Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The People Dividend Podcast

Nov 21, 2023

Step into the world of neurosurgery and discover the unexpected intersection of medical challenges, personal resilience, and the subtle art of kindness in our latest Authentic Change Podcast episode with Gary R. Simonds. In this engaging episode, host Mike Horne joins Gary, a neurosurgeon, writer, educator, and speaker in conversation. Gary shares his unique perspective on a range of topics, from the demanding world of neurosurgery to the crucial concepts of burnout and resilience, and the significant role of kindness.

Gary talks about his foray into writing with his novel, "Death's Pale Flag," motivated by his desire to offer a behind-the-scenes look into neurosurgery and to honor the courage of patients and their families. He also shares his extensive work on burnout and resilience, initiated by concerns within his neurosurgery team, leading to collaboration with a clinical psychologist to foster resilience and wellness in healthcare professionals.

The conversation then turns to the dynamics of power and authority in medicine. Gary emphasizes the importance of clear communication and educational skills, particularly in delivering difficult news to patients and their families. He also discusses the need for self-awareness and emotional intelligence when navigating complex situations in healthcare. Gary highlights how kindness not only benefits others but also positively impacts the person performing the act. He encourages a conscious effort to recognize and appreciate positive experiences and acts of kindness in professional and personal settings.


  • “It's important to actually rehearse and look for best practices, get critique from your colleagues, and really work on your skills of communication. Communication skills are obviously absolutely critical here.” (24:45 | Gary Simonds)

  • “The better job we do at working with the family, working with the patient, the more suffering we're potentially easing. One of the central points of being a physician is trying to help with human suffering.”  (27:39 | Gary Simonds)

  • "There is even neuroscience evidence that repeated acts of kindness will strengthen the reward centers of your brain and bring you more joy and happiness." (29:35 | Gary Simonds)

  • “We would tell people, you know, write down five a day for a while, for two weeks, write down five things that went well today. Or, you know, even just a nice song on the radio that brought you, you know, positive waves. Well, what happens is if you do that, if you force yourself to do it, what happens after a while is your brain will just start seeking the stuff out itself. You don't have to tell it after a while, it'll start noticing it.” (32:45 | Gary Simonds) 



Learn more about Mike Horne on Linkedin

Email Mike at

Learn More About Executive and Organization Development with Mike Horne



LinkedIn Mike’s Newsletter:, 

Schedule a Discovery Call with Mike:  


Learn more about Gary R Simonds MD MS FAANS









Podcast production and show notes provided by