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Every high performance athlete is looking at, How do I get that little bit of an edge? I think I've probably worked like 32,000 rounds. First time I ever saw an ear torn up, it did catch my attention. It's a tough sport. Getting to know you has really opened to my eyes to how you really can optimize the body. Whatever you think is healthy, you can get healthier. Enjoy what you do every day and to feel productive every day. That's the ultimate human. Ultimate human.


Welcome to The ultimate human podcast. I'm your host, Gary Breca, human biologist, where we go down the road of everything anti-aging, longevity, bio-optimization, and everything in between. I'm super excited for this podcast because I've got a very good friend of mine, Dr. Jeffrey Davidson on. He's a medical doctor, not just any medical doctor. I've got your CV here, so I hope you're sitting down and you have a few minutes for me to read through this. But he's the chairman and Medical Director. Most people know him as the chairman and medical director for the U. F. C. But he is also the medical director for the Emergency Department of Valley Hospital right here in Vegas, which is a pretty big Emergency Department. Tough, the contender series. He's the medical director of EMS Medical West. He's also the medical director of CCT and AMR, Event Medicine for AMR. He's the medical director for Airmed Las Vegas. Are you.


Still the medical director? Actually, it's actually changed over to Guardian Air, but still doing that.


So this is like the Metavac?


Yeah, this is the Metavac. We just spoke with them this morning.


Okay. And he's an emergency consultant for the Vegas Golden Nights and the lead at UNC, INC, and the NFL Las Vegas as well. So what do you do with the NFL Las Vegas?


I work with the NFL as what's called the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant. And that is the group of physicians within the NFL that is unaffiliated with the team and helps identify, recognize, and then, if needed, help get those concussion athletes out of the game and get them in the right course of their own direction.


You're on the sidelines for some of these NFL games, too. I might add you're going to be on the sideline for the Formula 1 in Vegas.


For the Formula 1? The Formula 1 will be coming to Las Vegas in November.


Maybe the coolest physician's job in the country. If you're a doctor and you're watching there, you're like, Hey, I want that job. I think a lot of physicians would say this is like the pinnacle of a career to actually be able to showcase your talents and make a real difference in something as massive as the USC. And as I look at the medical side of what goes on in the USC, that's a lot of what I want to talk about today. I don't think a lot of people realize in the realm of sanctioned sports, it's a really relatively safe sport.


It's a very safe sport. I think that's well said. I think a lot of people see the sport and they see two athletes in a cage like we're sitting in, and they think it's no rules and not timed, and there's just this blood and potential for injury, whether it's soft tissue injury, whether it's musculoskeletal injury, whether it's neuro head injury. I don't think they realize that all that is being closely monitored between the referees, the physicians, the rules, the regulations, the weight classes, how we even get into the cage. It's also closely monitored. It's a very safe sport.


Yeah. It's actually a lot safer than boxing in a lot of ways. I mean, less concussive injuries, less severe head injuries.


There have been papers pushed out published by the Cleveland Clinic that have done some comparisons of careers in boxing versus careers in mixed martial art, particularly the USC. There has been tremendous advantage to being in this sport in the sense that it is less head injury over time and less concussions.


Yeah. Now you've been with the USC for a long time. I have. Kind of pre-UFC almost, right? I mean, it's always been the USC. So right around what time did you join? And talk a little bit about your journey with the USC, Dana White, the Fortita Brothers, and how it matured into you being the Chief Medical Director for the USC. What was that journey like? Because you've seen some stuff.


Yeah, I have. It doesn't seem like it's been 30 years, but it has been 30 years already. When I came to Las Vegas in the early 90s, I was fortunate enough to get involved with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. I got a tremendous experience, a great learning decade of working mini boxing events. Back then, we would do K1 and Muay Thai events and lots of different combat sport events.


You were the State Commission?


I was with the Nevada State Athletic Commission as one of the ringside physicians. I had great mentors that really taught me a lot and really taught me how to appreciate the athletes, what their dedication is, and how they have really dedicated to get into the sport and to get into the actual fight, and then how we take care of them. Right around 2000, 2001, the USC came to Las Vegas, and there was this amazing vision by Dana White and Lorenzo and Frank.


Was that about the time that they bought.


