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Tin huts and legacy

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 31/12/20 18:00

I saw Phil Hollows last week; he brought his son to see me for a check-up.

I think without any shadow of a doubt Phil is one of the two biggest influences in my career and certainly the biggest surgical influence that I’ve had.

Again, without a doubt he is the best exponent of surgery that I have ever had privilege to watch and so for him to bring family to see me is quite a compliment.

Phil was a doubly qualified maxillofacial surgeon who provided head and neck treatment for cancer patients but also trauma treatments and any other aspect of surgery that you care to mention.

He also has a master’s in Oncology.

He also retired and came off the register of both medicine and dentistry a few weeks ago.

The ‘loss’ of a professional, no, a genius like Phil to patient care is unable to be measured.

Now in his early 60’s he’s ‘done his 40 years’ and has had enough and wants to enjoy a quiet retirement learning how to make guitars.

Why is it, as a society, that we cannot find space for people like Phil to inspire and direct the younger members of our profession and of society.

I showed Phil around the practice (again, such an enormous privilege for me) and he messaged me afterwards.

He laughed that he was leaving no legacy when he looked at what we have built.

Tin huts in fields are not a legacy.

A legacy is the thousands of people who’s lives you have made better by helping and treating them.

A legacy is the countless thousands more and the family of those people whom you have made better or who’s pain you have eased or who’s suffering you have tried to reduce.

Legacy are the hundreds or thousands of younger clinicians whom you have inspired and educated and steered into a position of ethical practice with skills that they would not have had and so that they can go on and influence countless thousands more.

My tin hut seemed quite empty in comparison to what Philip Hollows achieved through 40 years of healthcare.

Thanks for everything Phil, I’ll never forget it.


Blog Post Number - 2600 

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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