Steven Parker, PsyD (Stoma)

Dr. Stephen Parker (Stoma) was initiated in the Himalayan Yoga tradition by Swami Veda Bharati and was given the initiate name Stoma in 1971. Stoma has been a licensed psychologist in private practice in St. Paul, MN since 1985. He also serves as Adjunct Assistant School Professor of Counseling and Psychological Services at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN.

We talk about racism, interpersonal relationships, the purpose of yoga in the professions, and the hidden mission behind the yogis of the himalayan mountains.

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Gustavo Plaza

Meet Gustavo Plaza (Arjuna), an experimented Yoga teacher and orientalist who has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to teaching yoga to students around the world. We talk about his journey towards self-realization, and his advice to find masters, holy places, and maintain a daily spiritual practice.

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Hussam Alsarraf, MD, MS

Meet Hussam Alsarraf, chief resident elect at Duke University’s department of psychiatry. We talk about his transition from Wallstreet stock trader to a psychiatrist, the importance of finding meaning in life, and free will.


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Jeff Vockrodt

Meet Jeff Vockrodt, a top US patent attorney based in NYC. He describes the history of patent law, argues that being excellent at performing a specific skill is not enough to achieve financial success, and discusses the risks and benefits of brewing beer at home.

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IG: @jefevcafe

Olga Khomenko

Please welcome Olga Khomenko! She is an entrepreneur, model, and chicken breeder based in North Carolina. She tells us the story of overcoming financial and educational hardships in Ukraine while during the dissolution of the USSR, and how despite all of this, she was able to find a path towards success at age 15 by becoming a model, traveling the world, and now having a clothing brand. She also tells us of the multiple benefits of breeding chicken as a hobby.

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IG: @olgafedorovna, @spotmestudio

Luke Smith, M.D and Jose Antonio Rivas, M.D.

Thrive Thanksgiving Edition!

Please Welcome Luke Smith and Jose Antonio Ribas to the “Thrive Team”. Luke is a Child and adolescent psychiatrist and founder of “El Futuro” – a psychiatry practice aimed exclusively towards the Latino population in Durham, North Carolina. Jose Antonio is a Psychiatrist leading the Consultation-Liaison service at Baylor.

Jose Antonio and I worked at “El Futuro” with Luke during our training, and we talk about our experience there. We also discuss the Latino vote in the recent US elections, the different standards to which women are sometimes held when practicing medicine, and why we sometimes wore the same outfit at work.

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William Breitbart M.D

William (Bill) Breitbart M.D., Chair of Psychiatry at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, tells us his life story. He begins telling us the life of his parents (A Jewish family who endured and eventually escaped the holocaust). He later explains how this background served as a significant trigger to finding purpose in a career dedicated to understanding suffering. Finally, and most importantly, he brings up the question of the responsibility each individual has in creating his/her life, and to find meaning in it.

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