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Chance encounters

Hey friends, I’ve been on an 'anaesthetics taster week' this week. That means I get to spend 5 days s
Chance encounters
By Ali Abdaal • Issue #65 • View online
Hey friends,
I’ve been on an ‘anaesthetics taster week’ this week. That means I get to spend 5 days shadowing doctors within the anaesthetics department, getting involved, trying to get an idea of what the speciality is like.
On each day, I’ve had chance encounters with other doctors that have been enormously helpful.
On Monday, I turned up and introduced myself to a random registrar who was keen to have me in theatre to teach me stuff. After a day with her, she suggested a few different consultants I should try to hang out with for the rest of the week. On Tuesday, I spent the morning with an amazing consultant from abroad who regaled me with inspiring tales of Intensive Care Medicine from different countries.
On Wednesday I spent the day with the consultant in charge of the Anaesthetics training programme, and got some solid insider information about applying to the speciality, while at the same time learning how to anaesthetise and intubate children. On Thursday I hung out with another consultant who seemed nice, we got chatting, turns out he’s into coding and education, and he made an app while in medical school in 2002 (way before it was cool to make apps). He also turned out to have an insider position in the Royal College of Anaesthetists and we’re hoping to work together on a video collaboration.
I could have approached the taster week with a ‘meh’ attitude, treating it as 5 days off work where I can chill and do whatever I want. Instead, even though I didn’t initially feel like it, I forced myself to show up, to be enthusiastic and warm, and to actively engage with the doctors I was shadowing. Whether or not I end up choosing anaesthetics as a speciality, I’ll always be glad for the insight and inspiration I got over the past few days.
There are plenty of other examples in my life where good things have happened purely by chance, by just showing up and being enthusiastic.
Have a great week!
Ali

This week's podcast
Not Overthinking | Should you marry someone ambitious? | Episode 17
Stuff I've enjoyed this week
1 - Podcast - I recently discovered Nathan Barry’s podcast. He’s the founder of the incredibly profitable app ConvertKit, but way back in 2014 while he was still getting it off the ground, he released ~12 podcast episodes discussing how to develop a personal brand, how to write regularly, and how to make money online selling books. I binged every episode of the podcast over the past few days, but the one entitled 11 insights that changed my life is a good starting point.
2 - App - As you’ll know if you read this segment regularly, I listen to tonnes of podcasts each week. Previously I was using the app Overcast, but I’ve recently discovered Castro which has a rather nice inbox-based interface that pulls in the latest episodes from all your subscribed podcasts, and you can choose which ones to add to your queue.
3 - Quote I’ve been pondering - “Magic is sometimes just spending more time on something than anyone would reasonably expect” - Penn and Teller.
Kindle Highlight of the Week
Those three months turned into 15, and I started to ask myself, “Why not take the usual 20–30-year retirement and redistribute it throughout life instead of saving it all for the end?”
From The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
This week's video
June Favourites 2019 - Ali Abdaal
June Favourites 2019 - Ali Abdaal
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Ali Abdaal

Hey friends, I'm Ali, a Cambridge medicine graduate now working as an FY2 junior doctor. I spend most of my spare time making YouTube videos, but every Sunday I send out an email 'newsletter' with some thoughts, life lessons and interesting articles I discover on the internet.

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Ali Abdaal, Cambridge, UK.