Womens Rights - An Appreciation For The People Who Fought For Them - Dr. Barbara Roberts
It's cutting into your exercise time it stabbing you in the back nine and it's attacking your peace of mind. It's pain and it's getting in between you in the life. If you want to live CD medic target your pain at its source. It's fast acting relief with active. OTC ingredients plus the added benefits of THC free hemp oil get get back to your life with CBD medic available online and at CBS these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose treat cure or prevent any disease. It's cutting into your exercise time it stabbing you in the back nine and it's attacking your peace of mind. It's pain and it's getting in between you and a life you want to live CD medic targets your pain at its source it's fast acting relief with active ingredients plus the added benefits of THC free hemp oil get back to your life CD medic available online and at cvs these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose treat cure or prevent vent any disease. I think the main thing that you should be grateful for is that they have more and better opportunities than did women my age when we were growing up for example where I went to medical school there had never been a female cardiac surgical resident and while I was there was when they had their first female surgical resident so I I think we should be grateful for the opportunities that women of my generation for so hard for but we also have to be vigilant we have to be vigilant because of the political situation in this country now and I like to think that it's just the last gas of for a patriarchal system that has oppressed women and men but mainly women for Millennia welcome to the gratitude podcast on. WWW view ww dot George Bente it's cutting into your exercise time it stabbing you in the back nine and it's attacking your peace of mind. It's pain rain and it's getting in between you and the life you want to live. CBD Medic target your pain added source. It's fast acting relief with active. OTC ingredients plus the added benefits benefits of THC FREE HEMP oil get back to your life with CBD medic available online at CBS. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose knows treat cure or prevent any disease dot com. You'll hear a new story each week that will inspire more gratitude in your own life. Our mission is to inspire one hundred thousand people to discover how feel gratitude and live a happy life through the amazing life stories of our successful guests and they're actionable tips had now now the host of our podcast Jordan Benda high gratitude seeker welcome to dispatch episode of the grant podcast we have here today doctor Barba Barbara Roberts. She's the first female adult cardiologists in Rhode Island and her life story is story alive full of passion for Women's Rights in Motherhood in medicine love ending being the underdog she stood up for what she believed in and battle politics career stereotypes her children's fathers the family core system public scrutiny and even her own conscience at times and she made it through all of this pro proving to be a hero oh of her own unique journey and I think that's that's quite amazing and now she has written a memoir about her journey called the doctor broad a Mafia love story and we have here today with us on the date of the release of the bulk and I'm really happy to to have her here today with us so welcome Byron. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about both gratitude and the role it has played my lights and talk about out my book my pleasure my pleasure so firstly congratulations on on being such a courageous person such a courageous woman and <hes> I'm. I'm really happy to have you on the podcast and <hes> am really curious soon. <hes> what's your take on gratitude. What what how you define gratitude well. One of my favorite sayings about gratitude was actually written a few thousand years ago by someone whom I've always been fascinated by and that is marcus <unk> Cicero who was a politician in Rome in the last days of the Roman republic he was from outside outside of Rome but rose through the ranks of Roman public offices to become the best known ardor and the best known lawyer lawyer of his day and he said gratitude is not only the greatest virtues but the parent of all the others and I think that encapsulates a lot of wisdom because if you look at people who are successful restful by and large they are grateful in my own life. I think the thing I'm most grateful for is that I come it from a very large extended family. I was raised as the oldest of ten children in a devout Catholic family and my mother and her twin sister with the youngest in a large family so I have dozens literally dozens of <unk>. My Mother's twin sister raised eight children. My mother raised ten children's. My father sister raised five children and all well just about all of them have children and grandchildren so family reunions needless to say our mob scenes but from coming from such such a large extended family and since I was the oldest having to care for my younger siblings from a young age I think gave me a lot of strengths that that perhaps only children or people from small families don't have and then I went on to have three children of my own and now I have a grandson and nine extraordinarily grateful for little Johnny Little Johnny Roberts. My grandson am grateful to my children and their partners so I feel like I have a lot to be grateful for. I also had a successful career in medicine when it was very unusual usual for women to be doctors. Don't forget when I applied to medical school. In the nineteen sixties. There was a quota and no medical school class had more than ten percent and women so I- overcame that obstacle I was the second woman ever accepted into my internship program. I it was the first woman ever accepted into my cardiology fellowship and in many ways I had to be a trailblazer particularly elite after I became a conscious feminist when I was a resident