Image with Commentary

July 2014

Is a first-rate MD a team player or an individualist? Should the multiple step MD selection process emphasize the social or the individual skills of candidates? Should admission committees choose the Olympic hurdler or the manager of the college Glee Club? These questions have resurfaced lately and probably are one manifestation of the stress experienced by the healthcare system.

This choice may be less substantial than it initially appears and in fact may be a false dichotomy. Teams, like individuals, may be self-serving, greedy, impulsive, self-destructive and incompetent. Furthermore, the qualities we seek in our personal MD are neither individualism nor sportsmanship, but knowledge, compassion, integrity and judgment.

The image shows an anesthesiologist who may be pondering these questions. He appears to be sitting alone in a darkened room but is part of a team of doctors, nurses and technicians performing robotic surgery. (2014)

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