TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ORAL and MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEONS

This blog entry is based on an article with the title “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 78: 12-17, 2020). The implication is that those who have gone before us are “giants” and are due a certain amount of awe. I guess there is a great deal of truth in that for me and that I feel very privileged to have been trained and mentored by some great minds and great technical surgeons who cared enough about me to want to impart their knowledge and skills to me. I guess I really do believe in and have great confidence in my skills and knowledge – I might hope that most people who work in areas where they have people’s lives in their hands such as surgeons and pilots for example would feel that way.

Now I am entering into a final area in my professional life where I have a greater opportunity to pass my own knowledge and skills on to a successor, Dr. Paul Pamula. That prospect is actually quite exciting to me. I have always loved teaching and sharing knowledge – and I also feel that I have learned much over time relating to techniques and ideas which fine tune the art and science of what we do.

I have four children who are all successful in their own regard and I can only hope that they feel that I have contributed significantly to their growth as men and women. I hope the same for those for whom I have had the opportunity to mentor in my specialty. I am no “giant,” but I am a good learner and I have always enjoyed sharing. I look forward to this next step of mentoring the next generation of oral and maxillofacial surgeons.