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During the pandemic, as I prepared my dossier for promotion to Clinical Professor, my father passed away and my wife and I became empty nesters. Serendipitously, I began to read and became more involved in physician leadership, specifically directed toward wellness. This book, among others, has transformed my personal and professional life. I would recommend it to all in our profession, most especially individuals just starting their careers. The tools learned will be invaluable for the journey ahead.

—James MacDonald, Clinical Professor, Ohio State University College of Medicine

Just wanted you to know that today’s WOD wellness program was the best of these sorts of Zoom webinars I have attended over the last two months (and I have attended at least four or five focused on mindfulness, wellness, etc.). Very useful, practical tips based on scientific research. Wonderful speaker and lots of interesting material. Thanks for your role in organizing it! —Julie Mannes, Women of Dartmouth's well-being workshop

Many thanks, Dr. Pipas.  Your webinar was amazing and we had a fantastic turnout and wonderful engagement.  I did a quick inventory of those who attended and we had alumnae from at least 33 states and 5 countries.  Thank you for giving so generously to Dartmouth alumnae!  —Michele Lamberti, Women of Dartmouth's Well-being Workshop

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for writing your book Doctor’s Dozen and being so gracious with your time so we could discuss it with you. We all enjoyed the dialogue immensely and felt so honored to be in your presence reflecting on such important topics of both personal well-being and organizational culture. We plan to purchase copies of your book to gift to our new providers from this point forward. It is a wealth of knowledge and should be required reading for all those in healthcare.

—Jen Collins and the entire Well-Being Committee at PMLGH

I have just completed your book. I think it should be mandatory reading for 2nd year medical students halfway through the year, possibly as part of a seminar. My son Jay Sailer, Jefferson 1992 is a family practice doctor in rural Virginia. I remember him telling that 5 medical students committed suicide during his four years. Thanks for your book.

—Eric Sailer, retired Hitchcock obs-gyn DMS 1961, McGill 1963

My Service-Learning Distinction Track students are really enjoying your book (as am I – every time I re-read it, I am reminded to stay on top of my own wellness). We meet every 3 weeks to discuss the sections in the book.  They have all found it profoundly helpful.

Susan K. Keen, Medical Student Education Division Director, M3 Clerkship Director, Service-Learning Distinction Track Co-Director, Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Brody School of Medicine

Dr. Pipas is the consummate educator.  She has a unique ability to take a disparate group of faculty and create a sense of community and shared purpose within minutes.  Wellness is not a buzzword for her, but rather a core idea fundamental to being an educator that is woven throughout her teaching and reminds the learner that we care best for others when we care for ourselves as well.  Her workshops are beneficial to educators from all professions and with all levels of experience, and participants will walk away with renewed enthusiasm and more than a few new strategies.

—Joseph C. Chiovaro, MD, Curriculum Director, Veterans Administration RIFDI Faculty Development Program; Associate Program Director  - Internal Medicine Residency, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland VA Medical Center

Feedback was wonderful about your talk!  And, I appreciated the timing of the wellness grand rounds to the pandemic and quarantine.  Although your message, your book, needs to be read by all, anytime, collectively we are in need of some resilience at this time in particular. I can’t say thank you enough for writing A Doctor’s Dozen, for the beautifully delivered message of filling your own tank you gave yesterday and of course for being you – a role model for us all.  It was especially wonderful to hear your voice and see your face.


May peace, health and joy be yours always.

—Jennifer Friedman, MD FACOG, Clinical Assistant Professor | Assistant Dean for Student Affairs,
Texas A&M Physicians | Office of Student Affairs, College of Medicine

Thank you so much again for coming to our program, and bringing such light.

You have this terrific style coupled with content that engages both the very practical, outcomes-minded folks with the more indirect, holistic approach folks. I have heard positive things from both types of faculty members, after your visit. And I am so thankful to you for your willingness to extend yourself and take the time and effort to reach out to us, and teach us, and inspire us.

There is still a delightful ripple effect from your presentation.


                     —Alexander W. Chessman, MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina

I want to give a shout out to Cathy Pipas for her excellent plenary presentation at the recent MSE Conference called “Cura te Ipsum ‘Heal Thyself’ ”: Strategies to Avert Burnout, Build Resilience and Model Wellness”. She modeled the way we love our presenters to give a keynote:


  • Sharing just the right amount of research, presented in an interesting way

  • Delivering the message with passion and energy

  • Providing useful tools and take-homes for the audience

  • Responding to audience questions in an authentic way (she even gave a hug to one student)


I knew Cathy was a great presenter from her MSEDI faculty days. It was fun to watch her share her talents and expertise on the big stage. Congratulations, Cathy!

