This thought-provoking prompt is the focus of an ongoing lecture series sponsored by Stanford's Office of Religious Life, which recently featured Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. From an easy chair in a butter-colored room on the top floor of Stanford's Old Union, Minor addressed the intimate crowd, fielding a wide range of questions from moderator Jane Shaw, dean for religious life.
In response to the series' titular question, Minor said he most values integrity — both personally and institutionally — and diversity, and that he cares deeply about his family, including his wife, Lisa Keamy, MD, who he considers his best friend.
When asked about the future of health care, Minor discussed the School of Medicine's current drive to lead the biomedical revolution in precision health, an undertaking that unites its tripartite mission of research, education and health care in an effort to preserve health and prevent disease before it starts. "Health care in the future is going to be high tech for sure, but it's also going to be high touch," he said, noting that patients often prefer to meet in person with a clinician and develop a relationship rather than connect via technology.
He discussed his research in otolaryngology, which led to the discovery and treatment for a rare balance disorder. "I miss being able to drive the science in my field the way that I did, but I knew that life is about choices and about being able to give things up when you take on new opportunities," Minor shared.
Minor said he learned the most about leadership while serving as a provost at Johns Hopkins University before arriving at Stanford. "I learned how to prioritize, and I realized that there are problems I’m just not going to be able to fix -- at least not in a timely fashion," Minor said.
For fun, Minor said he loves to read — he's currently diving into Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin — and spend time with his family. In the evenings, Minor often takes his two dogs and returns to campus, where they take a 40-minute walk. "It's a great way to de-stress at the end of the day," he explained.
Shaw asked Minor to name three things -- book, a piece of music and a "luxury" item -- he would take to a deserted island. Jokingly, Minor asked if he could negotiate the terms. Then, saving the tricky question for last, he responded: He would take Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, the Cello Suites of J.S. Bach and, for the luxury, Minor said with a grin, he would bring his computer -- packed with books and music.
Previously: Stanford's Lloyd Minor featured in piece on rare inner ear disorder, Aim higher: Dean Lloyd Minor calls for widespread embrace of precision health and Lloyd Minor shares his vision for Stanford Medicine, talks about its "paradigm-shifting advances"
Photo by Norbert von der Groeben
Additional reporting by Katie Gray