Sunday, August 18, 2013

Art, Science, Ferris Bueller and Vacation

So first of all, I want to thank Katie Carlin for her guest post on research development while I was away on vacation and for Dr Michelle Magee for her guest post on 'working through lunch' while I was in recovery mode catching up from vacation.

So with this post, I want to share a first for me.  I have been at many investigators' meetings but never before did I have one in an art museum.  I am currently returning from an investigators' meeting in Chicago this weekend on a new type of heart valve.  Over 50 sites are taking part in this study and this meeting was to provide updates and information on next steps.  That is routine but what caught my attention was the location - the Art Institute of Chicago.  This was the art museum that was prominent in the classic move Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Given the setting, it was appropriate that they started the meeting with a classic quote from Ferris Bueller during the movie:

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

The meeting chair then went on to talk about how quickly the medical technology has changed and compared the changes in valve technology year by year to the changes made in mobile phone technology. 

Both the opening statement (i.e., the need to stop and breath and look around) and the rapid changes in technology, brought me back to something I learned during vacation last week.  This may sound strange, but during vacation I had a chance to learn a lot more about Darwin and his life's work.  There is a simple statement plastered on a T-shirt I now have that says: "Evolve.... or go extinct!"  It is so true in nature, in medical technology, in the field of scientific discovery and in our life during healthcare reform. 

Vacation gave me a chance to 'stop and look around' and appreciate that the rapid changes of our world are ok..... In fact they not just 'ok' but they are a good and a natural process of evolution. With that, my attention went back to the meeting, the valve technology AND the beautiful setting we were in:

Of course, as soon as the meeting ended, many of us did bolt over to the exhibits in the museum to enjoy a few minutes of the artwork before the museum closed for the day.  Ferris would have been very disappointed if we left without "looking around"!

Best wishes for everyone to enjoy the last weeks of summer!


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