Volunteerism and a Second Chance

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Volunteerism and a Second Chance

My high school football team was a pre-season favorite to win the state championship, but a late season loss ended our dream of achieving that milestone as a team.

Flash forward a few years, and today I am sitting on a flight back from Panama after volunteering for Operation Walk Denver, whose mission is to provide total joints for the indigent population. I am surrounded by my fellow teammates including nurses, PAs, surgical techs, central sterile workers and doctors. We are exhausted, but content knowing we helped give 50 fellow humans a new life.

As a total joint surgeon, my place on the team was to assist the main surgeons and to help where needed. Much of my time was spent in central sterile ensuring that instrument sets were complete prior to sterilization. This task was not as glamorous as performing the surgery, but the work was vital nevertheless.

While I missed the chance to see what it felt like to reach a goal as a team years ago, life gave me a second chance in volunteering. I would encourage each of you to seek out opportunities to contribute to the world around you — it may even remind you why you chose to become a physician in the first place.

Jeffrey M. Nakano, MD
[email protected]


DISCLAIMER: Statements of fact and opinion are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion or endorsement on the part of the officers or the members of WOA unless such opinion or endorsement is specifically stated. Materials may be reproduced only if Touches and the Western Orthopaedic Association are credited.


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