Passing the Baton
During high school, my son participated in numerous sports: ice hockey, cross-country, a little basketball, and he ran track. Of all the competitive varsity sports that he participated in, the most gut wrenching to watch was the track relays. Four young men trained countless hours, and then, with bated breath, the baton had to be passed from one runner to the next at just the right moment and with just the right placement into the next runner’s palm. All this must be done with precision and without a mere glance as they reach the “changeover box”. The crowd’s sigh of relief was palpable when the baton was successfully passed from one runner to the next. Problems rarely occur when somebody is in possession of the baton. The race is won or lost in the handoff.
Passing the baton is symbolic and filled with many connotations. Work, life, and play require smooth transitions. In most everything we do in medicine, clinical practice, and surgery, we require self-regulation and smooth passing of the baton. What is our baton? During surgery, when there is need for an intra-operative consultation, passing the baton requires diligence so that the new surgeon can visualize the anatomy that was created. Passing the baton also occurs during sign-off that we give to our team during post-surgical rounds. Each patient handoff is carefully crafted so that the next team knows exactly what is expected. This improves patient safety, reduces adverse events, and improves outcomes.
As our residents and fellows finish residency and fellowship, they will pass the baton to new emerging leaders who will fill their shoes. Ideally, they should transition with storytelling about lessons learned. Snatching the baton away is not acceptable. Passing the baton purposefully and thoughtfully will instill confidence in the next generation of learners.
For seasoned organizations, passing the baton is also important. Succession planning is a process. Successful transitions require reflection and self-awareness. How do we transmit the legacy that was built? Great teams need great leaders and organizations that stay ahead of transitions to pass the baton thoughtfully.
In this next year, we approach a hand off in leadership in two of the AAGL’s valued roles, JMIG Editor-in-Chief and SurgeryU Editor-in-Chief.
Dr. Suketu Mansuria has served as SurgeryU Editor-in-Chief since 2016. Under his six years of leadership, SurgeryU has expanded its content and remains an invaluable tool for MIG surgeons. Dr. Mansuria welcomed new contributions from SIG members, promoted FMIGS webinars and oversaw the International Training webinars, all while maintaining high-quality videos that are the standard of SurgeryU.
Dr. Tommaso Falcone took the reins of JMIG in 2016. In his time as Editor-In-Chief, JMIG’s impact factor has grown each year and JMIG has remained the authoritative source of the latest cutting-edge developments in MIGS. In addition, JMIG has evolved to represent our global membership and has modernized into an online publication.
Thank you, Dr. Mansuria and Dr. Falcone for your dedicated contribution to the AAGL and to the future of MIGS.
In accordance with AAGL policy, at the end of each Editor’s term, these positions become available to any AAGL member who would like to apply. We are committed to preserving the integrity of these incredible assets of the AAGL and supporting our leaders, past and incoming, through a healthy passing of the baton.
If you are interested in serving as the AAGL SurgeryU Editor-in-Chief and demonstrate the qualifications listed in the application, we invite you to apply by September 15, 2022 (newly extended!)
If you are interested in serving as the AAGL JMIG Editor-in-Chief and demonstrate the qualifications listed in the application, we invite you to apply by September 30, 2022 (newly extended!).
We honor and appreciate those who have served us so well and approach this transition with confidence in our continued success. As physician leaders, let’s be intentional about how we pass the baton. We will do it thoughtfully, deliberately, and decisively.