Promising Young Surgeon | Season 3 Episode 1

Navigating High-Stress Careers with The Bachelor’s Peter Weber

In this week’s episode of Promising Young Surgeon, Dr. Frances Mei Hardin is joined by Peter Weber, an airline pilot and television personality, to explore the valuable lessons that healthcare workers can learn from the aviation industry. They discuss Peter’s journey to becoming a pilot, the rigorous training involved, and how his experiences in aviation have parallels with the medical field, especially in terms of safety and communication.

Peter shares insights into Crew Resource Management (CRM), a critical aspect of aviation that emphasizes the importance of teamwork and communication in ensuring safety. Frances Mei and Peter delve into how these practices can be adapted to the operating room to reduce medical errors and improve patient outcomes. They also touch upon Peter’s unique experience on The Bachelor and how his training as a pilot helped him navigate the high-stress environment of reality television.


Published on
July 02, 2024

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Peter Weber discusses his career as an airline pilot and healthcare lessons from aviation

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Welcome to this week’s episode of promising young Surgeon. This week, Peter Weber joins us to discuss his career as an airline pilot, and we delve into the lessons that healthcare workers can learn from the aviation industry. We will also touch upon how his work as an airline pilot helped prepare him for and handle the singular experience of being America’s bachelor. Aviation and healthcare are both highly complex industries that share many significant similarities. The aviation industry has had major achievements over the past two decades, with the rate of fatal accidents per million flights falling by a factor of five, while air traffic increased by more than 86%. This m is in contrast to the US alone, where there are an estimated 200,000 preventable medical deaths every year, amounting to the equivalent of almost three fatal airline crashes per day. There’s a great deal that the healthcare industry has learned and can learn from aviation, particularly in the realms of safety and communication. And that’s what we’re here to focus on today.

Peter Weber was the bachelor on the 24th season of the Bachelor

Peter Weber is an airline pilot and prolific television personality. He was the bachelor on the 24th season of the hit ABC reality show the Bachelor, and he has more recently competed on the tv show the Traitors, which released in 2024. Thank you so much for joining us today, Peter.

Peter Weber: Thank you so much, doctor Harden. It is good to be here. I’m excited.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Oh, my gosh. Please call me Francis Mayenne.

Peter Weber: Francis May. Okay. Oh, my God. Oh.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: man. Yeah, he’s making his great escape. Good job.

What or who inspired you to become a pilot

All righty. So just jumping right into it. What or who inspired you to become a pilot?

Peter Weber: Ooh, that’s a fun question. you know, it’s got to go back. The obvious answer is, my dad. You know, growing up, since I was a little kid, you know, my dad, he’s been an airline pilot, or he was an airline pilot for United Airlines for just over 37 years, before he retired a couple years ago. And, you know, my earliest memories, I remember looking up to him as just, you know, my superhero and seeing him, you know, get dressed up in his uniform and head out on trips and, you know, he’s bring something kind of, you know, cool back from whatever layover he was on and just being able to ask him questions about planes and, you know, having the opportunity as a little kid to go on flights with him as well. And, you know, go visit your dad up in the cockpit and know that, you know, he’s the captain, he’s the one in charge of that entire airplane. I think just from a really early age, just naturally instilled this level of pride, you know, in what he did in the profession and flying. And, my mom, she was a flight attendant as well. So I just really came from a flying, background. Our whole family was really involved in it. I don’t think really there was any other route I was ever destined to really take. I think I maybe try to like flirt with some other stuff for a little bit, but ultimately flying was just, it’s in my blood, is my passion and I, I think it’s just something I was truly always meant to do.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: I love that. And that’s what I was going to say too. As you were talking, I was like, sounds like it was in your blood, which certainly I’ve seen that. I mean, I’ve had colleagues who, you know, they themselves are in my generation, they’ve become surgeons and they are the child of one or two surgeons themselves. And it really is cool when you have like that multi generational connection and the ability to have a mentor in your own family. I think that’s incredible. You know, I’d like to call back to. So in the US to go into medicine, to become a physician, in the US we do an undergrad degree, which is four years, and then medical school, which is four years, and then residency, which is three to seven years. it’s a minimum of five if you want to become a surgeon and then add or subtract a fellowship from that, which is an additional one to three years.

Peter Weber: That’s a lot of schooling.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Yeah, I’m kind of fatigued just talking about it and thinking about it. But basically at the end of all that, you’re an attending physician or an attending surgeon. And so by that point, most of us are in our thirties, our twenties have long passed us by and, you know, that’s an interesting position to be in. But that being said, obviously I’d say many people who are in, you know, highly driven professional careers have that type of experience. And so I would love to hear from you about kind of the education required, the training process, all the years that go into becoming an airline pilot and developing that expertise.

Peter Weber: Yeah, for sure. you know, I don’t, I don’t know if it’s that many years of actually going to school, but it definitely, you know, it does take, you have to put your time in. for me specifically, I had, there’s so many different avenues and routes to becoming a pilot


Peter Weber: and also depending on what kind of pilot you want to be. Originally, I actually had aspirations, to, I wanted to go be a fighter pilot in the air force. And so that was, the route that I had originally maybe thought I was going to take. I had applied to the Air Force academy and, at that point I was like my dream school to get into, and I didn’t get in directly to the Air Force academy. Right out of high school. I’d been offered, going through a prep school, which was, like a little bit of a delay. And, instead of doing that, I decided to go the ROTC route just through a normal university. And so I actually, enrolled in Baylor University next, year. They have really good med school there as well. and I was going to do a four year degree and do the ROTC program as well, graduate fully qualified, officer in the United, states Air Force and hopefully get a pilot slot after and go to flight school and take that route. and I pursued that for about a year from my freshman year. And then my second year, my sophomore year, I was going to give my oath, to. My scholarship was going to take effect and I was going to be fully committed. And I just decided that I was probably more meant for the civilian route and that was just the direction I wanted to take it. So, I ended up leaving Baylor and I went back to California, where I was living at the time where I grew up and started just going to flight school, my local airport. yeah. What’s cool is you can, there’s so many different avenues you can go. The two, like, the real, I think, by the most prestigious aviation focused school is embry riddle. They, have two universities, one in Arizona, one in Florida, and there you, it’s really cool because obviously everyone is pretty much, for the most part, pursuing flying and trying to become a pilot. so it’s, you know, you have a lot of like minded people there and you’re going to classes every day and you’re doing your flight training after, for me, I ended up going through, I did community college for my second year, about a year and a half after I left Baylor. And during that time I was working just on my own, not associated with any type of university, but just going to flight school. then I was earning my private pilot license, my instrument rating, my multi engine rating, my commercial license, my multi, commercial license. And then, once you get to your commercial level and you have 250 hours of what it requires for a flight train to do that, then, you can start flying for hire and start earning, earning a living that way. different avenues at that point, too, because you’re not really a seasoned pilot at that point. You still have about 200, 5300 hours. So the kind of jobs that you’re looking at are flying skydivers or, doing traffic watch, banner towing, flying simple single engine, propeller airplanes and, you know, building your time that way until you have enough experience to, you know, get into maybe a jet. For me, I was actually very fortunate. it’s a really cool story. I goes back to a, relationship I had made in high school. I joined the rocketry club my junior year of high school. And, from that class I did it my junior year. And my senior year, I ended up meeting a mentor of ours. his name is Paul Avery and he, at that time was a Delta airlines captain on the 757 767. And he kept in touch with us and, as we graduated high school. And then I’m now in college, my brother’s in high school, and I had just gotten my, I was just going for my commercial multiengine, checkride. And we had done like a test launch for my brother, that weekend. And I had seen Paul and he told me to give him a call after I passed my check guard. He wanted to introduce me to someone. And so that call, was, it definitely set the course for my career. And I’m so incredibly blessed and lucky to have, had the opportunity. I gave him a call and he ended up essentially setting me up with an interview, with the owner of a part 135 corporate jet flying company. And at this point I have like 300 hours. So I’m pretty fresh, right? Pretty greenhouse. And I go into the interview, knock it out of the park. We, got along very well and I got put in the right seat of a hawker 700 at about 300 hours, which is not normal. but I was fortunate enough to do that and get that opportunity. And I flew, for about two years at that company, gaining really valuable multi engine turbine experience, and that kind of set the course of my career, to then go on to a regional airline and then go on to a major airline and, end up at United Airlines, which was the ultimate goal where I’m at now.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: That’s incredible. And it actually highlights a lot of what we talk about on this podcast, which is career agility, the ability to stay open to these types of opportunities, because that does not sound uncommon to me. You know, there’s like one phone call that sets the course for like the next decade of your career. And it really like it opened up the right door, I certainly think. But that that’s true for physicians, pilots, again, like, high achieving professionals, staying open to all these doors and all of these calls means that any one of them can be like, this life changing one. And so I love that.

