NGPF Podcast: Dr. David Weill on restoring work-life balance after a career in transplant medicine

May 14, 2021
Podcasts, Career

I know that you will enjoy this conversation with Dr. David Weill who recently penned his memoir, Exhale: Hope, Healing, and a Life in Transplant, about his experiences as a transplant doctor. This one was extra special for me since I know Dr. Weill as a former neighbor, as someone who entertained me for hours while cycling on Saturday mornings and as my go-to trusted medical advisor when family health issues arose (and an NGPF Board member too). I found this conversation and his memoir to be such a revelation of the high stress environment he thrived in for decades until he didn't. His journey to hope and healing can serve as a roadmap for all those who, while loving the work they do, struggle to manage that delicate work-life balance part. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~6:49 Current Events with MissBeHelpful: Entrepreneurs & Executives
  • 6:49~7:18 A word from NGPF
  • 7:18~10:09 Introducing this Week’s Guest: Dr. David Weill, former Director of the Center for Advanced Lung Disease and Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program at Stanford University Medical Center
  • 10:09~10:49 Working as a transplant consultant
  • 10:49~12:30 Key ingredients for a high performing team
  • 12:30~13:53 Motivation to write Exhale
  • 13:53~16:02 Career path to becoming a transplant doctor
  • 16:02~19:46 How the transplant waiting list works
  • 19:46~21:04 Complexity of lung transplant operations
  • 21:04~21:46 Aftercare for patients
  • 21:46~25:00 Lack of metrics to evaluate transplant program quality
  • 25:00~29:43 Dealing with the high level of stress
  • 29:43~35:13 A passage from the book
  • 35:13~40:11 On letting go of control 
  • 40:11~43:00 Lessons learned from the patient experience 
  • 43:00~44:56 The strength of bonds formed with patients
  • 44:56~46:53 Tips for folks struggling with work-life balance 
  • 46:53~48:14 Conclusion



  • “I think the mistake I made during my last period at Stanford that I would caution listeners against is isolation… I would tend to come home and stick my nose in a book or turn on a sports game and isolate myself because I didn’t have anything more to give. I think what one should do in the situation is the exact opposite: connect more deeply with the people around them.”



Educators with NGPF Accounts: you are eligible to receive a free copy of Dr. Weill's book: Exhale: Hope, Healing, and a Life in Transplant. With 100 available you will want to complete this Google Form today. Books will be shipped in mid-June. 

About the Authors

Ren Makino

Ren has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, interning through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, after graduating from college in 2020, he joined the team to work full time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes sure it is accessible to teachers on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world and try out new brewing methods, even though personal finance gurus tend to caution against buying a cup of joe.

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.