Fear, Courage and Stress from a Neurosurgeon’s Perspective, Dr. Mark McLaughlin, Neurosurgeon, Author & Speaker

Mark McLaughlin, MD is a neurosurgeon on a mission to use the lessons he’s learned in his career to help others courageously engage and wrestle with stress.

Dr. McLaughlin believes everyone can take the core principles behind brain surgery and apply them to any of life’s problems. In his upcoming book, Outthinking Fear, Dr. McLaughlin discusses the lessons he learned in the operating room and how they can be utilized in everyday life to think and act move effectively.

He is a board certified neurosurgeon, currently practicing neurological surgery at Princeton Brain and Spine Care. He has published over 100 articles on neurosurgery and spoken internationally about his field. A former NCAA Division I wrestler, Dr. McLaughlin was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016. He remains active in the wrestling world, coaching with the Princeton Wrestling Club.

Dr. McLaughlin also served as medical director for Princeton Brain and Spine from 2005 to 2015 before focusing in on teaching and inspiring others.


In this interview, Mark and Cindra talk about:

  • A brain surgeon’s top rules for surgery that we can apply to everyday life
  • How struggle is the opportunity
  • How the brain processes fear and courage
  • How courage is a learned behavior
  • The 5 P’s he uses to get mentally prepared for surgery
  • How to problem-solve effectively under stress


You can find more about Mark’s work on twitter @MMcLaughlinMD or www.markmclaughlinmd.com and Cindra on Twitter at @Mentally_Strong.



“Experience isn’t the greatest teacher, other people’s experience is the greatest” -Andy Andrews @MMcLaughlinMD
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“The struggle is the opportunity. What’s your struggle?” @MMcLaughlinMD
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“Courage is a learned behavior. Courage being a learned behavior leads into cognitive dominance.” @MMcLaughlinMD
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“My 5 Ps to mentally prepare for surgery: pause, patient, plan, positive thought, and prayer. What do you do to mentally prepare for your performance?” @MMcLaughlinMD
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“Fear is the thing that holds us back. When we know what our ‘why’ is, it can be a powerful motivator. What’s your motivator?” @MMcLaughlinMD
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