's work on Mount Sinai's MacroMD Blog, or check out her facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jordynhfeingold/.
To access more on CHARM: http://www.im.org/page/charm
To see CHARM's Student Network Agreement:
And below is the contact information for Charm Student Network
My guest today is Max Mishkin. I met Max on our first day of college at the College of William of Mary, almost a decade ago. Together in 2009, we hiked over 300 miles of the Appalachian trail, coursing our way through several southern states including Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Since that time, Max has followed his passion for nature and re-dedicated his life to preserving and protecting the outdoor spaces that he loves.
He was worked with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy based in Harper’s Ferry WVA and has been a caretaker for the Maryland section of the Appalachian Trail. As part of his work in our natural spaces, Max has documented its beauty through photography and uses it to tell stories of places and the people that love them.
On his site: http://www.mishkinphoto.com Max contributes to the ongoing story of conservation. For as he sees it, photography is a means to connect the essential human experience with the imagery of our most cherished natural wonders, all in an effort to better understand our relationship with nature and the stakes of its preservation.
Whether he is managing his conservation photography company, working as a park ranger or thru hiking the Appalachian Trail, Max's story is all about following your dreams in the face of conventional wisdom.
In our conversation today, Max shares a piece of his life’s journey, navigating his way through societal norms to eventually discover that his passion for nature, his spiritual purpose and his practical talents all overlapped as part of his work IN THESE NATURAL SPACES THEMSELVES. Breaking down the walls of work and play, recreation and livelihood, Max offers us a poetic yet realistic portrayal of what can truly happen when you follow your dreams and do what you love. I hope you enjoy this heartwarming conversation from two close friends.
For all those who have struggled with attentional deficit or hyperactivity issues, various learning disabilities and otherwise challenging school and working environments, I believe this episode with Max will touch your spirit, giving you more fire to know what is truly possible when you disregard those who say you cannot, and live in the empowered spirit that says of course you can.
Where to Find and Follow Him
Episode 012, Grace Cormier: An Exploration of Positive Psychology: Gratitude, Reframing and The Power of Perspective
In Episode 012 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, we enter into the world of Positive Psychology with my new friend and visionary researcher Grace Cormier. While Grace’s bio may appear linear, straightforward, and precisely planned, the actual story, as you will hear in the podcast, is much more circuitous, and blessed by courageous leaps of faith.
Grace graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Psychology and from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Applied Positive Psychology. She has extensive experience implementing positive psychology and resilience programs in a wide variety of organizations including the military, public safety, universities, and a professional basketball team. Her academic work focuses on how to foster affective commitment through building cultures that support autonomy, competence, and relatedness. She has a passion for applying positive psychology in organizations to transform cultures, build effective teams, and encourage prosocial behavior. She currently does research with Wharton People Analytics at the University of Pennsylvania.
In the episode, Grace and I hold a joyful conversation, sharing aspects of our life stories and how we both came to study and practice in the field of Positive Psychology in the first place.
To get things started, Grace shares with us:
A Short History of Positive Psychology
Digging back into the personal we explore:
The Many Ways in which Grace has incorporated positive practices into her daily life
Building from these practices Graces shares some amazing insights on"
Following our journey into the practices of Positive Psychology we then transition to a fascinating discussion about:
The Importance of Gratitude and The Concept of Resilience
And lastly we close with some final insights and a beautiful piece of wisdom from Grace as she faithfully lives out the practices she most rigorously studies.
I was so grateful to have shared this conversation with Grace and so thankful for the nourishing friendship that emerged from our synchronous connection. I am already looking forward to bringing Grace back on the show to share more of her insights, wisdom and passion for connecting communities by holding a space for happiness to flourish.
To learn more about the Positive Psychology Center UPenn you may access their website using this link: http://ppc.sas.upenn.edu
To access more information about Wharton People Analytics use this link:
And, to get in touch with Grace you can contact her at:
Enjoy the show!
Episode 011: Behavioral Counseling Regarding Diet and Physical Activity In Healthy Adults: Do You Think You Would Benefit?
Mixing things up this week, I have provided a short commentary on a recent recommendation from the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) regarding the efficacy of routine behavioral health counseling for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in healthy adults.
“The USPSTF recommends that primary care professionals individualize the decision to offer or refer adults without obesity who do not have hypertension, dyslipidemia, abnormal blood glucose levels, or diabetes to behavioral counseling to promote a healthful diet and physical activity. Existing evidence indicates a positive but small benefit of behavioral counseling for the prevention of CVD in this population. Persons who are interested and ready to make behavioral changes may be most likely to benefit from behavioral counseling. (C recommendation).”
You may be wondering:
Who/What is the USPSTF and what are their recommendations in the first place?
Who are they directed towards and to whom do they apply?
And most importantly why should I care?
In my commentary I examine some of the details behind this recommendation and the studies that informed it. I dig a little deeper to explore some rather curious questions:
Why don’t they recommend counseling for everyone? It seems like it would help?
In what ways did the USPSTF determined “benefit” from such counseling?
What types of health counseling were involved? What modalities were used?
Who was delivering the interventions?
Could we have even expected to see a benefit from such interventions in the first place?
How would you decide if nutrition counseling was helpful to you?
Is preventing cardiovascular enough or relevant?
And pushing still I begin to open some doors and push some buttons examining
What does a Grade C recommendation mean when it comes to insurance? payment? Will this type of service be covered?
Were the interventions studied “unsuccessful” because of the participants or was it the content and delivery?
Are we actually telling patients the right things when it comes to nutrition and exercise?
What if we studied counseling for sleep, stress management and social connection? Would we see a benefit with these types of interventions? Is this where we should look to next?
And lastly I leave the discussion with a note on motivation, purpose and the willingness to change- is motivation and willingness to change a prerequisite for making meaningful lifestyle changes? Should we only educate those that seem interested to change?
I really hope you enjoy this commentary and want to hear from you!
Leave comments on our podcast page, contact us at using our contact page or send an email to email@example.com. We would love to hear from you and wish to know if this type of podcast is something you would like more of in the future.
May you be happy, healthy, and forever at peace.
In Episode 10 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being I have perhaps my deepest, most personal and somehow most playful conversation to date with my mentor in integrative and spirituality engaged family medicine, Dr Gregory Gelburd DO.
As you will hear in the podcast, it was by amazing chance and beautiful synchronicity that Greg and I crossed paths, quickly becoming colleagues, friends, and family beyond measure. From sharing a room together during a mission trip to Haiti, to holding a space for healing alongside Greg’s patients, I have been tremendously blessed to have worked and learned from Greg’s incredible wisdom and his faithful giving heart.
In this conversation, or should I say, this storytelling, you will hear much of Greg’s fascinating background, his undeniable humor and his amazing dedication to restoring health for those in his community, no matter their socioeconomic background, or ability to pay.
Digging into the details of the show we explore
As we dig further,
Greg shares countless stories of life as an osteopathic physician serving in underserved communities, trying to figure out exactly what was the patient’s REAL REASON FOR COMING.
And in the end Greg opens his own heart to share a personal and vulnerable story of error and forgiveness that will leave your heart yearning to forgive as well, perhaps forgiving those that have hurt you to your core.
I will simply stop here and share again how grateful I am to call Greg a mentor and friend and I hope you can find some nourishing stories embedded in our playful, yet deep conversation leading you to live a life more open, more fulfilled, and undeniably free.
Enjoy the show.
Episode 009: Tony Schiavone, Faith, Community and Health: A Pastor's Perspective On Cultivating Wellness
In Episode 009 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well-Being, we share space with Charlottesville Virginia advocate and visionary leader behind Cornerstone Community Church, Pastor Tony Schiavone.
It would take much too long to share all of Tony’s background, accomplishments and the innumerable ways in which Tony has inspired my being, so I will distill down his passionate work and impactful presence into a single sentence: Tony has opened my heart to experience the joys of renewed relationship with Christ and a life unburdened by the fears or never completely knowing.
Sharing his wisdom each Sunday and holding a nourishing space for growth every second in between, Tony has been a passionate leader in my local church: Cornerstone Community Church, pushing the boundaries of what the modern church can offer a community of open and engaged believers.
In this deeply personal and touching conversation, Tony shares his background in the church community, growing up in a large church-going, New York family where faith would never take the back seat.
We then explore:
We then ask and explore explore some interesting question
And to start to blur the lines of spiritual counsel vs. physical “healer” and how health is truly created at the community level we ask:
And lastly Tony shares his vision and work within the church answering the question
While you may not find much “medicine” in this conversation, I think you will discover a wealth of new questions and opportunities to reflect, no matter your spiritual background or religious beliefs.
Episode 008: James Maskell, The Evolution of Medical Education: How The Functional Forum Is Changing The Way Clinicians Learn, Collaborate and Practice Medicine
In Episode 008 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well-Being, we welcome the innovative creator of the world’s largest integrative medicine conference, the Functional Forum and integrative medicine visionary James Maskell.
I was quite fortunate to connect with James in October 2016 at a Functional Forum event in Washington D.C. and have since collaborated in creating and releasing my E-Book on Functional and Integrative Medicine Education. James has been perhaps my single biggest influence pushing me to become an educator and advocate for functional medicine and is a tremendously passionate role model for anyone seeking to reverse chronic disease and achieve optimal health.
