Words & Sounds of Wellness: Dr. Sherry Wang

Sherry Wang, MBBS, FRANZCR


I am an abdominal radiologist in the abdominal and ultrasound divisions at Mayo Clinic Rochester. Being a radiologist, I have found much of my source of unwellness and burnout tend to be psychological, rather than physical. There is a lot of mental burden, and it is no surprise that radiology is the most mentally demanding physician specialty with increasing workload contributing to burnout.  

Music is something I have always enjoyed, and I’ve curated a “Wellness Playlist”—songs for those mentally tougher days in the reading room. Music has been found to improve mood and decrease anxiety and cortisol levels, even improving depression. Physiologically, music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate. In particular, listening to peaceful and low tempo music has been found to decrease heart rate. There are times in the reading room where I find it useful to have relaxing music to help decrease anxiety and irritation, as well as calm down. However, there are days where I want and need to get pumped up to help tackle a rougher day, just like getting pumped up at the gym for a workout. In fact, motivational music has been shown to combat cognitive and physical performance decline caused by exercise fatigue in sports. The other factor in this study by Bentouati et al. that showed to combat cognitive and physical decline was a 30-minute nap. This also showcases the importance and power of sleep, which we are all very aware of in mitigating burnout and unwellness. Since we are on the topic of sleep, listening to relaxing music has been found to be as effective as diazepam in reducing anxiety, and thus beneficial for aiding sleep. Music can lower our blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate to help us fall asleep and achieve quality sleep, further boosting our wellness.  

In “Words of Wellness” on RadTeams.org, members of the ARRS Wellness Subcommittee share what “wellness” and “wellbeing” mean in their own clinical practices, research focuses, and everyday lives.

Top 3 Songs from Dr. Wang’s Motivational Playlist for Wellness:

  1. “Rise Up” by Andra Day

“I’ll rise unafraid.”  

2. “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

“This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me”  

3. “Hero” by Mariah Carey

“So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you”

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