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Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon with Dr Rahul Jandial

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  May 26, 2021

Today I’m delighted to welcome one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons, Dr Rahul Jandial back onto the podcast. I first spoke to Rahul back on episode 76 about the simple things that we can all do to improve and optimise our brain health. I decided to invite Rahul back onto the show after taking a look at his latest book, Life on a Knife’s Edge: A Brain Surgeon’s Reflections on Life, Loss and Survival, which is a beautifully written account of the resilience, courage and belief he has witnessed in his patients, and the lessons about human nature he has learned from them.

At this point in his career, Rahul has operated on several thousand skulls and brains. He is the last hope for patients with extreme forms of cancer. And in treating them, he’s observed humanity at its most raw, but also at its most robust. He has journeyed to unimaginable extremes with his patients, guiding them through the darkest moments of their lives and in today’s conversation, he shares some of the powerful lessons that he’s learned that are applicable to us all.

In our conversation, we cover a wide range of different topics such as Rahul’s own practices and rituals to get him ready for high pressure surgery. We also talk about what specific breathing technique he uses when stressful situations come up whilst he is in the middle of an operation. We discuss what Rahul has learned about the brain, our minds and our sense of self and what cancer patients at the ends of their lives have taught him about living. He explains the importance of balancing times of stress with time for rest, the importance of connection and compassion and we chat about resilience. This really was a fabulous conversation that I myself got a lot out of. I really hope you enjoyed listening.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of this interview – click below.

'No triumph or tragedy is forever.' Click To Tweet

Connect with Rahul:

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About Dr Jandial

Rahul’s books:

Life on a Knife’s Edge: A Brain Surgeon’s Reflections on Life, Loss and Survival

Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon: The New Science and Stories of the Brain

Interesting Articles:

Related Feel Better Live More podcast episodes:

#76 How to Optimise Your Brain Health with Dr Rahul Jandial

#138 The Healing Power of Compassion with Dr Julian Abel

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Dr Chatterjee’s books and resources:


*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP