number three…part one

Work…….On the other hand, once I got to medical school, the first two years seemed like work. My first two years were predominantly two  more years of schooling. We performed  our clinical experience in the last two years of our four year medical school.  On that basis, the first two years felt more like really hard college. The main difference was that I was no longer grouped with a bunch of wannabe pre-med majors at the state university where, although the competition was difficult, it wasn’t spectacular.  In our group in medical school, you were now amongst the folks that were chosen to be the best of the best and it was indeed a challenge to keep up with the crowd.  Overall, I think I did well. I was not in the top of the class but in the upper one third, albeit right at the border of the lower 2/3 and the upper 1/3, but happy to be there. There was a tremendous amount of information to be processed those first two years and the purpose of it I could not see  for about three or four years subsequent to medical school.

The start of the clinical years, however, made a lot of sense to me.  I worked in a hospital in high school for four years and then while I was in college in the operating room and was very comfortable in the hospital environment. I knew how to get things done. Here I could shine above my classmates.  I knew how the system worked and was very comfortable scooting about, finding labs that need to be found, x-rays that were lost, getting soft goods and other items from purchasing without truly having a purchase order , etc.  A large institutional hospital is very much like the military. There is usually a corporal or some other lower ranked enlisted person who really runs the show and if you can befriend these  people, all the rest is easy. The clinical years were enjoyable, and although it was the first time that I really started to do what I wanted to do, there are still some decisions to be made as to what part of medicine to pursue.

Medicine can be divided into operating and non operating doctors. That is, there is a portion of doctors who like to do things to and for people in the mechanical or invasive sense and these I would call the “operating” doctors.  The “Non operating” doctors would be those who like to examine patients and think about the possible diseases and  do tests etc, but not truly invade the human body to “fix” something.  I had always been involved with repairing things around the house , putting radio kits together and  I was very enamored of doing things with my hands.

I had a good friend in medical school who also had a similar skill set in the mechanical realm. He loved to work on cars etc. I shared his automotive interest. I asked him one day what part of medicine he was thing about. Without a moment of doubt, the answer came back “orthopedic surgery”.   When I pursued further, he said that when the patients came in with an injury, they needed help immediately, he could usually take an x-ray or CT and assign a picture or mechanical problem with a solution to that patient. Then you could repair the afflicted mechanical problem, and the patient would be helped.

At the time, this reasoning appealed to me. To think that one could mechanically fix a problem , as a task oriented person, this was much more appealing to me.  Rather than asking someone if they had taken their high blood pressure pill or cholesterol or kidney medicine and deal with the myriad of excuses , as if the medicine had a mind of its own and destined by the cosmos not to be used as directed.  The idea of also mechanically using my hands and fixing something “hands on” was appealing……more later…….

 

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…more of one….

The ER is  like a 24 hour night club. the lights are always on, the people usually have not been deprived of sleep in that, they’re working an eight or 10 hour shift and they see numerous afflictions and ailments at all times of the night. My patient is just one more patient to process and move on to the operating room or the floor as needed.

Why do we do this, this activity of relief of human suffering or our feeble attempts to do so?  I really believe it is a calling. I really believe that it is not like many other jobs on earth. I believe also that it is not fully understood by anyone except for those people who do this service.  There are a number of people out there with ideas about health care and its delivery and how the problems we have in Medicare, Medicaid, Third party pay, Obama care etc., would all be alleviated if they would just have people acting and seeking medical care in a certain way.  One of our bigger problems is that we are dealing with people and patients and not making widgets or lawn furniture.

That, to me, is one of the most fascinating portion of this profession. We can do different surgeries on different people with different outcomes. Almost inevitably, however, we will have different results.  Some people will be crushed by the injuries and experience and dealing with the medical situation, and some people will be strengthened, and some people it wont make any difference either way.

I was an orthopedic surgeon in a suburban practice in a small town outside a large metropolitan area in the southeast. I  trained in the southeast and grew up in the southeast. I went to a relatively well-to-do high school in a relatively well-to-do community.  I attended the state university with good grades, played in the band where I met my lovely wife. I attended medical school at a state university and continued there with my internship in a residency in orthopedic surgery.

