Dr. Tenley E. Albright

In 1956 the Olympics was in Cortina, Italy, in the mountains, and we skated outdoors. It’s sort of a hyper-sensation, hyper-perception, you’re able to think of many, many things at once. I was aware of so many things. Of the people in the audience, about where I was standing, where the sun was crossing the ice, where I’d take off in the dark and land in the sun, what the mountains looked like, what the moment was. And so when you’re there in this magical world of the operating room, with a patient and with a team, and you’re dealing with something, you never know totally what you’re going to find until you’re there. It’s sort of like that multidimensional thinking that I was aware of on the ice, where everything comes into your head at once. You have to be focused, but you also have to be conscious of all sorts of things, for the benefit of having the surgery turn out the way you want it to.

Doing whatever I can to make a difference in one life, or part of one life, that motivates me to want to do that more. And anything I can do to make a bigger change—whether it’s helping to change attitudes or ways of doing things or just to encourage all of us to have sort of a sense of openness— that’s really what I’d like to do.