61 episodes

Do you believe conversations can heal? I do. I’m U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. When I was growing up, my father would make “house calls,” bringing medical care to patients at home. The relationships he built with his patients through conversation were an essential part of healing. On House Calls, I carry forward this tradition. In each episode, I take my guests off-script to explore how they navigate the messiness and uncertainties of life to find meaning and joy. By sharing openly what’s on our minds and in our hearts, we can find strength and healing through connection.

House Calls with Dr. Vivek Murthy Office of the U.S. Surgeon General

    • Health & Fitness

Do you believe conversations can heal? I do. I’m U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. When I was growing up, my father would make “house calls,” bringing medical care to patients at home. The relationships he built with his patients through conversation were an essential part of healing. On House Calls, I carry forward this tradition. In each episode, I take my guests off-script to explore how they navigate the messiness and uncertainties of life to find meaning and joy. By sharing openly what’s on our minds and in our hearts, we can find strength and healing through connection.

    Ann Kim: What Does Friendship Mean To Us?

    Ann Kim: What Does Friendship Mean To Us?

    In celebration of World Friendship Day, the Surgeon General invites an old friend and House Calls producer to talk about how their deep connection has seen them through the best of times and the worst of times, sustaining them both personally and professionally.



    (00:28) House Calls gets personal as Dr. Murthy introduces an old friend (who is also a House Calls producer)

    (01:56) How Dr. Murthy and his friend Ann Kim met

    (03:27) How many marriages have resulted from Dr. Murthy’s personal pastime of matchmaking?

    (03:54) How has Dr. Murthy and Ann Kim’s friendship cultivated a focus on social connection?

    (04:44) How can we find the light in other people?

    (05:28) Why is talking with a friend in challenging times so helpful?

    (08:38) How can a friend help us explore our interests and find our focus?

    (11:29) How can we help children foster deep friendship with their siblings?

    (13:27) Dr. Murthy shares his favorite poem about friendship.

    (16:11) How can we inspire more friendship?

     

    We’d love to hear from you! Send us a note at housecalls@hhs.gov with your feedback & ideas. For more episodes, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov/housecalls.   

     

    Ann Kim, House Calls Producer and Friend

    Instagram: @annkimannkim

     

    About Ann Kim 

    Ann Kim is Chief Innovation & Design Officer at the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. In this role, Ann and her team aim to bring creativity and design thinking to government, modernizing and humanizing ways to advance public health. She oversees the surgeon general’s website, first-ever podcast (“House Calls with Dr. Vivek Murthy”), and creative development of new products and initiatives. She served as Chief Design Officer during Dr. Vivek Murthy’s previous tenure from 2016-2017, developing campaigns to address substance use, opioids prescribing, and emotional well-being.



    Prior to public service, Ann served as as executive director of health and well-being at global design firm IDEO. During her decade at IDEO, her portfolio included the design of HIV-prevention products, digital mental health tools, and new models of healthcare delivery.

    In the first decade of her career, Ann was a producer and filmmaker for public television. Her credits include the award-winning PBS/Frontline series “The Age of AIDS” and “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” the landmark documentary series on the social determinants of health. She has reported for the public radio from Botswana, India, and North Korea. Her latest documentary, “Lovesick,” is about a physician in India who is also a matchmaker for her HIV-positive single patients.



    Ann is a graduate of Harvard College, with a joint degree in Anthropology & the Study of Religion. She is a board member of Noora Health. And, unlike her dear friend the Surgeon General who identifies as a cat person, she considers herself a dog person.

    • 18 min
    BONUS | Selena Gomez: Setting the Stage for Mental Health

    BONUS | Selena Gomez: Setting the Stage for Mental Health

    The Surgeon General and Selena Gomez, singer, actress, and founder and creator of Rare Beauty and the Rare Impact Fund, take the stage at the Rare Beauty Mental Health Summit to talk about loneliness, connection, and the power of talking about our mental health.



    (02:42)   Why is bringing people together to talk about mental health so important to Selena?

    (03:49)   Why has loneliness and connection become a focus of the Surgeon General’s work?

    (07:15)   How does Selena manage her relationship with social media?

    (08:31)   What has Dr. Murthy learned about the impact of social media on young people?