The- That's about the time that they purchased the U. Of. C. Brand or name, brought it to Las Vegas. I remember their first real tasks were let's develop weight classes. Let's develop a competition where there's referees, judging weight classes. There has to be physicians, obviously, cage side. It needs to be developed into sanctions, different commissions from the states. It has to be developed into a sport so we can all enjoy what we now know today. And so it's really started off in infancy as a vision, I think, from Frank and Lorena Fortita and Dana White to what we all just take for granted today is a worldwide sport. Yeah. It's amazing that- That growth is amazing.


Those guys had the vision to take something that was such a diamond in the rough and say, We can really pull this out of the backyard in the basement and really put it on Prime Time. I've read something not too long ago that it was, at the time, the fastest growing sanctions support in the world. It's just on this meteoric rise.


Well, I remember when Mark Ratner's task was to get us sanctioned in every state. It started off, we were sanctioned in Nevada. We were sanctioned in New Jersey. And slowly, Mark Ratner would work, and we would work ourselves across the USA until every single state wanted the U-of-C to come and participate. Then we did the same thing internationally. Mark Ratner and a group of individuals from the promotion got out there internationally. We started off in London, and we started off in Canada. Montreal was one of our first international fights. From those early cards, the growth now is, as we know, everywhere from Australia this weekend, Abu Dhabi coming up, Brazil in between. We just finished going to Shanghai, Paris. I mean, it's an international.


Global sport. And you're ringside at nearly every US fight, right?


I have found the energy to get to most every domestic fight. So, yes, Yes. For most all the domestic fights within the USA, I'll travel and be their cage side with the commission that we're working with. And then for many of the international events, I travel and try and spot check the different areas. So I have consultants in all these areas. I have a consultant in Asia, I have a consultant in Brazil, the consultant in Europe. And I work with those consultants to make sure they're following the U. F. C, I'll say safety guidelines. And then about every second or third international event that occurs in those areas, I will actually go be there at Cage site with them and just be there with them to get some reassurance and make sure the resources are there and that we're as safe there as we are here in the Nevada.


Is it safe to say that in the states on every contender series fight and every USC fight, you're signing off on that fighter?


Yeah, it is very safe to-.


Sort of your name on the bottom line, right?


Yes. It's interesting. People say, What do you do every night? My wife, Jeannie, knows I'm on the computer almost every single night. The favorite question is, How long you got? Because I'm usually up there for hours. What I'm actually doing is going through all the imaging, the MRI, the MRAs, the serology panels that are sent, the EKGs, the chest X-rays, all of that information is brought in and focused by the medical team of the U. F. C, which is led by a great group that works with me. It's focused into the medical charts of each individual athlete, and then I review it all. If we find something or I find something particularly that needs addressed, whether it's an abnormality on an image such as an MRI, whether it's an EKG abnormality that I think doesn't just fit an athletic heart, then we forward that off to a consultant to get clearance so that by the time the athletes are cleared for a fight with the U-of-C, we have put them through a very good medical screening, for physical exam, for eye exam, blood test, imaging of the brain, heart tests.


If needed. Yeah, you were telling me they even do virology panels for viral pathogens. We don't look for anything. Just making sure they're as healthy as they can possibly be to get in there and fight.


From a medical standpoint, we're absolutely doing everything. And that's on top of their training. Then they've got management by their coaches and their trainers and their staff. So these athletes are so fine-tuned, and the majority of times, prior to stepping into the cage for the actual event, there's a tremendous amount of oversight.


And talk a little bit about what's going on behind the scenes and beyond the medical screening. You go to the U. F. C. Performance Center, and there's physical therapy, there's altitude training rooms, there's trainers, there's chefs, there's DEXA scan machines that are looking at every possible level of visceral fat and water retention and their body mass index and all of these things so that they're eating, they're taking in the right number of calories, they're training in a way that's not going to actually cause them injury, and they're safely gaining and losing weight to about weight classes. Talk a little bit about what's going on behind the scenes other than the medical screening to really get these athletes ready for the ring.


I think you touched on so many incredible points just now, and I don't even know if the audience picked up on what you just said. Listen, these athletes walk around incredibly in shape all year round. But suddenly when they're picked up for a fight and they know they're going to make a specific wait on a specific day to fight, then that full training camp goes into full speed four weeks prior. Strength and conditioning coaches from the Performance Institute are there to assist. Nutrition people are there to assist. Every step of the way of that four-week training so that it piques right at the specific time to make weight and then to rehydrate, re- It's a whole cycle. It's a science. We've done it over and over and over. And as I tell people, it's not the first time. It's every weekend. We hit these goals with these fighters every weekend, every weight class. We're incredibly efficient. People may say, Yeah, I've seen a fighter miss weight. And you're right, nothing's perfect. There's times where a fighter will miss weight. But overall, the efficiency, it's in the high 90 percentile of how efficient we are with the athletes making weight, recovering from their weight, I'll say, weight cut for the week, and then being rehydrated, renutritioned, and stepping into the cage the next night and performing at such a level.


