Episode 125

How Stories Can Help You Become a Better Advocate

At the age of 101, my grandmother, Beverly’s, dementia is really starting to show. I’m over at her house one day when her new social worker comes by.

I hear him talking to one of her caregivers in the other room. She says to him, “Sometimes Beverly says she wants to go home. Yet, she’s in her own home. So when Beverly says that, we just tell her, ‘You ARE home.’ But it doesn’t really register.”

He responds, “Beverly is simply looking for a safe space. So rather than trying to battle with her, all you need to do is remind Beverly that she is 100% safe and everything is fine.”

As I listen to this conversation, I find myself smiling and feeling happy that she has someone besides myself advocating for her… and someone helping the caregivers too, offering them a different perspective instead of telling them that they’re doing it wrong.

My guest today, Dr. Karen Federici, also advocates on behalf of others. She’s an award-winning family physician and an expert in breastfeeding. In this episode of the Storytelling School Podcast, you’ll hear all about her story on advocating for others and answers to questions like:

How is your Talk enhanced when you use story versus when you don’t? What role does storytelling play in the work that doctors do, and how can healthcare professionals integrate it into their own work? And what can you do to redirect the story you’re hearing from those you serve in your profession to better help them?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How a story not going to plan can set you up for a new (and even better) story
  • How other people’s unhelpful advice can hinder your emerging story
  • Why sometimes the real story isn’t where the main focus is

Who is Karen Federici?

Who is Dr. Federici?

Inspired by her own experience as a new mother, Karen Federici, MD saw a genuine need for doctors who championed breastfeeding. So she became that doctor, leaving her career as an actuary behind. Now, she’s an award-winning physician and breastfeeding expert.

Dr. Federici founded Family First, a practice centering around primary care for women and children and breastfeeding medicine, after completing her residency in 2006. Recently, she founded TeleLact which provides expert lactation support through telehealth to expand access to quality care for breastfeeding moms. Last year, she opened the first and only donor human milk dispensary in her region.

As part of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and with a certification in family medicine, Dr. Federici volunteers as a clinical preceptor, teaching breastfeeding medicine to students and fellow physicians. Not enough families have access to a doctor with knowledge on breastfeeding. So she likes to direct them to her TEDx Talk to help spread the word so that they can positively impact breastfeeding, advocate for themselves, and encourage their doctors to seek more education on the subject.

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2-time TEDx Speaker, Author, Coach, and Founder of the Uncivilized Movement

Mo Barrett

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Greg Smith

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Than Baardson

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Cathy Sommerville

TEDx Speaker, Coach, Advisor, Leader, Author, Vice President


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