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  • On Med School Insiders, I provide advice.

  • And following certain advice has helped me tremendously in my life, but listening to

  • other advice has held me back.

  • How should one navigate the limitations of general advice and carve out their own best

  • path, which will ultimately be different from anyone else's?

  • Stay tuned to find out.

  • Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com.

  • My relationship with advice is a bitlove-hate.

  • It's complicated.

  • Seeking out high quality advice has helped me tremendously, but seeking out advice has

  • also led me astray.

  • In fact, I spoke about this well-intentioned but ultimately harmful advice on my vlog channel,

  • specifically how I was told that working on my incubator, Blue LINC, was a waste of time

  • and would never work.

  • A few months later, we raised money, got featured in multiple news articles, a podcast, and

  • grew faster than we ever imagined.

  • You can find the full story on my vlog channel, link in the description below.

  • The problem with general advice is just thatit's general.

  • Work harder, waste less time, wake up early.

  • These pieces of advice are so commonplace they've become accepted as fact.

  • To deviate from these words of wisdom must mean you're a low achieving, lost individual,

  • and doing something wrong.

  • But that's not necessarily true.

  • Let's dissect these one at a time.

  • Work harderif I followed this advice, I would have ended up burned out, depressed,

  • and miserable.

  • My baseline trends toward certain workaholic tendencies.

  • There's some good that comes out of that, but definitely a lot of bad too.

  • We all are at different places on the spectrum of work and play.

  • Waste less timeagain, if someone is already super efficient and critical of their time,

  • this isn't helpful advice.

  • Most people spend too long on social media and meme websites.

  • Others need to let go a little and make an effort to relax more often.

  • Wake up early - but maybe you're a night owl.

  • I understand the appeal of both.

  • There have been periods of my life - months to years - where I loved waking up early.

  • And there are other times where inspiration strikes late at night, precluding me from sleeping,

  • and that feels more natural.

  • Hopefully you're seeing the issue.

  • General advice does not take into account individual variation.

  • What works for one person often does not work for another.

  • I had never placed a TV in my bedroom, as I was told that this is terrible for your

  • sleep and productivity.

  • But after I moved to Las Vegas, I did exactly that.

  • As I was designing my new living space, I put a TV by the foot of my bed.

  • Now what led to such heresy?

  • Upon reflecting on things I want to work on, one of them was disconnecting, letting go,

  • and relaxing more frequently.

  • While the TV may not be the best for my sleep, it helps in achieving a more healthy and sustainable

  • work-life balance, for me.

  • I'm reducing the friction to performing leisurely activities.

  • Here's some more well intentioned but misplaced general advice.

  • Be yourself.”

  • What if you're Stalin or Hitler.

  • I'm sure they were being themselves, but what if your true self is sadistic, harmful,

  • and not good to others?

  • Rather than being yourself, be the best version of yourself, seek to minimize the negatives

  • and optimize the positives.

  • As much as I see issues with general advice, I also appreciate its tremendous value.

  • As an adolescent and student, I learned how to manage my time better, be more effective

  • with my exercise regimens, and even learn to improve my study techniques.

  • This advice allowed me to experiment, figure out what worked and what didn't.

  • Without general advice that I obtained from free resources like this YouTube channel,

  • it likely would have taken me much longer to learn many foundational skills that were

  • critical to my success.

  • To a certain degree, I believe we should all seek out general advice.

  • It's free, readily available, and gives us starting points to experiment with our

  • lives.

  • Rather than being told what to do by a coach, the onus of responsibility is on youhow

  • do you choose to change your life?

  • How do you choose what advice to implement?

  • There's an abundance of general advice out there on the internet.

  • With the explosion of self-development, we've seen a rapid expansion of both good and bad

  • advice.

  • Ultimately, it's important to practice some judgment and critical thinking of your own

  • when sifting through it.

  • I suggest you look at a few key elements.

  • First, is the information I'm receiving backed by evidence?

  • That being said, not all evidence is created equal, and I've even gone over how you can

  • assess the strength of a research study in a previous video.

  • One of my biggest pet peeves is when research studies are quoted without any attention given

  • to the study design, limitations, or implications.

  • More often than not, this is due to journalists with no scientific understanding summarizing

  • groundbreakingnew research articles, concerned more about clicks than actually

  • informing the readers of the truth.

  • You see this time and time again.