It's amazing. Yeah, because it's like decades ago you used to see in a lot of different kinds of professional sports, guys walking into the ring that looked like they were stoned or wasted. You could tell they were depleted. They hadn't rehydrated properly. They hadn't re-neutrified properly, and they really were not ready to be in a combat, competitive sport. So talk a little bit about what is a safe way to cut weight? How much weight are these guys losing and how much are they putting back safely and in what time frame before a fight.


Without shocking everyone around. What can a weight cut be in a week? Within a week it can be anywhere from five pounds all the way up to maybe 15 or 20 pounds. Wow. But again, through that training, we've taught them and they've learned how to slowly bring down the weight to become very lean to develop the muscle, the endurance, what they're going to need for the event. In the last couple of days, there's a lot of science that's gone into how to upload with some water and then lose some water weight so that there's a specific weight class that might be the goal or the target that we're going to get, and then they can rehydrate after that. But, I mean, you've been to our events, so you've seen after the physical exam and after we weigh them in, there's a very calculated way that we rehydrate with specific electrolyte formulas and drinks, very specific nutrition. The way we bring them back up from simple digestibles all the way to the protein and complex meal so that they are able to put back in the nutrition in a very safe manner so that no one gets a GI upset or some type of illness where.


They can't compete. Like electrolyte imbalance or- Correct. Yeah, something severe, especially that would happen if they lost a little bit of weight during the fight or they get dehydrated during the fight and.


They can't continue to- And every athlete, which I don't know that everyone understands, every athlete, when they check in the week of the event, their weight is monitored immediately. We know exactly what they weigh when they step in. We know exactly what's going to occur that week as far as how much weight they may have to lose to make the weight. We begin to calculate how the nutrition and the rehydration process is going to be right after they make the weight Friday. This is all calculated that week, and it's all taken care of for me. A lot of people that have been to our events will see after the way in that we have a, I call it the brown bag, but the brown bag is full of wonderful nutrition and hydration products. It's amazing. And the athletes know how to take this all in in a very slow and a purposeful process. You see them the next night, you see them on Saturdays. They're high level athletes performing at 100 %. Yeah.


It really is astounding to me how much technology and science and care and detail goes into what's happening behind the scenes. Again, you go to the performance center and there's altitude training rooms and there's force multiplier plates in the floor and there's physical therapy and there's these DEXA scans that are measuring every facet of their body composition. So they know exactly their macros that they can eat and how much hydration they have. And there's cold plunges and red light therapy. Essentially, everything that can make an average human a superhuman. Correct. Everything that they need to legally recover and perform at that level.


Yeah, another thing you touched on was a DEXA scan. We're able to help individuals know their exact, what their body.


Composition is. Yeah, talk about what a DEXA scan is because not a lot of people.


Know what that is. Yeah, so the DEXA scan is a great way for an individual to get a body composition and know what their bone density is, what their soft tissue muscle density is, what their water weight composition is. And so we can help them better understand what is a realistic goal for a weight class. So that if you walk around and your walking weight is 170 or whatever it may be, is it realistic to be a fighter that can fight the 150s or lower or higher.


Because it may be dangerous to go too low.


Correct. Because based on your body density, you may not be able to get to a specific weight class. It may be better to stay up a weight class. But these are all things that we work with them and in the training and in the endurance part of that four weeks, they'll start to understand what they can get their body safely to. They also understand that when they get into this cage the next night or the next day, it's three rounds or five rounds, and it's a high endurance, a high active sport. You've all watched it. So it takes an immense amount of endurance and reserve to get through that. And that's not something you can do if the week before was a bad weight cut or a difficult time getting to a specific weight class.


Right. That's obviously compromised performance.


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In the performance center, there's so many different modalities in there. One of the things that was fascinating to me that struck me was this altitude training room. I've never seen anything like this. I've heard about hypoxic training and altitude training. I have a cabinet, 10,500 feet, but I've never seen a room that you can go in and shut the door and dial the altitude. Correct. What's the theory behind high altitude training, especially for these athletes?