at Yale newhaven hospital and got involved in the pro choice movement if it before Roe versus rain and then through that became active in the Anti Vietnam War Movement in spoke at many mass demonstrations calling for uh-huh stroll our troops from South East Asia so I've had a very eventful life and I hope that I have told it honestly and fully elite in my memoir the doctor broad a Mafia love story wonderful wonderful. I can only imagine <hes> <hes> what you went through all of the experiences that you have had in your life at one thing that I'm really curious about this. How is it to be the first one like a trail baiser and to to have to face all of these challenges like how. How were you able to to to do that well? I was frightened obviously an anxious and nervous but I decided that I was not going to lead to your rule my life what I was going to pursue my dreams no matter what and that's basically what I did. I just said I'm I'm going to be a survivor. I am going to work as hard as I can. I set goals and I worked as hard as I needed needed to to achieve those goals. I was blessed with good health. I was blessed with a support system in my family and friends so oh. I didn't do this alone but I decided from very early age that nothing was going to stop me. Wow that's amazing and I think it's a an amazing message for for our listeners to not be stopped by our fears and instead to to do something something about them and another beautiful thing that you mentioned is that well whenever I at least when whenever I see people onstage <hes> stage talking to fence of thousands of people you'll only see that person but <hes> behind that person you have like you said a support group family people that <hes> are behind that person that <hes> <hes> that give that person courage to speak out and to to know that whatever happens day are still loved and <hes> still appreciated for for who they are and I think that's a very interesting and important thing to mention exactly and I try not to forget the debt of gratitude to all the people who helped me along the way that's amazing. I love this and I know that <hes> your book is <hes> aimed at younger women to help them learn some of the lessons of how to survive adversity to become heartbreak and how to come out in the end and <hes> really lead a full and happy life. Can you tell us a little bit more about this topic sure no. I think that tip younger women today have no idea what the world was like for women in the nineteen fifties in the nineteen sixties. Even in the nineteen seventies before the Supreme Court decision in Roe versus Wade legalized abortion when I was a medical student and interns and residents resident I saw women coming into emergency rooms with perforated uteruses and even partially disemboweled because they were desperate enough to seek out back alley illegal abortions. I know of a woman who died because she was denied a lifesaving therapeutic abortion and these experiences radicalized me and actually led add to my break with the Catholic church initially broke with the Catholic Church over the issue of birth control because I knew that I would not be able to get through medical school and postgraduate training without using birth control which was enough to castle church and still is so had left the church over the issue of birth control and the final break occurred over the issue of abortion and I became a very outspoken <unk> choice activists and to this day I I'm in the last time I spoke at a pro choice. teach-in was just this past. October but women have no idea what the world world was like and yet we see at this current time in our political climate very powerful right-wing forces mobilising leising to deny women the right to control their own bodies and the right to control your own body is absolutely foundational to freedom and and personal autonomy every woman should have right to decide when and whether she is going to have a child and I wanted to shout don't women what we had to do back in the sixties and seventies to win the right to abortion because I think the right to abortion is under attack now more viciously than it has been since versus Wade. I also wanted women to know that you can go through divorce. You can go through acrimonious custody battles battles you can you know survive these things with your sanity and your happiness intact and that's even before we get into all the acrimony. I was subjected to when I became the cardiologists to the head of the New England Oakland Mafia and that's a whole story in itself how I became his doctor basically my testimony that he was too sick to scan trial that he had such coach unstable cardiovascular disease the stress of a trial never mind jail would almost certainly kill him that allowed him to live out last three and a half years suit life if not <hes> you know totally free at least in the comfort of his old home but that was another trial. Al By fire because the state police and the Providence police federal prosecutors the FBI had been trying for many years to the patient Mr Patriarca behind bars again and he had actually hidden from the world a true extent of his illness and when I was I called to check on him in the search would state police barracks on December fourth nineteen eighty he I I had already agreed to be his physician but I had never seen him before because since office appointment had to be rescheduled on because the fact that he had a gangrenous toe that required imputation when I first saw him I was appalled at how sticky was in fact about the second unsought I had was oh my God. He looks like he's about to have a cardiac arrest and I'll never be able to resuscitate him here and it was only with great difficulty not that I was able to persuade the Superintendent of Rhode Island State Police to allow me to take her to the hospital where I practice which is called the Miriam Hospital and that wound up being being six-week hospitalizations and that began an almost four year saga where I testified under oath in multiple courts this about