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Smart but Scattered: Physician Edition
How to Strengthen Executive Skills for Yourself (and Your Patients!)

Thursday, May 23 | 12:30pm - 2:30pm AT

Are you a highly motivated, successful physician who struggles to follow through on the changes you need to improve your physical and emotional well-being? Do you know you need to change, know what you need to do to change, and may even take a step or two towards making those changes, but then plateau or give up? What’s getting in your way is not unwillingness or resistance to change but weak executive skills.


Executive skills are underlying brain processes that help people manage their everyday lives, get things done, control their emotions, and help them manage obstacles that interfere with productivity and behavior change. As a physician, you may have adult patients with executive skill challenges who struggle to finish college, hold down a job, progress in their career, or maintain satisfactory relationships with friends and family. Failure and the recognition that they are working well below their potential often erode self-confidence and eat away at self-esteem.

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Dr. Peg Dawson

In over 40 years of clinical practice, Dr. Peg Dawson has worked with thousands of children and teens who struggle at home and in school. At the center of their struggles are often weak executive skills. Along with her colleague, Dr. Richard Guare, she has written numerous books on this topic for educators, mental health professionals, and parents, among them Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, and Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits. Peg is also a past president of the National Association of School Psychologists, and the International School Psychology Association, and is a recipient of NASP’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Explain how executive skills underlie many of the daily challenges that adults experience at home or in the workplace.

  • Provide examples of three strategies to help them manage their own executive skill challenges.

  • Outline the steps involved in designing an intervention to help adult patients strengthen their executive skills.

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