I think everyone's answer to that is this. If you train at high altitude after time, it takes 4-6 weeks to acclimate, but the body begins, we think, to develop a healthier hemoglobin concentration. You get this higher oxygen-carrying capacity, which then may translate into greater endurance, greater energy. There has been a lot of studies that people that live at high altitudes, and some of them have these longer, healthier lives and/or have a heavier endurance capability.


Especially if they come down to-.


Especially if they come back down to sea level, which most of our fights are. I'll tell you the opposite that we've learned. Watch some of our fights when we take these athletes to a high altitude and they haven't trained at a high altitude.


I saw that. Where was the one?


In 7,500 feet. Mexico City. Mexico City. Denver. We've had fights in these higher altitude cities, and it wipes the athletes out. Now, the athletes to get in before 4-6 weeks, because it takes about four weeks to acclimate, they're much more ready for that altitude, and they do better in that fight. There is a theory that if you train at that higher altitude, you can produce this deeper concentration in hemoglobin. That's your blood cells that produces or translates into a higher concentration of oxygen carrying capacity, which means maybe a higher endurance, which gives you that edge in that fight.


Right, especially if you're so evenly matched.


So that's the idea. So if we can measure all that and reproduce some of that and give you that advantage where you can build even that little edge, which every athlete is looking for. Every high performance athlete is looking at just how do I get that little bit of an edge? That's one way.


Okay, that makes sense. And then the other modality I wanted to touch on quickly was the hyperbaric chamber. Because one is taking you up higher, reducing pressure, and the other one is taking you- Diving you down. Yeah, diving you down below seveal level. And so what's the theory behind increasing pressure, especially after something like a CTE or traumatic brain injury or concussion, or even just to recover after a difficult fight.


Or war. There's a lot of athletes across all sports, all professional sports. The literature is mixed. I mean, the science isn't perfect. It's 50-50. But the athletes and the people that believe in the hyperbaric believe this, that when you get into a chamber that can take you down to 1 or 1.5 atmosphere pressure, and you can force that oxygen deeper into the circulation, the microcirculation, that you get a better recovery. Because all the cells are starving for oxygen that are inflamed for the recovery process, post-fight, post-combat sport, post-contact sport, whatever it may be. So a hyperbaric dive, one hour a day, five, six days a week for a couple of weeks post an event like a USC a fight or another professional sport. That's the theory behind that. You can drive that oxygen deep into the capillaries, help force that good nutrition, good oxygen nutrition deep into the systems of the body where maybe it can't be reached at atmospheric pressure.


So when would be the best time to use it? Immediately after either a fight or a really intense training session or a fight where you've actually taken some batter and you might have a little bit of a concussion, that's the time to use it immediately thereafter to help those tissues repair before.


Further damage sets in. You're right on, you're spot on. And a lot of people use it for maintenance. They just use it for maintenance daily throughout the week, a couple of times a week. But right after those tough events, right after those, like you said, a tough fight or a tough event or a tough training session, that's the time to get into a 1-1.5 atmospheric dive, as we say, for an hour and really drive that oxygen into the deep circulation.


In the years that you've been associated with the USC, what are some of the typical things that you see on a regular basis? You're emergency trained, so nothing is going to surprise you. Nothing's going to freak you out.


Not too much. Well, what are.


Some of the things that you put back on, put back together, mended, repaired, realigned?


Everyone has some moments over the years.


Show me some pictures of some ears falling off.


Yes, we had some earlier time when we were working out and we were looking through my phone of some pictures. I remember the first.


Couple of times- We'll.


Throw some of these up. We'll throw some up. But there's been several times where, as the fighters developed these cauliflower ears, as they call them, which is that years and years of being hit in the ear and that soft tissue turns into that hard tissue, and it's called cauliflower. That tissue is very fibrous, and it's not real flexible. With the right punch, the right kick, or the right force, that whole tissue can evolce or tear off. I think the first time I ever saw an ear nearly evolced or torn off. You mean just dangling. Yeah, hanging off. It did catch my attention. Now that I've seen it multiple times, I understand, okay, we can suture that back on. So that has happened multiple times. Do you do it on site? Sometimes we'll do it on site. Sometimes we will send it off to the Emergency Department where we're working with and whatever commission, and we'll get it done there. Just because it's a little bit cleaner, quieter environment. But you bring up a great point. Most of the suturing at all our events is done on site. So wherever we travel, in addition to the physicians at Cage site, the commission physicians or the physicians, whatever country we're in, there's usually a dedicated suture physician.


