Page 3 - ISAKOS 2019 Newsletter Volume 1
P. 3

‘em up
Our longtime Executive Director, Michele Johnson, is “hangin’ ‘em up”. As sports medicine surgeons, we are familiar with this term, which is short for “hanging them up”, as in an athlete “hanging up their equipment for the final time”, indicating their retirement from their sport. A wrestler will symbolically leave their wrestling shoes on the mat after their final competition to indicate they are hangin’ ‘em up. Upon my recent retirement from recreational ice hockey, I gave away my barely used hockey gloves (I purchased them optimistically, prior to my last few games). I handed them over to Rob Kucera, a hockey-loving physician assistant at HSS who is also a part-time youth hockey coach. My colleague and friend, Dr. Steve Sanders, long time orthopedic surgeon for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was visiting HSS the day I gave the gloves to Rob and pointed out the similarity to the wrestling tradition. Having decided that my best days on the ice were behind me, I felt it was time to move on and give up playing.
As surgeons, we must also give thought to when it is time to hang up the knife for the final time. For many of us it is not a pleasant or welcome thought. Operating on patients to fix pathology and relieve them of symptoms and restore their function is a powerful thing to be able to do. However, if all goes well and we are able to continue this work for decades, there comes a time when we stop doing surgery and move on. Past President of ISAKOS, Dr. John Bergfeld told me at dinner at the 2017 ISAKOS conference in Shanghai that he made that decision rather suddenly one morning prior to surgery – he decided that day he was about to perform his final operation. John has remained very involved with ISAKOS and the Cleveland Clinic, but that was indeed his final operation.
Dr. Bill Rennie was my medical school mentor at McGill University. He subsequently moved to Winnipeg to take over as Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Manitoba. I met up with him again in 2012 when I was in Winnipeg. His successor Dr. Peter MacDonald explained to me that he had a well-planned and successful retirement from surgery and has remained involved in the department, and has also carried on with other professional responsibilities. Bill told me then that it is never too early to start thinking about hangin’ ‘em up. He also suggested that I start thinking about what I would plan to do after I put the knife down for the final time. I have since followed his advice and have started making a list for when that day comes.
Thankfully for us, Michele Johnson did a fantastic job of hangin’ ‘em up and planning how to move on from ISAKOS. She gave the Society considerable notice, helped find her replacement, and has remained very involved to this day. Michele is largely responsible for making ISAKOS the success it is today and we are all grateful to her for her dedication over the years! We welcome Sue Reimbold, who is very qualified to take over and who will also have very large shoes to fill. Good luck Sue and we look forward to working with you! Thank you Michele for your dedication and enjoy your next chapter!
Robert G. Marx, MD
ISAKOS Newsletter Editor 2017–2019

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