#102: Resilience by Design: Mentors, Modelling, And Why Context is King. With Assoc. Prof. Sarah Guess.

How do we make ‘resilience’ more than just another buzzword and resilience training not just a box to tick for the HR department?

Assoc. Prof. Sarah Guess is a specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine and an Associate Professor at Washington State University where she teaches internal medicine. Outside of her clinical work her interests and research are in educational psychology, resilience and wellbeing, and elements of clinical supervision and resident training. Sarah has presented her research on resilience at the national level and is known for her mixed-methods approach to research, and she was the recipient of the 2021 Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award and the 2020 Wescott Award for clinical teaching.

In this episode she shares what she is learning and teaching around fostering resilience in a way that does not just rely on shifting the responsibility onto the individual to ‘be more resilient’, but rather focuses on the context that our resilience will challenged in. We talk collaborative relationships, workplace culture, model behaviour and we detour into the things that can improve personal resilience.

This one is essential listening in particular for anyone who is in a leadership, support, mentoring or teaching role.

Topic list:

12:08 Importance of non-punitive error culture.

16:25 Mistakes are expected and respected.

23:49 Resilience in education psychology.

26:33 Focus on faculty well-being first.

33:01 Importance of collaborative mentorship.

39:39 Resilience – it’s trained, learned and necessary.

49:59 Embrace growth from negative experiences.

53:20 Exercise is an incredible tool.

56:10 Personal resources that foster resilience.

70:48 Keep showing up, even when it’s hard.


The Drive Podcast with Peter Attia.

Funny Cuz It’s True Podcast with Elise Myers.



“What I love about studying resilience, and what all of the research would suggest, is that there’s no inherent ability for resilience.”

“I think without the opportunity to bounce back, there’s no chance to grow or thrive.”


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