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Episode 27: Growing During Adversity

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“In front of trauma or adversity, you need to decide what is your next step. Are you planning to complain about how unlucky you are? Or are you planning to take advantage of the situation, take responsibility for your actions and your emotions, and do something?”, shares Dr. Miriam Zylberglait, also known as Dr. Z. Dr. Z. is a triple time board certified physician in internal medicine, geriatrics and obesity medicine. She is a certified mental health ally and is currently working on her first book about positive and negative catalysts, growth, and well being. She notes three catalysts for sending her in her current direction- her mother’s dementia, her children’s fears for her own mortality working as a physician during the pandemic, and witnessing her residents suffering from a lack of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

People tend to be resistant to restarting or changing things in their lives, because they are trying to live on a linear path and are afraid to fail. However, Dr. Z. has found that it is much more effective to live in cycles. Instead of focusing only on resiliency and maintaining the status quo in the face of adversity, she recommends trying to learn and grow from trauma, even if that means embracing change. It is always easier to act like a victim and complain, but in order to really move forward and grow, you must take responsibility for your own actions and emotions. Make a plan to do something to change the situation and learn from those experiences. That way even adversity can become something positive. 

There are actually a lot of opportunities for second chances in life if you are willing to look for and embrace them. Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst to learn more about how to see trauma and adversity as an opportunity for growth. Find out more about living cyclically, accepting the risk for failure, and welcoming change.

About Dr. Miriam Zylberglait:

Dr. Miriam Zylberglait Lisigurski (Dr. Z) is triple Board-Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Obesity Medicine. In addition, she has completed a Physician Leadership Academy (FMA), a Fellowship on Leadership Development and Education (AAMC) and has been certified as a Mental Health Ally. As a fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP) she was selected to be part of the National Wellness and Professional Fulfillment Committee due to her deep interest on the areas of Well-being and mental health advocacy.

Dr. Z is currently completing a Fellowship with the Creators Institute at Georgetown University while writing her first Book about well-being and growth. In addition, she is the former Associate Program Director at the Aventura Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Training Program and the Former Founding Internal Medicine Clerkship Director at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine.

Dr. Zylberglait has a supportive husband, parents, sister, friends, and two wonderful little boys that help her to integrate her personal and professional life.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • How we are not victims, we have control of our life, our decisions, our feelings, and our actions.
  • Challenges and “negative” situations can be a catalyst for development and growth. 
  • Self awareness and self control are fundamental components for positive transformation.


  • “I feel like the majority of us, we feel very afraid of changing our paths or going through life because of their risk of failing and in the type of life that we live that is so linear, right? If you fail, there is no back. No second opportunities in theory. The truth of life is not like that. In reality, we have second opportunities, we have options to change our paths, right? We just need to be aware of that.” (8:58-9:28 | Dr. Z.) 


  • “You may have a medical condition, or you might be a minority like I am, or maybe you are poor, or you have a disability. But even though these may delay your journey, they may also expose you to the opportunity to learn the skills to be creative, to find other ways to do things, therefore, to grow.” (12:08-12:33 | Dr. Z.) 


  • “In front of trauma or adversity, you need to decide what is your next step. Are you planning to complain about how unlucky you are? How mean people live? How unfair is the world? Or are you planning to take one advantage of the situation, two take responsibility for your actions and your emotions, and three, do something?” (24:14-24:39 | Dr. Z.)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Dr. Miriam Zylberglait:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

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About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

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