John Cropsey

Ophthalmologist and Team Leader, Kibuye, Burundi, East Africa

On Herding Cats Cross-Culturally

  • Breakout Session
  • Main Building WC 231
  • November 9 2017 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • P, AAFP, PA, NP, N, D (1 hour)

Being a medical missionary is not easy. Now try leading a team of them! These folks tend to be intelligent, passionate individuals with big dreams (just like you). These are often important qualities for the work at hand, but they can easily lead to dysfunctional teams, explosive conflicts and national partners who feel steamrolled. In this session we want to discuss how leaders can keep team vision focused, community life vibrant and partnerships flourishing in the midst of the crucible that is the mission hospital. This session is for everyone regardless if they are the "team leader" because every medical missionary is a leader whether they want to be or not. Here’s a bit of catnip to help you along your way.


1) Describe the heart and character of true leadership as embodied by the King of Kings.
2) Identify key issues that any team and its leaders will need to address in order to create and maintain team vision.
3) Understand the stressors that are common on medical mission teams and how you can help yourself and your teammates engage them constructively.
4) Be aware of conflicting cultural values that can reek havoc between you and your host partners if not carefully considered.