People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. -George Orwell
Name: Robert Adams, MD, MBA
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC. UNC Health System
Specialty: Primary Care/ Family Medicine
Today we’ve got a pretty awesome guest for you. What was once a secret, and very much unknown group of elite US military soldiers, has now become a virtual household name inspiring countless books, news stories and even movies.
While all of you have certainly heard of Navy SEAL’s, very few of you have likely met one. They’re a small, select and rare group. Even rarer are the handful of Navy Seals who have gone on become physicians. Today’s guest is one of these few.
To become a SEAL requires one to pass one of (if not the) most difficult, grueling and selective training processes in the world. This includes a crucible called Hell Week where recruits face six torturous days of physical tests, no sleep, freezing cold water, hazardous elements and (for those who make it through) watching each day as most of your fellow classmates ultimately quit the process. The stresses and physiological impacts to the human body are very real, leaving many graduates presenting with the same signs and symptoms seen in POWs, or even victims of torture. It’s what we’re going to talk about today and who better to explore it with us than physician who went through it himself.
Today Dr. Robert Adams is family physician with the UNC health system. He entered medical school after serving as an elite Navy SEAL for 12 years. His recently published book, “Six Days of the Impossible,” is the first ever exploration of this process from a medical perspective. It’s an unbelievably fascinating story for part I of our conversation with Bob. Part II is the result of our regrets for all the questions and topics we didn’t get to in that first conversation. So we asked Bob to come back for another round. After this episode we’ll continue the journey in part II with Bob’s time as a command surgeon for the Army’s elite Delta Force, and his experiences as army physician in post invasion Iraq. Get ready for an exciting ride. With that said, let’s get started…
Links and More:
Robert Adams: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertadamsmdmba/
Book and Website: https://www.sealhellweek.com/
Journal of Special Operations Medicine:
The National Navy SEAL Museum: https://www.navysealmuseum.org/