Letter to dvm360: A great carpenter makes a great surgeon

Letter to dvm360: A great carpenter makes a great surgeon

Dr. Brock's July column stirs up fond memories for this fellow practitioner.
Aug 04, 2017

Regarding Dr. Bo Brock’s recent column on his experiences with wood shop and veterinary surgery: I have a Mr. Howle in my past as well. His name was Joe Carlat. He taught me wood shop at Richardson High School in the 1964-65 school year.

My grandfather was a carpenter, so I guess I got the carpenter gene from him. It is pretty much the only explanation for why I took wood shop. It opened a whole new world for me that continues to this day and that has allowed me to develop my philosophy of what constitutes a “good project.” A “good project” is one that requires that you purchase a new tool. I love tools and have a plethora of them because of that philosophy. It is also notable that my grandfather told me, “If you take care of your tools, they will take care of you.” I share that with all of my newly employed veterinarians.

I love surgery and believe that I am fairly accomplished in the art and science of it. Although I only practice on cats, I have mastered and even pioneered several surgical procedures including frontal sinus obliteration, rhinotomy, bulla osteotomy, total ear canal ablation, thyroidectomy (parathyroid transplant technique), nasopharyngotomy, ACL repair, luxating patella repair, hemimandibulectomy, colectomy, perineal urethrostomy and perivulvoplasty. As you, I attribute much of my surgical success to my shop teacher. I have told many externs who have visited my practice that “a great carpenter makes a great surgeon.”

Thanks for bringing up some great memories.

Gary D. Norsworthy, DVM, DABVP (feline)
Alamo Feline Health Center
San Antonio