Waiter or surgeon: Leadership Chattanooga learns qualities for success the same

Charlie McDaniel, director of operations, Legal Aid of East Tennessee

Leadership Chattanooga’s first meeting of 2017 began at Erlanger Hospital. We were introduced to our first speaker, Lisa Smith, M.D., a pediatric surgeon with University Surgical Associates.

A unique theme of Smith’s presentation involved highlighting the similarities between pediatric trauma surgery and waiting tables at a restaurant, noting both jobs require extreme focus and the ability to constantly reassess the needs of your patient (or diner).

The qualities that make a good surgeon, Smith says, are the same that make a good waiter: the ability to thrive under pressure, being a good team player and knowing the value of saying “please” and “thank you.”

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