Thank you Dr. Ball for offering your perspective on our editorial, “Be Able, Available, and Especially Affable if You Want Team Success”1 that accompanied Edwards and Waisel’s detailed account2 of Geoffrey Kaye’s efforts on behalf of anesthesiology in Australia.
Christine Ball is eminently qualified to discuss Geoffrey Kaye in that she has served as the honorary curator of the Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History for the past 25 yr. What insights has Dr. Ball provided us in her letter? She has insight about the value of history and about Kaye’s success.
In recasting the story of Kaye’s 49 Mathoura Road experiment, Dr. Ball demonstrates for us the richness of history. History may be viewed from many vantage points and through many lenses, all teaching different lessons. Dr. Ball’s emphasis on Kaye’s contributions to the growth and development of anesthesiology in Australia properly place his role as central to the success of our specialty in his homeland.
Our editorial described successful anesthesiologists with 3-As: able, available, and affable. Dr. Ball’s letter describes several other As to characterize Geoffrey Kaye success: achieving, acknowledging, and allowing.
Dr. Ball makes sure we acknowledge Kaye for his achievements including editing (at the young age of 29 yr) the first textbook on anesthesiology written in Australia and being one of the seven founding members of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA).
Dr. Ball also describes Kaye’s difficulty being successful because he lacked an ability to acknowledge his colleagues and allow them to become engaged with and gain ownership of ASA’s growth and development. Although Dr. Ball’s analysis of Kaye’s activities places a different spin on the story, her lesson and ours are quite compatible. Anesthesiology is a “team sport”! Being such, leaders in our midst must be able, available, affable, achieving, acknowledging, and allowing. Although we agree with Dr. Ball that Kaye may not have personified all of these characteristics, his contribution, in total, to anesthesiology in Australia and the World was huge. His legacy, the “other” ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) and the Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History, is testimony to that.
Studying and having differing interpretations of history has enabled Edwards, Waisel, Ball, and us to engage our readers in contemplating what will make us, individually and collectively, successful anesthesiologists.
The authors declare no competing interests.