The coffee bean the leader's library book clubLife recently has been, to say the least, a hair stressful. The global pandemic, with all the resultant lifestyle upheaval, has seized a commanding presence in every minute of every day, personal and professional, and many of us are feeling the heat. There’s never been a more appropriate time then to cultivate effective coping strategies as a community, and ALiEM is here to help, with the third installment of The Leader’s Library, covering The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change by Jon Gordon and Damon West.

Podcast Teaser

Synopsis: The Coffee Bean

This simple, illustrated, hour-long read follows Abe, the semi-autobiographical protagonist, from his senior year of high school through his life arc to old age and presents the reader with a powerful metaphor for our chosen reactions to unavoidable stressors:
“Life is often like a pot of very hot water. It can be a harsh, stressful, and difficult place. You will find yourself in environments and facing conditions that test who you truly are, and can change, weaken, or harden you if you let them.”
As Abe faces inevitable ups and downs throughout his life, he continues to apply the lesson he’s learned from this metaphor to positively transform his environment again and again– at times to the point of downright fantasy, but helpful nonetheless. This concept of directly confronting a problem with transformative leadership, rather than retreating in defeat or hardening oneself by eschewing compassion and humanity, is directly relevant to our practice as emergency clinicians, especially in these particularly uncertain and tumultuous times. Come join a group of your colleagues in The Leader’s Library V3 to find your approach to revolutionizing your surroundings in response to hardship!

Join us

We welcome the whole spectrum of health professions in emergency medicine, including trainees, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, paramedics, and advanced practice providers. A team of world-class educators will be facilitating an online, Slack-based group discussion of the book over a 2-day period, culminating in a live hangout with participants and facilitators. After the discussion, the Slack account will be retired and a de-identified summary will be posted on the ALiEM site.

Discussion group

  • When: June 1-2, 2020
  • Platform: Slack app
  • Size: 40 registrants
  • Selection criteria: Diversity of members and familiarity with Slack

Signup process

We would love you to join us! Please sign up now to secure your spot!


  • Felix Ankel, MD; Emergency Physician, Regions Hospital; Medical Director, Education HealthPartners Institute; Professor of EM, University of Minnesota Medical School (@felixankel)
  • Nicole Battaglioli, MD; Assistant Professor of EM- Emory University Atlanta, GA- #EmoryProudGradyMade (@batt_doc)
  • Nikita Joshi, MD; Emergency Department Medical Director, Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, California (@njoshi8)
  • Adaira Landry, MD MEd; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Assistant Program Director, Harvard Affiliated EM Residency; Academic Society Associate Director and Advisor, Harvard Medical School; Ultrasound Fellowship Director, Department of EM Brigham and Women’s Hospital (@AdairaLandryMD)

Listen to other The Leader’s Library podcasts

Dina Wallin, MD

Dina Wallin, MD

ALiEM Series Editor, The Leader's Library
Co-Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine,
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital;
Director of Didactics, SFGH-UCSF Emergency Medicine Residency;
Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics,
University of California San Francisco