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Exploring Art of the Possible with Dr Joe Dituri

Pushing The Limits

Release Date: 01/13/2022

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More Episodes

So much about the world remains unknown. What lies in the ocean’s depths, the composition of outer space, life after COVID — these are all questions yet to be answered. However, we can discover different solutions for many unresolved problems using critical thinking. We need to stop looking for answers today and look forward; we need to seek the art of the possible.

In this episode, Dr Joe Dituri draws from his research and experience to discuss hyperbaric oxygen therapy, space travel, and the right approach to battling COVID. One might think that it takes an advanced academic degree to tackle these concerns and mysteries. However, in the episode, we’ll learn that qualifications aren’t all there is to it. Finally, he shares how research and studying can unlock doors to a whole world of possibilities.

Tune in if you want to learn more about harnessing the art of the possible. 


Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Understand more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and oxygen toxicity.
  2. Hear Dr Joe’s opinion on how we can solve the current COVID situation and why the research and doctoral approach just won’t cut it. 
  3. Learn about the importance of diversity of thought and the art of the possible.


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Episode Highlights

[03:03] Dr Joe’s Background

  • Dr Joe did so poorly in his studies that he had no choice but to join the Navy.
  • He has poor vision due to congenital ocular albinism. However, refusing to wear glasses impeded his learning potential.
  • While his mother taught him his work ethic, the Navy taught him discipline.
  • After finding out his learning method, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and became a Navy Special Operations Officer.

[11:22] Becoming a Navy Commander

  • Dr Joe trained to walk on the ocean floor more than swim
  •  during his time as a Navy diver.
  • He became a great diver and started writing papers after expanding his diving knowledge.
  • His papers and diving expertise resulted in him receiving a promotion as the officer-in-charge of the Deep Submergence Unit.
  • Upon building a dry combat submersible and bending a few rules, they came up with organisation state rules for the American Bureau of Shipping.

[18:25] Life After the Navy

  • After finishing 28 years in the Navy, Dr Joe decided to write a paper on the ketogenic diet.
  • There was a hypothesis that using a ketogenic diet could stave off epileptic seizures on one side. Joe wondered if it would work for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • Then, he decided to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering to write the paper.
  • After writing the paper, Dr Dom D’Agostino invited Joe to work in his laboratory and write a few chapters on a book together.

[23:19] Combating Oxygen Toxicity

  • When you’re diving, seizure won’t kill you; drowning will.
  • Joe’s PhD was about designing an early warning detection system for when the autonomic nervous system is stressed.
  • They also redesigned the current spacesuit.

[30:36] What Extreme Diving Is Like

  • If there’s a leak in your suit at 810 PSI, it would cut you in half and fuse you.
  • With extreme diving, he needed to be calm about his potential death. The fear encouraged more careful measures.
  • Being in charge of the detachment meant Joe carried a significant responsibility on his shoulders.
  • Coming to terms with that responsibility, he devised a robust training plan and surrounded himself with people to help him execute it.

[34:58] His Diving Experience

  • They did a scientific expedition on the Britannic to learn why it sank.
  • The black coral dive was the most dangerous dive he's performed. The swinging of the hammer in the water takes so much energy, and it attracts sharks.
  • Your body has compensatory mechanisms that allow you to dive as deep as 2,000 feet underwater.
  • They're looking to break the record by living in an aquatic environment for 100 days. This endeavour also serves as survival training in extreme conditions.
  • Everything we need to survive is on this planet we just need to look in new places.

[48:05] The Art of the Possible

  • We’re all just trying to figure out what we’re supposed to do.
  • It's not about what is state of the art. Instead, consider the art of the possible. Always keep your eyes ahead.

[54:53] The COVID Situation

  • Viruses will kill people.
  • We need a common-sense approach rooted in a combination of politics, medicine, and business rather than just a blanket doctoral approach.
  • Shaming and blaming are fear tactics used during the vaccination period.
  • Rather than pointing fingers, it’s more important to find a solution to the problem.

[1:00:32] What He’s Currently Doing

  • He's working at the Undersea Oxygen Clinic, where they're doing clinical research and a wide variety of treatments.
  • Medicare doesn’t hold all the answers; we could refer to the HMO since they have good interests at heart.
  • Tune in to the full episode to find out his studies on post-COVID patients and why sometimes the research itself is the wrong attitude!

[1:12:52] Degree vs. Diversity of Thought

  • You can’t expect everything to work right away.
  • Degrees and titles mean nothing compared to the ability to think outside the box. The art of the possible requires looking ahead.
  • In the U.S., some legislations grant patients with a terminal diagnosis the right to dictate their own cure.


7 Powerful Quotes

‘There’s enough problems that can kill you, and the ocean will happily and gleefully kill you without blinking an eye. It won’t even recognise that you’re there, so… you actually have to give it a good dose of respect.’


‘... everything that we need on this planet exists on this planet to survive.’


'It's not about the state of the art; it's about the art of the possible. Because the state of the art is yesterday and right now. The art of the possible is way the hell out there.'


'I firmly believe that [the solution to COVID] needs to be rooted not in politics. Not in medicine, but in a combination of politics and medicine and business and acumen.'


‘People will do everything, and then do hyperbarics. Then they go, ‘Hyperbarics didn’t work.’ Well, yeah, because you waited until the end to try it. If you had done it, it might have helped earlier.’


‘...what degree you have, what title you put before your name, what title you put after your name, it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. If you are a person that can think outside the box, I’d much rather have you in my corner.’


'If you are supposedly at the end of life and have been given a terminal diagnosis and I'm going to die if I do things the way you want to do, then why do you care?'


About Dr Joe

Dr Joe Dituri is a retired Navy Commander and a consultant for the International Board of Undersea Medicine. He’s currently the President of the Undersea Oxygen Clinic and the CEO of the Association for Marine Exploration.


He earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina, a Master's degree in Astronautical Engineering from Naval Post Graduate School, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida. Enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1985, he was commissioned in Special Operations and became Officer-in-Charge Deep Submergence Unit (DSU) Diving Systems Detachment (DSD). He also won several awards during his service.


Joe has written numerous diver-training manuals, co-authored “Tao of Survival Underwater”, contributed to Hyperbaric Medical Practice (4th edition) and the Navy Diving Manual, and has been published in several journals. Currently, he is interested in writing books, skydiving, and being a civilian astronaut. 

Learn more about Dr Joe's work, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, on his website

You can also connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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To pushing the limits,