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"What is Important: Disruption in Research"

Dear Colleagues and members of CSS:

I thought you might find this prepublication from Christian Gerber both stimulating and inspiring: “What is Important: Disruption in Research.” Professor Gerber has succinctly described the unique elements of courage + imagination + ingenuity which allow unique individuals to innovate care which disrupts our established treatment concepts and improves patient outcomes by taking us all to a new level. This “paradigm-changing” progress is offered in the context of an award honoring our past colleague, Dominik Meyer, who unfortunately succumbed at far to young an age due to a chronic condition. Nevertheless, Dominik was a shining example of an innovator. Many great innovative surgeons are mentioned in this article and you will recognize their names.

As you read this be aware that the actual definition of a “disruptive innovation” was offered by the Late Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School. While Gerber uses this term in the context of surgical innovations, it is not exactly what Christensen described. Enclosed is Christensen’s article and a link to a prior blog I posted on his work on the CSS website. Christensen said: “Disruption describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge an established incumbent business”. Professor Gerber’s intent is clear and may be reasonably applied to an individual who accomplishes this task with less resources and perhaps no grants. So, I am pretty sure Professor Christensen would accept Gerber’s application of the concept. That said, what Gerber means is that most of what we read in our journals that proport to be new thinking is only derivative of past approaches. Few individuals take us to the next level. Many are mentioned in his article. Dominik Meyer was one such person, even though his life was too short. I am proud to serve along with my esteemed colleagues as a member of the Jury to review the work of some distinguished nominated surgeons. Please take time to read these enclosed articles as this goes to the essence of what is the best of us all, namely the desire, courage, and ability to improve outcomes for our patients.

Best Regards,


Link in CSS Blog to Clayton Christensen’s concept of Disruptive Innovation

What’s Important_ Disruption in Research
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