Dr. Vivek Murthy and Brené on
Loneliness and Connection
Have you ever struggled with feeling lonely – even when you’re surrounded by people you love? I have. It’s painful and confusing. In this episode, I talk to Dr. Vivek Murthy, a physician and the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, about loneliness and the physical and emotional toll that social disconnection takes on us. We talk about his new book, TOGETHER, and what it takes for each of us to tilt the world toward love and connection.
Dr. Vivek H. Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States from December 15, 2014 to April 21, 2017. As America’s Doctor, he called the nation’s attention to critical public health issues including the opioid epidemic, e-cigarettes, and emotional health and wellbeing.
As the Vice Admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, he oversaw a uniformed service of 6,600 officers dedicated to safeguarding the health of the nation.
Prior to serving in government, he conducted research on vaccine development and clinical trial participation and founded several organizations focused on HIV/AIDS education, rural health, physician advocacy, and clinical trial optimization.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Yale. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he later joined the faculty.
Dr. Murthy resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Dr. Alice Chen, and their two children.
Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, TOGETHER: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World
TOGETHER is a book about the importance of human connection, the hidden impact of loneliness on our health, and the social power of community. The timeliness of TOGETHER cannot be understated—as COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, the public health imperative is clear: to save lives, we need to radically increase the space between us. But will this crisis lead to social, as well as physical isolation? Will social distancing condemn us to loneliness and a “social recession?” Dr. Murthy believes healthy relationships are as essential as vaccines and ventilators for our global recovery and that we have the opportunity to fortify and strengthen our connections and communities during this crisis.
Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University. julianneholtlunstad.byu.edu
Emmy E. Werner, Ph.D. and Ruth S. Smith, M.A., An Epidemiologic Perspective on Some Antecedents and Consequences of Childhood Mental Health Problems and Learning Disabilities
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