Dr. Michael Kaiser is a role model for other surgeons in part because he encourages a mindset of honest reflection and constant improvement. Each year, he facilitates a seminar called “If I Could Do That Case Over Again.”
In the seminar, experienced surgeons invited by Dr. Kaiser talk about complications they encountered in difficult cases. They describe the cases in detail and cover what they would do the same and what they would do differently if they had the chance to do them again.
Most spinal surgeons who attend the course probably sign up because of its obvious benefit: the chance to become better surgeons by learning from the experience of leaders in the field. When attendees later encounter situations similar to the ones presented, they will already be way ahead of the game.
But the course attendees receive another benefit too. Perhaps even more importantly, they see leaders who actively, constructively reflect on cases they would now approach differently. And they see these leaders sharing that reflection publicly in order to help others learn and grow.
These habits of mind—of reflection, sharing and growth in the face of setbacks—build exceptional neurosurgeons. And the benefits derived from these habits aren’t confined to the exact situations presented in the seminar. These are the habits of mind that enable a neurosurgeon to improve honestly and relentlessly, providing the best possible care to every patient he sees, regardless of situation, throughout his career.
This seminar is one way leaders in neurosurgery have been using their own growth mindsets to encourage their peers to grow, develop and achieve at ever-higher levels. That’s good for surgeons, and good for their patients.
Find more information about The Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute here.
Image credit: © [skeeze] /Pixabay