A lot of times this is a plastic surgeon, general surgeon, emergency medicine physician, and their challenge for the night is suturing. We've had some excellent people throughout the world, throughout this country, throughout just in this state, they're here and they're suturing. If you go back 15, 20 years, we didn't have that. When the individuals or when the athletes were injured and there was a laceration, we had to send them off to the Emergency Department.


They just went by themselves.


Yeah, well, we sent them to an Emergency Department. But you could sit in an Emergency Department for prolonged time, and you might have got an intern or maybe a medical student would assist. And then we realized, look, we can do better than that. Now it's been a long time, but we have hired physicians that specifically suture at every event for us now. Just another level of incredible care that we provide right there at these events.


What would you consider to be some of the most difficult cases that you've faced?


Well, the difficult case is- What's a.


Really difficult case?


Yeah, the tough case. There's a couple of things that come to mind. No one wants to see an athlete that spends so much time getting prepared for an event have a sudden injury that just automatically, we all know, is going to shut down the fight. Everyone can think of there has been a couple of times where there's been, for example, an ankle fracture, dislocation. The ones that come to most people's minds are the Connor McGregor or the Chris Weidman. Anderson Silver. Anderson Silver was the first one that we all had in Las Vegas years and years ago. But that type of traumatic injury, which doesn't represent really what happens in this sport often at all.


It gets all the press and the publicity.


Because it grabs eye- It does get all the publicity. But you hate to see that. When I think of the thousands and thousands of rounds that we've done and that I've watched and that that's only happened three or four times, it really puts it in perspective. That that's not the type of injury we see.


And the other athlete doesn't like to see that either. Correct. The level of respect in the sport, they actually don't like to see them not able to continue because something like that.


Listen, these athletes want to win by a decision, by a knockout, by a TKL. Right. They've all trained for that type of ending. They don't want to see it end because of a medical stoppage. Those types of injuries, as infrequent as they are, they're hard to watch. We've had some other injuries, and we've all seen them where an eye injury specifically will have to stop a fight because medically it's unsafe to let that fight continue. To the average viewer, it doesn't look like maybe potentially a dangerous. But when you're talking about someone's vision and eye injuries, we're extremely careful.


You're working in the Emergency Department. You're working as the medical director for the USC, you're ringside at all these fights. What do you do outside of the ring? What do you do to blow off steam? What are some hobbies, some interests that you have aside from broken bodies?


I don't want to sound boring, but you- I.


Know we both love the cold plunge. We talked about that today.


We both want to say, I don't want to sound boring, but you know what I do. I mean, I love to work out. I work out every day. The people that know me, the people here at the USC, they can count on Dr. Davis and walking through at.


About 4:00, 4:30 every day. I see every time I'm here. I saw you today. We worked out today. I think I got the cold plunge in the steam room, and you didn't.


I did the red light. Oh, you did the red light. I did the oxygen.


I saw you with the oxygen mask on.


I did the oxygen and the red light. I try and always do as many times a week as I can, the red light and the oxygen. I like you, love the cold plunge. Listen, I think we've both agreed the best drug out there is the steam room and the cold plunge. I think we've said that several times.


Yes, it's so true. We both call it our drug of choice. Absolutely.


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Making a little bit of a transition here. You and I have shared some clients in common. I can't call them patients. I'm not licensed to practice medicine. You are. But we've shared some clients in common, and we've actually learned a lot from each other. Absolutely. And I have a deep level of respect for your surgical experience and just your clinical experience, your emergency experience. But you're very much from the allopathic medical side. Correct. And I would consider myself more from the human biology and functional medicine, even though, again, I'm not licensed to practice medicine. What do you see as some of the differences between modern medicine, allopathic medicine and this functional medical approach? And what interests you about it?


Well, I'll tell you, getting to know you really opened up my eyes and really opened up my world as to how all these treatments can come together. Patients always ask me in the emergency department, does a specific type of physician help them? And they'll mention a chiropractor, a physical therapist, or whatever specific clinician they're asking about. I'm like, whatever works to make you a better functional person, healthy or feel better, live better every day, that's what's good for you. But I think getting to know you, especially over these last years, has really opened to my eyes to how you really can optimize the body. Again, so I practice medicine. A lot of times, and we've talked about this in the emergency department, I practice medicine when there's already end-organ damage, when there's already pathology that's taken process and taken form. At that point, we're there to either help, slow, or maybe we can intervene, we can help to intervene.


