Welcome to the new academic year, and a special welcome to our new faculty members, residents and staff members!
Dr. Richard Leigh, Zone Clinical and Academic Department Head
I hope you were able to take time off over the summer to relax with family and friends. For me, that included getting caught up on my ‘non-medical’ reading, and one of the books I enjoyed was ‘Legacy: What the All Blacks can Teach us About the Business of Life’.
As many of you know, I hail from Southern Africa, and it’ll come as no surprise to learn that I am an avid rugby fan. In the world of rugby the national team of New Zealand, known as the All Blacks, are the most successful team of all time, perhaps in any sporting era.
It wasn’t always that way; the All Blacks failed to reach the Rugby World Cup (RWC) finals (played every 4 years) in 1999, 2003, and 2007. Then, in 2004, they adopted a new team philosophy – ‘Better People make Better All Blacks’. This new ideology, which puts emphasis on personal character and accountability, would contribute to their successive 2011 and 2015 RWC championships, and has seen them achieve a greater than 90% win ratio over the last 4 years.
In the book author James Kerr explains that, to become an All Black means to become a ‘steward of the jersey’. As a team member, it is your responsibility to leave the jersey in a better place than when you found it. Moreover, Kerr contends that if better people make better All Blacks, they also make better doctors, spouses, parents, and friends. This concept resonates with me, and I’m seriously contemplating developing a Medical Grand Rounds based on the lessons in the book; I’ll title it ‘Better People make Better Doctors: Citizenship in Medicine’. Stay tuned…