Wedemeyer Lecture Series

I am attending today’s Wedemeyer lecture at West Point. I’m fascinated to hear CMDR Eggers presentation.

The General Albert C. Wedemeyer Strategic Lecture Series Endowment is a part of West Point’s Center for Enhanced Performance. This endowment honors the intellectual and strategic legacy of General Wedemeyer through a series of lectures, think tanks, or roundtable discussions for cadets and faculty.

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5 Lessons I Re-learned Courtesy of Ryan Lochte


“Memory is more of a self-serving dynamic revision machine: you remember the last time you remembered the event, and without realizing it,
change the story at every subsequent remembrance.”
Nassim Nicholas Talib

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I’m pretty sure that after the dust settles, Ryan Lochte will be fine.  Sure, he tarnished his reputation in action and words, but ultimately he fessed up to his big fish story.  His mistake will cost him many millions of dollars.

I can’t fully explain why, but I have been deeply intrigued by this event and found myself anxiously drinking up news developments as this puzzle unfolded.

I suppose it’s my interest in human performance that fueled the fascination.  It was captivating to see how this 32-year-old, 12-time medalist could make such a stupid mistake and then proceed with making several more before admitting his misbehavior and his lie.

From my vantage, five lessons can be gleaned from this event.  Continue reading “5 Lessons I Re-learned Courtesy of Ryan Lochte”

The Passing of Doctor Peter Jannetta

The Passing of Doctor Peter Jannetta

By Mark R. McLaughlin, MD

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

George Bernard Shaw

JannettaPeter Jannetta wasn’t a go-getter…He was a go-giver.

The first gift he ever gave me was a Snickers bar. It was on the first day I met him during my interview.  I thought to myself.  Hmmmm, is this some kind of examination technique or ploy? Some psychological test that he uses to discern who is worthy to get into the world’s best neurosurgery residency program?  No other chairman offered me a candy bar during my interview, let alone one of the most famous neurosurgeons in the world.

The chocolaty peanut treat was hard to refuse.  I love candy!  It was delicious, and as the interview unfolded I was already beginning to fall in love with this warm, avuncular, magnificent man from Pittsburgh.  That was our first commonality I discovered: a sweet tooth! Continue reading “The Passing of Doctor Peter Jannetta”

Do No Harm

Do No Harm – From My Bookshelf

DoNoHarmMarshBookI recently read an outstanding book called Do No Harm, by Henry Marsh. The New York Times and The New Yorker gave it solid reviews, which it deserves. It’s by an English neurosurgeon who chronicles his career experience, the highs and lows. I commend Dr. Marsh on his work. Many times I have struggled to articulate the trials and tribulations of learning to become and practicing as a neurosurgeon. As I read his book, I often thought to myself, “Wow, he really captures what I have been trying to share with loved ones and friends.” So now instead of struggling to find the right words, the right stories, I can offer a copy of Do No Harm.

This book is about medicine and humanity. It is a portal to the neurosurgeon’s experience. Here’s Dr. Marsh’s description of observing his first neurosurgery: “the operation involved the brain, the mysterious substrate of all thought and feeling, of all that was important in human life — a mystery, it seemed to me, as great as the stars at night and the universe around us. The operation was elegant, delicate, dangerous and full of profound meaning. What could be finer, I thought, than to be a neurosurgeon?”

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