You're trying to preserve.


Life at that point. Correct. But I think really what I've learned from you is there's a whole arena of prevention out there. There's a whole arena of whatever you think is healthy, you can get healthier. And that's what I think we've learned and started to.


Work on together. I've been very... It's very humbling to me to just see how the level at which you've embraced it. You've been very humble about the limitations on your expertise and the areas where your core competencies lie. And I think we've worked really well together. I'm excited.


About our joint future. Listen, I have seen you do great things with traditional allopathic medicine treating blood pressure. And then because the individual takes on a healthier lifestyle, which has pretty much been guided and outlined by you, the blood pressure just comes down. No longer need to be on specific medication. So listen, I'm not saying everyone is going to have such great success to such levels. But I truly think if you live the lifestyle that you and I both promote, get the proper amount of rest, the proper amount of nutrition, get the proper amount of exercise, be optimistic, be positive. I do think that settles all.


These pathologies. I always talk about just getting back to the basics: whole foods, exercise, and then the little adjuncts: sunlight, breathwork, cold showers, cold plunges, saunas, steam rooms, all those things that just elevate your mood, they elevate your emotional state. They actually raise your level of bio-optimization. They actually make you a healthier individual, and then you don't end up in your department.


Listen, we both know everyone's going to get sick. Everyone's going to get a sore throat or a chest congestion, upper respiratory infection, something. And so that's what medicine is good for. There are specific treatments out there for some of these pathologies that we want to treat because then we can prevent more serious on this. But there's a whole pathway to stay healthy to prevent and offset a lot of that.


I want to get back to your career a little bit, and thank you for what you said. In your career, has there ever been a time where you've been shocked so much, either by an injury or by a patient's pathology, you really felt like, And I don't exactly know what to do here.


Listen, I hate to say it, but in emergency medicine, it's really the practice of medicine. Like I said, I've been doing it nearly 30 years.


Not a lot shocking.


You now. I can honestly say when I'm working with the medical students now, I think I've seen the majority of cases. But there are definitely times when people come in and just the human body. Things don't present like they're supposed to. Not everyone read the book, and so they don't present like the book tells me they're supposed to present. But I've seen very young people with very advanced disease, which typically bothers me and shocks me. It does to most of us. It's hard to see someone young with an advanced process. It's just as hard to see someone that you think is older, but in great shape, and then have something suddenly happen. In the emergency department, unfortunately, you got to be prepared for anything that comes in.


And we are. Your emergency department experience obviously trickles over into your ringside experience so that you're pretty much prepared to handle anything that comes out of that.


Listen, I think some of the best physicians for this sport and for other combat or sports of that nature, emergency physicians are very well adapted. We have a very good sense of what type of musculoskeletal injury could be, soft tissue injury could be, eye injury, ocular injury, obviously closed head injury or TBI, traumatic brain injury, or concussion injury, as we all refer to it. So all those pieces of pathology or injury potential that could occur in these contact sports, we see in the emergency department every day. Yeah. So the.


Training is there. You're getting a lot more practice there. So when it happens ringside, you're like.


This is a walk in the park. Yeah. Listen, I tell people when they enter into a contact sport, it's a tough sport. You don't expect to step into the cage and potentially not have an injury. We all hope for no injuries, but when we see a soft tissue injury, a laceration, when we see a bad knockout, when we see potential muscle-to-muscle, skeletal injury of the knee or the elbow or the hand, we know it's potentially something that could happen in this type of sport, can happen in many sports, whether it's rugby, hockey, football. All those sports are very heavy contact sport.


You know what's interesting? We had a conversation the other night, and we were talking about some of the advances in orthopedics and medicine biologics like platelet-rich plasma, using a patient's own platelets from their own bloodstream, concentrating them and putting them into the site of injury. So taking all the healing power of the human body and focusing in one area: knee, hip, shoulder, rotator cuff to accelerate healing, do you find that that's become an increasingly larger part of your practices, using some of these things like platelet-rich plasma to help accelerate the time frame for healing? Because we talked about how there were injuries even 15 years ago that would have been career ending that now are just season ending. Correct. So we've made so many strides and ACLs and MCLs and surgical repair. So what are some of those injuries today that 15 years ago would have been career ending, but are now just a season ending.