his condition and the state and the federal prosecutors hired multiple other cardiologists to try refute by testimony about how sick he was not one of them. Did everyone of them supported. My findings supported my diagnosis and supported my recommendation that he not ought to trial amazing. It's it's one of those things that you you see in movies movies but it's like hard to believe that it's it's real life. It was real life. Wow you've really been through quite a lot and <hes> while what I love about you and about how you tell the stories that it's empowering and you you were you were able to to fight those things and to to stay a professional and to stay focused on what you felt was was the right thing right correct as I as I mentioned in the book when you graduate from Medical School you take the hippocratic oath and there are two main parts of the hippocratic oath. I do no harm and second. I will always put my patients interests ahead of my own. It doesn't say I'll put my patient as long as he's not a criminal his interests ahead of my own. It doesn't say I'll put his interest head of my own. Unless he's a felon it says any any patient who comes to me I will put his interest ahead of my own and it was clearly in the interests of my patient Mr Patriarchates that he not not be put on trial just just the mention of his legal difficulties often precipitated severe attacks event China and I know for for a fact that it was in China which is symptom people get in their heart is starved for oxygen because on multiple occasions. He was hooked up to an electrocardiogram machine during these episodes. Let's and the EKG showed the characteristic changes that one sees in the ekg when the heart isn't getting adequate blood supply so here was a man who's very disabled he had been diabetic since the nineteen forties. He had such severe neuropathy. which is you know destruction of the nerves from diabetes? He had such severe neuropathy that he had terrible muscle wasting in his hands. He couldn't for example example cut his own food. He couldn't button his own shirt. He was completely dependent on his wife to accomplish those tasks for him. He couldn't couldn't walk across the dent in his home. Without having angina he was on multiple medications. He had to be followed very closely mostly and it was a challenge to keep them alive as long as he was alive. In fact I remember vividly at one point I was testifying in court and the the prosecutor whose name was Suma girl kept pressing me asking the same question you know using different words but basically the question was this man is as sick as you say he is. Why isn't he dead already looked at her. I said only God in her wisdom knows when any person is GonNa die and the whole court erupted into laughter except the judge. You have to face her so yes. It was wrong. It was quite a saga I I mentioned also in the book that much against my wishes the Providence Journal newspaper published a big article on me in in the Sunday magazine section and the title was who is the Real Dr Roberts and that day came out on Sunday and I was making hospital rounds. I approached the nurses station on the fourth floor overheard to the nurses talking and one said we ever have you read the article about Dr Robertson the paper today and her friend said Nah now. I'm going to wait for the movie and it was at that moment that I began to sink. Maybe maybe my story is pretty interesting. Maybe I'll write about it someday and that was sort of the genesis of my writing memoir which try it worked on off and on for close to twenty years now how I arrived at the title is another amusing story shortly. After I moved to Rhode what island I was dating a young man who was Italian American and he had some relatives who were alleged organized crime figures and it was through him that I I heard the names of for example the mob lawyer Jack Cellini Junior Patrick I had already heard Greenland Petra because and she was always the news on a national level for many years but <hes> we remained friends after we no longer dating and after I was identified in the newspapers Raymond's position he called the one day and he said to tell you something. Sonny Barberie said friend of mine called and said if any remember the doctor broad. You used to go out with choosy old man's doctor now. I thought this was hilarious because tomato broad was a woman with large breasts swale frontal lobes of the brain and I knew I just the opposite <unk> sure but I don't have large breasts so when when I thought about writing this memoir thought about title would be I thought yeah it's gotta be called Doctor Broad. Eh that's so cool that you have this this sense of humor and you see these kinds of experiences lightly and you're you're able to to laugh about about this part. Even though I'm sure that in in those moments it wasn't that easy but they also on due to ask you about the differences like you talked a little bit about how life was for for women in those days like what could <hes> our young listeners that <hes> that are now with all of this technology and all of these freedoms and rights <hes> what could they they'd be grateful for compared to two young women in <hes> in in those times well. I think they could be grateful for the fact that it's much easier for them. To enter the profession slide the law doc profession the medical profession. It's easier the women to become politicians although we still are woefully under represented in both the national legislature and our state legislatures. It's easier for a woman for the Governor Rhode Island finally has its first female governor owner so I think the main thing that young women should be grateful for is that they have more and better opportunities than and did women my age when we were growing up for example where I went to medical school there had never been a female L. Cardiac surgical resident and while I was there was when they had their first female surgical resident about the only searchable so specialty women could enter or plastics or