#117: The Resilient Surgeon: Brian Ferguson

December 17, 2021

In the final episode of season 1, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews Brian Ferguson, a former US Navy SEAL and CEO of Arena Labs. From start to finish, this conversation offers thought-provoking and inspiring information about human potential and becoming the best versions of ourselves. “How do we bridge the gap between who we are and who we have the capacity to become?” Brian asks. Not surprisingly, his experience in special operations helped him better understand his own potential, while also prompting him to launch a deeply personal mission of guiding others to take better care of themselves. Brian shares that his mom was a nurse and his brother was in the US Army Special Forces. These influences further extended his incredible appreciation for those who serve others. Importantly, he examines the danger of service archetypes—teachers, soldiers, surgeons—“giving of themselves and giving of themselves until they have nothing left to give.” Who is protecting them? And, how does this impact burnout in modern medicine? Considering himself a disruptor, Brian details how he took his experience—in special operations, with elite athletes, and in creative arts—and rolled it into health care. He founded a company based on people doing “hard things,” offering a powerful platform designed to improve the capacity of medical teams to manage and navigate stress. He calls it “high performance medicine.” The goal? Health care professionals can “better understand themselves, perform at higher levels, and ultimately do what they want to do—and that’s provide better patient care and quality.”

“The Resilient Surgeon” is a program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers.

Brian can be reached at www.arenalabs.global.

Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.