Media & Book Reviews

Compassion means “to suffer with.” No one should have to suffer alone.

Dr. Stern has written many articles exploring the concepts of grief, compassion, and hope. He has also been featured in a number of interviews, book reviews, and podcasts.


Dr. Stern has been featured in a variety of articles in popular news outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Medicine at Michigan, and more.

Grief as My Guide: How My Sister Made Me a Better Doctor

Moral Distress in Neurosurgery

Moral Distress in Neurosurgery

Dying in the Neurosurgical I.C.U.

‘You See the Best of Us Now’ What we are learning about ourselves and each other during the pandemic

Perspective | As a doctor, I’m trying to have more empathy for my patients — and myself

Brain Surgery is the Easy Part

Championing Compassion

Dr Joseph Stern Washington Post

Perspective | Tackling racial disparities in cancer care by creating new ways for institutions to operate

PsychCentral Article 2022 Dr. Stern

Anticipatory Grief: Are You Mourning Before a Loss?

Prolonged Grief Disorder: Understanding the Latest DSM-5 Updates

Why Should a Neurosurgeon Attend a Palliative Care Conference, Anyway?

It’s Like a Death


Dr. Stern has been featured as a guest on numerous podcasts, including Kimberly C. Paul’s Death by Design and Dr. Jeff Segal’s The Medical Liability Minute Podcast.

Season 3, Ep. 19, Death by Design

A Prescription for Humanity in Medicine, The Medical Liability Minute Podcast

Ep. 309 A Neurosurgeon’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion with Joseph Stern MD

A neurosurgeon’s lessons on love, loss, and compassion [PODCAST]

Running on Empty: Taking on Doctor Burnout

The Role that Empathy, Compassion, and Emotional Agility Play in Bridging the Doctor-Patient Gap

Grief Connects Us: A Conversation With Neurosurgeon And Author Joseph D. Stern, MD

The language of love, loss, and compassion: Dr. Joseph Stern

Jody Stern: Why Compassion is Key to a Better Healthcare System


Dr. Stern recorded a TEDx talk in his hometown of Greensboro, NC, based on his 2021 book, Grief Connects Us. He has also been interviewed on Greensboro’s Fox 8 News about a life-changing scoliosis surgery he performed on one of his Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates patients.

A physician’s journey to emotional agility, TEDxGreensboro

Scoliosis surgery patient success, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine

Archdiocese of Boston – 4th Annual Palliative Care Colloquium

Grief Connects Us Book Introduction

Book Reviews

“Many of us build walls that are impenetrable, but few of us are immune to the power of grief. By interweaving his own vulnerability and suffering with those of other patients and physicians, Dr. Stern makes us understand that only through empathy and compassion can we truly connect. Powerful, profound, and compelling.”

—James R. Doty, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Secrets of the Brain and the Mysteries of the Heart

“In Grief Connects Us, Stern dissects the heart-wrenching illnesses of people close to him, and in so doing dismantles the emotional armor those of us in medicine unwittingly don, to accompany his patients in their suffering and feel with them. A transformative read.”

—Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS, author of When Blood Breaks Down: Life Lessons from Leukemia

“Every patient and medical professional who meets the line that separates them will understand when it needs to be dissolved to open the gateway for empathy and compassion. Grief Connects Us is an essential guide and inspiration in these challenging times.”

—Helen Riess, MD, author of The Empathy Effect, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

“A grieving brother, an expert neurosurgeon. As Jody lives through his sister’s death, we see him grow into his human-ness. And as Dr. Stern examines his profession, he detects and prescribes compassion. This is a brave tale, and the teller is broken, open, yearning, and true.”

―Margaret Edson, author of Wit

“Dr. Stern gives us the gift his sister and her family gave to him: insights into what it means to traverse illness and the quandaries of the healthcare system, to hold hope and despair in the same hand. And, importantly, he allows us into the quiet and under-appreciated zone of being a caregiver, a zone with its own forces and triumphs and miseries unlike any other.”

―B.J. Miller, MD, author of A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death

Grief Connects Us is the moving account of Dr. Stern’s transformation from reserved neurosurgeon to the kind of compassionate physician we all hope for. His book is a heartbreaking yet inspiring call for a more courageous relationship between patients and doctors, one marked by openness, mutual respect, and the acknowledgment of our common humanity.”

—Pauline Chen, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality

Grief Connects Us is a beautiful book and an important one. The way Dr. Stern writes about illness, hospitals, diagnoses―all the things clouding collective consciousness―from the dual perspective of expertise and lived experience is particularly timely and urgent.”

—Catherine Mayer, author of Good Grief and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party (UK)

Media Kit

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