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Mar 12, 2020

At the end of the day, have you made the world a little better? My guess is that you have, even if only in a small way. That’s certainly true of today’s guest, Dan Bissell, MD. Dan is co-founder of Portland Street Medicine, a medically focused non-profit dedicated to caring for the homeless. What’s unique about the care delivered is that it happens in the austere environment of homeless camps, underpasses, and street corners. In this episode, Dan and I cover what a day of the street medicine team looks like, how his group started, and how street care has impacted his everyday medical practice. 


We discuss:

  • What it means to follow your bliss [00:45]  
  • The best medicine is tangerines and socks. . [04:45]
  • The goal of Portland Street Medicine [07:15]
  • Working in an environment with constrained resources. [11:55]
  • Design thinking [12:44]
  • Portland Street Medicine origin story.[14:45]
  • Homeless communities are complex, heterogeneous, vibrant, and cohesive.  [23:15]
  • The secret sauce to success of Portland Street Medicine.[28:18]
  • Portland Street Medicine serves three populations [29:00]
  • Utility of the stethoscope.  [34:00]
  • The case of Susannah [37:00]
  • The homeless are at a minimum ignored and at a maximum shunned. [40:50]
  • Getting to know the homeless has reformed Dan's thinking about how we structure health care. [42:20]
  • Ask some honest questions.   [46:55]
  • Slow down, find joy. [50:38]

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Complete shownotes for this episode: