[bookshare-discuss] Fwd: Fw: A New Doctor who is blind

  • From: Cindy <popularplace@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, bookshare-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2005 14:41:21 -0700 (PDT)

Another article sent by my wants-to-remain-anonymous
friend. This is amazing. We saw a segment a while back
on one of the news magazine programs about a little
person who also became a physician -- I think a
surgeon -- despite the perceived handicap of his size.

> This article runs in the Sunday Lexington KENTUCKY
> newspaper:
> New doctor doesn't let blindness stop him
>     By Sharon Cohen
>     MADISON, Wis. - The young medical student was
> nervous as he slid the
>     soft, thin tube down into the patient's
> windpipe. It was a delicate
>     maneuver -- and he knew he had to get it right.
>     Tim Cordes leaned over the patient as his
> professor and a team of
>     others closely monitored his every step.
> Carefully, he positioned the
>     tube, waiting for the signal that oxygen was
> flowing.
>     The anesthesia machine was set to emit musical
> tones to confirm that
>     the tube was in the trachea and carbon dioxide
> was present. Soon,
>     Cordes heard the sounds. He double-checked with
> a stethoscope. All was
>     OK. He had completed the intubation.
>     Several times over two weeks, Cordes performed
> this difficult task at
>     the University of Wisconsin Hospital and
> Clinics. His professor, Dr.
>     George Arndt, marveled at his student's skills.
>     "He was 100 percent," the doctor says. "He did
> it better than the
>     people who could see."
>     Tim Cordes is blind.
>     He has mastered much in his 28 years: Jujitsu.
> Biochemistry.
>     Water-skiing. Music composition. Any one of
> these accomplishments
>     would be impressive. Together, they're dazzling.
> And now, there's more
>     luster for his gold-plated r?sum? with
> a new title: Doctor.
>     In a world where skeptics always seem to be
> saying, 'Stop, this isn't
>     something a blind person should be doing,' it
> was one more barrier
>     overcome. There is only a handful of blind
> doctors in this country.
>     Cordes finished medical school at the University
> of Wisconsin-Madison
>     in the top sixth of his class (he received just
> one B), earning
>     honors, accolades and admirers along the way.
>     Without sight, Cordes had to learn how to
> identify clusters of
>     spaghetti-thin nerves and vessels in cadavers,
> study X-rays, read EKGs
>     and patient charts, examine slides showing
> slices of the brain,
>     diagnose rashes -- and more.
>     He used a variety of special tools, including
> raised-line drawings, a
>     computer that reads into his earpiece whatever
> he types, a visual
>     describer, a portable printer that allowed him
> to write notes for
>     patient charts, and a device called an Optacon
> that has a small camera
>     with vibrating pins that help his fingers feel
> images.
>     "It was kind of whatever worked," Cordes says.
> "Sometimes you can
>     psych yourself out and anticipate problems that
> don't materialize. ...
>     You can sit there and plan for every
> contingency, or you just go out
>     and do things. ... That was the best way."
>     That's been his philosophy much of his life.
> Cordes was just 5 months
>     old when he was diagnosed with Leber's disease.
> He wore glasses by age
>     2 and gradually lost his sight. At age 16, when
> his peers were getting
>     their car keys, he took his first steps with a
> guide dog.
>     Through the years, plenty of people have
> underestimated Cordes.
>     That was especially true when he applied for
> medical school and was
>     rejected by several universities, despite
> glowing references, two
>     years of antibiotics research and a 3.99
> undergraduate average as a
>     biochemistry major.
>     Even when Wisconsin-Madison accepted him, Cordes
> says, he knew there
>     was "some healthy skepticism." But, he adds,
> "the people I worked with
>     were top-notch and really gave me a chance."
>     Cordes says some of his most valuable lessons
> came from doctors who
>     believed in showing rather than telling.
>     "You can describe what it feels like to put your
> hand on the aorta and
>     feel someone's blood flowing through it," he
> says, his face lighting
>     up, "but until you feel it, you really don't get
> a sense of what
>     that's like."
> -- 
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> Date: 2/10/2005

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