Performing in the Face of Disaster with Dr. Jeffrey Upperman
Play • 52 min

In this episode we interview Dr. Jeffrey Upperman. Dr. Upperman was recently appointed as the Surgeon-in-Chief of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Prior to that, he served at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and received recognition as an expert in trauma, disaster preparedness, and injury prevention. 

Upperman is a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Army Medical Corps and was chief of surgery during operation Iraqi Freedom 2. He serves as a sworn member of the National Advisory Committee for Children in Disasters. 

Upperman has published over 180 peer-reviewed publications, 200 abstracts and 20 book chapters. His research includes sepsis, inflammation, trauma and disaster preparedness. 

He is happily married to his wife of 26 years who is also a physician and has three sons. 

In this episode we discuss his background playing sports, his journey to pediatric surgery, excellent performance, disaster preparedness, and more. 

As always, if you like what we’re doing give us a positive rating and follow our social media pages for more content. You can also follow today’s podcast guest on Twitter @PedsTraumaMan

We hope you enjoy this episode of Leading The Rounds. 

Questions we asked included: 

  • How did your background in athletics influence your mindset as a surgeon? 
  • How are surgery programs working to balance hard work vs overworking/burning out? 
  • How has your background in the military influenced your leadership as a physician? 
  • How did you become involved in disaster preparedness? 
  • Has this background affected how you view the pandemic? 
  • What could we have done differently in the pandemic? 
  • Should information be censored to  promote positive communication in pandemics? 
  • What are some of your favorite books? 

Our favorite quotes: 

  • “You can’t hurt me” 
  • “When you look at NFL, college, and high school football teams, they do more film review than surgeons do.” 
  • “You control your lifestyle, but you don’t get to make boatloads of money and also sit at home all the time.” 
  • “My life's mission is to improve the health of people” 
  • “When you’re in certain environments, you need to learn how to make lemonade.” 
  • “They were just unprepared because they didn’t want to read.” 
  • “I am sick of lessons learned” 

Book suggestions:

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