I became an orthopaedic surgeon because...
I became an orthopaedic surgeon because of the compassionate care that I received at the hands of my orthopaedic surgeon when I was 10 years old. At the age of 10, I had polio. I was in an iron lung for a two-week period of time. Because of the contagious nature of the disease, my parents were not allowed to see or talk to me on the polio ward. While in the iron lung and polio ward, I was visited every day by my doctor, who was an orthopaedic surgeon. His words and manner helped alleviate the anxieties and fears that I felt. I looked forward everyday to his visit and tried to play little tricks on him so that he would stay longer with me. I’m sure that he knew my game, but he played along with it. During my recovery phase, I had the opportunity to see him several times every year. I’m sure that he was tired of me telling him that I was going to grow up and become an orthopaedic surgeon. I can remember the pride that he felt when I went to his office and told him that I’d been accepted into premedical school. Because he passed away before I completed my education, I wasn’t able to tell him I was an orthopaedic surgeon…good thing I told him so many times in the polio ward.
What is the most rewarding part of being an orthopaedic surgeon?
There are many rewarding moments attached to being an orthopaedic surgeon. However, my number one priority has always been my patients. There isn’t any greater joy for a doctor than seeing your patient’s quality of life improved and having that patient become a productive member of society. The reward is the smile on the patient’s face and the “thank you” that you receive when their treatment has been completed.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy the opportunity of spending time with my family. My wife and I have raised five children and have been fortunate to see them grow and become parents. We have 18 grandchildren which leaves us with very little free time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In what volunteer activities or efforts do you engage that mean the most to you and those you serve?
Since completing my training, I have served our national organization in various roles. This has run the gamut from helping develop courses, teaching courses, and serving on the board of directors. In addition, I have taken great pride in watching the development of our website A Nation in Motion.