Peter Weber: Yeah, for sure.

I think training makes better professionals, and I certainly think physicians are better for it

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: The other funny thing I wanted to mention is that actually, I used to be a us naval sea cadet, which is like the NROTC, pre NROTC program. And so, yeah, I used to, like, drill out in Chicago. when I was in 8th grade, my parents put me on a plane to fly out to port Winimi, California, for boot camp. And that was like a week of. Yeah, it was. It was awesome. And, you know, I do think that these types of experiences, like the year that you spent training, I spent a couple years kind of pre college training with this pre NROTC program, things like that, you know, it make. I think it makes better professionals, and I certainly think a lot of the physicians I know who took years off or kind of took these less conventional paths than just holding your breath and running through 15 years of training, they’re a lot better for it. And I think their art and their practice is even better for it many times as well.

Peter Weber: Absolutely. Port win, that’s out in Ventura. Out in. Yeah, that’s. So I trained at a Camarillo airport very, very close to port winemi. That’s awesome.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Oh, my gosh. That’s crazy. I just, you know, I mean, it’s a little funny at that age. Cause, like, I was, you know, twelve, and everybody else was also like, twelve, you know, ages eleven to 18 really is the age range for sea cadets like that. And they. But they would drill us, and instead of hell week, you just had hell day, and it was like 24 hours. I mean, they’re. They’re banging pots at 02:00 a.m. and it was just flutter kicks and, arm circles. I remember that was the first time I heard let the bodies hit the floor. Cause they locked us in a gymnasium, and they were like, blasting that over the speakers and stuff like that. But anyway, yeah, kind of like a formative childhood experience. But I don’t think it’s that much of a tangent because this is all part of the same conversation, which is lifetime resilience, I think. You know, I mean, it’s the same set of skills. Like, if you hear, okay, well, like, this child endured, like, hell day, and they listen to drowning pool for like 5 hours while doing arm circles. It’s like, yeah, that person has proven themselves at a young age to have the grit and resilience to undertake something like this, so.

Peter Weber: Absolutely, yeah. Even though, you know, I didn’t, end up going the air force route, I’m so grateful for that experience and I learned so much and made some incredible relationships as well. Great, friends, you know, that I’m still friends with to this day. And it’s been cool to follow their career, and kind of, you know, see, yeah, you can kind of guess, oh, where my career would have been or would have gone if I would have stayed that route, because a lot of the guys that I was really close with, you know, stayed on that, on that path. But, yeah, everyone has their own path and kind of destined to. There’s no, I guess, right way, specifically in the aviation field, to kind of achieve your dreams. There’s so many ways to do it, but one big thing is, and I, you know, I am an example of it is just relationships harbor those relationships and, you never know what they can turn into. and the connections you make along the way. If you talk with like minded individuals, it’s just, relationships, relationships. Relationships are definitely huge mind fit in.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: I love that.

Surgical error is the second most preventable cause of harm to patients

Well, and now I’d like to transition into going really much more granular into our work, respectively. I do want to start by just sharing one quick journal article, and it really, it touches exactly on this topic. So, one of my favorite review articles on value of aviation lessons for the operating room or the or is from Hardy et al. It was published in 2020 in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery. And of course omfs or oral and maxillofacial surgery is very close to my heart as an ENT surgeon. This article is a look through the lens of the NHS system. Of note, it’s not the us healthcare system, but still, you know, very interesting. And I loved how nitty gritty this is. And so to kind of introduce that paper, high risk organizations include aviation, and typically those require formal communication training with an emphasis on safety critical moments. Such training is not widespread or mandatory in healthcare, and while there are many differences, both share that quote human element with circumstances leading to an increased risk of harm. A typical operating theater consists of an operating surgeon, an assisting surgeon, and those roles can change throughout the course of a procedure. And similarly, training aircraft or a multi crew cockpit can have a pilot in control, a pilot flying, a pilot not flying. In both situations, there’s interaction with wider teams. For example, there’s a whole scrub team, there are air traffic controllers, respectively. But surgical error is the second most preventable cause of harm to patients after drug error. And every year in the NHS, there are typically 500 never events, 21,000 serious incidents, and many more episodes of physical or psychological harm. And ineffective communication is the most common behavioral factor that leads to a never event. That’s 46% of the time. And I just want to finish by saying, you know,


for those listeners who haven’t, necessarily practiced in a hospital or aren’t familiar with the term never event, in medicine, it’s a largely preventable occurrence. It should not occur. And so, in surgery, one, a wrong site operation, two, wrong implant or prosthesis, three, retained foreign objects after a procedure got to okay. And so, yeah, you can imagine, I mean, you may have heard of those types of things in the news, because they make the news when something like a wrong site surgery or a never event, particularly at a big hospital system, occurs, that’s. It’s totally unacceptable. That’s certainly, for us, that’s the scariest thing. Like, and as a surgeon, yes, these never events, we do try to create so much redundancy in the system to prevent them from ever happening. But, of course, you know, there’s a swiss cheese model of errors and all sorts of things that we’re going to get into in terms of, like, lessons that we can take from aviation.

