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#40: Peter Attia, MD, Founder of Early Medical — improving your lifespan and healthspan, the centenarian decathlon, and the process of making major life changes


Peter Attia, MD, is the founder of Early Medical, a medical practice that applies the principles of Medicine 3.0 to patients with the goal of lengthening their lifespan and simultaneously improving their healthspan.

He is the host of The Drive, one of the most popular podcasts covering the topics of health and medicine.

Dr. Attia received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine and trained for five years at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in general surgery, where he was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including resident of the year.

He spent two years at the National Institutes of Health as a surgical oncology fellow at the National Cancer Institute, where his research focused on immune-based therapies for melanoma.

Key highlights in the episode

  • The shift from Medicine 2.0 to Medicine 3.0 as described in his book Outlive (04:24)
  • Peter’s framework for overall health and longevity (07:25) 
  • The 3 things that define healthspan (09:10) 
  • Why you should think about the last decade of life (The marginal decade) (10:47)
  • The current definition of healthspan (12:08) 
  • How Peter came up with the centenarian decathlon model (14:00) 
  • The process he uses to walk people through thinking about the last decade of life(18:31) 
  • Why he decided to author; Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity (25:00) 
  • The most important strategic pillar of living longer (27:20)
  • The outline of his book Outlive (29:42) 
  • His experience navigating emotional health challenges (31:07) 
  • Advise on how to take care of your emotional health challenges (33:36) 
  • A case study on how Peter would guide a founder or leader if he met them on the plane?  (37:51) 
  • What Peter wishes he had known earlier on his journey (42:44) 


Notable Quotes

  • “The first person you lead every day is yourself. “(01:12)
  • “Your health is the foundation on which everything else you do rests, so you should be conscious of how you’re maintaining your health so you can flourish in the rest of your life.” (01:14)
  • “While you rarely know the day you enter the marginal decade of your life, you invariably know it when you are in it.” (11:17)
  • “If the final decade is remarkable, everything before it is as well.” (12:58)  
  • “Life is being a generalist in terms of physical capacity, but that requires training with specificity.” (16:41)
  • “One of the most important strategic pillars of living longer is the importance of living longer without disease, not living longer with a disease.” (27:20)
  • “You are only ready to change when you are ready to change, and that point for some people never comes while for others that point comes relatively easily.” (32:02) 
  • “Just like you can lose all of your wealth in a day, you can lose all of your health in a day.” (42:11) 


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