“I don’t know why I chose to practice medicine, it just seemed like fun. And I’m glad I did,” says our orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. John Blair. During his schooling he spent three years studying different specialties of surgical medicine: vascular, cardiothoracic, and finally focusing on spine. He was drawn in because of the power tools and he finds the restoration of neurogenic function to be one of the most satisfying things one can do in medicine. Dr. Blair has worked trauma and recalls times he’s had patients come in with horrific injuries, such as partial paralysis, and a few months later they are able to walk again. This satisfaction of knowing his hard work led to a great outcome is the most enjoyable part for him. One of his professional bragging rights is hearing that he plays the best music in the operating room; he’s been with us for 11 years and that’s quite the reigning champ of disk jockeying.
Dr. Blair is a champion in other respects as well. When he was enrolled at the University of Chicago Medicine he joined the American Arm Wrestling Association and won five 1st place trophies in the lightweight division. Thinking back he laughs that it probably was not the brightest idea because he could have gotten hurt but I am sure its use still persists today as he helps take care of his six kids. With four children under the age of 13 running around at home he spends most of his free time joining them in their various activities. Growing up in Alaska Dr. Blair also gained an appreciation for the outdoors and loves reconnecting with nature. He enjoys hiking, camping, and hunting.
When questioned if he could arm wrestle anyone who would it be he said he would like to wrestle Arnold Schwarzenegger. “If you can beat the Terminator you can beat anybody” he further described with a confident smile. Dr. Blair’s favorite super hero is Spider-Man because he is an average, nerdy guy with cool powers. But if he could have any powers himself he’d have to be bit by a first aid kit because he wants to have the power of healing. To add some evidence to his claim to the best music choice in the operating room, Dr. Blair loves classic and alternative rock. He has seen the Rolling Stones multiple times; his first time in 1989 was at their Super Bowl halftime show, and he is going again with his son to their upcoming show in Seattle.
A doctor who has healing powers and who can out-arm wrestle the Terminator all while keeping our spines healthy is anything but expendable. Thank you for all you have done here and we are excited for many more years!