Closed loop communication is critical in medicine and aviation

So, closed loop communication is one of my favorite things in the world. It is so critical, especially, like, for inpatient care during residency, even during surgery. but let’s use the example of residency, since that’s a lot of our focus of conversation on this show. There are to do lists after rounds, so we all round as a team in the morning, and then typically, the boss, the chief, like, the leader of that team, they will dole out to various junior residents, maybe an intern, maybe even a medical student, gets, like, one task or something like that. But there’s a 50 item to do list, and it involves, like, putting in all the appropriate orders for someone. It might be, for example, like, take this drain out, like, these JP drains, which are little wound drains that pick up serious fluid after procedures. Like, those need to come out, and they need to come out on time, things like that. and make sure their medications are right. So there’s, like, a 50 item to do list. It all gets disseminated out. But of course, like, closed loop communication is really important there, because now it’s 06:00 a.m. the group disbands. Some people go to the or, some people go to eat a fig Newton in the lounge, whatever it may be. But it’s like there is often breakdown in terms of closing the loop of communication at that point, for instance. And so I wanted to ask you, in pilot training, how do they formally teach closed loop communication? How much does it come up in your current practice and what tips do you have for us? Like, how do you do it? Right, because I definitely get the sense that aviation is doing it perhaps better and more standardized than we are.

Peter Weber: Yeah, it’s interesting hearing you talk about that because there’s definitely a lot of commonalities, I guess, with our two fields. you know, one big thing with aviation, that’s, you know, from when you are a student pilot, initiatives drilled into nonstop, is CRM crew resource management. And it’s the, essentially just the relationship in the cockpit between usually, two pilots, sometimes three or four pilots, that you’re on augmented flight, in a long international flight. But CRM is so critical to the safe operation of an airplane. You know, you mess up in an airplane and really bad things can happen. It’s not acceptable yet. You have to be essentially, there’s never a perfect flight, but you have to be close to perfect almost every flight. so good, good CRM, which is essentially, when you’re flying a standard. I’ll go with an airliner, just, a two man crew. You have a captain and you have a first officer. And obviously captain’s four stripes. First officers, three stripes. the captain is the pic pilot in command. First officers sic, second in command. so captain, you know, final say they. They sign for the airplane. they are the final call. They are the ultimate authority of that flight and whatever decision has to be made in that flight. Now with that, though, CRM, was implemented to, essentially, while that still is the case, you want every crew member to feel like they are just as worthy as the next one and have just as much of a say in whatever situation you’re dealing with throughout a flight, an emergency or whatnot. You don’t want. It’s very dangerous, and, it’s very dangerous to have a relationship in the cockpit where it’s just what the captain says goes, you don’t want to speak up, you don’t want to challenge anyway for, you know, fear of being reprimanded or, you know, dealing with the chief pilot on the ground. And there used to be, you know, there’s. There’s a lot of. I remember going through school and just learning a lot about CRM and how a lot of accidents, how it was developed to, And it could have prevented a lot of accidents, in the past, especially with, it was interesting, a lot of, asian carriers. And the culture out there in Asia was, ah, what the captain said. The captain was God, and you could not challenge the captain. And, first officer, second in command had really no say. And a lot of the asian airliners started actually hiring a lot of, I believe it was like Delta or United, retirees that actually went over there and tried to implement CRM into their culture, because they obviously are realizing the importance of it. but essentially, I remember, you know, I had the opportunity to be a captain, my first airline, compass airlines, about a year and a half in,


Peter Weber: to working for them, and, you know, outside of it just being like, the greatest blessing ever. And I had the most incredible time and one of the most amazing points of my career, and I can’t wait to be a captain again at united someday. I remember I always felt like the best captain was a pilot that made, that truly made every single crew member on that airplane feel like they were completely even, completely equal. And if they had something to say, they had every right to say it, and they were just as critical to the safety of the flight as the captain. If you could foster that kind of environment in an airplane. I felt like I was doing the best job I could do, and I couldn’t ask for anything else.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: I hope every doctor out there listening, it is like the surgeon sets the tone for the operating room. Unfortunately, as I listened to you walk through that, your maybe old school aviation culture sounds like a lot of modern day or culture, and that’s kind of where. Oh, absolutely. And that’s. I mean, you know, just for instance, a couple weeks ago on the podcast, I shared information. There’s a lot of literature out there about surgical error and how much of it is related to the hierarchy of the oR, because there is a lot of. The attending surgeon cannot be challenged. maybe you have to phrase, you might be like, wow, that’s really interesting. I didn’t think that we were going that high. Like, is that where the mask definitely was? That’s maybe. And even if you phrase it like that, like, you might get, you know, chewed out a little bit. Like, best wishes to you, even if you phrase a question like that. And so you can see how, I mean, wrong site surgeries, things like that. Like, it’s very difficult to speak up in a lot of situations. One quote that I was thinking of as you were talking, I had read that Sullenberger, you know, renowned airline pilot Sullenberger, he had been talking in an interview and referred to an era in aviation where pilots, quote, acted like gods with a little g and cowboys with a capital c. And so again, that just. So anyway, that really, that rings true to us and I think, but it’s really beautiful to hear you talk about this because it’s kind of like Manda pilots figured it out. What a beautiful, like, I want to work where you work. Then that sounds actually like a workplace culture that I would, and many of us would really thrive in.

Peter Weber: Yeah, I mean, in my opinion, you know, obviously, like I was explaining with Captain Picsse, there is a hierarchy in flight, but, in my opinion, there’s just no place for, You need that. But you do, you can’t, there’s no benefit to having an environment where someone feels like they can’t speak up. Yes, there’s always going to be levels of difference with experience and hours flown and all that. But, at the end of the day, we are human.

The FAA originally pinned blame on Soley for the Hudson incident

And you mentioned earlier the aspect of human error, that kind of ties in a little bit to what you’re talking about with solely, and I was obviously an incredibly well done, the perfect, flown scenario for what, Soley decided to do with his first officer and using all their available resources and using ATC and the fact that there is human error. You know, the FAA was originally trying to pin it on him and say that he had made the wrong decision, that he should have turned back to go to LaGuardia, never should have ditched the airplane in the Hudson. I don’t know if you saw the movie and are familiar with the details, but the FAA started coming down hard on him and then throughout the trials they ended up implementing, they ended up bringing up the fact of human error and we are not robots, we aren’t AI, we don’t instantaneously make these calculations like that and have a decision made and know exactly what to do. We are human. It takes time to process, and that’s exactly what. So once they added, they ended up adding, I think like 25, 30 seconds to account for the human error of say you’re taking off out of an airport, you’re not expecting to fly into a flock of geese and what you do and you lose both engines and you flame out and you’re only at 2500ft of altitude, you have all this stuff, you have all these alarms and all these bells going off and you are in an extremely stressed out environment, you’re not going to know immediately we have to turn the airplane back right now. We’re going to have enough altitude, enough distance to get down, and make it back and not fall short of the Runway. so once they added that 25 32nd buffer and they had, the pilots and the simulators redo that flight, every single one of them fell short and crashed short of the Runway. So ended, up proving that solely had made the right decision to ditch it in the Hudson. And, there’s just so many aspects of why that was a successful flight, and no one died from that.