  • Look at the study about $75,000 of income being the plateau at which further increases

  • in income don't improve happiness.

  • Look at the Mozart effect and how classical music makes your smarter.

  • These, and other scientific misunderstandings and oversimplifications have been explored

  • and debunked on my Research Explained series.

  • This playlist dives into such topics, looks at the research evidence, and tells you the

  • actual truth, what the current scientific literature says.

  • Link in the description below.

  • Additionally, not every question you have has been addressed with sound scientific research.

  • And if that's the case, if you cannot find a satisfactory conclusion to your question in

  • the scientific literature, then you'll need to keep in mind some additional factors.

  • Which bring us to the second point: credentials.

  • Who is proposing this advice and what are their credentials in providing it?

  • I don't mean the person needs a PhD or an MD after their name, although that certainly

  • helps.

  • If the person giving advice wasn't able to achieve the results themselves that they

  • are promising you, then where is their authority on the matter?

  • I don't give bodybuilding advice because despite reading dozens of books on the subject

  • and practicing it myself, I have not achieved impressive results.

  • I don't give advice on political issues because despite doing my homework on topics

  • that most people don't, I haven't reached a point of satisfactory expertise where I'm

  • comfortable calling myself an authority on the matter.

  • But I do give advice on how to be a kickass student, how to crush the MCAT, and how to

  • be a beast in college and medical school.

  • That's because I scored in the 99.9th percentile on my MCAT, or the 100th percentile for the

  • statistically illiterate, and I hit the high 260s on my USMLE.

  • I set the curve frequently in college, crushed my medical school coursework, and matched

  • into one of the most competitive specialties.

  • Beyond looking at someone's own results, you need to look at the results of the people

  • they have mentored or worked with.

  • Did they achieve world class results because they are genetically gifted, or was it because

  • they understood the nuance of the skills they were learning?

  • If it was the latter, then they should be able to replicate similar results in others.

  • And if not, then they should at least be able to explain any discrepancy.

  • For example, even if Michael Phelps was a great swimming coach, certain students simply would not have the

  • body type or gifts necessary to be Olympians with multiple world records.

  • They wouldn't be able to replicate his results.

  • And third, what is the potential upside and downside from following the advice?

  • I'm unlikely to eat mysterious foods or take radical supplements because there is

  • potentially a large downside with relatively limited upside.

  • However, I'm more willing to experiment with my own study methods or productivity

  • strategies since the downside would be smaller.

  • That being said, I wouldn't start a new sleep routine just one week before my MCAT,

  • as that would be higher risk.

  • In investing, we call this phenomenon asymmetric riskyou want to take risks when the potential

  • upside or gain is significantly larger than the potential downside or loss.

  • If someone asks you to supplement your studying with flashcards to improve your grades in

  • school, that may not be the worst thing if it doesn't work out, yet you do potentially

  • have a lot to gain.

  • But asking you to radically change your study habits and only use one studying technique

  • may have a higher risk of backfiring.

  • We want to take calculated risks.

  • Maximize the upside while minimizing the downside.

  • If you're a pre-med or medical student and you are looking for advice on how to be the

  • most effective, successful, and happy version of yourself, then you've come to the right

  • place.

  • I recommend you first start by watching my YouTube videos, as you're already doing,

  • and reading our blog posts, which are available on our website.

  • This is high quality distilled advice from people such as myself who have the credentials

  • necessary to be authorities in offering said advice.

  • And the best partit's all free.

  • I was a broke pre-med and medical student.

  • I had to pay for everything myself.

  • I took out loans.

  • I worked my butt off.

  • I pinched pennies.

  • I never ordered guacamole with my Chipotle bowl until after graduating medical school.

  • For that reason, I appreciate the importance of providing high quality advice for free.

  • I want to pay it forward and help you all through these free resources.

  • That being said, some of you may require additional attention.

  • Let's say after watching and implementing the advice within my videos and blog posts,

  • you're seeing improvements but not quite to the level you want. In this case, 1-on-1 guidance

  • may be necessary.

  • But how do you know who to choose?

  • There are dozens of advisors and charlatans who are more interested in your business than

  • your success.

  • If someone wanted to be a doctor but barely got into medical school, would you trust them

  • for help with your medical school application?

  • If someone wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon but settled for something else, would you

  • trust them in how to ace the residency application process?