Paraplegic Surgeon Heals Self by Helping Others

Farrar_WI.pngThe May 3, 2017 issue of JBJS contains one more in a series of personal essays where orthopaedic clinicians tell a story about a high-impact lesson they learned that has altered their worldview, enhanced them personally, and positively affected the care they provide as orthopaedic physicians.

This “What’s Important” piece comes from Dr. Edward Farrar of Wenatchee Orthopaedics in Washington. In his powerful and inspiring essay titled “Lessons on Life, Death, and Disability,” Dr. Farrar explains how a serious bicycle accident in 2008 severed his spinal cord  at the T4 level.

What happened after a long and arduous recovery that left him paraplegic, followed shortly thereafter by the death of his partner from a brain tumor? He returned to work and saw patients although he could no longer operate. In his words, “I became a better listener and realized how much this has helped my patients and me.”

One of the many things he has learned from his experiences so far: “We may not always find the meaning and purpose that we were searching for, yet meaning and purpose can find us.”

If you would like JBJS to consider your “What’s Important” story for publication, please submit a manuscript via Editorial Manager. When asked to select an article type, please choose Orthopaedic Forum and include “What’s Important:” at the beginning of the title.

Because they are personal in nature, “What’s Important” submissions will not be subject to the usual stringent JBJS peer-review process. Instead, they will be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief, who will correspond with the author if revisions are necessary and make the final decision regarding acceptance.

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