First of all, the technology and the surgeons have advanced so much in the last 20 years, the orthopedic world. The shoulder injuries and the knee injuries in particular that we used to see 25 years ago, 30 years ago, particularly the interventions were so much larger, the surgery was so much larger, whether it was just the operation itself, the site of the incision.


You mean just going in to do the repair.


Was doing a lot of damage. It's just such a more invasive type of procedure. Now with orthoscopic and minimally invasive procedures on the knee and on the shoulder, which are some of the big joints that we typically see in this sport, the actual intervention to repair is so minimally invasive and so well done by this group of orthopedic surgeons that I work with throughout this country and throughout the international areas. That that's just the first starting point that just already begins to advance how quickly. Then how aggressive we are with physical therapy and rehab so quickly.


Early mobilization.


Early mobilization. Quickly building up the strength, compensation of the other muscles, flexibility, things like that. And then, like you mentioned already, for example, the PRP or the platelet-rich plasma. Some of the systems out there that are able to so purely concentrate the platelets, which we know have wonderful growth.


Mediators and- It's not the platelets themselves. It's what's in the platelet, right?


It's the growth factors. The platelets will release all their growth factors. And you've got all these wonderful other cells in there: the monocytes, the neutrophils, the cytokines, and these all are highly concentrated. They're injected into the area of the joint or that space. It just provides that wonderful, rich environment of healing. So we're able to generate such a faster recovery. But you're right, these shoulder and knee injuries, for example, that sometimes would have been career ending or possibly a year or two out, some of these athletes are back in six, seven, eight months.


That's incredible. It's amazing. You have a full Lazy. I'll tear and be back on the field in 6, 7, 8 months. I think sometimes for USC fans, they see severe injuries and breaks and things like that. Then the next year, the fighters.


Back in the ring. They don't realize. I think they feel.


Like- A lot's going on behind the scenes.


A lot of work, but it's amazing. And the athletes know because they know when specific injuries occur and I review with them, this is going to take us six to nine months to get you back out there, but we'll get you back out there. Right. And so for them, it's a true six to nine months. The rest of us don't see it because we lose track of that fighter for a few months. But the next thing I know, athletes have been put back into an event, and here they are again.


Yeah, back at 100 %. 100 %. That's amazing. Hey, guys, as you.


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And now back to the ultimate human podcast.


So you're a young physician, you're watching this podcast. You're obviously inspired by the career that you have because there's the lights and the glamor and the stage. And it's actually really cool to be able to be a part of something like the U. F. C, no doubt about that. So what advice would you give to a young physician that wants to go on a sports medicine career path? What mistakes did you make? What decisions did you make that were good.


Decisions like? Listen, because I get asked everywhere we go, How did you become the U-F-C physician? I said, Listen, the main thing I can tell everyone is you just have to be willing to dedicate and put in the time. That's just the main thing. Most physicians have already shown that they have a dedication to going to medical school, going to a residency, doing a training or fellowship, so they get to an area where they want to be. So if you get into the sports world, you have to be willing to understand that it could be time. I think everyone thinks, Well, you're so lucky. You work with the USC and you work with these other professional sports. But I didn't always work with the high-level professional sports. I started off with amateur and Golden Glove boxing and USA boxing. I developed-.


You joined at USC like.


33, right? Yeah, and I did come into USC very early. I think we're at 293 coming up. It's 293 coming up this week.


I'm going to sign me tomorrow.


But I think you have to be willing to put in the time and the work like anything else. How did you get good? It's years of experience. I think it's that recognition. I've just seen so many rounds. I think I've probably worked. I think I calculated with someone, I'm well over 32,000 rounds. Wow. So when you think about how many rounds of fighting I've just watched, there's just not a lot of people that have watched that many rounds.


Yeah, not your most ardened USC fan can probably say they.


Watched 32,000 rounds. It's a lot of rounds. I tell that all the sports individuals, there's so many ways to get involved at the high school level, the college level, the amateur level, the club level, get involved, start working, start building your experience so that when you get an opportunity to work in a high level, let's say a professional level, you've got a confidence because you've been doing it for years.


Yeah. Any big mentors come to mind for you along your.


