The lab had this feast of ice creams and desserts laid out to celebrate my birthday. It totally caught me off guard and was such a nice 'break' from a busy day. There were 12 types of ice cream, cheesecake and a killer chocolate layer cake. There were so many ice cream flavors that some I never even heard of (my favorite was grape nut ice cream). After a little while, I got a phone call and had to step out but what I heard from the hall warmed my heart - people laughing and just enjoying each others' company.... and of course, enjoying the desserts too (see picture below).
The laughter and spirit reminded me of comments I heard over the last few days. Jamie Padmore (VP of Academic Affairs for MedStar Health and my counterpart for medical education across the system) and I conducted a series of focus groups with educators and investigators to get their input on the future of academics at MedStar. We asked many 'what keeps you here' trying to ascertain the 'good' things that are here that we want to preserve and build upon. Almost universally, they say 'the people I work with.' Such a simple statement but so true.
I encourage each of you to take a moment, look around and appreciate the people you get to work with day in and day out.