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Stimulus | Helping Doctors overcome burnout, excel in leadership, and unlock their most fulfilling careers

Sep 20, 2021

What does your life have in common with that of an astronaut? A lot, it turns out. Dan Mccollum returns to Stimulus to break down the skills learned by International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield as explained in his autobiography An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.


Guest Bio: Dan Mccollum, MD is an emergency physician, associate professor, and associate residency director at the Medical College of Georgia. Hear more of Dan on Stimulus episodes #1 Verbal Judo #14 Stoic With A Capital S and #25 Digital Minimalism.


We Discuss:


  • The pitfalls of thinking too highly of yourself [1:46];
  • The importance of being a “plus one” and the wisdom of not proclaiming your plus-oneness. “If you’re really a plus one, people will notice” [2:23];
  • Aim to be a zero -- having neutral impact [5:08];
  • What Mccollum looks for in EM residency applicants: people who treat the receptionist or program administrator well [8:00];
  • Why we should focus on the simple core things which are most likely to save lives, as opposed to shooting for the stars with cutting edge treatment [8:48];
  • How the weight and power of ego impairs our ability to learn and harms patients [11:04];
  • Sweat the small stuff [13:01];
  • The quintessential nature of EM and how they’re similar to flight rules: solving complex problems rapidly with incomplete information [13:49];
  • The fact that perfectionism and zero likelihood of failure is not part of the flight rules for anything [15:49];
  • Why early success is a terrible teacher. If you’ve always been the star and never experienced failure, this can be a barrier to learning [18:27]
  • The Jocko Willink video, Good. When bad things happen and you get knocked down, “get up, dust off, reload, recalibrate, re-engage, and go out on the attack” [20:13];
  • How to behave when you're in a position of leadership [22:00];
  • Expeditionary behavior, which is the willingness to endure hardships for the sake of the mission, and why whining poisons the pool [24:13];
  • And more.


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