Monument Valley in Arizona

Barrow Neurosurgery Base Camp

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From the Office of the President and CEO

Brain surgery is the ultimate contact sport. The cases are intense, the stakes could not be higher, and performance determines outcomes. There are clutch plays and errors, victories and defeats, disappointments and thrills. Like becoming a better athlete, becoming a better surgeon requires commitment, hard work, and practice. And like athletes, we need to study our performance. Did I make the right read? Did I respond with the right move? What mistakes did I make that I can correct the next time? This is how we chase perfection.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

One of our Barrow traditions is to come together at the end of the day and reflect on what we just learned, in that difficult morning aneurysm or in that afternoon approach to a cavernous malformation. There is a pearl to be extracted from every case, and we find it in our “game tape.” We study the game tape in our teaching rounds, which makes them a crucible of neurosurgical training. I like to think of them as Barrow Base Camp – where we huddle after climbing the mountain to rest, recover, gather information, and share stories. And importantly, this ritual is how we chase perfection and better ourselves for the next attempt to summit that mountain of technical excellence.

Now we welcome you to join us. Follow me on Twitter @mtlawton for our episodes.

Michael T. Lawton, MD
President and CEO
Barrow Neurological Institute