You see them at bedsides. Behind desks. You may spot them walking down a hall or sprinting across a lobby, making every effort to look like they're walking. You see them talking quietly with a patient and family, or sitting down with you at a meeting. They may be friends, teammates or someone you know only by sight. But you're glad they're here. And it's reassuring to know that the health of our patients, our colleagues and the institution itself rests in their capable, friendly, earnest, caring and compassionate hands.
Jeremy Cutsforth-Gregory, M.D., has a mission in life to do good work. When he came to Mayo Clinic as a medical student nearly 16 years ago, Dr. Cutsforth-Gregory found his mission aligned closely with Mayo Clinic's and was happy to learn that he could live his mission at Mayo Clinic.
"I was drawn to the collaborative rather than competitive spirit of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and was inspired by the beautiful clinic facilities that clearly put patients' healing front and center," he says. "I am inspired and challenged every day by smart, innovative teammates who want nothing more than to find ways to help patients who have not found solutions elsewhere. For example, our Cerebrospinal Fluid Dynamics Clinic includes physicians, researchers, nurses and others from Neurology, Radiology, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology and Anesthesiology who have developed novel diagnostic techniques and pioneering treatment options for patients with disabling spinal fluid leaks. This incredible team is changing patients' lives daily."
One of my favorite things about Mayo Clinic: The Plummer Building is such a perfect example of Mayo Clinic. It was strategically designed for efficient diagnosis and treatment of patients, is topped with a gift from our founders who recognized that music could honor the American soldier and entertain the entire community, and remains jaw-droppingly beautiful nearly 100 years later.
The single most important thing I did at work yesterday (or expect to do tomorrow): As a neurology clerkship director, I spend Wednesday afternoons in bedside teaching rounds with medical students. We meet patients to hear their stories and practice the neuro exam. Every week, I am impressed by the students' insightful questions and observations, and I know the future of medicine is bright.
A book I would recommend, or one I want to read (and why): "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It illustrates the brilliance of President Lincoln's leadership style that relied on communicating complex ideas through relatable stories, building diverse teams with complementary talents, and confidently making difficult or unpopular decisions if that is what it takes to do the right thing.
Mayo Clinic has taught me: To bring my authentic self to work. I was still in the closet when I started medical school. It took me a couple more years, but I eventually came out as a gay man and was blessed with positive support from expected and unexpected corners of the clinic.
During residency here, I met the man who would later become my husband. We married the month same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota. His Karis Award attests to the caring man that he is.
Two years ago, we were able to grow our family through adoption. And now I talk openly with trainees about my personal and professional identities to instill in them the confidence to bring their full and authentic selves to Mayo every day.
Most treasured or best advice from a colleague at Mayo: Do not aspire to titles or positions, but rather to tools and teams to enact your vision and make an impact.
Most memorable Mayo moment: Being asked for a hug or photo with a patient to celebrate successful treatment of their spinal fluid leak. It's been air hugs and masked photos recently, but each one is still memorable.
If I could choose the "hold" music for Mayo Clinic: It would be the soundtrack of a Broadway musical. Don't ask me to pick just one. Playbills for more than 50 shows currently hang in our foyer.
Favorite space on campus this month: With the warming weather, I have taken every opportunity to walk between the Saint Marys Campus and downtown.
People who inspire me: I would fail miserably if I tried to name all the great mentors I have had during my years so far at Mayo. Of particular note, however, are the late Dr. Bahram Mokri (Neurology) and the emeritus Dr. David Piepgras (Neurologic Surgery), who demonstrated friendly, productive, patient-centered collaboration over more than 40 years and who, to my great advantage, took me under their collective wings in the final years of their practices.
The most fun I've had at work this year: I teach and mentor many students each year, and I shamelessly try to convince them to become neurologists. This year, we had more Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students match into adult and child neurology residencies than ever before. It is so fun to watch them succeed.
Team Dr. Charlie or Team Dr. Will? Or Team Mother Alfred or Team Dr. W.W. Why? My personality probably most closely matches Dr. Will, but I do wish sometimes that I had Dr. Charlie's engineering and design prowess.
When patients recall their visit to Mayo Clinic, I hope they remember: I hope every patient feels listened to, validated and hopeful for the future.