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In person

‘Team Home is the best team for me’

Gino was born an only child in Maastricht, the capitals of the south of the Netherlands. He had a happy and sorrow less childhood drenched with sports and laughter. He is married to Lisette ‘t Hart on the 4th October of 2003, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with a PhD thesis on Behaviour of Juvenile Sex Offenders. The happy couple has two beautiful children, daughter Quirine who is 14 years old and son Jan who is 11 years old. They live in the little town of Loenersloot, The Netherlands.

What makes a good doctor?
‘A GOOD DOCTOR! is interested in people, feels responsible, is curious to solve puzzles, is able to show patience when needed, is honest at all times, dares to make decisions, likes to communicate, has more than average ability to perform deductive reasoning, is innovative, dares to go tot he limit to solve the patients problem, sees the patient as a person with a problem rather than as a problem, is willing and keen to perform as a team to not only solve the patients problem but also takes good care of the person and sibblings.’

What motivates you to work?
‘Working as a team to perform at the highest level to solve a single patients’ problem is super challenging in all aspects for all team members and patients. That never bores me! In order to stay at top level of performance the team needs to become better every case every day and every year without forgetting to take care of eachother. That is a real challenge but also an addiction to perform at this level each and every time.’

What is your ability to face the challenges both medical and personal?
‘A healthy mind in a healthy body. I sleep my hours every day and try to stay fit with playing football, field hockey and tennis with the kids, do some spinning and running every week. My wife and I try not to forget to also enjoy life together and make time for a wine at the fire-place in winter or on the terrace in summer. Family time is the best, our two kids inspire!’

What’s your secret talent?
‘That is a hard question, I suppose my secret is that my parents are very different, my Mom is a poet and my father is a businessman, both like sports and enjoy life together very much. I like to think -as an only child- that I got the best of both. After I left Maastricht for Amsterdam at 18, I was lucky at several occasions through the people I met and the situations I got myself into and out of. During my path I like to think that I learned the trick to outperform myself when it is needed and not to fail when failure is not an option. On the other hand I did not forget that if I do not make mistakes that I am not performing at the highest level so I still make mistakes as well…’

What social stigma does society need to get over?
‘I suppose I should say something about the importance of embracing the fact that an injury to for example the locomotor tract will have an enormous impact on a persons life. Not only that one is not able to move as one is used to but also one looses their freedom and independence and in case of a top athlete or danser there is also the danger of not being able to do their job and the fear of never being able to do their job again at the desired level. This combination makes a patient with an ‘orthopedic problem’ very prone for a mental health issue and therefore it is important to try and touch this subject during doctor-patient contact and to offer professional help alsof or this challenge.’

When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?
‘Ha ha, probably my student time adventures, my time in Amsterdam and in Sardegna-Italy. Probably also on their whole youth and what we did when we were living in Switzerland and during our time in the farm house and during the holidays. Our times together are the best.’

What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?
‘Sports documentaries on Johan Cruijf, Johan Neeskens, Maradona, Ayrton Senna and some other sporting heros, that move me because of the human behind the performance, the dedication to perform at the highest level every single time, the failures and losses as well as the wins, the human factor, the role of the family, the importance of recognizing the ‘Mojo’ and the ability to outperform one self at the moments that really matter. Being at the highest level in the right moment is not easy but in the end it is a trick and you can learn.’ Quotes Johan Cruijf: “Je gaat het pas zien als je het door hebt.”

What would be the worst thing to hear as you are going under anaesthesia before surgery?
‘Things like “Oh sorry I did not do this surgery for a long time, what do we need exactly?” by an OR nurse. Or an anesthesist saying: “Oh I really do not feel well today, I wish I would have stayed in bed”. Discussion within the team that needs to perform at the OR, surgeon versus anesthesist or versus resident or versus OR nurse is also killing and should be avoided at all times. The team should put their personal interest at zero and just go for the best performance possible. The best performance from an OR team is what I got when I needed orthopedic surgery myself, that was a great experience.’

What life skills are rarely taught but extremely useful?’
‘Dreaming, fantasising, listening, putting things into perspective whilst being ambitious, taking care of each other.’

What’s the most recent book you’ve read?
‘Biography of Lewis Hamilton, good start, thereafter too superficial. Biography of Andre Agassi, Johan Cruijf, Marco van Basten were more interesting each in a different way. From confronting in the offers and sacrifices and length of the path, over the charm of a youngster outperforming other and the cruelty of an injury.’