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Lucy McBride, MD

I come from a family of artists, caregivers, and enthusiasts for life. My mother and brother Harry are both psychotherapists, my grandmother was an opera singer, my brother Walter is a professional musician, and my father is a humble, earnest, and hilarious guy from West Virginia. From an early age, my family taught me about the importance of self-expression, service to others, flexible thinking, and our shared bonds as human beings. My childhood was filled with art, music, laughter, love, and lots of family road trips.

I first contemplated being a doctor when we dissected a fetal pig in high school biology class. I was intrigued by the glistening multi-colored organs and wondered how they inter-related.

Then in my twenties, it dawned on me that friends often came to me for advice, even as I stumbled about searching for answers myself. I felt grateful for and humbled by the trust people placed in me—and realized just how much I, myself, relied on honest, real, and straight-talking advisors.

In my first year of medical school at Harvard, my favorite class was “Patient/Doctor” where we learned how to understand human suffering, deliver bad news, discuss uncomfortable topics, and establish rapport with patients. I loved getting to know patients, even when it meant having tough conversations.

Motherhood has reminded me about the importance of hard work, humility, and humor. My kids have taught me that the process of growing up is much like the process of growing old: while full of ups and downs and sometimes excruciating, with it comes opportunity, wisdom, and hope.

Twenty years after completing medical school, I still treasure my job as a physician. I am grateful for my role in patients’ lives and the ability to help others.

I have learned as much from my patients as I did in school. Through my patients, I have witnessed growth after trauma, beauty while dying, peace in suffering, and the power of the human spirit.

Through them, I have also come to appreciate that quality of life and the human experience of illness matter most. And that my job is to help people live not only longer, but better.

My passion is mental health. As a doctor, my focus is treating the whole person, addressing mental and physical health in tandem to optimize health and wellbeing.

Since the COVID pandemic hit in March 2020, I’ve been writing a daily newsletter to my patients. I’m now reaching thousands of people around the country with my missives: real-time, fact-based medical information and guidance on getting through the pandemic, physically and mentally.

My goal has always been to reach a wide audience with the message that mental health not only matters in medicine; it actually defines our health and humanity.

Long story short: I’m a writer, educator, and life-long student of the human condition.

#withoutthewhitecoat I am practicing yoga

Lucy McBride, MD
Harvard Medical School l Class of 2000

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