How I Became A Stress Expert—Part 1 (Medical School)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

I often have people ask me how I became a stress expert when so few physicians have any experience or expertise in this field.  This is not an easy question to answer, because there were so many influences early in my medical career that ultimately inspired me to go down this path and achieve a fair level of success. 

So I thought I would take the time this week to share a few short video clips with you from a recent video interview I did for a new online YouTube video show called the “Splendid Life Show” with host Tee Ming Ooi ( 

How I Was Trained To Have Stress! 

In this first video clip, I start answering the question by reflecting back on my many years of medical training, where I was actually taught how to have a stress.  I know that wasn’t the intention of the people who were teaching me become a physician back then (and as they still do now), but that was the unintended consequence nonetheless.  And you don’t have to take my experience as an anomaly. Just look around at all the stressed out, burned out, unhappy physicians today and you’ll immediately see what I am talking about. 

Sadly, things haven’t changed much in the last 40 years since I went through my medical training.  And I’m not sure they ever will.  This is because in order to be a competent, successful physician, you must become very accomplished at many things, including but not limited to: 

  • Having a strong desire to be right
  • Rarely thinking of yourself as being wrong
  • Having a strong need to be in control
  • Having a desire to become a perfectionist
  • Being very competitive
  • Suppressing your emotions and true feelings much of the time
  • Often putting other people’s needs ahead of your own 

These are all qualities we admire and even demand (at least partly) in those physicians we trust the most.  And I would say that it is not possible to become a good physician unless you embrace each of these qualities—at least to some degree. 

Yet these are also the very same personal qualities and tendencies that cause stress for all human beings, not just for physicians and other professionals.  So the challenge for most physicians, especially those of us who want avoid becoming trapped by the stress-generating attributes of our profession, is to recognize these very same qualities within us and learn how to turn them on and off when appropriate. 

Unfortunately, many physicians never learn how to do this, and I believe many pay a big price in the end for being so inflexible.  But once you do learn how to escape from the stress-generating mentality that was drilled into your psyche during your many years of training, you discover that you can not only be of great help to yourself, but you also will have gained powerful stress relieving skills that can also be of great value to others. 

Watch the brief video above and if you like it (or hate it), please leave a comment below.  Also, stay tuned for my next two blog posts this week, where I will share additional short clips that further explain why I gravitated toward helping people learn how to eliminate stress. 

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Also, if you’d like to view all of my stress relief Kindle books on Amazon, simply click on the link below:


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