pediatrics. They were whole specialties and sub specialties in which women women were totally absent. Obviously there was no women sitting on the Supreme Court those days and now we have what three which which isn't task but listen to third so I think we should be grateful for the opportunities that <hes> women of my generation for so hard for but we also have to be vigilant we have to be the judge because of the political situation in this this country now and I like to think that it's just the last chance of a patriarchal system that has oppressed women and eh but mainly women former Atlanta. I love this perspective. I love the fact that even though and I love this it the way you see things like even though there is something bad you you see it with the positive twister no like even though it's something that's not as it should be. <hes> you still see it from a wider perspective that that it's actually positive. I love that right. What if you see something. That isn't the way it should bait then. Get out there and tricks it. Don't just sit back and say there's nothing I can do about it. There's almost always something you can do about it. I mean right now. I think the whole world is facing an existential threat to our planet find it and our species in climate change but everybody has to do what they can to combat climate change about five or six years ago. Oh now my husband and I invested in solar panels on our moves and not only did it cut our electric bills drastically but it is lowered our carbon and footprint so those there's always something one can do. It's important to identify the problem and and then think about ways that you as an individual or you as a member of whatever community you're part of can do to head off disaster yeah. I I believe that too because that are people that are fighting out therefore for different things that are really important for the world but they can't do everything and it's up to us to do do small things that make the big things work and <hes> I totally agree with that but change changing a little bit <hes> the <hes> the direction I wanted to ask you if you remember <hes> like like how you discovered gratitude like <hes> when was your first experience feeling grateful and like nudge just <hes> experiencing the idea of gratitude but actually feeling grateful well one of the first most times I remember feeling overwhelming gratitude was when I received notification that I had been accepted into medical school now. I was still in college college and when I got that letter telling me that I had been admitted to medical school class of nineteen sixty eight. I was beside myself solve with happiness and gratitude amazing amazing. I think we we all have these kinds of moments and <hes> and one of the reasons why love asking this question is because people will be thinking thinking about their own. <hes> experience granted. You're like their own moments in which they felt this overwhelming sensation yeah no of gratitude and Yeah I love. I love asking this question so <hes> getting back to uh-huh finding out more about you and your experience who are the people in your life that you that you who felt had the really begin packed that you're very grateful for and that you'd like commission well in the field of medicine. I would be remiss. Mystified did not mention Dr Bernard Loud. Dr Bernard Loan is still alive. He's a cardiologist who's now in his nineties. He is the most brilliant physician brilliant cardiologists <hes> had ever met in my life and he was one of my instructors. When I was was a fellow at Brigham and women's Hospital back in the nineteen seventies he was not only brilliant physician for example he invented the cardiac <unk> Lindor and he revolutionized the treatment of heart attacks not only did that but he was also a long time peace and anti-nuclear activist and at the the height of the Cold War in nineteen eighty one he and Russian cardiologist by the name of Yevgeny Chaz loss founded sounded the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. I W and four years later I P P W was awarded the Nobel a Peace Prize and Dr Moun- Dr Chazot travelled to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of it and but Dr Loan again was a brilliant and he's retired now but was a brilliant brilliant physician on when he taught us what I have tried to teach my medical students and interns and residents and fellows. He told us that the most important thing you can do for your patient is to listen have to listen and hear not only what the patient's saying but here the emotion behind those words particularly in cardiology. It's very important sometimes to try and get people to make very difficult lifestyle changes and no patient is going to acquiesce in in making difficult lifestyle changes unless they believe that the physician is hearing them and the physician cares about them and and this may not happen at the first visit although the foundation must be laid at the first is this requires an ongoing relationship <unk> between patient physician in which listening continues to be the most important aspect so certainly hey darling was a huge influence in my life in that respect and my parents were a huge influence in in my life and even though they brought me up to be. Catholic and I left the Catholic Church behind my pay. My parents were civil. Rights activist <unk> four almost was a civil rights movement they in friends of the Arabs belong to the Catholic worker movement. They were followers always of Dorothy Day who is a radical Catholic pacifist and my father for example and mother were part of the Catholic interracial council. My father in my sisters went to Washington for the things demonstration in which Martin was gave his. I have a dream speech so I was raised to be a strong in my morals to not be prejudiced scandal what was right. I always say I was raised to be a saint and preferably admire and I became a doctor because I could become a priest. My father worshiped priests and doctors and I knew I didn't have a prayer of