Insights from an Army Ranger and MD on staying healthy during the pandemic – Dr. Jed Ballard | EP54 recap


This week with Dr Jed Ballard we discuss the best ways to optimise our health for the pandemic era in a sane and practical way….

On Christmas day, 2010, Ballard was a relatively new intern on duty at Augusta University Medical Center in Georgia. He got a 3 a.m. call to rush to the ambulance bay.

“ I sprinted outside,” recalls Ballard, “and found a man in the passenger seat of a pickup truck, blood gushing from his neck,” apparently the result of a knife fight over a girl.

The guy’s jugular had been nicked. Ballard knew that if he didn’t act immediately, the man in the truck would become the dead body in the truck. “I shoved a T-shirt into the wound and kept my hands there, applying pressure on his neck until we were in the operating room,” he says. “Three days later the guy walked out of the hospital, totally fine. It was the first time I realized I could do this—that I really was an ER doctor.”

Soon after his residency, Ballard found himself in another life-or-death environment. He served two years as a battalion surgeon with the Rangers in Afghanistan, taking care of the medical needs of both his group and the Afghan Special Operations soldiers his unit was tasked to help train.

Then he survived U.S. Army Ranger School, the notoriously demanding course that pushes candidates to their absolute mental and physical limits for 61 days.

His Army days may be behind him, but his Ranger perspective goes with him everywhere.

For example, along with his ER duties, Ballard has completed a Special Forces medical tech dive course in Key West, won a 17-mile adventure race, finished the World’s Toughest Mudder—a punishing 24-hour obstacle race—and climbed Mt. Hood by himself in a $20 pair of Walmart boots.

These efforts reflect the man Ballard has become—one who prioritizes education and fitness—and they’ve paid off.

Notable moments in this episode:

🗡️ 13:35 – the knife attack Jed dealt with in his first year as a doctor
😲 30:15 – how a brisk walk can be better for your health than a HIIT workout
⬆ 34:49 – what people can optimise during covid

Enjoy folks!


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