YCDC Note: While dyslexia is not explicity stated in this editorial, we wanted to highlight that the Cleveland Clinic, lauded as a national model for health care, is led by Dr. Toby Cosgrove, an out-of-the-box thinking dyslexic physician.
As noted in a recent New York Times editorial, the Cleveland Clinic is indeed a national model for innovation in medicine. Lacking, however, was providing the source the individual who has driven this remarkable innovation and was willing to take personal risks to bring progress, change and a brighter future not only to the Cleveland Clinic, but to all of medicine. That individual is Dr. Delos (Toby) Cosgrove, renowned cardiac surgeon and since 2004, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Cleveland Clinic.
Less well known, but perhaps a contributing factor to his ability to think-out-of-the box, is that Dr. Cosgrove is dyslexic, and because of this he did not excel on the Medical College Admissions Test (without accommodations) and was rejected by 10 of 11 medical schools. Dyslexia is often described as a sea of strengths in creativity and out-of the box thinking in a person who does not read rapidly and may not retrieve spoken words quickly. Fortunately, one medical school, University of Virginia Medical School, recognized his creative thinking and valued it more than the ability to read rapidly. All of medicine is fortunate for that wise decision.