I would hope that nearly all physicians in the course medical school, residency, fellowship and junior staff time encounter a mentor or two along the way. I have been fortunate enough to have several good mentors and a few great ones. Among those is Dr. Joe Chaffin, recently appointed medical director and vice president of a large blood center in Denver, CO.
When I was a resident (not said in a gravely old voice…yet) Joe ran the blood bank at Walter Reed Army Medical Center teaching several years of residents throughout the national capital area everything you wanted to or needed to know about blood banking and not a lot of minutia to clog your brain in risk of losing the big picture and important need to know material. During that time Joe also taught at the Osler review course for pathology. My class and those before and after me benefited from Joe's interests in computer programming, going through courses and quizzes written on a Macintosh! Of course, Joe at the time was the only one smart enough to have a Mac but I eventually caught on. Last but not least, around the same time Joe started the website Blood Bank Guy (no doubt with a Mac) and was responsible for our department website, still in the infancy of the Internet and later dismantled to a shell of its former shelf following increased DOD restrictions on public web content in 2001. Little remains of that today.
Joe's teaching style is to inform and educate through evidence-based medicine. Those of us who were fortunate to learn blood banking from Joe learned as much about the subject as we did about being effective communicators and being part of the treatment team and being able to defend your decisions that clinicians would respect. He was one of the few attendings I had who could do this and teach it.
Now if Joe could just stop being an ardent Detroit Red Wings fan, I might just have a little respect for the guy, but no one is perfect.
Look forward to your posts Joe as one of my continued references for those 3 AM blood bank calls for the right answer.
Category: Pathology News