Sops, standard operating procedures, are great for flying

a big thing, too, that ties in with CRM is sops, standard operating procedures, which I’m sure you guys have as well, medical field. it’s just the idea of doing essentially the same. You’re trained in a way where it’s a script almost, it’s almost like a movie. And, as you go through training, with the airlines, on your certain airplane, you are trained to perform the exact same duties at the exact same time. You have your memory items. You have checklists, though, as well, to always firm. but again, because we are human, you need those checklists to always back up and have a last blanket there to catch any possible errors.


but the beauty of great sop standard operating procedures is, and it’s so cool to see it in my field, I, can speak to, is you can go from flight to flight and you can never fly with the same person ever again in your career, which is wild to me. Right. But it doesn’t matter because, and yes, you’re going to obviously get to know that person throughout the trip and get to know their personality, but you guys are trained in a script to operate, and each one of you has their duties of what they’re doing on the flight to keep it safe and ensure that safety. and it’s just really cool to see that. I remember early in my career, really see it for the first time, you know, swapping out from this pilot to this pilot, and it didn’t matter. We were just on the exact same page, and you knew exactly what they were going to be doing. They knew what you’re going to be doing. And, just to see it play out in real life is. It’s one of the coolest things, I think about flying.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Wow. And so you really, you would say that, like, with fidelity. That’s true, yeah. Hundred percent interchange and it really. Wow.

The surgeon makes the rules, and I do. And that’s tough in surgery

Well, honestly, then I think that this is a major point that we should put some extra attention on, because to me, that does not exist in surgery. And, in fact, it’s pretty tough in surgery. Here’s the reality, is, the surgeon makes the rules, and I do. There’s a saying, like, certainly we say, and I say this all the time, even in clinic, I say to the patients, to my staff in clinic, I say I do things the same way every time, agree. Like, that’s just. That’s going to be the safest thing. Because sometimes we’re on call, like, right now, I’m in the middle of an eight day call stretch. You never know. We do all have to make our own fail safes in terms of, like, even if I’m sleep deprived and dehydrated, it doesn’t matter. Even if my stomach hurts, like, it’s fine because I have those, almost like a surgeon’s sops. But here’s what’s crazy, is that they can all be variant, but still within a term called standard of care. But I think that that introduces actually, like, a fair bit of chaos. And so I’d like to just explain, for people who haven’t done, like, a surgical residency, that means that as a surgical resident, part of your job and very much part of my notes app on my phone, I still have this all, like, hidden away in a folder in my notes app. Even for the same surgery. If we’re saying that it’s sinus surgery, I have separate sinus surgery notes for different attendings, even all in the same department. So again, they all operate at the same institution, but one guy turns the head of the bed 90 degrees clockwise, another person turns the head of the bed 90 degrees counterclockwise. These are all personal preference, so they can choose whatever they want, but the resident is responsible for having these, like, extraordinarily detailed notes, making sure it’s set up. If you set up the room, like, say, there’s a sialo endoscopy, which is where we put teeny cameras into the ducts of the salivary glands. You set it up slightly backwards, like, slightly ass backwards, or for the wrong person, like, again, good luck to you, because you know you’re going to hear about it. And I think that that also, it kind of detracts from the main point, which is, like, becoming a, great, skilled surgeon and also providing excellent quality care, because we do get bogged down in kind of, like, various minuscule details that don’t have clinical significance, but maybe they do to that particular surgeon. But that doesn’t really sound like it comes up as much in what you’re doing?

Peter Weber: No? Yeah. Again, we truly try to stay on script as much as possible every single flight. and with that, you obviously, you just get more and more comfortable with every flight. but again, that’s what allows you to, like, truly I have at. At the three airlines that I’ve flown for. and it was, it was, again, it was cool to really see this play out and just see how effective it is with great CRM, great sop. because when I was flying part 135, which was the corporate, jet flying gig I was doing, that was, I was flying with pretty much the same two captains on and off, or just rotating between the two of them for the two years I was at that company. And then just one guy was actually me, and this other guy, he was my captain. I was his foe, my second charter company. But, going from that environment then to the part 121 world, which is the airlines, and having that CRM really implemented the sops, and really, I maybe flew maybe multiple flights with maybe ten people, in my career, between compass, maybe more than that, but really not that much more. It’s. I mean, you think about it. At United, we have 18,000 pilots, on property right now. And granted, not every one of those pilots is on the same airplane. We’re all typed on certain airplanes. So, the pool of possible pilots you’re going to fly with is a lot smaller than the 18,000. but again, just to kind of wrap this up here with the sop, it’s just, that’s what allows, us to successfully and safely operate a flight with someone you just met, you know, 30 minutes ago in the briefing room. you know nothing about them, but, you know, you can count on them to be doing the right job at the appropriate time, and they’re going to be able to count on you to do the same exact thing.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Wow, that, that’s really incredible. And so I’m intrigued by that idea. I’m definitely going to kick it around a little bit because I think that


Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: we could probably do better in surgery in terms of having systems like that in place.

The airlines do a really good job of providing these kind of leadership courses

What I’d, what I’d love to know is, when you talk about CRM, you said they drill that into us from an early age. Like, you start, you know, you start your career, as a pilot. And how do they drill that into you? Is it just modeled for you? That’s what all of your role models were like. Like, they did excellent CRM. They displayed to everybody, hey, this is how a leader acts, you know? Please, anyone, speak up. Like, was it just modeled? Do they do kind of simulations with you? Like, how did you learn that? Because we need to adopt what you guys have got going on.

Peter Weber: Yeah, I mean, so growing up and going through my flight training, you definitely hear about it and you read about it. Your flight instructors, you know, from an early age, are teaching you about what CRM is. I remember probably the best, best piece of training I ever had in CRM was going through my captain upgrade course at compass airlines. And there they essentially, it’s like a three day course where it’s really, it has nothing to do with, you know, flying and like, the actual, ability to fly the airplane. It’s all about CRM and it’s all. It’s a leadership course. Right. And it’s how to, essentially be the best captain that you can be. And what is the best captain, in your opinion? And everyone’s going to have, you know, a little bit very different opinion. but for me, I remember that was a really, really good course. Again, I was only 25 years old back when I was my first captain upgrade course here and fly with guys that are older than me too, as well. And sometimes that can produce an awkward dynamic sometimes, and, a power dynamic or a struggle there a little bit. But, when you have really good, effective CRM and really good sop, it diminishes that and that does go away. I think the airlines do a really good job of providing these kind of leadership courses. We do, you know, quarterly training, CBT is computer based training, you know, multiple times a year, where a lot of it’s, you know, based on systems and staying proficient and all that, but also, just human elements as well. And again, going back to CRM training and just touching up on stuff and more effective ways to, you know, whether it’s a way to improve, you know, because the captain’s always doing, for example, always doing a brief before every flight with the flight attendants. And again, just like the pilots, it may be the first time that they’re ever meeting, and now they’re going to go take a jet into the air and travel 80% the speed of sound and just met each other 30 minutes an hour ago. the same can be also said for the flights ends. You may have no idea who these people are, but everyone is working together in the event there’s a medical emergency on board. it’s really important to set the tone early on in the flight with that brief, so that everyone just is on the same page. Flight attendants, pilots, dispatchers, gate agents, just really bringing everyone in and using everyone as a resource. Never, trying to just be like you were saying earlier, the God and making all the decisions and not taking any other opinions into account. in my opinion, that’s the worst type of captain you could ever be. yeah. Airlines do a really good job about it. It’s implemented pretty early on in our flight training. Not as much as like, when you get to the airlines because that’s where it’s really critical. and then again, we have continued training through our cbts every couple months.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: And so to clarify, just to confirm, because I feel like I understand what you’re saying, but it’s honestly really incredible. So I want to make sure that I have this right before I start to, you know, put the full court press for implementation in the healthcare system.

