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The Sage: John Chuck, MD

Updated: Feb 6

John Chuck, M.D., is a family physician, wellness consultant, award-winning teacher, and author. He is the former Regional Chairperson of the Physician Health & Wellness Leaders Group for The Permanente Medical Group based in Oakland, CA. In that role, he shaped the conversations, culture, and operations that drove the total performance of 10,000 physician colleagues in Northern California. He has also done wellness work with Permanente physicians in Southern California, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southeast and numerous external organizations including UC Davis Health, UC San Francisco, the University of Washington, Sutter Health, Dignity Health, John Muir Health, Providence St. Joseph Health, Asian Health Services, the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers, the American College of Surgeons, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, and the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society.

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Dr. Chuck’s areas of interest include work life balance, values congruent living, resilience training, and servant leadership. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the UCLA School of Medicine and did his family medicine residency at the UC Davis Medical Center. John is the founder and CEO of Serotonin Surge Charities, 501c3 nonprofit organization that has raised over $4 million for safety net medical clinics; a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum; a UC Davis Foundation Trustee Emeritus; and a Professor of family Medicine at the California Northstate University College of Medicine. His work has been recognized with the Sidney Garfield Exceptional Contribution Award from The Permanente Medical Group (2004), the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the UC Davis Alumni Association (2014), and the Charles J. Soderquist Award (with wife Lesli) from the UC Davis Foundation (2018). In 2021, he published Pearls from the Practice of Life: a family physician’s guide to struggle less and thrive more.

Connect with Dr. Chuck:

For more information about Dr. Chuck’s Book: For more information about Dr. Chuck’s Wellness program: Email: Get the Book: Pearls from the Practice of Life: A Family Physician’s Guide to Struggle Less and Thrive More.

Dr. Chuck’s Prescription for Success:

Number 1: Early on in your life, you should create some time and space to sit down and do a values inventory. Based on that, begin working on your personal mission statement.

Number 2: Struggles and suffering is an essential part of the human condition, so adapt to change and suffering by adopting best practices.

Number 3: Invest deeply into the relationships that bring your life joy and meaning.

Bonus: Your sustainable best effort is by definition the best you can do.

Notable quotes from Dr. Chuck’s interview:

Many of the most influential leaders who make a difference on a day-to-day basis have no titles at all.
What’s important is not that everybody has that same mission but that everybody in life has thoughtfully considered their values and their beliefs, and based on that developed a personal mission statement. We spend so much of our careers learning about how to help others but not a whole lot about prioritizing our own wellness
While in college everyone else was backpacking in Europe, smoking dope, and figuring out the meaning of life, you were studying for the MCATs, and you never stopped and did this work that all your fellow non-health professionals did.
The sad thing about life, is not that [we] die, because we all must die. The sad thing is if [we] waste the time we have.
When you put on your white coat, and you go into the exam room, and you close the door behind you. There’s a lot of transference going on, and patients will share with you these unfiltered high-octane stories that will bring you to your knees.
Patients will come to you with their chief complaint, but what you really want to uncover is their chief concern.

Access the Show Transcript Here

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