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Colonel Robert Adams, MD On: Be Your Own Best Advocate
A doctor looks back

Colonel Robert Adams is a former Navy SEAL (@buds81), former DELTA Force Command Surgeon, and a top-rated doctor in North Carolina. He sits down with John R Miles to talk about how to be your own best advocate. Robert Adams is the author of Six Days of Impossible: SEAL Hell Week – A Doctor Looks Back, Swords and Saints – A Doctor’s Journey, and My Dear Sara – Civil War Letters.

The lesson of Navy SEAL BUD/s HELL week is to teach you that the absolute endurance failure point doesn’t exist.

Colonel Robert Adams

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What We Discuss with Colonel Robert Adams About How to Be Your Own Best Advocate:

  • What Colonel Adams learned through surviving Navy SEAL BUD/S training.
  • The ability of leaders who are able to put aside the pain to reach levels others only hope to achieve.
  • How writing his memoirs — and the memories of others who were with him throughout his life — put his own role as a doctor into perspective.
  • Why the star quarterbacks don’t ever seem to make it through SEAL training.
  • The danger if you don’t be your own best advocate — health, success, passion.
  • And much more…

Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources

66 | Being Your Own Best Advocate | Colonel Bob Adams, M.D. U.S. Army (Ret.) | Passion Struck Podcast
66 | Being Your Own Best Advocate | Colonel Bob Adams, M.D. U.S. Army (Ret.) | Passion Struck Podcast

More About This Show

Colonel Robert Adams started realizing that if he retired, and all of these experiences at war and peace as a military doctor and as a civilian doctor didn’t get written down, then they might die with him. And they’re good stories. And they’re fascinating stories in there. Every chapter is a patient experience or a life experience becoming a doctor that he told many times before as teaching points to residents and physician extenders, so they can learn with that without having to experience some of the good and bad things that he experienced.

Colonel Robert Adams book Swords and Saints

His book Swords and Saints is a combination of stories about doctors, as medical students as learning residents, as young doctors, as doctors at war doctors in challenging situations, such that anybody that ever thinks they want to be a doctor read this book. It’ll give you an excellent actual experience of what it means to go through the challenging seven years of training or more that it takes to be a doctor.

As Colonel Adams recounts: “Well, it wasn’t hard for the word to get out that an Army doctor was walking around with a Navy SEAL patch on his uniform. And I had not been on that Army post more than a month before the Delta Force guys came up to my door, and say: Hey, you want to come to play with us? Because we heard that that patch on your chest is real.

And I very honestly said, you know, I’ve been there, done that. No, thank you. I’ve got a lot of things to do. As a doctor, I teach people how to be doctors, and I got nurse practitioners and PA under my charge. I have many more babies that I need to deliver and become a full-service family practitioner. And I told them maybe in a couple of years.

And interesting, almost two years to the day, they approached me again about being the DELTA Force Command Surgeon. At that point. I’d done what I needed to do to get good at what I needed to get good at and could be comfortable in an operational environment as a physician. And then I said sure. Then for the next three and a half years, I was the command surgeon for the Army’s Delta Force experience. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.”

Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about the effectiveness of leadership and perseverance.

Thanks, Colonel Robert Adams!

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And if you want us to answer your questions or you have a topic you would like John to discuss on one of our upcoming weekly Momentum Friday episodes, drop us a line at [email protected].

Colonel Robert Adams Show Notes

  • 0:00 Teaser from Dr. Bob Adams
  • 2:05 Dr. Bob Adams Episode Introduction
  • 4:31 His path to becoming a Navy SEAL
  • 8:35 The difference between UDT and SEALs
  • 10:51 Biggest Lesson Learned in BUD/S Training
  • 16:29 Why he never hit the wall during Hell Week
  • 18:56 How the Lone Survivor accurately depicts SEAL valor
  • 22:45 His advice for Naval Academy Midshipmen
  • 27:29 Why he became an Army physician
  • 33:07 How he became the Delta Force Command Surgeon
  • 36:12 His book about Navy SEAL Hell Week
  • 41:40 Why he believes we need to be your own best advocate
  • 48:32 Why it isn’t easy to trust agencies like the CDC
  • 55:56 His third book featuring letters from the civil war
Quote from Colonel Robert Adams MD about how to be your own best advocate


About this Episode’s Guest Colonel Robert Adams

Dr. Bob Adams Podcast Cover for episode on being your own best advocate

Colonel Robert Adams, MD is a US Naval Academy graduate who served thirty-six years in the Navy and Army as a Navy SEAL, the DELTA Force Command Surgeon, and an Army family medicine physician (with obstetrics). Wake Forest Medical School, then an Army residency at Madigan Army Medical center in Tacoma, Washington was followed by service with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. After the military he built a thriving private practice in North Carolina where he won numerous awards for clinical excellence and practiced for 13 more years, retiring in 2020.


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