When I went into this business I knew (I thought) that I wanted to be a physician.  This was a life long childhood dream and probably about as mature. I knew at about age eight I knew I wanted to be a doctor probably because I was enamored of my childhood pediatrician. He seemed to be a kind, gentle, loving man who would minister to our family and our medical needs as necessary and seemed to evoke a calming effect on not only myself, but something, that was probably more apparent subconsciously than consciously, a calming affect on my parents in times of crisis.

My mother’s father was a physician and had a very successful career and practice in a large metropolitan area, so the fact that I wanted to be a physician seemed acceptable to her, although to her credit, she did not push me at any point in time in my career to be a physician.  She was a very thoughtful, pragmatic and honest woman. She only felt that you needed to be the best at whatever you chose as a profession . One of the main caveats was to “do one thing and do it well “and thereby lay success and the road to prosperity.

My father, from a long line of family in the manufacturing business, was a “born executive” i.e. His dad was the boss!!   His father had gone to work at a manufacturing facility by his father and indeed my father never thought about doing anything else but continuing in the long line of the manufacturing business. Somehow, this had no appeal to me.  The idea of making items for consumption at the cheapest cost thru the manufacturing process  having too deal with labor union and “federal regulations” seemed too much like work to me…..more to come…..

 

 

 

 

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Part one…

I’m putting down some thoughts I have had for a LONG time. Bits and pieces of my years in practice as an orthopedic surgeon.  Maybe it might interest some….

The phone rings and I get out of bed for the hundredth time in a number of years. My wife, who is immune now to the sound of the phone after she goes to bed from years of living with me and this family doesn’t even change her sleep cycle.  I usually get the phone on the first ring except for the unusual occasions where I usually answer the clock radio (oops).   Its the Emergency Room with less than a totally detailed oriented ER physician/nurse with another orthopedic injury that requires attention.

These injuries range from a 12 year old jumping off the bunk bed in the middle of the night to a rodeo rider having been thrown with an injury or a young adult or adolescent, usually intoxicated, definitely doing something dumb in the middle of the night , in most cases involving an automobile, but sometimes a jealous girlfriend or angry spouse and a back door or a front door window.

Half awake but awakening as the time passes, I stumble to the bathroom, splash some water on my face and then reach for my clothes as I took them off only about 4 hours ago, lying by the bedside, as one would find a fireman’s boots and fire suit, belt in the loops, keys in the pockets, ready to go at a moments notice.

In the dark, I will walk the hallway past the two bedrooms of my two boys, now both almost bigger than me, asleep in their own unaware slumber.  Finally, at the bottom of the stairs I can turn on enough light to find my shoes and the back door.  The dog, also accustomed to occasional nighttime sojourn, casts an eye in my direction but barely lifts her head.  Out the back door and down to the garage with the automatic lights lighting the way.   I cross the carefully laid brick walk to the last car, a gray Ford, bought at the request of my wife when it was apparent to her that we did not have a car that had four doors and a trunk. I affectionately  refer to this as my “doctor’s” car I that its very middle of the road and sedate. Not old, not flashy, but not boring. It ,however, not like some of my other cars, it is very serviceable and starts every time.

The trip to the hospital takes about 10 minutes but allows me to get my thoughts strait. Sometimes if the individual was known to be intoxicated my fury at the stupidity of their acts requires some moments for reflection before I finally encounter these individuals. I know these are God’s creatures and that they require my help and my assistance in a non-judgmental way and that my job and my duty and this moment is to do the best that I can as an orthopedic surgeon to minister to these individuals.      … to be continued……

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Music is a wonderful …something.

I sit here having returned from a gig at the Southern Museum of Music http://www.westsideartscenter.com/

in Atlanta and am overwhelmed with how blessed I am. The band was killer, composed of all the best players in town and some of the best guys I know. http://www.bigband.band/

All had a great time doing such fun stuff performing for a TV crew who films a video every 2 weeks and puts it on a Internet channel that probably only gets views in foreign countries!!!WATCH_TV47_29764257

Yet we had a great time and played great music. In the audience were movers and shakers of the music scene in town and some local celebrities including “Officer Don” and Art Farmer. http://www.southernmuseumofmusic.com/about.php

 

I am very thankful I am allowed to play with these folks. In addition Bob and Libbie came and sang  3 tunes for the show.  Im coming off playing last nite with a local concert band who put on a Gaelic themed concert.

