August 2023 – In conjunction with Dr. Don Whiting, Chairman of Neurosurgery at Allegheny Health Network, Dr. Jody Leonardo, Neurosurgical Residency Director and Dr. Joseph Maroon, a past Chairman of Neurosurgery at AHN, recently announced the Aequanimitas Award for the Department of Neurosurgery. This award will be given to a AHN neurosurgical resident who not only is outstanding in the technical aspects of neurosurgery but also who has demonstrated compassion, empathy and concern for patients and respect of other health care professionals and colleagues.
Dr. Maroon was the invited lecturer on August 30, 2023, to initiate the award. It will be given annually at the AHN residency program graduation ceremony to the resident who best exemplifies balance and equanimity amidst the storms and exigencies of daily practice. Dr. Maroon has long cited the famous speech, Aequanimitas, in his numerous lectures and articles as an example for maintaining mental and emotional balance in the face of serious and often life threatening challenges that a neurosurgeon often encounters.
History of Aequanimitas
Dr. Maroon authored an article published by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), called the Congress Quarterly, in the Spring of 2017. The issue featured Dr. Maroon’s latest book at the time, Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life. In the article, Dr. Maroon discusses the how’s and why’s his book came about and why Aequanimitas, the title of the speech given by physician Sir William Osler, remains so important to all physicians.
In Dr. Maroon’s 2017 article entitled, Burnout and Renewal – Changing Perspectives in Neurosurgery: What I Anticipated and What Actually Happened, he retells how his loss of balance and later recovery, led eventually to his presidential address to the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS).
“I had reached my humblest hour, but fortunately, I was able to recognize that the adversity I faced was, in fact, a powerful mentor in another form, and I seized the opportunity to learn from my experience. I eventually recovered and returned to my neurosurgical career, and six years later, was standing in front of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons to give a presidential address. In my talk, “From Icarus to Aequanimitas, I retold my personal and painful story and described how I discovered the secret to a better, more balanced life.”