Family is one of the most important aspects of my life as I have noted on this website. It is important to know where you come from and who you represent. In my life, I represent the Kummerfeld family values, work ethic, etc. In my work, I represent those who have been responsible for my training directly or indirectly. My training in orthopedics at Scott and White was invaluable, but I will focus on the family tree of my specialty training in shoulder and elbow surgery. A physician's training cannot make them great, but it instills potential for knowledge, experience, and skill which can combine to make a competent physician. I am proud of my family tree in orthopedic surgery. Here is my lineage linking back to the father of shoulder surgery.
John Itamura, my shoulder dad
Doctor Itamura is my mentor in shoulder and elbow surgery. He is responsible for teaching me most everything I know within the specialty. He is known in California and the western US as one of the "go to" surgeons for complex and revision surgery of the shoulder and elbow. I have noted Grandpa Kummerfeld's role in me ending up with Dr. Itamura at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic.
Buz Burkhead, my shoulder granddad
Doctor Burkhead is a well known shoulder surgeon in Dallas, Texas at the Carroll Clinic. He taught John Itamura about complex shoulder and elbow surgery. In addition to this teaching, Burkhead taught Dr. Itamura about Texas (cowboy boots, cowboy hats, country music, and everything else great about Texas). Among other honors, he is a past president of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. His training came through a fellow Texan a few hours south on I-35. I am privileged to know him personally and professionally.
Charles Rockwood, father of Texas shoulder surgery
Doctor Rockwood is responsible for training many great Texas shoulder surgeons including Dr. Burkhead. He has been a fixture at UT San Antonio for several decades teaching residents and fellows about life and shoulder surgery. I have not had the pleasure to meet him personally, but have heard exemplary things about him as a man and a surgeon. He is also a past president of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. Doctor Rockwood was one of the original fellows of Charles Neer, a prominent figure in orthopedics and the father of shoulder surgery.
Charles Neer, father of modern shoulder surgery
Doctor Neer is one of the great innovators in orthopedics surgery. He is directly or indirectly responsible for many advances in shoulder surgery and the training of the orthopedists responsible for these advances. In his training, he was dissatisfied with the outcomes of fracture treatment of the shoulder. As a result, he created one of the first(if not the first) mass produced shoulder replacements in history. I will never have the opportunity to meet Dr. Neer as he passed away in 2011, but will be ever grateful for the family of surgeons that has been responsible for my orthopedic training and upbringing. It is important to know who you are and where you come from, as well as who your doctor is and how they were trained. I am proud of this tradition of excellence and hope to make my predecessors proud as I care for my patients.