President’s Message




On the morning of February 8, I stood in front of Philadelphia City Hall, at the corner of 15th Street and South Penn Square to witness something that many of us wondered would ever happen in our lifetime. The Eagles had just won the Super Bowl and hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Center City to celebrate the Parade of Champions. As I stood in the cold shadows of the morning, I reflected on the success of the team, but more importantly the many lessons to be learned from their success. While some may question how a winning football team relates to the challenges that we face in the practice of medicine, I believe that there are many strong similarities.

As the practice of medicine continues to evolve to one in which reliance on teams of care to provide increased efficiency, safety and quality, an examination of the success of this team can provide us with some important insights. They showed us what a group of committed individuals can accomplish when they share a common goal. When faced with adversity and loss of key resources, you can either make excuses or you can make a commitment.  They chose the latter, demonstrating how dedication to a shared vision and to the hard work required to achieve a long-sought goal leads to ultimate success.  They also consistently demonstrated how unselfish commitment to the success of the team’s goals over individual accolades is critical. As physicians we are often called upon to provide leadership of our care teams. A wonderful example of collaborative leadership came to mind as I reflected on a critical point in the Super Bowl game when the Eagles faced a fourth and goal situation.  Coach Pederson, the “Captain of the Ship”, chose not to bury his head in his preconceived notions of how best to proceed, but rather listened to a trusted member of his team’s  suggested solution to the problem at hand, reflected for a moment, responded “Yeah, let’s do it” and immediately set about ensuring that all the members of the team knew the plan and were ready to execute.


Success is never certain, failure is never final, is a mantra that I adopted many years go and has provided me inspiration when faced with personal and professional challenges. I reflected on how that simple phrase complemented MVP quarterback Nick Foles comments on the key to success when he stated, “I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail… Failure is a part of life. It’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure who would you be? … I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that it’s an opportunity for your character to grow, and that has been the message. Simple. If something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling, embrace it, because you’re growing.” Wise words indeed!

As the day came to a close, I became increasingly certain of two things.  First, our decision to postpone our February meeting had been the right one.   Second, the Philadelphia Eagles had provided all of us with the joy of a long-awaited championship and a whole lot more.


  1. A. George Neubert, D. President


George Neubert, M.D