Kristina Dakis

Test Anxiety & Reclaiming Your Passion | Dr. Kristina Dakis MD

If you’re not taking care of yourself, how can anybody expect you to take care of other people?…Medicine is more than just a job, it’s a calling.


Hey there Happy Doc family! We are so excited to present to you this week’s guest, Dr. Kristina Dakis, MD. You may also notice a surprise in the beginning of this week’s episode, so keep an ear out! As you listen through, Dr. Dakis gives us a sliver of her life’s story on how she became influenced to join health care, how she overcame test anxiety, tips on self-compassion. Furthermore, she provides the listener with some phenomenal advice in terms of how to fall in love again with a career in medicine. Enjoy this week’s episode!


Our guest received her MD degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and remained there to attend her residency in family medicine. She is also a current member of the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians.  Not to mention, she is also part of the Family Medicine for America’s Health Workforce Education and Development Core Team. In this role she is an advocacy coach and resident team leader for Medical Student and Resident wellness. 

Not only is Dr. Dakis an influence in the field of medicine and the wellness of resident physicians and their medical student predecessors, she is quite the musician. With the ability to play clarinet, saxophone, and piano, we disucss how her love for music has influenced her life.

Please check out Dr. Dakis’ KevinMD article alluded to in the podcast episode. Click here to read the article!

Comment Challenge: Have you suffered from test anxiety??? Let us know on twitter @thehappydoc1. Dr. Dakis has offered to connect with YOU. We would love to hear your thoughts.


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Sample of the conversation:

It’s worth it

You know it’s worth, it really is worth it. But, you have to stop and take time to enjoy your work. And I know I don’t always do that, it’s very easy to get stuck in the weeds myself even now as a 3rd year resident, but yeah, it’s important to remember.

This is what I’m meant to be doing

My very first patient who I followed through her pregnancy, I was managing her labor and she was only 3 centimeters, and then of course I go home, and then she goes from 3 centimeters to 8, and I’m like “oh god”. So I rush to my car and I’m driving through Chicago at 11 at night really fast, freaking out that I was going to miss it. I got to the hospital and I remembered walking into the room and the patient and her whole family were so excited when I got there, they were so happy to see me and that feeling… when you know your like “wow this is literally where I’m supposed to be right now, this is what I meant to be doing with my life.” Then of course, fortunately, it was a lovely delivery. It’s so cool to me that I was the one that was able to hand her, her child for the first time and now her kid’s my patient too… it’s just really awesome.

Relaxation and Mindfulness techniques, drastically changed her test scores

I went every week while I was prepping for Step 1 (it was hard for me to take myself away from the books, but I knew that this was something that was really important)…I just knew that I finally had to do this. I would take a test and practice mindfulness strategies and relaxation techniques. I would bring them into therapy and talk about how it went. What happened was I went from someone who performed around average to being at the top of my class on Step 1.  My score dramatically changed.

For more of the conversation, listen to the audio!!!

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