James Tait Goodrich, MD, PhD

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James Tait Goodrich, MD, PhD

# Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

A phenomenal Neurosurgeon, a one of a kind, a citizen of the planet! Solid understanding and practice of medical ethics in daily practice. I was very privileged to know Jim for over 30 years. We used to meet at ISPN, pediatric neurosurgery conferences, and workshops from time to time. He is one of very few that I was very keen to spend time with outside the meeting rooms to discuss different issues. We shared our passion for pediatric neurosurgery, the history of medicine and neurosurgery, and books. He had an absolutely magnetic personality, which attracted the attention of everyone wherever he went. He was so humble, had compassion and empathy, and had the talent to communicate and express his opinions, thoughts, and messages in a very simple and clearly understandable way. He was an extremely talented teacher. He would never raise his voice, was sharp in commenting, and was a good observer. Jim had soft eyes to give comfort and confidence to young trainees, encouraging them to ask, and he was always ready to answer their questions. Everyone knows how distinguished and skillful a neurosurgeon he was. His staged surgical technique for separation of craniopagus (conjoined heads) has become a standard technique and will remain so for a long time. As I was so interested to learn his technique, I have been very eager to know how he could successfully form great teams of multidisciplinary 20–30 physicians, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, vascular surgeons, nurses, and others. The secret was his magnetic, influential, and inspiring personality. Such a personality gave him unchallengeable leadership. Jim’s role as a leader has evolved and has been complemented by the collaboration of different professionals of different discipline. He was especially talented in generating a synergy that provided the best chances for successful surgery and management plans. He did not accept failure. The core of a teamwork activity is based on motivation, commitment, and inspiration. A few years ago, I discovered a noble side of his personality: the deep sense of medical ethics and professional ethics. He valued the patients’ values, so he was loved by his patients

and patients’ family almost in every corner of the world. I knew Jim very well and always respected him as a very cultured, multitalented friend who loved life and lived the life he loved. Jim had a great sense of humor and sincerely wished for all his patients, friends, colleagues, and trainees to have a good life. He highly valued good human values. He believed that pediatric neurosurgery has the greatest connection and impact on many human lives. Therefore, all the tools of our scientific arsenal from molecular mechanisms, surgical innovation, and technology to the personal narratives, beliefs, and feelings of each individual should be used to improve the patient care. He always refused to be said to be treating a certain disease but he rather that he was treating a child