Montage Member Spotlight
Every quarter we feature current AASM members in different stages of their career and their professional experiences in the member spotlight section of our Montage publication.
Step into the spotlight!
If you are interested in being highlighted or nominating another member for the spotlight, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brandon R. Peters, MD
Clinical faculty affiliate at Stanford University’s School of Medicine
What encouraged you to study sleep medicine?
My interest in sleep medicine started when I was a pre-med student in college, working one summer in a sleep clinic and conducting early home sleep apnea testing. Throughout my training, I found ways to explore the subject further. From circadian disorders to sleep paralysis to REM sleep behavior disorder, research projects allowed me to learn about new topics in the field. There is so much more to learn. Beyond the excitement of discovery, I have been deeply moved by the impacts of treatment on my patients’ lives. I have been fortunate to find a discipline that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally rewarding.
How did you get started writing sleep-related articles for VeryWell.com?
During my intern year, a former medical school classmate contacted me about the opportunity. I had been a writer and editor of my college’s newspaper and he knew that I had an interest in sleep. Initially part of About.com and owned by The New York Times, I began writing eight articles per month. Now into my tenth year as a contributor, I have written more than 1,000 articles on various sleep topics. At any given moment, about 50 people are reading these articles. As a result, the content is read by millions of people around the world annually. It is a privilege to educate others on a subject that I still find fascinating.
You have nearly 4,000 followers on Twitter! How does social media benefit you professionally?
Social media was initially adopted as a means to engage my readership. It allowed me to promote topical articles. Over time, it has built my audience and raised my profile as a thought leader within sleep. This results in regular opportunities for media interviews, referrals, and research mentoring. I enjoy the opportunity to network with others in the field, from diverse backgrounds and with unique purposes. I am able to share insight and perspective with a wider community than I would typically reach in my day-to-day clinical practice.
How has the use of telemedicine advanced your practice?
As a member of the AASM’s telemedicine committee, I was able to collaborate with some of the leaders in this emerging field. When I worked in private practice in California, I integrated it into the management of established patients with sleep apnea and insomnia. Now that I am part of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, I look forward to adopting it in new ways. We shall extend our services to patients requiring our help in Alaska as well as other underserved areas. In addition, telemedicine shall minimize the commute time of our providers as we reach out to our established network of clinics.
What led you to develop the self-guided CBTI program, Insomnia Solved?
While I was at Stanford University for my fellowship training, I had the great fortune of working with leaders in the development of CBTI. Unfortunately, access to insomnia specialists remains limited. Based on this education, and my clinical experience, I have worked to make these resources available to a wider audience through an online program. By creating Insomnia Solved, I hope to provide another option for those in need. Based on the latest science, and updated regularly, the program offers a structured experience that can successfully resolve insomnia. The next step in increasing access will be to publish most of the primary text as a book.
What excites you most about the future of sleep medicine?
We have a diverse and passionate community of professionals who are committed to advancing the field. Education, research, and science-based clinical interventions are the foundation of our discipline. We still have a lot of work to do. There are too many people in need, unnecessarily suffering from the ill effects of poor sleep. We truly have the opportunity to change the health and well-being of our patients and our communities. Technology will extend our reach. We must continue to embrace innovation and attract the best and brightest to our cause.
Connect with Brandon on Twitter @BrandonPetersMD