Peter Weber: Yeah.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: These captain upgrades, they are, they involve like things like a three day leadership course. You know, there’s leadership course and programming built into it and they are mandatory and so anyone and every so. And they’re standardized. So like, if. If anyone wants to, hold that position, then this is required. And they have completed that leadership training.

Peter Weber: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. From every airline that I know of. Yeah. When you go through a captain upgrade course, that is a huge piece of training just because it also, you know, there’s a chance it’s the first time you’ve ever been a captain. So, they definitely do not skimp out on that. And it’s just been proven to be so effective and, prevent so many, you know, disasters and, you know, bad things from happening. So it’s definitely a huge focal point, for us in the aviation industry. Absolutely.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Well, I’m going to tell you my side of it and I. This is not to like, scare you off of doctors, but it, comes up and it definitely comes up as we train always these new generations of physicians and surgeons. Because you’re not going to believe this. There’s not any formal leadership training in residency. That’s just an example. So again, let’s say you want to become a surgeon. So that’s five years. You’re in your twenties, you finished an undergrad degree, you finished medical school, you’re half of an adult person. Maybe some people are like three quarters of an adult person. And for instance, those chief residents who I mentioned who like, run rounds, they make all the schedules, they are in charge of like little crews of people


Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: who are typically trying their best, but again, you know, could fall short or crazy things can happen at work. Those chief residents, in some programs, like in medicine or, you know, there are psych programs where the faculty or the other residents maybe, like, vote for a person, which. That’s awesome. That’s a little bit better because I will say in my experience and, in a lot of surgical experience, just by making it to your fifth year, congratulations, you’re chief. So whatever the vibe and culture that you want, there’s going to be no. No roadblocks, no guardrails on that. Like, do whatever you want. So if you want it to be a reign of terror for just a year, they can try and undo that in a year when a new chief rises.

There’s not mandatory uniform leadership training in the medical field

But there’s no leadership training, and same thing when you become an attending. So the people who are the leaders of the team and, you know, responsible for these surgeries, there’s not, like, mandatory uniform leadership training. So is that shocking to you?

Peter Weber: That’s, Yeah, I had no idea that was the case. And quite honestly, I don’t. I don’t understand why. Why that is the case, though. you know, because to me, just again, this is. This is not. Not new, but I, guess maybe in, like, the last 1015 years, really, this is when CRM really started becoming a focal point, and just proving its effectiveness. but I 100% would be an advocate for in the medical field to have some required type of leadership training or CRM training or, to really hone in on just the benefits of it. there’s nothing negative about it. There’s no pride hit by taking someone else’s opinion that maybe thought of something in a different way that you didn’t think of or reminded you of this, again, we’re human at the end of the day, and by that, we are. We are imperfect, and we will never be perfect. So, having an ego and in the aviation industry and, you know, and I would say also in the medical field is probably the worst thing you could ever have. And, like, there’s a saying, there’s old pilots and there’s bold pilots, but there’s no old, bold pilots. And, I. Yeah, I would definitely be an advocate for, for your guys industry to, you know, take a look at that. I just don’t see any. Any reason not to.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Yeah, I absolutely agree. I can just already think of a lot of, like, downstream benefits because, you know, right now, we’re very much. I think that we’re approaching a, crux in terms of the culture and healthcare, but very much they’re still younger people. Like, I’m 32, and I was still raised in kind of the old system, that was very hierarchical. And I just think that as we move forward and as we know and as there’s, like, increasing literature talking about medical error, consequent this type of behavior, it’s like, you know, we need to have that, like, heart to heart, maybe whatever. Whatever aviation did, like, 20 years ago. And so that’s why I. It is really cool to learn about these types of things.

You talked about briefs at the beginning of the flight, which I think are

I did want to touch upon. You talked about briefs at the beginning of the flight, which I think are like our timeout. Like, at the beginning of any surgery. Again, like you said, like, you could throw five people who maybe don’t know each other very well, maybe have done one case together before, but anesthesia can change every case. Your scrub tech can change every case. The circulator in the room and you, as a surgeon, need to adapt to those teams. Do you find that you use mini briefs very often in your work, or does it? Hopefully not.

Peter Weber: So I would say it’s usually, well, there’s always a brief done whenever there’s a change of crew. So if we, you know, for instance, like, the flying that I’m doing now, I’m based. I’m on a set, the Boeing 787, based out of Newark. So, my flying is a little bit different than what I actually was used to doing for the majority of my career up to this point, which was more domestic flying, smaller airplanes, many legs per day, you know, three to four legs a day, changing out, for sure. With flight attendants, on those legs, usually the captain and the first officer will always fly the trip together. Now, that’s not always the case, usually, but now, I’m doing more international flying. So it’s just one long leg. You know, we’re doing la, or, sorry, Newark to Narita. and, you know, we’ll lay over there for 26 hours, 27 hours, and then fly back. so that kind of flying, the crew actually stays together for the most part on both legs. so that main initial brief that the captain is responsible for only really occurs, in the beginning. But what that’s going over is, I guess, well, it’s more. You take it back to domestic flying, where you’re switching different airplanes throughout the day. Every airplane is going to have a different logbook and maintenance write ups and different deferred items. So you’re talking about that with the flight attendants or if there’s whatever may be out of service for them with the coffee maker or something with the lab, a multitude of things could be going on with, you know, that individual airplane, at that day. So you’re talking over that, you’re getting on the same page. You’re talking about, you know, flight time, you’re talking about weather, you know, possible diverting, you know, how the rides are going to be, you know, if you’re going to have any, you know,


Peter Weber: special passengers in regards like law enforcement, fams, you know, federal air marshals on board, you’re, you’re literally briefing everything, everything about that flight at the very beginning. and after that initial brief is done, throughout a flight, you’re not going to really continue doing any more mini briefs like you’re asking. So it’s really just to answer just one main brief at the beginning of a flight. Obviously, if flight center has a question, they can always call up and, you know, you’re always next to your, crew member up in the cockpit, so you guys are always talking. But, and then the briefs though, also, it even goes out from the crew on the airplane. And, you know, your dispatcher is essentially your best friend while you’re flying. So we have, we have dispatchers that are essentially at our, I, at our headquarters monitoring every single flight that is in the air at any given time. and, you know, each dispatcher is assigned, you know, five, however many flights they have. So it’s not just you, but if you ever have to get in contact with them, you have a special frequency and ways of communication to talk to them and, discuss stuff. And if there’s a medical emergency or some type of other emergency or failure, if you have to divert, if you’re doing a missed approach, you’re going to a different airport, there’s a huge team of resources that are helping every single flight. You know, you think it’s just maybe the pilots up front and the flight centers, but there’s such a huge team from the maintenance personnel before the flight, that are coming up and checking the logbook. There’s so many people that go into, the success of a safe flight. and, it’s cool to see.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: That totally makes sense. And it definitely, it takes a village in both scenarios. I really like, I like the or, and piloting analogies here because I just see so many similarities in terms of, like, the team based approach. Like, neither one can be done alone, but yet some of the culture and it sounds like the communication inherently does differ a bit.

