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The Mission of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) with Dr. Michael Walls

Michael Walls, DO, MPH, is the current National President of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and has been with the organization since he first joined as a member in 2014.

In this episode of SoundPractice, Mike Sacopulos and Dr. Walls discuss the rich history and mission of AMSA – and how the organization works to prepare, train, and embolden medical students to become leaders.  With over 30,000 members worldwide, the association’s ongoing initiatives include advocacy for providing equitable lowering drug prices, equitable access to healthcare for all, understanding how environmental and social determinants of health impact health and the timely and paramount issue of reproductive rights.

Dr. Walls also discusses the medical education scorecard initiative, which fills gaps that often exist in medical school training. And what should medical school training look like in future?  Dr. Walls and Mike Sacopulos cover that topic as well.

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Writing as a Tool for Physicians and Physician Leaders

Benjamin Rattray, DO, MBA, CPE, FAAP is a newborn critical care physician in North Carolina where he serves as Associate Medical Director of Neonatal Intensive Care at the Cone Health Women's and Children's Center. He completed a pediatric residency and a neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, holds an MBA from LSU Shreveport, and is a Certified Physician Executive. He is the author of “When All Becomes New: A Doctor's Stories of Life, Love, and Loss.”

Written with powerful, compassionate insight, “When All Becomes New” reveals the joys of triumph and the harrowing experiences in caring for critically ill babies. Above all, it is a meditation on humanism and empathy in life’s most difficult circumstances and the redemptive power of love.

Dr. Rattray discusses his physician leadership journey, his mentor, and his experience in both his MBA and his CPE (Certified Physician Executive) training.  He also describes his philosophy for both the science and art of medicine --  his use of writing for stories to bear witness for experiences in medicine.

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Medical Historian Lindsey Fitzharris and new book, The Facemaker

“The Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I”  is an unlikely story of modern plastic surgery on the battlefields of WWI, written by Lindsey Fitzharris. Fitzharris has a Ph.D. in the History of Science and Medicine from Oxford University, and her debut book, The Butchering Art (a no-holds-barred journey into the Victorian era operating room), won the PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science.

With The Facemaker, a New York Times Bestseller, she introduces us to long-overlooked medical pioneer Harold Gillies, the “Father of Modern Plastic Surgery" (incidentally, Gillies also performed the first phalloplasty on a transgender man, Michael Dillon, in 1945). After experiencing “the brutal hothouse of frontline surgery” firsthand, Gillies devoted himself to rebuilding the burned and broken faces of wounded soldiers, establishing one of the first hospitals dedicated entirely to facial reconstruction. Gillies was an audacious surgical innovator – he invented the “tubed pedicle” to increase the success rate of skin grafts, and developed the epithelial outlay, a method that revolutionized the rebuilding of eyelids. Lindsey draws a direct line from his groundbreaking work to the advances in face transplant surgery happening today. 

Dr. Fitzharris traces the birth of plastic surgery back not only to the physical realities of WWI facial wounds, but also to their psychological repercussions. This was a time when, though losing a limb made you a “hero,” losing a face made you a "monster,” and the soldiers in Gillies’s care faced severe stigmatization upon their return to civilian life – many were forced to sit on specifically designated blue benches so that the public knew not to look at them. Plastic surgery emerged to shield injured soldiers from a society that was largely intolerant of facial differences.

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100th Episode of SoundPractice

The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) today released its 100th SoundPractice podcast episode, in which AAPL speaks with luminaries who shed light on the need to provide physicians with business training and leadership skills for the betterment of healthcare delivery.

In the 100th episode of “SoundPractice,” AAPL podcast host Mike Sacopulos speaks with a variety of global leaders in healthcare.

Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Gary Schwartz, MD, president of Associated Eye Care, author of a blog post on “Lessons from Ted Lasso”

Joan Naidorf, DO, author of “Changing How We Think about Difficult Patients: A Guide for Physicians and Healthcare Professionals

Shannon Prince, PhD, JD, and author of the new book, “Tactics for Racial Justice:  Building an Antiracist Organization and Community”

Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine

Laurie Cameron, mindful leadership expert and National Geographic author of the “The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm and Joy from Morning to Evening”

Kara Swisher, digital expert and former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and Host of the “Pivot” podcast.

Luis Pareras, MD, PhD, founding partner of two venture capital funds (HealthEquity and Invivo Ventures, based in Barcelona) and author of "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Healthcare Sector: From Idea to Funding to Launch

Jennifer O’Brien, author of the book, “The Hospice Doctor’s Widow”

Sylvie Stacy, MD, MPH, author of “50 Nonclinical Careers for Physicians: Fulfilling, Meaningful, and Lucrative Alternatives to Direct Patient Care"

SoundPractice, the interview driven podcast, launched in November 2018, and set the tone with fresh perspectives on the business of medicine and physician leadership.

This roundup of interview excerpts with national and international leaders includes expert commentary from Dr. Peter Angood, CEO of AAPL.



Physician Career Transitions with Dr. Peter Angood and Dr. Jay Bhatt

These two physician leaders have successfully navigated significant career transitions, from clinical care to executive leadership.  Mike Sacopulos, the SoundPractice Podcast host, interviewed Dr. Angood and Dr. Bhatt on strategies for career transitions. In this episode, they cover how physicians can prepare for career changes, the importance of networking (and best practices to expand your network), the best advice for physicians early in their careers, and the career situations that brought Dr. Angood and Dr. Bhatt to executive leadership roles.

