A Matter of Timing

c_Marchese.jpg (9079 bytes)Timing is everything.

When Chris Murphy called me in September, exuberant and fresh from his trip to Romania for Operation Smile, I immediately knew 24×7 had its cover feature for December. A terrific BMET adventure that would stand on its own, anytime, Chris’ experience possessed several ingredients that made it particularly poignant for December: good news, little children, the spirit of giving, a dramatic critical moment for the central character — and best of all, great photos, shot “on location.” (See “Biomed Brings OR to Life with Frisbees, Fans and Floodlights; Operation Smile Registers as Turning Point,” p. 16).

Even the event itself came about as a matter of timing.

As someone who “fell into” biomedical engineering to begin with and now considers it the perfect vocation, Chris remarked on the timely nature of the trip in a couple of phone interviews: how he just happened to come across an e-mail that was Operation Smile’s urgent call for a biomed; how he thought, Why not? and curiously shot an e-mail response to the mission coordinator — apparently just in the nick of time — to keep the mission on course. In a matter of a few weeks, he was scouring Romanian stores for paraphernalia that could double for operating room lights and fashioning 02 regulator gaskets out of Frisbees.

But Chris also views the experience as a matter of good personal timing. Suddenly life has more meaning, more purpose, he says. The experience gave his life the richness he knew it lacked and for which he had been searching.

Chris is no Scrooge and the Operation Smile story is no Christmas Carol, but, just as that classic was right for its time, Chris’ story strikes the right chord as we approach the official season of “peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Timing is also important in careers.

For biomeds who may be assessing their situations come year’s end and resolving to do something different or achieve something more in the new year, 24×7 in January will begin running a monthly feature on preparing for the ICC certification exam. Provided though Dave Harrington, director of Special Projects for Technology in Medicine Inc., veteran educator/clinical engineer/technology manager and longtime 24×7 contributing editor, the installments — written by different experts in the field — will review technology, offer troubleshooting tips, pose questions and define terms, depending upon the topic each month.

The new year also brings the well-informed, highly respected technology guru Walter Mossberg’s column to the pages of 24×7.

New year, new features. The timing is right.

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