The group I played with today has been booked to play every two weeks at a local hangout with a money guarantee!!cosomo live 3-30 The EJS is playing a concert on the 16th of this month.EJS poster

Also, I get to play for a local senior facility and then play for a benefit for the Children’s Make a Wish network. Senior centerThe month of April finishes up with another couple of concerts with the EJS and the DCO. Life is good.

Here are a couple of videos from our Strand Concert!!!

Strand Concert ONE!!!

Strand Concert TWO!!!

 

 

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Nothing in Feb? How can that be?

Wow. What a busy month. Started on Feb 1 at Channel 11 with Douglas Cameron and several members of the band. We played for a promo for the Feb 12th Concert at the Strand Theater. I put together some arrangements for the small group and I actually got some TV Face time!!!  http://archive.11alive.com/atlanta_and_company_story.aspx?storyid=328253

channel 11 pic

Channel 11 TV

Did a radio spot and interview on  the next day at WYXC for the promotion of the EJS BIG BAND Concert on Sunday Feb 14th Matinee at the Grand Theater. Then a couple of days later another on WBHF.

Played “solo” with the karaoke stuff for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on Thursday of the same week. Friday, I worked at Career Day for the HS  kids of the county at Ga Highlands College all day. Next day had a HOA meeting in Jasper for our “mountain community” house and then a Birthday party for all the February birthdays in the family.  Sunday, was the rehearsal with the BBC and Douglas and Ashley Rivera   who sang with us on the 12th at the Strand.

Monday was a production meeting for the Grand Theater and Tuesday we had another grandson!!!  ROY CARLTON JONES!  Needless to say, that occupied most of the spare time that we would have had for a while!!! CONGRATS!!!

Meeting with Etowah Share a Song (https://www.facebook.com/etowahshareasong/?fref=ts) on Wednesday nite and made some future plans for gigs and organization.Etowah Share a Song

Thursday, played in Rome with the small group Im part of (some how hooked up with the Georgia Highlands and Sam Balzer) at a church.

Friday nite, the 12th, Played the STRAND in Marietta on the Square and had a blast. Great time and great music!!!!  (https://vimeo.com/156788072   is the link and the PASSWORD is STRAND)  The full DVD is out and available (contact Douglas at http://dcameronmusic.com/)

 

Then we played Sunday Matinee with the EJS at the Grand Theater.

So kind of a whirlwind month.  Coming up we have gigs for EJS on April 16th, 30th and May 21st, and for the DCO, March 30th and others scheduled. We have a video taping for the BBC on April 3rd  at a studio in Atlanta.  Sooooooo, kinda busy. Stay tuned. Life is good!

Douglas Cameron and the DCO BIG BAND at

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BIG WEEKEND!!! sheesh, big week!!

prohibition party2OK folks. Here is the scoop. Friday nite, played with the combo at the Prohibition party at the History Center. Tomorrow, I’ll be on Channel 11 with Douglas Cameron for a promo for the up coming concert. Monday nite, GPC Jazz rehearsal. Tuesday morning interview on WYXC for upcoming EJS Concert at the Grand. Thursday morning, interview on WBHF for the same concert. Thursday 5-7pm playing for FCA banquet, then run back to the house for rehearsal from 7-9:30 for the EJS Big Band.  Friday, doing Career Day ALL DAY at Ga Highlands College to help young people understand about life and money!!! Saturday, Home owners meeting at Monument Falls in Jasper, followed by a birthday party at my house for all the Feb birthdays in my extended family.  Sunday, I have rehearsal with the Big Band Contractors for the concert coming up on Feb 12th at the Strand. Monday a production meeting at the Grand Theater for the EJS BIG BAND  matinee on Valentines day. Wednesday am, back at WBHF for another interview and then a meeting that evening with the Etowah Share a Song group at Johnny Mitchells BBQ. Thursday am, playing with a group in Rome at the Westminister Presbyterian Church, then back Thursday at 7pm for the DRESS REHEARSAL for the Matinee on Sunday at the Grand theater in Cartersville for the EJS BIG BAND.  Friday, the DCO is playing at the STRAND theater in Marietta on the Square. Sunday, its Playing at the Grand Theater in Cartersville with the EJS BIG BAND matinee for Valentines Day.

Busy Much??? You betcha… Life is good!!!

strand 2016program with ejs

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Radio Spot one minute

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