Finding Trustworthy, Realistic Medical Advice
by Nolan Shah
Andrew Huberman is an ophthalmologist and associate professor of neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, specializing in human performance, neural plasticity, and visual perceptions. But he may be best-known for for his podcast, Huberman Lab, where he dispenses what he calls “zero cost to consumer information about science and science-related tools” in long interviews with cutting-edge clinicians and researchers. Recent episodes have introduced guests such as Jocko Willink, a retired US Navy officer and former commander of a task unit in SEAL Team Three. In this episode, both men discuss identity, mindset, and leadership, with Huberman taking a very medicalized approach and Willink a more real-life approach. Another recent episode breaks down the science of creativity and how there are actionable tools that individuals can do to bolster their imagination.
One of the biggest critiques of Huberman Lab is that the podcast offers clinical advice. Although Huberman refrains from getting too technical with terminology and mechanisms, listeners have complained of his medicalizing topics such as social relationships and mental illness. Huberman also recommends “morning sunlight” and “cold showers” as part of a protocol that optimizes dopamine and motivation, but it is this very protocol that treats the body as a machine rather than a living being.
For pre-health students at Emory, Huberman Lab echoes many concepts relating to the hard sciences and provides ways to implement health-promoting tools. As Huberman continues to expand his lineup of guests, listeners can always count on incredibly informative and interesting podcast episodes.