The Insiders Scoop – Fitness, YouTube, & Medical School


Ethan Jose from EJ Fitness

Name: Ethan Jose

Specialty/Interests: Fitness, YouTube, Anesthesiology

Education: University of Oklahoma (Biology B.S.), University of Oklahoma College of Medicine (M.D.)

Current Position: MS3


1 | What drew you to the field of medicine?

My interest in medicine started when I started having frequent injuries from gymnastics. I started seeing my pediatrician, sports medicine doctor, and orthopedic surgeon frequently to help fix my injuries and get me back to the sport I loved. I was fascinated with their depth of knowledge and how they were able to apply that knowledge to help me continue competitive gymnastics. I thought it would be very rewarding to make this kind of impact on people the same ways these doctors impacted my life.


2 | How did you get involved with fitness and how has your expression of that passion changed over the years?

I started competitive gymnastics at 5 years old and worked my way up to competing in NCAA division 1 gymnastics until I was 22 years old, so fitness always played a large part of my life.  After being in gymnastics for so long and retiring at 22, living an active lifestyle was ingrained in me so I had to find something to fill this new void in my life. That’s where my focus shifted from gymnastics to bodybuilding and I have been in love ever since. The great thing about being retired from a competitive sport is I now have the freedom of trying other sports without the fear of getting injured so I have enjoyed incorporating wakeboarding and snowboarding more in my life as well.


3 | You’re a medical student and maintain a very active lifestyle and healthy physique. What mistakes do people make when trying to balance busy professional demands with a healthy and fit lifestyle?

I think the two biggest mistakes people make when trying to balance their profession with a healthy lifestyle are preparation and prioritization. Just like anything in life, if you don’t have a set plan and know the steps you need to take in order to achieve that goal, it is hard to be successful. Simple things like buying my groceries on the weekends and preparing healthy meals on the weekend for the rest of the week are things that help me stay organized and on track. Prioritizing my workout over other leisurely activities is huge too, although there should still be a balance of physical activity and social life, especially if you are extremely busy!


4 | What is a typical day like for you?

It really depends on the rotation, but right now I’m on family medicine so I don’t have to be at clinic until 8am and usually leave between 3pm – 5pm. After I get home from clinic, I usually grab a quick snack, head to the gym for an hour at most. Efficiency is key! I will usually get home around 6:30pm, eat one of my prepared meals for dinner, and hit the books until around 12am. Then I’ll prepare for the next day and get ready for bed. This routine can vary greatly, especially on busier rotations or services like thoracic surgery where I was in the hospital for around 14 hours a day. A service like that does not yield as much free time to workout and study.


5 | How much sleep do you get each night? Do you prioritize it and how does it influence your functioning as both a student and in the weight room?

I try to get anywhere from 5-7 hours of sleep a night. Anything less than 5 hours (or multiple days of 5 hours in a row) definitely affects my ability to study and exercise. It usually doesn’t affect me too much during duty hours, but as soon as I get home from the clinic or operating room, it is extremely hard to get things done if I get less sleep than that. I try to sleep as much as I possibly can when I get the opportunity because I see a significant increase in my focus, ability to retain knowledge from studying, and have a more effective workout when I am more rested.


6 | What was the biggest challenge during your medical training or practice to date? How did you overcome the obstacles, and what lessons did you take away?

This is definitely a topic I would like to make a video on but the biggest challenge so far during my medical training was choosing to take the risk of delaying my step 1 and delay the start of my 3rd year. It was tough to put in another month of extremely intense studying and watch my peers start their 3rd year while I continued to study for the exam that everyone else has moved on from. I had to dig deeper than I ever have in my academic career and put in the most effective studying of my life. I made a conscious effort every single day to block out the negative “what ifs” that entered my head and dedicated each day crushing step 1. It was mentally and emotionally exhausting but it all ended up working out in the end and this experience showed me the mentality I need to have, and am capable of having, in order to face future difficulties in medicine.


7 | What has your experience been of being a well-known Instagram influencer and YouTuber while also being a medical student?

It has been extremely rewarding and very stressful at times, but a huge blessing that I will never take for granted. I never knew how big this could get or how many people I would end up motivating and inspiring, but I find it so fulfilling to have such a positive impact on so many people’s lives though my youtube videos. I’m the first person to pursue a medical degree in my family and I had very little knowledge of what it was like to be a doctor and what it took to be a doctor. When I started incorporating premed and medical student advice into my videos, I really just set out to hopefully help out someone like my younger self who really had no idea how to become a doctor, and what it really is like going through the process of becoming a doctor. I truly am humbled to have the following I have and can’t thank my supporters enough for everything they have given back to me.


8 | What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Always go after your dreams with 100% of your effort, no matter what doubts you or others may have. I have doubted myself countless times but luckily I’ve had several encouraging people in my life who have helped me realize I am capable of achieving anything I put my mind to. If there’s something out there that you want to do or accomplish, never doubt yourself no matter how difficult it may seem. Go get after it!


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