When I was a first year pathology resident, I was introduced to the time-honored tradition of the morgue conference. Once a month, a pathology resident was selected to present the interesting autopsy and surgical pathology cases from the previous month to interested medical specialties. Depending upon the cases that were being presented, radiology, oncology, and medical and surgical sub-specialties were all in attendance.
After my first conference, one of my professors kindly pulled me aside and said, “That was good. But what you have to be a showman!”
I was intrigued. “What do you mean?”
“Here, like this.” He took the preserved portion of the colon that was on the table. “Only show a little of organ in the beginning and build a story.” He covered most of the colon with a towel, revealing only a small portion, recognizable only to someone with a medical background. “Discuss the clinical history and the course of the patient. What symptoms did this patient present with when he was admitted? What diagnostic tests led to the diagnosis of the tumor? Then, slowly reveal the organ and give the audience several suggestions what the pathology might be.” He deftly removed the towel to reveal the tumor arising within the colon. Picking it up, he turned the organ to face me. “Hold the organ like this to present it to your audience so they see it as you would, facing them.” He then completely removed the towel. “Finally, present the key diagnostic findings that led to the diagnosis and give a summary statement how your diagnosis fits with the clinical presentation and the earlier diagnostic testing! You have to be a showman!”
I learned to be a showman that day. I was grateful for the kind mentoring of my professor; it was a lesson I never forgot and have since taught it to my residents. Being a showman rivets the attention of my audience and allows me to focus upon the truly important points of the presentation.
O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
Isaiah 25:1 (ESV)
The experience taught me to appreciate the grandeur of God. God is the ultimate showman! Everything He does rivets my attention and allows me to focus upon the message He is teaching me. In this passage, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that everything God does is worthy of our attention because it is all according to His perfect will.
Many years ago, I learned to be a showman. But for eternity, God has been showing and displaying His Creation and mighty works to me and everyone who has ever lived, all to make His point.
He is God and there is no other!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.