“Bees cull their several sweets from this flower and that blossom, here and there where they find them, but themselves afterwards make the honey, which is all and purely their own, and no more thyme and marjoram: so the several fragments he borrows from others, he will transform and shuffle together to compile a work that shall be absolutely his own; that is to say, his judgment.”
Michel de Montaigne, On the Education of Children (1579)
Leaving Belgium, one of the smallest countries in the world, to and coming to reach the Center for Medical (CMS) in Boston, I had lots of expectations but also apprehensions and doubts about my own abilities to carry out these expectations. On one of my first days in Boston, I went to the Harvard University campus, crossed the Dexter gate and read the inscription: “Enter to grow in wisdom.” Frankly, at that moment, I have to confess my perplexity because I felt that this would be very challenging for somebody who had not always been that wise…
Through the days, and the weeks, I realized that what I was experiencing not only fulfilled my expectations but was going far above them. I expected to be immersed in Debriefing with Good Judgment, crisis resource management, managing difficult conversations, difficult debriefings and many other topics but I was amazed by two other elements.
The first one was the mentor-mentee relationship. After having read Montaigne and being exposed to another reality during my curses, I was considering that this was kind of an unreachable dream. Trust me, my CMS mentors have made this dream a reality in through their teaching, by offering their outstanding wisdom and knowledge, by making themselves available in accordance with my skills, abilities and way of learning so that I had the opportunity to transform and shuffle theseseverything together and compile my own, original, work.
The second element was related to human relationship. More precisely, I felt so blessed having the opportunity to meet people not only at the top of their expertise, but also the most empathic, gracious, and caring people I have ever met.
And what has been so pleasant for me was that this behavioral value was contagious somehow. I still can feel it every time I read the basic assumption, a major takeaway for me:
“We believe that everyone participating in activities at CMS is intelligent and well-trained, cares about doing their best and wants to improve.”
Sacha Ghuysen, MD, PhD, is an Internist and Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Ghuysen joined CMS as an International Scholar from March 2018-June 2018. He is the Associate Head of the Emergency Department at the University Hospital of Liege, and Professor in the Public Health Department at the University of Liege. In addition, he is the Director of the SMILE simulation center in Belgium.