Thursday, July 15, 2004

developing leaders 
I had a wonderful experience today watching leadership development. 
I have been diagnosed as Type II Diabetic since October of 1996.  Recently i decided to change endocrinologists because i just wasn't happy with my level of blood sugar control.  So I consulted Baltimore Magazine for the best doctors of that stripe in my area.  One of the doctors I found was Christopher Saudek at Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center.  So today I had my first appointment and went there and was greeted by another doctor - Dr. Rachel Durr, which I thought was a bit odd since I had signed up for Dr. Saudek.  But I took it in stride; she proceeded to examine me.  But then Dr. Durr let me know that she would be bringing in Dr. Saudek and reporting the results of our examination and then he would also examine me. 
After Dr. Saudek came in, I realized that he was mentoring Dr. Durr.  He listened to her report, asked other questions, and did his own examination.   One common complication of diabetes is blindness brought on by diabetic retinopathy.   I visit an opthamologist once yearly to check out my eyes and just had a thorough exam about a month ago.  Even so, Drs. Durr and Saudek did what no other endocrinologist had ever done for me:  they dilated one of my eyes and examined the back of my retina.  It was here that Dr. Durr was instructed as to the proper way to examine the retina for this disease (my eyes are fine, btw).  We thoroughly discussed my case and they spent a ton of time with me - I bet I was with them over 30 minutes.  
I was impressed by two things: 
1) This was the best diabetic exam I had received by several different doctors in 8 years.  Later, I discovered why; Dr Saudek literally wrote the book on diabetes!  He's one of the authors of the Johns Hopkins Guide to Diabetes.  After the appt, I googled him and read "Dr. Christopher Saudek, a Johns Hopkins University diabetes expert and a past president of the American Diabetes Association" in an article on diabetes!!  There I also discovered that Dr. Saudek was professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University.  He also won my undying affection when he gave me a turbo-cool brand new Freestyle Flash Blood Glucose Monitoring System with a free Data Cable and software!  Now I can geek out while being a good diabetic patient!
2) But what also impressed me was that the experience was a reiteration to me that the church needs an entirely new model of leadership formation that embraces both the propositional and the transpropositional (also blogged on this before) . I had no doubt that Dr. Durr had a medical degree and had mastered all the information of endicrinology.  But when she was scanning the back of my retina, Dr. Saudek was giving her advice on how to best position her body in relation to mine to gain the best insight into the back of my eye.  She saw how he interacted with me and he modeled for her the way a doctor needs to let the patient instruct him.  Though he knows 1000x more about diabetes than I do, when I suggested that we drop one of my medications that hinders weight loss for 3 months  so that I could try to drop the 5 lbs or so I need to drop before I reach my desired Body Mass Index, he readily agreed.  (Higher body fat inhibits insulin receptivity). 
I left his office determined to redouble my efforts to attack this disease and further convinced that the church must quit relying on information transfer as the omnicompetent modality of leadership formation. 

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