    (13:46)   Why is Selena personally committed to providing support for mental health?

    (15:28)   What’s the difference between loneliness and isolation?

    (20:34)   Does Selena have one thing she does each day to stay connected with friends and family?

    (22:27)   What makes Selena and the Surgeon General hopeful about the future of mental health?

    We’d love to hear from you! Send us a note at housecalls@hhs.gov with your feedback & ideas. For more episodes, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov/housecalls.



    Selena Gomez, Singer, Actress & PhilanthropistInstagram: @selenagomezX: @selenagomezFacebook: @selena



    About Selena Gomez

    In addition to being an award winning actress, producer, Grammy nominated recording artist, philanthropist, and mental health advocate, Selena is the Founder & Creator of Rare Beauty and the Rare Impact Fund, which she launched simultaneously in 2020. Selena created Rare Beauty with a mission to break down unrealistic standards of perfection and help people celebrate their individuality by redefining what beautiful means. As part of her commitment to addressing mental health and self-acceptance, one percent of annual Rare Beauty sales go directly to the Rare Impact Fund to expand access to mental health services for young people around the world.

    • 28 min
    Adam Grant: Is A Fulfilling Life Different Than A Successful One?

    Adam Grant: Is A Fulfilling Life Different Than A Successful One?

    What makes us successful?  

    What makes our lives fulfilling? 

    Are they the same things? 



    We’re exposed to so many ideas of what is success, it’s not always easy to be clear on what path best serves us. This episode’s guest, Adam Grant, is an organizational psychologist and expert on what motivates us, what gives us meaning, and how we can live more generous and creative lives.

     

    This conversation takes some personal turns, with Adam and the Surgeon General talking about their friendship, marriage, kids, and recent struggles, including a shared tendency to seek out the approval of others. They open up about failures and how we can learn from them. 



    Adam also shares an unconventional idea for helping his kids feel valued and loved. Listen as this episode gets real about what’s at the heart of a fulfilling life.



    (03:30)    How does Adam Grant define success?

    (07:44)    Are fame, fortune, and power really the values we need for successful lives?

    (12:05)    Why do character and values matter and how do we cultivate them? 

    (20:08)    How does Adam create boundaries for tech and social media in his own life?

    (27:01)    How does Adam extend what he studies as an organizational psychologist to his children?

    (39:42)    Why does Adam find value in being open about his struggles and failures?

    (44:39)    How can we talk about our current struggles, even when it’s sensitive?

    (46:50)    Dr. Vivek Murthy shares a personal struggle of his own.

    (48:20)    How can we address habits and traits that impact our relationships?

    (51:48)    Should Meeting Night become the new Date Night?

    (55:16)   How does Adam find time to cultivate and maintain friendships?

    (01:01:11)    Do we have to learn lessons by making mistakes ourselves? Can’t we learn from the mistakes of others?

    (01:07:57)    What gives Adam hope?



    We’d love to hear from you! Send us a note at housecalls@hhs.gov with your feedback & ideas. For more episodes, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov/housecalls.  



    We’d love to hear from you! Send us a note at housecalls@hhs.gov with your feedback & ideas. For more episodes, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov/housecalls.  



    Adam Grant, Organizational Psychologist

    Instagram: @adamgrant

    X: @adammgrant

    LinkedIn: @adammgrant

    Facebook: @adammgrant



    About Adam Grant

    Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for 7 straight years. As an organizational psychologist, he is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, rethink assumptions, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as the world’s #2 most influential management thinker and one of Fortune’s 40 under 40.



    He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 6 books that have sold millions of copies and been translated into 45 languages: “Hidden Potential”, “Think Again”, “Give and Take”, “Originals”, “Option B”, and “Power Moves”. His books have been named among the year’s best by Amazon, Apple, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. His viral piece on languishing was the most-read New York Times article of 2021 and the most-saved article across all platforms.



