Tom’s work is in physician well-being, integrated/collaborative behavioral health, managing depression, anxiety, somatization, and difficult patient interactions, and maximizing work satisfaction to counter burnout. He provides training, coaching, leadership consultation, crisis intervention and Balint group facilitation to enhance creative patient engagement, team cohesion and professional gratification.
He manages the employee assistance program for the Washington Permanente Medical Group and serves on the faculty of the Family Medicine Residency of Kaiser Permanente Washington in Seattle.
He is trained in several branches of family and cognitive-behavioral therapy and has consulted for physicians for over 25 years. He was born and raised in Japan and is married to a full-spectrum family physician.
- Efficacy generates vitality at work, which in turn generates efficacy.
- Practical tools for efficiency should facilitate empathic engagement, not compromise it.
- Providers of primary and behavioral health care should derive their own well-being from work, not just in spite of it.
- The mind and body are two aspects of one system. To discuss a “connection” is to further the dualistic paradigm which hinders us, and which supports fragmented systems of care.
- Good listening and the alleviation of distress does not mean ceding leadership of the encounter agenda, nor making every patient happy.
- Your experience of exasperation during an encounter may signal a need for more creative engagement with your patient.
- Your experience of burnout may signal a need for an altered voice within your institution.
- We can model the fact that brutal pain and sadness are manageable, and life is good.
- Coffee helps.