In order to complete my master’s degree (many moons ago), I had to submit a paper concerning performance reviews. I’ve always been a big fan of this important managerial process. For one thing, performance reviews enable us to engage in some reflective practice about what we have accomplished over a given period of time. They also help us assess the extent to which we have realized our goals and to consider where we need to be heading in the future.
Essentially, by looking into the rear-view mirror, we can better navigate the road ahead.
I am feeling particularly reflective for a couple of reasons. First, I am gearing up for my own performance review as Associate Dean – Windsor Campus. As I look back over the past few years, I am reminded of the great distance Schulich Medicine has travelled. Very impressive indeed when you consider that there was no Windsor Campus just a decade ago. Time flies!
The second reason for my reflectiveness concerns the fact that for the past few weeks my wife and I have been very busy helping to move my aging parents from the house I grew up in and to a senior’s residence. Talk about memories; even more so for my mother who has a story to go with each piece of furniture and every knick-knack. Once again, time flies!
No doubt our Medicine Class of 2016 is starting to feel the fleeting nature of the clock. Soon they will be preparing to convocate and move on to their residency training. You can be assured that many of these graduates will talk about how fast the last four years have gone by as medical students.
As they do, I hope they will truly celebrate their accomplishments; not just the impressive ones, like graduation, but also the more mundane things, like that time that they caused a colleague to laugh out loud or paid it forward by unexpectedly buying a round of coffee for their PCCIA group.
Of course, you don’t need to be on the verge of medical school graduation to take stock; we can do this at any time. Some might do it at the end of the calendar year, some at the end of the academic term and others perhaps on the eve of their birthday.
No matter when you look into your rear-view mirror, I encourage you too to celebrate the journey, not just the end destination. Celebrate what you have accomplished and celebrate the help you have both received from and provided to others.
In my case, as I look back, the Windsor Campus has made extraordinary gains in a rather short period of time. So many have played a variety of roles over the years; this is surely a full Schulich Medicine team effort in the truest sense. I am humbled and in awe of what we can accomplish with the help of our friends and colleagues!
So as the days get longer, I wish you a pleasant reflective journey – even if it is only a brief getaway.
Gerry Cooper, EdD
Associate Dean, Windsor Campus