I became an orthopaedic surgeon because...
I played sports (mediocre at best) my whole life and being physically active was important to me. The ability to work with my hands, doing something positive to help people stay active was very appealing. I attended medical school at The University of Vermont, where I was exposed to all the medical and surgical specialties. It was very clear to me that the Orthopaedic Surgeons were the types of people that I felt comfortable with. I loved what they did and was impressed by how hard they worked and how much fun they had. To this day, my wife Amy, often tells friends, that I am lucky to find a job I enjoy so much, and, as usual, I agree with her.
What is the most rewarding part of being an orthopaedic surgeon?
There are many, many rewarding parts of my job: Teaching residents, performing research and helping lead my department, just to name a few. However, the most rewarding part of my job is taking care of patients. Having a positive affect on a person’s life is something that can never be over valued. I especially enjoy working with high school athletes. Many times you can not only repair a knee, but also provide a positive role model. I have even had a few of my patients go on to become orthopaedic surgeons. Although it makes me feel old, it also makes me feel proud to know that I affected that child’s life.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Although I love being an orthopaedic surgeon and work quite hard at that, my career is my second most important job. My most important occupation is being a father, husband and son. Spending time with my family is my first priority. It provides me with much enjoyment and allows me to be a better person and physician. I also love outdoor activities, including skiing and mountain climbing, Climbing is an activity that does not require a lot of athletic talent. What it does require is determination and focus, both of which I am good at. It also provides me with a sense of priority and scale. After completing a climb, somehow the big problems at work do not seem as daunting.
In what volunteer activities or efforts do you engage that mean the most to you and those you serve?
I love coaching my boys’ sports teams. I help out with their lacrosse teams. It is a great way to get to know their friends and other members of my community. Plus, it gives me a great appreciation for what their teachers must go through on a daily basis.