The ultimate team vs the ultimate doctor

2014-champions-germany-trophyAt the end of what has been an excellent World Cup, an editorial in the Lancet has echoed the alarm which many will have felt at the spectacle being sullied by the poor management of players who were apparently concussed.  Uruguay’s Alvero Pereira lay motionless for some time during a game with England.  Argentina’s Javier Mascherano stumbled and collapsed midway through a match against Netherlands.  Germany’s Christoph Kramer wandered in state of confusion during the final.  It’s not the fact that the injuries occurred in the first place that has raised the concern – there are other sports which bring much higher risks.  It is the fact that in each case, the dazed and confused were returned to the physical exertion of competitive contact sport.  Only Christoph Kramer was substituted when it was clear he could not continue.

In another incident, even viewers with basic first aid training must have felt uneasy about the method used to scrape Brazil’s Neymar Jr off the park with an obvious back injury.  The news that world’s most famous young star has a fractured vertebrae should be making those involved in the sport question his removal from the field on something which more closely resembled a bakers bread tray than a spinal board.

Yes, football has a lot to learn from doctors.  Can doctors learn anything from the World Cup?

The final was billed as Germany vs Lionel Messi: “The Ultimate Team vs the Ultimate Player”.  No one was saying that Argentina did not have a great set of players, just that Germany as a team were outstanding.  Lionel Messi was never destined to win.

Germany demonstrated advanced team communication skills.  They had great awareness of each other.  They observed, listened, supported and challenged each other.   They showed great resilience in the face of adversity, avoided complacency even when thrashing Brazil and celebrated their success, recognising everyone’s contribution.

How many healthcare departments strive to be the Ultimate Team?  How many doctors prefer the appeal of being the Ultimate Player?