NY Times bestselling author Michele Harper, MD on setting boundaries, pre-shift routines, guarding the vulnerable, microaggressions, racism in the emergency department, and why inaction is just as much a choice as action.
Guest Bio: Dr. Michele Harper, is an emergency physician and author of The New York Times best selling memoir, The Beauty in Breaking. She’s been interviewed on Trevor Noah, Fresh Air, CNN, NBC, amongst many others. Michele is also a widely published essayist, often focusing on race and medicine. Her writing shares her personal journey that started as a child in an abusive household, then to undergrad at Harvard, medical school at Stony Brook, New York, and now her life as an attending physician. And as you’ll hear, she’s got a personal mission to be a guardian for the vulnerable.
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“Because I was used to chaos and danger, I came to learn that healing is possible. Something better is possible. And I wanted to be part of that support system for people in their lives. That’s what got me to emergency medicine, and that’s what keeps me in emergency medicine.”
“The deal with being human is that tragic things will happen. It’s not if they will, but when they will. How we meet that moment is always the question.”
“Whoever is dominant in this situation, it’s their responsibility to have self reflection, insight, the willingness to understand, and then the willingness to act. There has to be personal accountability.”
“People who fancy that they’re good, decent human beings have to try harder. They have to be willing to be uncomfortable. They have to stand up and fight. They have to be OK with the fire and the fallout. That’s what you do when you have privilege and power…That’s the duty.”
“This pandemic has laid bare some hard realities we have to reckon with…I think there’s positive change that’s going to happen as a result.”
“Everything we do is a choice and even inaction is a choice. Not taking action is making a statement about who we are and what we stand for.”
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