Mentorship applies to the whole team, whole person
Dr. Ron Gottesman is the recipient of 2020 Mentor of the Year award for Region 4
For Ron Gottesman, MD, FRCPC, in the world of Critical Care Medicine, trainees include not only medical students and junior physicians, but also nurses, nurse practitioners and other members of health care teams. The pediatric intensivist’s ‘big tent’ approach to mentorship reflects the value he places on teams and collaboration in achieving the best patient outcomes.
“Ron lives by the spirit that Critical Care Medicine is a team sport – we need to work with our physician, nursing, RT and other health care colleagues in order to optimize patient outcomes,” said Dr. Saleem Razack, director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Gottesman, a founder of the Royal College’s Critical Care Medicine speciality, was division chief for Pediatric Critical Care at McGill University for 25 years. He has served as Examination Board vice chair and is currently the past chair of the Specialty Committee.
“To build beyond the ‘medical team,’ Dr. Gottesman has been instrumental in supporting the advanced nurse practitioner program, empowering bedside nurses to become more engaged in patient care.” said Farhan Bhanji, MD, FRCPC and pediatric intensivist at McGill University’s Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Although he is a national leader in Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Gottesman has always emphasized the importance of local leadership. “One clear example is that he was a founding director of the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning at McGill University,” said four of his former trainees –Ola Jill Barter, MD, FRCPC, Elaine Gilfoyle, MD, FRCPC, Sebastien Roulier, MD, FRCPC, and Baruch Toledano, MD, FRCPC – in a nomination letter.
“Ron is a role model to all of us as he has consistently demonstrated how important it is to continue to advance our field, both locally and nationally. This is likely why our former residency program has produced more division heads across Canada than any other.”
Shaping all aspects Dr. Gottesman’s mentorship is a commitment to physician wellness.
“I’ve always been a great proponent of balance and family,” he said. “It’s a difficult field because of time stress and emotional stress…The balance is in being engaged and present for families and patients and then have some coping mechanism for private life.”
The real reward of mentorship, he says, is in seeing how far his mentees go, often surpassing the mentor.
Dr. Gottesman said the Royal College’s Mentor of the Year award is special because it’s “bottom up and not top down.”
“This is different because it’s really from people whom I’ve trained and people who I know who nominated me.”