We often hear that “timing is everything,” whether it is in the context of personal relationships, business opportunities, or cultural shifts in attitudes and actions.
But how do we know when the time is right?
Sometimes, a wait-and-see approach is the best way forward—especially in medicine, where data drive evidence-based practices and decision-making. On the other hand, being proactive has its advantages, including the benefit of identifying, or avoiding altogether, problems before they occur. Plus, as we all know, hoping to eliminate all risks at all costs while waiting for the “perfect moment” can mean missed opportunities that spell the difference between success and failure.
Timing is a key consideration across our organization, because as Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center, we have a responsibility to ensure that our missions of patient care, medical education, and biomedical research remain relevant in today’s fast-changing world.
In this issue of Medicine Iowa, timing plays a part in each of our feature stories. You will learn about new technology that dramatically improves the standard treatment for early-onset scoliosis, resulting in fewer spine-correcting surgeries for pediatric patients at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. You will read about Staphylococcus aureus and how one UI researcher believes the bacteria known to cause pneumonia and other serious infections may also play an important role in insulin resistance and diabetes—and he is nearly ready to test this idea. Also, you will learn about efforts in the UI Carver College of Medicine, in collaboration with other UI colleges and programs, to prepare students and providers to more effectively and respectfully serve their patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ).
As these stories demonstrate, good timing is more than just seizing the moment. It’s about exploring opportunities and making decisions based on the latest information available with the best interests of our patients, our communities, and our profession in mind.
Jean E. Robillard, MD
Vice President for Medical Affairs
University of Iowa