    Adam hosts the TED podcasts “Re:Thinking” and “WorkLife”, which have been downloaded over 70 million times. His TED talks on languishing, original thinkers, and givers and takers have over 35 million views. He has received a standing ovation at TED and was voted the audience’s favorite speaker at The Nantucket Project. His speaking and consulting clients include Google, the NBA, Bridgewater, and the Gates Foundation. He writes on work and psychology for the New York Times, has served on the Defense Innovation Board at the Pentagon, has been honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and has appeared on Billions. He has more than 8 million followers on social media and features new insights in his free monthly newsletter, GRANTED.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Dr. Abraham Verghese (Part 2): On the Healing Power of Writing

    Dr. Abraham Verghese (Part 2): On the Healing Power of Writing

    In this part 2 of their conversation, the Surgeon General explores Dr. Abraham Verghese's craft as a writer -- what is his creative process? And what is the relationship between his writing and his work in medicine? The episode closes with Dr. Verghese sharing one of his favorite poems.

    (02:56)    How does Dr. Verghese deal with moments of fear and uncertainty that arise in practicing medicine?

    (04:42)    How has Dr. Murthy dealt with uncertainties in practicing medicine?

    (08:19)    How did Dr. Verghese’s unusual medical training shape who he is as a physician?

    (15:18)    What gave Dr. Verghese the courage to try writing?

    (20:20)    What is Dr. Verghese’s creative process for writing?

    (22:19)    What was it like for Dr. Murthy to write a book?

    (26:41)    How does Dr. Verghese deal with time pressure and deadlines when writing?

    (30:15)    Does Dr. Verghese experience writer’s block?

    (33:36)    A poetic moment with Dr. Verghese

    We’d love to hear from you! Send us a note at housecalls@hhs.gov with your feedback & ideas. For more episodes, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov/housecalls.  



    Dr. Abraham Verghese, Physician and Writer 

    Instagram: @abraham.verghese.official

    X: @abe_verghese



    About Dr. Abraham Verghese

    Dr. Abraham Verghese is a renowned physician, author, and educator, currently serving as the Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine. He leads the PRESENCE center at Stanford. Dr. Verghese's work sits at the intersections of medical practice, humanism, and narrative, setting a higher bar for patient-centered care. In addition to two memoirs, he is the author of the two acclaimed and bestselling novels, “Cutting for Stone” and “The Covenant of Water.” In 2016, President Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal; he is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy as well as the American Association of Arts & Sciences. His dedication to patient care and his promotion of bedside medicine creates a meaningful dialogue in the medical field.

    • 36 min
    Dr. Abraham Verghese (Part 1): When There Is No Cure, How Can We Heal?

    Dr. Abraham Verghese (Part 1): When There Is No Cure, How Can We Heal?

    For doctors who spend years training to make their patients better, what happens when there is no cure? 

    This is how Dr. Abraham Verghese came of age as a physician. 

    At the height of the AIDS epidemic, he treated a rural population of dying young men, men his own age, who had no future and were often shunned by other doctors. Working with his AIDS patients, Dr. Verghese learned that treating the spirit can bring patients and their families an invaluable part of what they need when facing the incurable. As Dr. Verghese became renowned both as a doctor and a writer, he carried forward his rituals of personal focus on the patient and their families to keep humanity central to his medical practice.

    (02:28)    Dr. Murthy and Dr. Verghese recount their first meeting 

    (06:14)    How did Abraham learn the difference between curing and healing?

    (09:10)    What did Abraham come to understand about doctors while caring for AIDS patients in the 1980s?

    (13:08)    How Dr. Murthy got his start in public health during the AIDS epidemic

    (17:22)    How can we build a more humanistic approach back into medicine?

    (21:20)    Do patients feel invisible these days?

    (24:21)    With the proliferation of electronic medical records, how can medical students learn to connect with patients?

    (29:24)    How Dr. Murthy learned the importance of the physical exam with patients.

    (36:11)    When Dr. Verghese sees patients, what are some of the rituals he practices?

    (41:12)    Was medicine always Dr. Verghese’s calling?

    We’d love to hear from you! Send us a note at housecalls@hhs.gov with your feedback & ideas. For more episodes, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov/housecalls.  



    Dr. Abraham Verghese, Physician and Writer 

    Instagram: @abraham.verghese.official

    X: @abe_verghese



    About Dr. Abraham Verghese

    Dr. Abraham Verghese is a renowned physician, author, and educator, currently serving as the Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine. He leads the PRESENCE center at Stanford. Dr. Verghese's work sits at the intersections of medical practice, humanism, and narrative, setting a higher bar for patient-centered care. In addition to two memoirs, he is the author of the two acclaimed and bestselling novels, “Cutting for Stone” and “The Covenant of Water.” In 2016, President Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal; he is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy as well as the American Association of Arts & Sciences. His dedication to patient care and his promotion of bedside medicine creates a meaningful dialogue in the medical field.