Putting a trach in surgery involves several steps. Often you have to divide the thyroid gland

One thing that I wanted to mention, you know, for anyone who does find themselves in the operating room, things that may be relevant to you, is that that paper? Hardy et al, they had this cool little graphic. They talk about how mini briefs, which they adopt an aviation term, and they say, you can always adapt this for intraoperative use prior to those aforementioned safety critical moments of surgery. I actually really liked that, and I. It reminded me of something I do in my own practice that, again, totally surgeon dependent. Like, this all sounds like personal preference, but, I’ll describe this scenario to you, and I’m interested to hear at the end, if you’re like, well, maybe that should be standard and not, like, personal preference of the surgeon.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: I do a lot of tracheostomies, for example, which is where a often temporary, sometimes permanent, but, say, a temporary hole needs to be surgically created at the front of the neck, just right here into the trachea. And that allows us to secure the airway, quote, unquote, like, have a safe airway. if this person, say, needs prolonged ventilatory support, or, like, if they have a head and neck cancer, that’s like, blocking the airway. This is how we. We make it safe for them to breathe and kind of, you know, undergo treatment or get off the ventilator, things like that. So putting a trach in it does involve, several steps to get through, you know, the skin, the muscles, subcutaneous tissues. Often you have to divide the thyroid gland just to get good access, to get really good exposure of the trachea and the first couple rings of the trachea and the cricoid cartilage, which is right above, you know, the first tracheal ring. So that that is all the approach. And it’s like a lot of hullabaloo. You have to have good hemostasis, good bleeding control. You have to ideally be, like, very meticulous and thoughtful about all this. And, of course, if the neck is thicker than an even harder dissection, you know, maybe a really, like, extraordinarily thin person or cachectic cancer patient, maybe that’d be easier because they’d have less tissue to dissect. But regardless, you do this whole approach. Now you’re looking at the trachea. I always do a second timeout, or what I would call one of these mini briefs, because that’s a safety critical moment, because you’re looking at the airway. This patient is intubated, they’re asleep, anesthesia has a tube in their mouth, down their throat, into their trachea. But now I, the surgeon, am about to use a scalpel, cut into the trachea, opening it, and this is like, that’s the most dangerous part of the surgery, you know, because what that involves is anesthesia needs to pull back slowly on the tube that they have. I need to make sure that we’ve tested the balloon on the trach that I’m about to put in, make sure that everyone has everything right, because going back to some of the things we talked about, like, I have done this surgery with an anesthesia, you know, team member who has not done trachs in five or ten years. Like, they don’t do them. They don’t do them frequently. They’re not, like, seeing huge volume of these. I’ve done it with scrub techs who have. It’s their first trach, so they’ve never seen this before. They have no context for it. So I really think, like, part of the surgeon’s job in that standpoint, because I’ve seen it where people just


Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: maybe don’t do a second timeout, and they just put the new trach in. Guess what? The balloon actually came out of the box not working. So now you’re trying to inflate the balloon. Patient’s desatting because you stop all airway. Like, you stop their breathing to do this swap out, basically, very critical moment. But like I said, so before I cut the trachea, I have them turn off the music. I’m like, everyone in the room, please listen up, and I want you to tell me that you’ve tested the balloon, that you have the obturator, which is kind of a little medical device. Like, everything’s set to put it in. You have the suction out and anesthesia, like, are you loose? Do you know how to pull this back? Like, really slow? And I’ll tell you when to stop. And so we go over all that, and I really think that that has helped keep things extraordinarily safe. That’s the only thing that makes me feel safe when we do that, that additional timeout. But again, I’ve seen it every way because, of course, I learned this from the surgeons who trained me, and I love it when they do this second, time out. So I’ve adopted that. But it’s not mandatory, I guess. But, like, I would almost consider you a cowboy to not do it because you’re kind of playing with. Has everyone seen this before? Are they doing their job? Like, they may not know. And this goes back to when you’re newer to something, you don’t know what’s your job? That’s okay. But I think the leader of the room or, you know, the captain, the surgeon who’s the primary surgeon on the case, like they’re responsible for everyone even knowing their job on the team. I would actually go as far as to say that.

Peter Weber: Sure. No, I would agree. You know, I guess the way you’d phrase it, maybe I didn’t pick up on it initially, but we don’t really call them, I guess, mini briefs, but we do have throughout a flight, I guess, similarities to these mini briefs. And what we call is just our flows and our checklist. So every kind of critical phase of flight, kind of similar to what you’re talking about right before you’re about to go do the most, the critical cut there in the trachea. you’re making sure everyone’s on board and essentially running down a checklist of, all right, we have everything we need, is everything operational? We do do that as well in flying. everything from it starts, you know, you get to a, dark, cold airplane and you’re turning it on. And, we have essentially, so like I was mentioning, we have flows, and flows are, essentially both pilots have their own flows for setting up an airplane, for taxing, for takeoff, for cruise, for descent, for arrival, for after landing, for shutdown, parking checklist. and there is these different, I guess, gates, I guess a good way to kind of look at it with, with every single flight. And as you go through every gate, each pilot has their, required duties that they do with their flow. And that’s from memory and we’re required to learn that from memory and improve that in our checkrides and our, before we get qualified in the airplane. but then after every flow, we also confirm everything with a, the appropriate checklist just to confirm, to make sure that nothing was missed. and again, like I was mentioning. So we do this, as we’re pushing back from the gate, you know, before push checklist. As we’re starting our engines, as we’re getting ready to taxi, we go through all these gates right before, as we’re approaching the Runway, we have a before takeoff checklist where we, you know, get in touch again with the flight attendants and confirm that they’re all ready to go and they’re seated and no one’s, you know, standing up in the airplane. As we’re about to take an active Runway, you know, after takeoff checklist, you know, bringing the gear up, bringing the flaps up, and then, you know, on the. On the 787. It’s kind of cool. It’s an electronic checklist. So most airplanes I flew was just a paper checklist that you pull out every time. But airplanes, are getting so modern now that everything’s done electronically, for the most part. But, yeah, I guess that’s. I should correctly our gates, essentially, with these flows and these checklists are like your mini briefs throughout our flight. And it’s just ensuring that everything is. Is successfully completed. We haven’t missed anything. and it keeps us all on the same page, and we do it throughout the entire flight many times.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: That’s awesome. You can probably do those in your sleep, like, yeah, you’re doing it when.

Peter Weber: You’Re going through training for a month. That’s all you’re working on. Yeah, they hammer it into you. But again, that’s what allows SOP, standard operating procedures and CRM to work so effectively. your account, you know that the person next to you is qualified and they’re proficient and they know exactly what they’re doing. and again, we are human, so we are going to make errors sometimes, but that’s what the checklists are for, and they catch that. And, or good CRM or sops are going to catch that. so, yeah, it’s all very effective.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: That’s perfect.

What, if any, formal stress management training do pilots receive

And I have one last question about. And it builds a little bit off of the captain upgrades and things like that because we talked about formal leadership training.

Peter Weber: Yeah.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: What, if any, formal stress management training, like staying calm in stressful situations, you know, type of instruction do you guys receive?

