Gootee Lecture Focuses on Play

Gootee Lecture


Dental students capped off OHSU Professionalism Week in mid-November with the Robert G. Gootee/Moda Health Endowed Lecture in Leadership and Professionalism. The guest speaker was Kevin Carroll, author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball.

Carroll used snippets from his rocky childhood to express what he’s learned about life: the importance of play in staying strong and adapting to change.

“We have resourcefulness and resiliency well beyond what we believe,” said Carroll, a onetime trainer for his hometown Philadelphia 76’ers, and a former Nike executive. “If we want something badly enough, we’ll figure it out. That’s the beauty of the human spirit.

“If you’re curious, with a person holding you accountable for your ideas, anything is possible.”

Carroll said his travels taught him that a simple ball from the playground can change the world. “We all speak ball,” he said. “It’s a language in and of itself. If you stand outside and bounce a ball, it takes more energy to ignore the ball then to play with it. Balls can create collaborations and teach conflict resolution. It’s a wonderful thing.

“We each have the ability to do something amazing,” Carroll added. “As you grow in your skills, never lose sight of the ability to be passionate and curious. Play is serious business. Play is serious in business. Play can save a life.”

Carroll donated a bag of balls to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and there was a raffle in which lecture attendees received balls and books.

DS4 Kristen’s raffle ticket was drawn for the grand prize. “The lecture was very inspirational,” said Kristen. “We are so focused on dental school that sometimes we forget about the big picture. It is refreshing to hear someone motivated to change the world and make a difference.”