Activity ID



January 24, 2022

Format Type


CME Credit



CME Provider

Massachusetts Medical Society


MedPEP, the Medical Professionals Empowerment Program, is a Free podcast series jointly provided by Physician Health Services, Inc. (PHS) and the Massachusetts Medical Society.  PHS is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the health, well-being and effectiveness of physicians and medical students.

Regulations, technology, organizational complexity, and the explosion of medical knowledge have created a perfect storm for most practicing health professionals. Physician burnout rates now exceed 50%. MedPEP’s star, Dr. Marie Curious, is a young, primary care internist who has started to fantasize about leaving the profession that she loves. On her MedPEP journey, Marie joins Dr. Les Schwab and a group of specialized physicians, coaches, and other experts, who offer a broad range of practical techniques to help her survive and thrive in today’s tough medical environment. The territory they cover includes nutrition, exercise, getting along with difficult colleagues, dealing with bureaucracy and bosses, multi-tasking, system improvement, meditation, and addiction. The MedPEP journey helps Marie, and other health professionals facing similar challenges, gain insight into practical methods for empowering themselves as well as their teams, employers, and the broken system.

Dr. Marie Curious reports back to Dr. Les Schwab that her arousal level is unacceptably high in the course of the work day, and he comments that difficult conversations in the clinic may be a contributing factor. He introduces her to Dr. Cathy Lanteri, a practicing psychiatrist and executive coach. Cathy explains that the current environment requires physicians to develop expertise in communication, conflict resolution and team building, and gives Marie pointers for effectively managing difficult conversations. One should take a step back, think about the primary goal, pay attention to one’s feelings, and consider how best to reach the other person. It is important to recognize how the brain responds emotionally when caught in a “limbic loop,” and to short circuit that loop by thinking analytically. Cathy demonstrates the I-F-I-A-R (“if I am ready for resolution”) paradigm to help Marie navigate strained interactions more effectively. I-F-I-A-R focuses on factual, first-person communications to help us maintain our composure and “get to yes.” Marie and Les both find utility in this approach.

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NOTE: If a Member Board has not deemed this activity for MOC approval as an accredited CME activity, this activity may count toward an ABMS Member Board’s general CME requirement. Please refer directly to your Member Board’s MOC Part II Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Program Requirements.

Educational Objectives

Learn and incorporate the I-F-I-A-R (“if I am ready for resolution”) paradigm as a tool to assist with resolving day-to-day conflicts that come up in the course of everyday medical practice.
Begin to apply the I-F-I-A-R paradigm in difficult conversations with colleagues and others while maintaining awareness of relational coordination and respectful, problem-solving dialogue techniques.


Physician Wellness, Self Care, Managing stress


Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Professionalism

CME Credit Type

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

Physician Well-being activity

Organizational Culture of Wellness, Personal Resilience

Practice Setting

Inpatient, Outpatient, Rural, Urban, VA/Military

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