Peter Weber: I don’t know if I would say I’ve ever done, like a formal, like, stress. Well, no, I guess we have had some cvts, you know, just work, you know, managing, like, sleep fatigue or, you know, stress that can come from that. but really, all in all, I would say


Peter Weber: flying obviously is a career that can definitely present stressful situations. And, what is so cool about the training that we go through? and again, I wouldn’t say it’s really formal, like the leadership training that I was talking about with captain upgrades. But when you do have something that’s unexpected occur in a flight of, because most flights, things go smoothly and you’re not dealing with an emergency, you’re not dealing with an engine failure or fire, you know, any of that stuff. but when stuff does happen, it’s really cool to see. I can only speak from my opinion, but I think, you know, maybe it’s the cloth, I don’t know, that the pilots are cut from for the most part. maybe I got a lot of instill from my dad from an early age as I was, you know, growing up and going through training. But, it’s really cool to see your training take over without you even thinking. And that may sound a little crazy, but truly that’s what happens. And if you have, example, quick example, one of my first captain flights, the day we started off and we went Phoenix to la to, Vegas and into Vegas, there’s always a lot of wind shear, which is sudden change of direction of wind speed or direction. and Vegas gets a lot of that with all the wind coming over the mountains and all that turned up. so it can be pretty bumpy and all that. But it was actually kind of cool. It was literally my first trip as a captain and we had to do what was called a wind shear escape, recovery maneuver. And it’s a very critical maneuver. You can’t waste time, you have to be on it, you just go. But it was so cool to really see it happen in real life and it just instilled such a level of confidence. There’s no substitute for experience, obviously, with, and these are the moments that, that experience really, it pays dividends because, you know, I had my first encounter with this and I was a freshly minted captain and it was so cool just to see, you know, as I’m looking at my airspeed trend vector indicator, which shows where your airspeed is going to be in about 6 seconds and all, you know, we’re close to the ground, we’re about to land, we’re only about 200ft over the ground. All of a sudden I see that plummet, which is a big no no. You do not want to lose airspeed low to the ground. so immediately, ah, you just recover you max thrust, you pitch the airplane up to 20 degrees, you climb out, you don’t bring any gear up, you don’t bring any flaps up. You just leave the airplane completely configured as is, and you try to separate yourself from the ground as quickly as possible. It’s one of the only times in a flight that you’re actually allowing the engines of the airplane to deliver the maximum thrust. Usually we don’t do that. We flex our engines because it helps, with wear and tear, so the engine life can be prolonged even longer. but in this scenario, obviously you need everything so it was really. I remember that was a really great moment, for me in my career, where I got that confidence and we did our escape maneuver. you would think, I guess it would be a stressful situation, but I wasn’t even thinking about stress. I was just thinking of, okay, this is what I’ve been trained for. You don’t think. You just do. There’s a line from it, I think top gun, and I love it. And so don’t think. Just do. with, with maverick there. And, I’ve experienced that. you know, most pilots have, and if they haven’t, they probably, you know, they would, they will at some point in their career. but the level, you know, the stressful stuff, it kind of just. It doesn’t really, at least for me, doesn’t really exist when you are just reverting back to your training. And you, if you feel confident in your training, you know, for the most part, you’re going to successfully get out of whatever issue you, you find yourself in. So, it’s an interesting question you posed with that, with, with the stress, but I think just really, really good training really mitigates stress, really becoming a factor in a flight.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Yeah, it totally makes sense. I will say, as a little bit of a nervous flyer, like, listening to your story about the Vegas and the wind shears, I was like, okay, I’m a little stressed now. Just.

Peter Weber: But it would. It was. Again, we’re trained for that. It was, yeah. Every, every nine months, we go to recurrent training for flying. And, we’re getting, you know, checked out in these maneuvers, and we’re doing stall recoveries. And these are things you don’t see on an everyday flight. Right. You’re not stalling. we’re trained for that. And, yeah, so not. I didn’t mean to scare you at all in any way. Again, it’s that.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: No, no. Oh, my gosh. That’s what I mean. I believe you. That it’s routine. I’m just saying, just like, the thought of wind, like, if I’m flying and the pilot comes on and he’s like, it’s a little windy, I’m like, oh, my God, here we go again. And that’s just, that’s just me. That’s like a personal hangup.

A lot of surgeons have their own types of emergencies they respond to

well, and I think that we, of course, like, so a lot of surgeons have their own types of emergencies they respond to. I’m an otolaryngologist, and so we do airway emergencies, and it’s kind of the same thing. Like definitely agree in terms of do I feel stress in the situation? No. Sometimes the threat of stress or, you know, like the threat of an airway emergency that can cause some stress or, you know, you’re sitting on call, like we do take call and we’re at home a lot. taking call situations like that. But, one rule that I love, somebody taught me this early, like when I was a medical student, and I do adopt it, which is actually never run. And I really love that, like, especially for people who respond to airway emergencies,


because it’s tempting to run, like sometimes the difference of a couple seconds, like in securing an airway or getting somebody a safe airway in the hospital, yes, that’s critical. But what’s interesting is you lose a lot by running. I mean, barring that, maybe like, you’re an incredible runner, which I don’t know any surgeons who can run like the length of a hospital and not end up showing up totally out of breath, like embarrassing themselves. And so it’s just, it is about what kicks in is like, you stay calm, you stay very cool, you stay in control of the situation. Like, I can walk fast, but, you know, it’s different practices like that that I think help set us up for success.

Peter Weber: Another thing too, that, you know, is always preached early in your career is always, we call it staying ahead of the airplane. You never want to actually, this is like figuratively. Figuratively, right. But you never want to be in the airplane. You want to be ahead of the airplane. You want to always be having an out. You want to always be, you never want to be a cruise altitude, your workloads, probably the least amount at that point. If you’re not deviating around whether you’re level cruise, you’re on autopilot, you know, you’re enjoying the view and you’re monitoring your ATC frequencies and all that, but the workload definitely is the lowest at that point. But still, you never want to be complacent where you’re not ahead of the airplane. And what I mean by that is you always want to, be, you know, assuming if you did have an issue, if you had a rapid decompression, if you did, if you’re on a track system going, you know, across the Atlantic, all the procedures we have in place to do a, you know, a rapid descent with a rapid decompression or, you know, if you’re close, if you’re taking off and you’re, you know, low to the ground. Still, you’re always essentially assuming you’re going to have an engine failure, and that sounds a little weird. Not assuming, but always prepared in case you do. Where am I putting that airplane down? Like, what Sully did so, so wonderful and saved all those lives. You always want to have a plan and be ahead of the airplane, anticipating something that could happen at that point. so you never call with your shorts down, just like, whoa. that’s, you know, that’s never a place you want to be as a good pilot.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: That’s perfect. I really appreciate the conversation. I feel like I could talk to you about, like, aviation and or for 100 years, so I do want to kind of move on. Yeah, it’s cool. It’s even more similar than I appreciated even just kind of reading some of these review articles and, you know, hearing stories, around the hospital. So I just want to pivot real quick as we’re closing up here. But as I mentioned earlier, I’m very passionate about career agility. I believe a lot in, like, none of these experiences are wasted. I even think things like ROTC experience when younger, that can be very formative and. And, you know, instill a lot of character into someone that they can then utilize in other areas of their life for their whole life. And so. And, what I love is when people step out of the very narrow professional boxes that we get put in pilot, you know, doctor, things like that, and they go on to find success in these other avenues.