Career path? I've had a lot of great mentors. Within this world alone, Mark Ratner has been a tremendous mentor. He has really taught me how to see the whole sport, the whole athlete, to step back and take that 10,000 foot view. So he's been wonderful. Not to sound too at home, but Dana has had a great influence on me. Dana White has also taught me a lot. Hunter Campbell has taught me a lot. There has been physicians that I've worked with throughout the country that have looked at the sport from a different set of eyes because maybe they're a different specialty. They're an orthopedic surgeon or they're a neurologist or they're a P. M. And R. Physician. And so all those experiences have built my understanding of how the sport can be managed and how we can make it even safer than it is and continue that safety record.


Yeah. I've had a lot of mentors along my path, too. I think it's also important to highlight how do you maintain your own state of optimal health? With all that you have going on emergency room has got to be very draining emotionally and physically. Just the hours and the demand, but the emotion of having people in some of the worst moments, some of their most traumatic experiences. So what are some of the things that you do outside of the cage, so to speak, to keep yourself in shape and keep your mental condition?


I think it's important to be somewhat regimen and the people.


That- You are like a precision guided missile man. You'd be the easiest guy to put a hit out on because you're in the same places.


At the same time. Exactly. Either you're in my personal life and my wife and kids know, or you're working with me in the ER, my nurses know or the individuals all around the U. S. C. Know me, but I'm very, very precision and probably too predictable. But I think it's important that you have a habit of living healthy. I mean, you need to get up, you need to eat. Most people know me, I eat a very basic diet. I'm very narrow on what I ingest and what I like. I have a very strong sleep pattern. It's very set from time going to bed to time getting up. I don't over sleep. That is huge. I think that's huge. I've listened to you a lot about that, but I'm very set on you've got to have this very set pattern of sleep. It can't be that you skip it too much. Now, there are times because of the travel and just the work in itself that your sleep patterns are disrupted. Then again, and I know you and I emphasize it, but you've got to have an exercise pattern, and it's got to be religious. It's got to be seven days a week.


It's got to be every day. It has to be something you enjoy. Yeah, I mean, you have to look forward to going to that exercise. Particularly, I like the gym. We know I always start off with cardio. I usually go- You did like 35.




Today. 30 to 40 minutes. Yeah, I love the elliptical, and I like to get my heart rate about 140. I love core. Right after that, I do a core. And then I move into whatever set muscle group we're working out that day. And then you and I enjoy the recovery part of it's just as important. After you break down the tissue, you got to recover.


Yeah. Amen. And it's just so nice to see somebody in the allopathic world with emergency experience and surgical experience that actually really understands the benefit of maintaining themselves. It's okay to be selfish and put yourself first or else you really can't help.


Can't help.


Everyone else. You can't help everyone else. You're not sharp. I want my physician, when he's doing surgery on me, I want that guy to be in the best shape of his life. I hope he did 40 minutes on the elliptical like you, took a freaking cold bath, and ate clean that day.


I think that's the perfect day. And then if you get to go home and watch a USC fight or some other contact sport, it's perfect night. It's a perfect evening.


I think this is giving people a lot of perspective. I'm really excited about our mutual ventures that we've got underway together. As am I. I have tremendous respect for you and what you've done and the impact you've had on the sport and just the fact that you've been involved for so many decades and watched it grow from such a backyard brawl to one of the greatest sanctioned sports in the world. I always end these interviews the same way, these podcasts the same way. And I say, What does it mean to you to be an ultimate human? No right or wrong answer, but just what does it mean to be an ultimate human?


To me, it might come a little bit easier. To me, an ultimate human is every day you get up, you're excited for that day. You're going to do your best, you're going to work your hardest, and you're going to put out the best energy you can. To me, if you accomplish that, you rest so peacefully that night, it's a wonderful day. I think every day it needs to be that. You need to get up motivated and excited to do whatever you do. I do. I get up.


Every day. Oh, you definitely do.


People say.


How do you go back?


You're bouncing off the wall. How do you go back into the ER? How are you still practicing? I'm like, I love it. I get up. What am I going to do today? I don't want to sit at home. I want to get up and do something. I want to produce. I want to be out there. I want to be in the emergency department and do a shift and then come over here and work out and then go take care of the athletes and then come speak with you. That's the ultimate human to enjoy what you do every day and to feel productive every day. You get a great night's sleep that night.


That's awesome. Well, the ultimate human, Dr. Jeffrey Davidson, thank you guys for tuning in. And as always, that's just science.