Jay Bhatt, DO, MPH, MPA
Managing Director, Deloitte Services LP, and Executive Director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and Deloitte Health Equity Institute.

Peter B. Angood, MD, FRCS(C), FACS, MCCM, FAAPL(Hon)
President and CEO, American Association for Physician Leadership

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Healthcare Economic Reform and Physician Leadership with Dr. Ellis “Mac” Knight

Ellis “Mac” Knight MD, MBA has over 40 years of experience in the healthcare arena as a practicing physician, physician executive, healthcare consultant, industry thought leader, and advocate for change. 
Mike Sacopulos interviews Dr. Knight about his new book, Healthcare Economic Reform: How and Why Physicians Must Lead Change Within Our Evolving Healthcare Economy.

Although the healthcare delivery system is as full of committed idealists as it ever was, the difference now is that the current healthcare system operates within an economically and politically driven milieu that prevents it from delivering what it is designed to provide: high-value healthcare services for the patients it serves.

Healthcare Economic Reform serves as both an educational overview of how the healthcare economy operates, and a step-by-step guide for physicians to follow in pursuit of making the delivery of healthcare more satisfying. This book will address industry-wide problems and shift the focus from reform of the delivery system to reform of the healthcare economy.

Dr. Knight shares key lessons gleaned from his long career to not only provide a review of how the healthcare system operates, but also to arm physician leaders with actionable information to reform the healthcare economy and satisfy their own motivations for entering the field of medicine.

Get Dr. Knight’s book here:

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Chief of Medical Informatics for the U.S. Navy, Dr. Hassan Tetteh, on (AI) Artificial Intelligence

Paradoxically, medical science has been advanced by wars and militaries. In this SoundPractice episode, Mike Sacopulos is joined by by Hassan Tetteh, MD.  Dr. Tetteh is both a thoracic surgeon specializing in heart/lung transplantation and a Mission Chief using informatics for the benefit of American service men and women. By utilizing specialized data sets available to the Department of Defense, Dr. Tetteh and his team study a myriad of health concerns including suicide prevention. As a War College graduate, Dr. Tetteh has a unique perspective on leadership and the medical profession. The U.S. Military has things to teach physicians on leadership. In a conversation that will make you feel better about paying your taxes, Dr. Tetteh covers lots of ground and offers insight into leadership.

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The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation and Physician Suicide Awareness

Death by suicide is now twice the national average (physicians and nurses) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation’s mission is to increase awareness, advance solutions, and promote advocacy at the Federal, state, and local levels. In this episode, Mike Sacopulos interviews J. Corey Feist, JD, MBA, the Co-Founder of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. They discuss the mission of the Foundation, Dr. Lorna Breen’s tragic story, and review sources available at

Corey recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of the University of Virginia Physicians Group, the medical group practice of UVA Health comprised of 1200+ physicians and advanced practice providers. The Foundation has been doing good work, as evidenced by the recent passage of The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act. 

Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation

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Dr. Laura Esserman, The Wisdom Study, and Breast Cancer Risk

Although great strides have been made in diagnosing and treating breast cancer, 40,000 Americans die of the disease each year.  Today on SoundPractice, host Mike Sacopulos discusses The Wisdom Study with Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA.  Dr. Esserman the Director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at UC San Francisco, a professor of Surgery & Radiology at UCSF, and a practicing surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist.

The WISDOM Study – Women Informed to Screen Depending OMeasures of risk, seeks to bring together 100,000 diverse woman from across the United States to find the safest and most effective way to detect breach cancer for every woman. This study compares two approved screening approaches: annual mammograms for all women starting at age 40 or a personalized approach based on a woman’s individual risk factors for breast cancer, like her breast density, genes, and family health. Learn how your patients can participate in the Wisdom Study. This is large scale, important research you and your patients need to know about.

For physician leaders to enroll patients in the WISDOM study,

If you’d like to be an ambassador for the study, or to learn more,

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


Is it a Good Idea or a Good Business Opportunity? A Discussion with Entrepreneur and Venture Capital Founder, Dr. Luis Pareras

Unfortunately, good ideas are not enough to advance healthcare.  Business skills, a team operating with clarity, and capital investments are needed. The stakes for venture capital in the healthcare sector, and for the general population could not be higher. In this episode of SoundPractice, Mike Sacopulos interviews Luis Pareras, MD, PhD, the Founding Partner of two Venture Capital funds (Healthequity and Invivo Ventures) focused in early-stage investments in the healthcare sector, where he has led the investment strategy and transaction processes.

Deeply involved in the innovation ecosystem, Dr. Pareras is a member and advisor to many healthcare innovation organizations, has served at the Board of Directors of many life-sciences companies, and is the author of, “Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Healthcare Sector:  From Idea to Funding to Launch.” He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of financing healthcare corporations.

Many physicians have tremendous ideas on ways to improve healthcare. This episode of SoundPractice will walk you through the funding process from the perspective of someone who awards the venture capital.

Covering topics such as the need for physicians to have “MBA Skills” such as negotiation and communication, what partners are looking for in business pitches, and the protection of intellectual property, enter the world of the VC in this conversation with Dr. Luis Pareras.

Luis Pareras, MD PhD
Founding Partner
Invivo Capital

Dr. Pareras’ book:

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