I became an orthopaedic surgeon because...
When I was a medical student at the University of Michigan, it seemed the orthopaedic floor was the most uplifting place in the University Hospital because of the positive spirit that the patients all had. Every one of the patients were so dedicated to returning back to their activities of their lives. And we, the healthcare team, had to help them with this goal! Orthopaedic surgery has been such a great opportunity to help someone by repairing or reconstructing the musculoskeletal pathology. And, I have so enjoyed thinking and pondering about the biomechanics of the amazing joints of the knee and hip. It has kept me intrigued ever since I began my career over thirty years ago..
What is the most rewarding part of being an orthopaedic surgeon?
To have that post-operative moment, a month or two after the surgical experience, with a warm handshake or a hug from my patients, as they say “thank you, I really mean it” or “thanks for giving my life back to me!” Knowing that I helped someone so that they can return to their life and once again be productive, the way they want to be.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have been very blessed with a wonderful wife and five awesome kids, so we have had great family fun with great experiences around our town and the region, and around the world, whether boating, skiing or hiking. It has all been great. Lately, my hobbies include bee keeping, chickens and apple trees. There is always something to do.
In what volunteer activities or efforts do you engage that mean the most to you and those you serve?
I have a wonderful experience in the Boy Scouts of America. My wife was the Girl Scout equivalent of the Eagle, so she would line up our sons in Cub Scouts, then turn them over to me, taking them into the Boy Scouts. Consequently, all four sons are Eagles. And we had so much fun going out to Philmont, the National Boy Scout Ranch in New Mexico three times and the Boy Scout National Jamboree twice. I had the opportunity to be the Scoutmaster for the 2010 Jamboree, bringing 36 Scouts to Washington DC and then to the Jambo for another 10 days. We would prepare for the New Mexico trips by hiking the White Mountains in New Hampshire, hiking over 40 mountains in the process over the past ten years.. We hike in the summer and snowshoe in the winter, Over the past 10 years, our troop has had over 40 Eagle Scouts. I also volunteered for the Orthopaedic Overseas program in Bhutan 2004 and South Africa 2007. The kids went to school in Bhutan and all of us had a fascinating experience in our attempt to understand a Buddhist kingdom. And we had a different experience in South Africa, where the country is trying to level the significant differences in the economic benefits of their society, in a beautiful country of jungles, deserts, oceans and savannahs. And I had to personally respond to the tremendous challenge of orthopaedic care in the Third World, going through the cardboard boxes of hardware, trying to find a K rod that would fit an 11 year old in Bhutan, and using the SIGN nail in South Africa. All of these experiences have made me a better person and orthopaedic surgeon.