SIKESTON -- Doctors practicing in rural settings can still make a significant impact on medicine, according to a Sikeston surgeon.
On Oct. 20 at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Dr. Max Heeb, MDFACS, of Sikeston delivered the Milton D. Overholser Memorial Lecture, an annual lecture which is presented in honor of Dr. Overholser who was chairman of Mizzou's anatomy department at its School of Medicine for 35 years.
"When they asked me to do this, I said, 'a lecture frightens me and Dr. Overholser used to scare me,'" Heeb said. "He was my professor of anatomy and he was tough."
Heeb's lecture was entitled, "The Life of a Country Surgeon."
"I had a booth for a book signing at the Missouri State Medical Society meeting in St. Louis in April, giving the proceeds to Washington University and Missouri University medical schools. I was graduated from both of them," Heeb said. "I learned that I had been nominated to do the Overholser Lecture. They told me they wanted it based on my book."
Heeb's autobiography, "Max the Knife: The Life and Times of a Country Surgeon," was published in June 2005 by Heliographica Press.
"I had to condense 180 pages into an hour and 15 minutes," Heeb said.
The lecture went very well, according to Heeb.
"I had plenty of time to get ready for it," he said. "I planned it so I would have something serious, and then a short item that was funny so it wouldn't be a continuous serious lecture."
The lecture also included information that would be particularly interesting for medical students and young doctors.
"Near the end, I presented slides demonstrating a skin graft technique that I had developed and previously presented to the American College of Surgeons," Heeb said. "That occupied only 10 minutes."
Heeb also described a number of cases never before described in a surgical journal that he had published.
"I concluded with a motivation for young doctors to not be afraid to cut their umbilical cord from the Ivory Towers and assured them that they could practice good medicine and surgery, make a difference in their community as well as state and national organizations, from a rural health care center," he said. "That was my conclusion, that was my message I wanted to give them."