                                               —Stacy Brungardt, Executive Director/CEO, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

“Doctor heal thyself” may sound like a cliché, but A Doctor’s Dozen is a must read for everyone who wants a practical and entertaining guide to physical, mental and spiritual health.  The stories are compelling and you will want to read, underline and follow these simple guidelines to a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., M.B.A., President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

Thank you for the privilege and honor of reviewing these materials. It has been a gift to me. This is an important book that needs to be written and those who access it will be blessed with your wisdom. Your patient’s stories and your learning along the journey are both powerful. This will be an important resource for many.  Keeping our current and future workforce healthy is a huge gift for our patients, families, and communities.

—Stanley M Kozakowski, M.D., FAAFP | Director, Medical Education Division, American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) ‘2017

Weaving in patient stories, thoughtful insights and scientific research, Dr. Pipas outlines twelve ‘lessons’ to improve one’s health and well-being through enhancing self-awareness, self-care and self-improvement. The vignettes are poignant and the lessons profound. You don’t need to be a ‘doctor’ to benefit from A Doctor’s Dozen. Adapt Dr. Pipas’s twelve strategies into your life and you will be happier and healthier. 

—Aviad Haramati, PhD, Professor of Physiology and Medicine, and Director, Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE) Georgetown University School of Medicine

A Doctors Dozen is a tonic for our ailing profession. Each story provides a good reason to pause, take a few breathes, and reflect on our own practice and personal wellbeing. Each chapter enables us to proceed with refreshed perspective.

Cathy Pipas reminds us that the cure for burnout is love, first and foremost for ourselves, as well as for our family, friends, and yes, our patients. Wellbeing is less the result of happy circumstances, than of the determination to keep our hearts open through unhappy circumstances. This book will make me a healthier person and better doctor.

—Ira Byock, MD, Active Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Community & Family Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; author of Dying Well and The Best Care Possible

A Doctors Dozen conveys wisdom for wellbeing.

"A Doctor's Dozen" is a much needed and unique work -- not to mention beautifully written. I'm planning to make it a perennial graduation present for our residents and fellows.

—Frank Edwards, MD, Designated Institutional Official, Arnot Health Graduate Medical Education

When Family Practice, now Family Medicine, first became a medical specialty, it was the only specialty to require that an accredited Family Residency Program had to include a Behavioral Science professional on its faculty. The founders of Family Medicine believed that a patient and not diseases were the appropriate focus on care. They adopted the biopsychosocial model that expresses that we are fully integrated, body and mind. We cannot be reduced to a series of parts. They also believed that the core focus of medicine should be the patient/family and the patient’s needs and goals should be the focus of the work of medicine.

The founders would be well pleased with this book and with Dr. Pipas. She is the type of physician they had in mind. Dr. Pipas offers a comprehensive approach to her patients. She has integrated medical problem solving with a broad range of skills and abilities that allow her to respond to her patient’s acute and chronic needs as she offers a relationship that can help them address the deeper issues that impact their health and wellbeing.


This book is a primer for all those who seek to learn about the art and science of healing. The book will help the neophyte clinician become oriented to the work of primary care. It will also be of value to the experienced clinician looking to expand his/her helping skills repertoire.

 —Laurence Bauer, MSW, MEd, Chief Executive Officer, Family Medicine Education Consortium

Thank you for including me in this incredibly rewarding process! I have learned so much by reading your lessons, and I look forward to seeing them applied in my life. Your work is an inspiration!

—Jenny Blue, Chairman of English, Kimball Union Academy 2017

It was so nice to meet you and I truly appreciate having a signed copy of your book.  Between guest speakers and candidates we meet a lot of people but there’s never been a time when everyone – faculty, residents, students, staff – had such complimentary feedback about an individual.  Not everyone that’s stellar is also approachable and I think that’s why we all genuinely enjoyed your warmth as well as your expertise.  We certainly hope you’ll visit us again in the future. 

—Stephanie Bowen, West Virginia University

Thank you again for your wonderful workshop presentation today! Our WVU-Charleston community is already a better place to work and learn following your engaging, practical model of self-care and wellness.


We’re still feeling ‘well’ here, in the afterglow of last week’s wonderful Summit event. We’ve had several informal debriefs among ourselves since last Thursday. Spontaneous hallway comments from residents, students, faculty and staff have been heartfelt, enthusiastic and positive: “That was great! That was really important. She was excellent. I learned so much. It was good to be able to talk about it. I felt a lot of support and I think it especially helped a few others who really needed to hear this, with all of us around…”

You are a skilled, effective and inspiring speaker; you connected with our audience and led our medical learning community through an impactful session. We hope to build on the valuable concepts and practical, positive message you brought to us.

Kathleen Bors MD, FAAFP, Assistant Dean, Office of Student Services, Associate Professor, Family Medicine, WVU School of Medicine, Charleston Division

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