Good morning, all,
At the outset, I would like to thank my guru, Dr. Pradeep Kumar, for giving me a golden opportunity to inaugurate this program, demonstrate a few temporal bone dissection exercises, and share a few thoughts. I have known him since 1986, from our undergraduate days at JJM Medical College, Davanagere. He is a role model for me in all aspects of life. He is one man who has shown me how to perfectly balance life between family and our profession. He is an accomplished son to his parents, a devoted husband, and a great father. The fact that he has been organizing these temporal bone dissection courses consistently, credibly, and continuously for so many years speaks volumes about his professionalism.
Let me clarify at the outset, to put it in the words of the famous poet Robert Frost, “I am not a guru or teacher, I am only an awakener.” My life’s ambition is to awaken the giant or genius within each of you.
How many of you here are participating in a temporal bone dissection course for the first time? Great.
I wholeheartedly congratulate you on your decision. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single small step. The journey in otology is not a linear or easy one, rather it is steep, like mountaineering. However, if you have made the decision to take that difficult journey, you can definitely achieve it with the 3-D principle, that is dedication, discipline, and determination.
Now, getting a temporal bone is very difficult. Hence, handle it like 24 karat gold. Try to do all the surgical steps or exercises. However, do at least one surgical exercise perfectly. It appears difficult in the beginning. Take one exercise at a time. It is often said, “By the yard it’s hard, but inch by inch, anything is a cinch.”
When you are dissecting, remember the golden words of Prof. Ralph Nelson, from the House Ear Clinic, Los Angeles, who has authored one of the best Temporal Bone Dissection manuals. Temporal bone dissection is all about going from one landmark to another landmark. Hence, appreciate each and every landmark as you dissect.
Earlier, I used to say, “Follow your passion or follow your dream.” Now things have changed, and these cliché words will not take you anywhere. Cliché means a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought. Now, I say master that craft, irrespective of where your heart is.
Nobody cares what your passion is. All that matters is how good you are with your surgical craft. Keep your passion for your hobbies such as painting or singing. Google Ngram Viewer is a special feature of Google search that shows the origin of words or phrases. And it shows, the phrase “follow your passion or dream,” originated only around 1980! Whereas the word “craftsmanship” exists since the 1880s since the beginning of agricultural and industrial ages.
How many of you here have visited the famous temples of Beluru and Halebidu in Hassan District?
If you have not done so far, go and visit them. There, in the Lord Chennakeshava temple, you will see some of the world’s most beautiful and intricate stone carvings done by the very popular ancient sculptor, Jakanachari. Aim to become that Jakanachari of your surgical craft. Ensure every surgery of yours is like the famous statues of the Chennakeshava temple.
If you are obsessed with the word passion, or dream, let becoming the Jakanachari of your craft be your passion or dream.
Besides, we have many great surgeons in our country. Keep them as mentors or role models. One of the easiest ways of mastering any craft is by copying these great surgeons.
Please don’t look at them as your competitors.
Having said that, you will have competitors. You will have naysayers. And you will have distractors.
Just ignore them.
The best way to succeed in anything is, to put it in the words of Steve Martin, a famous comedian, “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.”
Prof. Dr. Prahlada N.B
22 March 2023
Meenakshi ENT Hospital,