Back in March of this year, I was honored to be a part of James’ podcast The Evolution of Medicine’s Functional Forum, where we discussed the vision and purpose of the functional medicine education resource E-Book and the greater need to expand medical education beyond medical school walls and hospital wards.
As a continuation of this conversation, we share today in a reflective and hopeful conversation addressing
1. A brief State of the Union for the Functional Forum and Functional Medicine education as a whole.
2. Updates on educational opportunities through the Institute for Functional Medicine
3. Ways to continue to grow community and promote this type of care in the next generation of clinicians.
4. James’ latest projects and visions for the Functional Forum
I was so thrilled to share in this conversation with James and hope you enjoy and feed off the the tremendous energy and passion in this exhilarating discussion.
To learn more about Functional Forum you may use the link below:
To access James’ book, Evolution of Medicine, you may use the link below:
And to learn more about Age 100, a world-exclusive conference dedicated to living a long and healthy life, you may use the link below
Enjoy the show!
Episode 007: Dr Spencer Nadolsky D.O., Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine: The Future of Telemedicine and Direct Primary Care
In Episode 007 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being I have an amazing conversation with innovative family physician and leading expert in nutrition science and obesity medicine, Dr. Spencer Nadolsky DO.
Spencer is a board certified family and obesity medicine physician who incorporates his passion for exercise and nutrition science into his individualized care for patients seeking to improve their health through lifestyle medicine.
Spencer initially discovered his passion for fitness and nutrition as a heavyweight wrestler at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Following his college athletic career and subsequent medical school training at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), Spencer went on to complete his residency training in family medicine through the Virginia Commonwealth University-Riverside Family Medicine program just 15 minutes up the road from my childhood home in Newport News, Virginia. Right now he is currently accepting patients into a new, revolutionary online clinic called SteadyMD. When he is not in the office, Spencer enjoys lifting, cooking, and taking long walks after meals with his wife and fellow physician Dr. Jenna Nadolsky MD.
In our conversation, Spencer shares his personal story and growth as a traditionally trained family physician now practicing lifestyle based medicine.
During the podcast, we discuss:
The Concept of Membership Based Direct Primary Care and more specifically the new telemedicine based online platform Steady MD
Spencer’s Clinical Approach and Patient Centered Treatment.
The Role of Social Support and Community Networks to Support Health.
Spencer’s Background in Obesity Medicine and Clinical Approach to Weight Loss
I was so fortunate to stumble across Spencer in my own back yard and am so thankful to have been able to grow a personal and professional relationship with such an innovative visionary in lifestyle medicine.
Learn more about Dr. Nadolsky’s work with his book: The Fat Loss Prescription
Stay up to date with Dr. Nadolsky on his website:
Learn more about SteadyMD:
I hope you enjoy the show!
My guest in Episode 006 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being is a dear friend and mentor Jonathan Bartels. As you will hear in our conversation, my friendship with Jonathan was sparked by my curious inquiry into meditation, self care and what really existed outside of my medical school walls. What ensued following a single morning of meditation was a relationship built on appreciation, nourishment and growth.
Jonathan has over 31 years of professional experience in the healthcare field. For the past 19 years he has practiced as a Registered Nurse. Eleven of which were spent working in the University Of Virginia Health System’s Level I Emergency Department. He presently works as a Palliative Care Liaison nurse. Jonathan’s educational background includes Graduate coursework in Eastern Philosophy and Western Mysticism at Western Michigan University (1991-1993), BA in Psychology from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY (1990) and BSN from D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY (1997). In 2009 Jonathan started a practice that helped transform how death is approached in healthcare both nationally and internationally. This practice is now known as The Pause.
In this practice, healthcare providers are invited to silently honor the loss of life as a shared community that embraces diversity in unity through silence.
While not a panacea, it has been instrumental at pointing to a greater need in healthcare: that in caring for others, one should not forsake self-care, compassion and resiliency.
Since 2009 Jon has been a founding member of The Compassionate Care Initiative and co-facilitator for resiliency retreats offered at the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing. These retreats focus on a variety of practices aimed at promoting the skills of resiliency, the importance of compassion, and the vital need for self-care.
In this episode we discuss:
To follow Jonathan and the University of Virginia's School of Nursing’s Compassionate Care Initiative see the links below
Compassionate Care Initiative: https://cci.nursing.virginia.edu
Video: The Pause: https://vimeo.com/143628865
The Pause: https://thepause.me/2015/10/01/test-post-2/
Hear More of Jonathan
Jonathan's Keynote Address: The Pause and Resiliency as part of the
University of Virginia's Compassionate Care Student Ambassador Sponsored