chapter  1
5 Pages

Innovation

One of our advanced and thoughtful senior surgical residents had finished his daily rounds and was chatting with Dr. Mackey, his surgi­ cal career mentor. The young trainee had recently attended a national surgical congress where he incredulously witnessed the emphasis placed on the necessity of being a practical and common sense surgeon rather than an innovator. Even though it was clear to him that practicality and innovation were not antagonistic in principle, he sought the perspective of his admired mentor, surgeon Mackey. After hearing of this experi­ ence, Mackey deliberately turned to the resident with surprised eyes and exclaimed, “Innovation is everything! Let me explain what I mean. Not infrequently, you will hear that surgeons need to concentrate on what we do well and eliminate thoughts of grandiose, innovative ideas. W hat an incongruent, irrational, irritating thought! On the contrary, I believe surgeons need to think and practice innovation whenever possible. Innovation should be part of our daily activities; innovation is everything!” The smart resident whole-heartedly agreed, finding his mentors confirmation both reassuring and uplifting!