becoming a cast increased side became a doctor so those three people were very seminal influences in my life mazing amazing. I love how how you described them and <hes> yeah I could feel their gratitude for for all of their their help and all of their positive influence in your life and I think that's that's that's quite amazing and <hes> <hes>. I don't know if you have right now like <hes> practice or something that you do to keep grateful. I thank you have a positive attitude and that that white perspective that <hes> that makes you a grateful person person. Am I correct. Yes you do try to keep things in perspective sometimes. If I find something upsetting I say to Myself Barbara in the cosmic scale of things it matters Diddley. Squat Jusuf Trust doesn't matter get over it and get on with your life. No everybody has things in life lip since it's an almost daily occurrence but you have to look at the large picture and realize that we are on an infinitesimal speck in vast universe and all we can do is be the best that we can be exactly beautiful beautifully sad and I also think that it's it's a great idea to think about the bigger picture. Whenever we we think about our situation we feel bad about different things because when we do that we see that in fact it it's not that big of a deal and <hes> even if we feel it it is it's it's much it's much easier to see the bigger picture and to see that this part of something bigger and <hes> it's very powering right? It's easier on your nervous system. If you let every little thing bother you you're not gonNA be happier grateful person but if you try to put things in perspective all the larger perspective affected you'll be much less stressed and career and more grateful yeah exactly and <hes> <hes> by the way as a cardiologists <hes> have you seen the difference between people that <hes> bend and to be more positive more grateful and <hes> people have like more pessimistic dependency. Actually there have been scientific studies that are fairly valid that shows that people who have a positive outlook on life have live longer and have fewer chronic illnesses certainly in cardiology. We know that depression is a major risk factor for for having a cardiac event. If you look at married couples people been married for a long time the death of espouse often brings on a depression Russian and in the year after the death of a spouse the the <unk> death rate for the surviving spouse is increased to a significant degree degree and many of those deaths are due to heart disease so absolutely emotions play a large role in health. I used to tell my patients. You can't can't separate the heads from the heart without fatal consequences. The heart is richly endowed with nerds travel from the brain to the heart the yourself you know that when you get frightened or ranchos your pulse goes up you may not feel your blood pressure going up but believe me it does and on the other the hand when you laugh your blood pressure comes down your door from levels rise your pulse often decreases so laughter and gratitude and the positive emotions are helpful not only to your heart but to your endocrine endocrine system to your bowels. There's no part of the body that isn't influenced by actions actions and thoughts that mitigate stress rather than amplified stress than that I think it's it's pure gold and I think we we should think about it more often and something about it and I what I love a lot about you is the fact that you actually integrate <hes> humor and laughter Evan in beings. Thanks a serious person like thinking about serious things like <hes> treating people and <hes> I dunno social justice and all all kinds of things I love the fact that you keep <hes> light heart and yet that's actually really interesting having a light heart art. No yes and you know after good for you and I you know when I was still in active clinical practice. I had no compunctions about trying to make my patients laugh. I often did I wanted them to leave their offices feeling happy and lifted not feeling downcast and depressed. This is wonderful and it's it's really powerful because the we are not just like I believe this and <hes> as I can understand that you shared this vision where we don't only have <hes> all kinds of illnesses but our emotions have an influence on this and having good positive attitude than <hes> laughing and feeling good can actually help the body heal easier and <hes> I love the fact that you are able to do this for so many people in your career and yeah. I guess if I've been very fortunate. I've been very fortunate in aspect yeah so if people weren't able to to thank you for this. I'm going to be their voice and <hes> I'll thank you for for doing this for them and I think that <hes> even though they might not have seen it at the time it it has had the agreed agreed impact on them. Thank you Jordan. You're welcome and my patients are very welcome. I was always humbled by the trust they put me and I tried very hard to be worthy at trust. That's wonderful mess wonderful so we're nearing the end of our time together and I wanted to ask you. Where can our audience find your book or learn more about you the but the doctor brought a Mafia love story is available on Amazon it it has come out in the kindle version hardcover and paperback. It's also available in the UK and in Australia and Canada. It's it's available in Bookstores Barnes and noble or you can ask your local bookstore to order it. It's a pretty much available over much of the English speaking world amazing amazing and I also know that you you have a website where can get in contact with you right. That's correct. It's the doctor broad dot com awesome awesome good so thank you very very much for being. Hewitt's US and for sharing your wisdom and <hes> you're beautiful perspective on life. Thank you Georgia for having me and thank you for listening to me my pleasure. Do you want to stay up to date with the latest news but don't have the time. 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