The Bachelor dates 30 women; there are weekly eliminations

And so, of course, you were the bachelor. For any listeners who have been living under a rock and don’t know how that show works, the bachelor dates 30 women. There are weekly eliminations, and they’re single. And group dates, sometimes a two on one date. That’s very lit. Sorry. Maybe not for you, but for me, you know, it’s pretty lit. And then I signed myself up for that. Yeah. I was gonna say, like, maybe. Maybe you don’t feel the same, but the group narrows down until the finale, at which point there’s often a proposal. It’s often, you know, that’s also pretty lit. It’s romantic. People cry, like, not me, but people will cry at the finale and stuff like that.

Could you speak to how your training actually and your experience as pilot helped prepare

So, of course, that’s an extraordinarily singular experience and seems like an extraordinarily high stress environment at times as well. And so could you speak to how your training actually and your experience as a pilot helped prepare you for such a unique and incredibly scrutinized high stress journey?

Peter Weber: Oh, man. That, you asked us some good questions. I’ve never been asked that. There’s, there’s not really that many similarities between, between the two. I would say just, you know, on the show, you get put in really uncomfortable, tough, unique situations. You’ve never even come close to you put it been putting into in your entire life. and I, you know, people definitely react in a multitude of ways like you were just mentioning. Some are extremely emotional and some are, unemotional and some are there for good reasons, intentions bad and all that. you know, it’s funny, I, I actually, I’m a pretty emotional person, right. I’ve always been, I’ve always felt like I’ve been very in touch with my feelings and I’ve never been closed off in that regard. and, you know, as you ask this and I’m thinking this through, it, it’s almost like it was, there were two completely obviously different situations. And one, I allowed myself, though, to really be influenced by emotion and just really who I truly was at my core, at my heart, as a person. And I, I wasn’t, I don’t know, I wasn’t


Peter Weber: really, there was nothing really calculated about it for me or I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t prepare myself in any way like I do in my career. And how, I take that they.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Were just, you weren’t ahead of the plane when you went with your heart.

Peter Weber: Yeah. There were two so different situations. I don’t know if I have a good answer for that in regards to how maybe it helped me navigate because I don’t lead with my heart and emotion base when I’m in my career field of flying an airplane. It’s the exact opposite. Right? Like we were just, everything we’ve talked about.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Totally.

Peter Weber: You don’t want that influencing anything. So, really interesting to think about that. But m I don’t know if that really helped me in any way just because I take, I took once in such a different way than I take my professional career. yeah, I’m sorry.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: But then that’s really cool. Obviously, to be a multifaceted person who has that level of depth on both sides. I’m glad that then you didn’t have approach it like, extraordinarily, you know, critical thinking, like very logical pilot. Because I guess that maybe, maybe that would be bad tv to that way, I guess.

Peter Weber: Yeah. I don’t know. I, I don’t think I could have done it that way. Like, I truly and, you know, you know, you hear crazy things from the show, but, like, I have always been, like, this hopeless romantic. Right. So I was just. It truly, it was just heart. And maybe I went a little too far with that because maybe got me m into trouble in some ways, but, or just being me. but, yeah, they’re very different experiences, for sure.

The bachelor is notorious for late filming nights, particularly early on in season

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Just one more question about the bachelor. But it’s, of course, it’s notorious for late filming nights, particularly early on in the season when there’s a lot of contestants. And so, you know, how much did late nights affect you and, you know, did you have any practices for wellness, both mental and physical wellness, that you already had in place? You know, of course, prior to this experience that did help carry you through despite an actually really grueling schedule, there’s.

Peter Weber: Only so much that you could have done, like, specifically being bachelorette was a little bit easier. Obviously, when you’re one of the contestants and you’re not involved with every single scene. Pretty much, on the bachelor, man, that first, it’s about two months of filming. That first month is grueling physically. It’s late, late nights, like you just mentioned, you’re waking up super early. You’re also in a stressful environment. Right. all these emotions going crazy. And it’s funny, the second half, I remember the lead producer always telling me to expect this, and it was so true. it turns to, from the physically grueling aspect, it’s the emotionally grueling aspect, because now you’re actually getting invested in these relationships, and they’re breaking these relationships off and ending them. And there are two different, like, almost experiences in one show as the lead. you know, with flying, it’s so important to. To manage your sleep and manage your rest. And we have, you know, so many, protocols in place as well for managing our fatigue. And, you know, ultimately, at the very end of the day, too, if you just don’t feel like you are fit to fly, like, every single flight that we do, we have to sign off, we are fit to fly, that we, you know, we are arrested, that we, you know, it’s. You can’t fly sick. It’s against, you have to confirm every single flight you are fit to fly. We have certain protocols to where, you know, we’re limited to how many hours we can fly in a given period, in seven days and in a 30 day period in a year. just to manage that fatigue, just because that can be so detrimental to the safe, ah, operation of flying. with, with the bachelor, it was, yeah, it was. It was the opposite. They. They wanted you to get to that level and, you know, like, to not.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Be fit to fly.

Peter Weber: I’m not.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: They didn’t want fit to fly, Peter.

Peter Weber: Yeah. Because then, you know, you make differences, you know? Yeah. Your decision making maybe is affected and it makes good tv. So those are also very, very, very different. And how. Yeah, the fatigue management and all that was handled, for sure.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Okay, fair enough. Well, I learned something, definitely. So. Okay, we’re all in agreement. The or and the cockpit, you know, these industries, very similar. We’re gonna put reality television then, like, way off by itself. It’s on a different planet, and, like, maybe it’s run differently, cultures different.

Peter says he believes in karma in relationships

So, yeah, I ask everybody, but do you believe in karma, Peter?

Peter Weber: Of course. Absolutely. Yeah. I think, it’s so important. You know, I was, like I was mentioning earlier in relationships and how important that, you know, it’s. And how blessed I’ve been, with all the incredible relationships that I’ve had. And I wouldn’t be here, if it weren’t for so many incredible, you know, Cliff Park Hill, too. I got to give him a shout out. Shout out. you know, he was my flight instructor that taught me how to fly and one of the greatest mentors, you know, I’ve ever had. it is so important to, in my opinion, just treat people the right way and treat them with love. And, obviously, I just believe what you give comes back. I’m a big believer in the law of attraction, and what you put out is what’s going to come back every single time. It’s a science. It’s a law. In my opinion, huge believer in karma and trying to do the right thing as much as possible.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: I love that. Well, me too. Thank you again for joining me today, Peter. It has been a joy to chat with


Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: you and learn from you.

Peter Weber: Thank you so much. I enjoyed the conversation. It was awesome.

Dr. Frances Mei Hardin: Follow me on Instagram at Francesmay, MD and rethinkingresidency. Visit my website,, to learn more about resident physician stories and ways that residents can most effectively navigate the game of residency. I cannot wait to connect with you on the next episode of promising young Surgeon.