As soon as I saw this New York Times feature story, As Overdose Deaths Pile Up, a Medical Examiner Quits the Morgue, I knew I had to have Dr. Thomas Andrew on the show.
A shift from our typical author guest, Dr. Andrew is working on an incredible career pivot-in-progress. Upset by how many opioid deaths he observed after 20 years as a forensic pathologist who performed over 5,800 autopsies in the morgue, he recently retired and is heading to divinity school so that he can counsel people in his community while they’re still alive. I’m fascinated by his story, and I know you’ll love this conversation too about his views on life, death, learning, faith, resiliency, empathy, and next moves.
An excerpt from the NYT article:
"After laboring here as the chief forensic pathologist for two decades, exploring the mysteries of the dead, he retired in September to explore the mysteries of the soul. In a sharp career turn, he is entering a seminary program to pursue a divinity degree, and ultimately plans to minister to young people to stay away from drugs.
With 64,000 overdose deaths last year nationwide — a staggering 22 percent jump over the previous year — it is little wonder that overdoses, the leading cause of death among Americans under 50, are reducing life expectancy. They are also straining the staffs and resources of morgues, and causing major backlogs.
“After seeing thousands of sudden, unexpected or violent deaths,” Dr. Andrew said, “I have found it impossible not to ponder the spiritual dimension of these events for both the deceased and especially those left behind.”
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