    • 45 min
    Sara Bareilles & Celia Keenan-Bolger: How Do Art and Friendship Set the Stage for Our Mental Health?

    Sara Bareilles & Celia Keenan-Bolger: How Do Art and Friendship Set the Stage for Our Mental Health?

    In this special episode, Dr. Murthy sits down with Sara Bareilles, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter and actress, and Celia Keenan-Bolger, Tony award-winning singer and actress. You may know more about them as performers than you do about their experiences with mental health, but this conversation will change that. 

    As two very good friends who are warm, funny, and genuine, this conversation is an intimate portrait of their friendship and its importance to mental health. Their conversation explores questions many of us have on our minds: How do you prioritize friendship when the world demands us to be so productive? What does it mean to show up for one another? And how do you overcome questions of self-worth and find the courage to speak openly about your mental health?

    As you listen, we hope you feel their friendship effect, too. Sara Bareilles closes out the episode with a surprise performance.

    This episode was recorded LIVE in New York. Special thanks to the 92NY for hosting.

    (03:55)    How did Sara Bareilles and Celia Keenan-Bolger meet and become good friends?

    (08:33)    How can we make friends and have healthy social lives as we get older?

    (18:03)    Is there a difference between the way men and women make friends in middle age?

    (25:54)    How do Sara Bareilles and Celia Keenan-Bolger create the space for friendship in a world that’s always asking them to be more productive?

    (33:24)    How do Sara Bareilles and Celia Keenan-Bolger balance online activity with real-world friendships?

    (44:02)    Where did Sara Bareilles and Celia Keenan-Bolger find the courage and clarity to speak openly about their mental health?

    (52:41)    How have Sara Bareilles and Celia Keenan-Bolger dealt with feelings about lack of self-worth when they arise?

    (01:02:19)    What are some of Dr. Murthy’s and his guests’ favorite lyrics?

    (01:12:52)    A special performance by Sara Bareilles

    We’d love to hear from you! Send us a note at ⁠housecalls@hhs.gov⁠ with your feedback & ideas. For more episodes, visit ⁠www.surgeongeneral.gov/housecalls⁠.

    Sara Bareilles, Singer-Songwriter & Actress

    Instagram: ⁠@sarabareilles⁠

    X: ⁠@SaraBareilles⁠

    Facebook: ⁠@sarabareilles⁠

    Celia Keenan-Bolger, Actress & Singer

    Instagram: ⁠@celiakb⁠

    About Sara Bareilles and Celia Keenan-Bolger

    Sara Bareilles has received three Tony® Award nominations, most recently in 2023 for her performance as ‘The Baker’s Wife’ in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods – three Primetime Emmy® Award nominations and nine GRAMMY® Award nominations. On Broadway, she composed music and lyrics for Waitress, and stepped into the lead role both on Broadway and in the West End. Most recently, she starred in the filmed live-capture of Waitress: The Musical, which ran for two weeks in theatres nationwide in December 2023. Her other musical theater credits include a song on the Tony Award-nominated score for SpongeBob SquarePants and Emmy Award-nominated appearance as Mary Magdalene in NBC's “Jesus Christ Superstar Live.” Bareilles produced original music and executive-produced the musical drama series “Little Voice,” teaming up with Jessie Nelson, J.J. Abrams and Apple. She also plays Dawn Solano on the Emmy-nominated musical comedy series “Girls5eva”, the third season of which premieres in March 2024 on Netflix. 

    Celia Keenan-Bolger is an actress and singer. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for portraying Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (2018). She has also been Tony-nominated for her roles in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2005), Peter and the Starcatcher (2012), The Glass Menagerie (2014), and her most recent role in Mother Play (2024). Other credits - Broadway: The Cherry Orchard, Les Misérables. Off-Broadway: The Oldest Boy, Merrily We Roll Along, A Small Fire. Select Film/TV: “The Gilded Age,” “Bull,” “Louie,” “The

    • 1 hr 18 min

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