Gratitude with Dr. Tanmeet Sethi & Scott Berman

“Gratitude is a state of being, a good friend, a home to return to [...] Gratitude lets you keep coming back to hard times while seeing the beauty next to the challenge.” —Dr. Tanmeet Sethi

Guest Bios

Dr. Tanmeet Sethi, MD, is a fellowship-trained Integrative Family Medicine physician who has devoted her career to caring for the most marginalized patients and to teaching young resident physicians how to care for these vulnerable communities in the most humane, skillful way possible. She has specialized in teaching Integrative Medicine and Anti-Racism in Medicine. An expert on trauma, Dr. Sethi is senior faculty for the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, and she has inspired thousands in her workshops, presentations, and TEDx Talk on how to transform their pain and trauma into hope and healing. With her husband, Dr. Sethi is the mother of three children, one of whom has a degenerative and fatal diagnosis, which inspired her to seek methods for shifting both our thoughts and biochemistry into Joy at the cellular level. She is currently completing a certification program in Psychedelic Medicine and lectures internationally, has been interviewed on NPR, podcasts, and is currently working on her first book.

For more on Dr. Sethi, please visit

Scott Berman is a native of suburban Chicago – son, brother of two older siblings, uncle to two nephews, dog lover, and big Cubs fan! After completing his undergraduate at Tulane in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, he served with AmeriCorps in Jacksonville, FL, at a Federally Qualified Health Center. It is here that he first developed an interest in primary care. He then moved home and worked as a medical scribe for a year before returning to New Orleans for medical school at Tulane. Currently in his 4th year, he is applying for family medicine residency and hopes to stay in NOLA for training.

Episode Pearls

Grounding Practices for a Busy Clinician:

Before starting clinic, Dr. Sethi holds her eyes closed, touches a stone of [the Buddhist goddess of compassion] Guan Yin on her stethoscope, and says a prayer for compassion:

I will have compassion for everyone I meet today, and when I don’t, I’ll have compassion for myself.”

Dr. Sethi also pauses between patient rooms at the doorknob to re-center and bring her whole heart to the next room:

“I’m entering this room now, I’m going to try to leave whatever is bothering me in the last room.”

Gratitude Exercises for Patients (And Clinicians!):

  • Write 1 thing* down per day that you are grateful for 30 days.

*this 1 thing should be something you DO have (rather than DON’T have: I'm glad I have my health rather than, I'm glad I'm not sick)

  • If you don’t want to write it down, consider emailing it to someone you love or trust.

  • Share your gratitude at dinner with your loved ones every evening, or in bed with your partner before going to sleep.

  • Share your ups/downs/'gratefuls' at dinner.

  • Gratitude jar with notepad nearby. Take notes out regularly and read them.

    • Gratitude Jar: When working in a team, each member writes down what they are grateful for and places the paper in the jar and at the end of the work week, the jar is emptied and each "grateful" is read.

  • Gratitude meditation (Insight Timer)


Further Reading

  • Failing Up by Leslie Odom Jr.

  • The Psychology of Gratitude by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough

  • Gratitude by Oliver Sacks

Reflection Questions

  1. How does your body store your feelings, such as stress? What signals does your body send you when feeling a specific emotion, for example when feeling joy or anxiety?

  • eg: Some feel their joy in a full body feeling of warmth, some feel their anxiety in clenched jaw or cramped belly. Where do you?

  1. What practices do you have to check in with your body, and how you are feeling in any given moment?

  1. The object of our gratitude can vary. Try to think of an example of something you could be grateful for in each of the categories below:

  • person: friend, family, loved one or stranger

  • object: living or non-living

  • experience, opportunity, event

  1. Can you think of a situation in which you have struggled to feel grateful? Is there beauty to find next to the challenge of the situation?

  2. Dr. Sethi talks about how gratitude and joy can be acts of resistance to oppression and marginalization. What comes to mind when thinking about joy and gratitude as radical practices?

  3. Listen to Dr. Sethi's Gratitude Exercise (at end of episode). How does your heart feel?

GOAL: 1) Think of one behavior you can do to express your gratitude this week. Examples include: texting, emailing or telling someone about something you are grateful for.

2) Take an Implicit Bias Test.


Host: Dr. Rebekah Byrne, MD

Guest: Dr. Tanmeet Sethi, MD

Student Interviewer: Scott Berman

Producer: Erika Bennett

Sound Design: Timothy Knowlton

Original Music (Composed & Performed): Timothy Knowlton