In the latest edition of Making the Rounds, Dr. Scott Mair discusses always wanting to be a doctor, his hobbies and why he enjoys living in Lexington.

A passion for sports led Dr. Scott Mair to orthopaedic surgery

Making the RoundsWe sat down with Dr. Scott Mair, an orthopaedic surgeon at UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, for our latest installment of Making the Rounds, a blog series that introduces you to some of our providers at UK HealthCare. Dr. Mair specializes in shoulder and knee arthroscopy and shoulder reconstruction.

How did you first become interested in medicine?

I grew up in Rochester, Minn., and everybody there is a doctor, basically. My dad was a pediatrician. I didn’t know there was anything else to do. I’m kind of kidding, but there are an unbelievable number of doctors there, per capita, just because the Mayo Clinic’s there and it’s a small town. So obviously I knew a lot of doctors, and they seemed to like what they did.

Why did you decide to specialize in orthopaedics?

It had more to do with my love of sports. I wasn’t a spectacular athlete, but I played a lot of sports, and I enjoyed being around sports. So when I would hear about team doctors, it seemed like a good fit. I get to work with several of the UK teams, which is a lot of fun.

What types of injuries do you treat?

Mostly what I see is shoulder problems. Probably about 80 percent of my practice is shoulder things. A lot of young athletes with stability problems, and then older people who have rotator cuff problems. But I see all kinds of other, different shoulder abnormalities, too.

What should patients know about rehab after surgery?

People think rehab is something where they have to push through the pain and do everything they’re supposed to do – which, in certain surgeries or certain rehabs, is important. But a lot of times, it’s almost the opposite, where once people start feeling well, we’ve got to slow them down because some things take months to heal.

For a lot of my younger patients especially, after a couple of months when we’ve stabilized their shoulder, they feel like they’re good as new, and they start doing things they’re not supposed to do before they’re healed. So half my time I spend trying to slow people down while they’re healing up after surgery instead of pushing them along, like you do in some surgeries.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have four daughters, so most of the time I’m doing things with them. I used to play a lot of golf, but they’re not much into that, so I spend a lot of time chasing them around for their sports and things. They range from age 12 to 20 now.

Describe your ideal weekend. 

I’d be at a UK basketball game and hanging out with my family after that, doing something with our friends. Maybe go fishing.

What do you like most about living in Lexington?

I’ve been here about 18 years and I think it’s a fun place. There’s a lot to do, it’s easy to get to big cities, but it’s not such a big place that you can’t get around where you need to go. And it’s got friendly people.

What’s your favorite movie?

I like some of the old-school movies like Caddyshack and Fletch. Those are probably still my favorites.


Check out our video interview with Dr. Scott Mair below, where he talks about why working with the student-athletes at UK is so rewarding.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, which provides leading-edge treatment for a variety of injuries and conditions.
  • When Patty Lane was diagnosed with arthritis in her hip, she was told her time as a competitive triathlete was over. That’s when she turned to UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine for a second opinion. Read Patty’s story.

Even as a child, Rachel Miller knew she wanted to be a doctor

Making the RoundsWe’re joined by Dr. Rachel Miller for our latest edition of Making the Rounds. Dr. Miller is a gynecologic oncologist at the UK Markey Cancer Center who specializes in ovarian cancer screening and treatment. She’s also the co-director of Markey’s new Molecular Tumor Board, a powerful tool in the fight against cancer.

When did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

I think I knew in elementary school. I was very interested in doctoring from an early age. My mom actually saved my Fisher-Price doctor kit and cleaned it up and gave it to my son. So it is well-worn. I did a lot of physical exams when I was between the ages of 4 and 6, I think.

I was a chemistry major, and I thought I might spend some time in the lab. And I was interested in pharmacy, too. So it’s been a long-standing desire. [The challenge] was just trying to figure out what aspect of healthcare and medicine and interaction with people would work best.

What’s your favorite food?

Spaghetti and meatballs. It’s comfort food, and actually, it’s one of the first dishes that my husband made for me when we were dating. It was a birthday dish.

How would your friends describe you?

I think they’d describe me as energetic, active. Kind of crazy in that I may have a little higher work-to-off-time ratio than most of my friends, but we make the most of our time together.

Describe your ideal weekend.

I’d get out of work at a reasonable time on Friday and probably have some Mexican or Indian food or sushi for dinner – some sort of special treat for Friday night. And then on Saturday, I’d wake up – I have a 3 1/2-year-old – so I’d wake up with him in a really good mood and we’d play and have a nice, quiet breakfast. I’d go out for a run, and then we’d have an afternoon of maybe swimming in the summertime or the YMCA in the wintertime. We’d get a babysitter at 6 p.m., and I’d have an evening with my husband. Really, it’d be a quiet weekend at home. I feel like more and more we treasure the downtime and the routine family time at home.

What’s your favorite part about being a mom?

There are so many great parts about it. I think it’s just that my son challenges me in ways that I didn’t realize a 3 1/2-year-old could challenge me. I thought I had a hard job until I became a mom, and I realized that is so much more difficult at times. I just enjoy watching him grow and seeing how every day is just loaded with new experiences for him and how he approaches those experiences, watching him learn language, hearing him laugh – just the day-to-day interactions.


Watch our video interview with Dr. Miller below, where she describes the types of patients she sees at Markey and talks about why she enjoys practicing medicine in Kentucky.


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Meet Dr. Susan Smyth, director of the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute

Making the RoundsOur latest Making the Rounds interview features Dr. Susan Smyth, medical director of the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute. Dr. Smyth is a researcher and physician focused on treating patients with bleeding and clotting disorders.

What do you enjoy most about being a heart doctor?

The field of cardiology is just extraordinary. It’s incredibly rewarding to be part of a field that has done so much for our society and to every day be thinking about, “How can we do this better? How can we keep people out of the hospital? How can we make them live longer? How can we make them feel better? How can we get rid of their suffering?” To be able to translate something that we observe in a clinical study to a patient and make their lives better is incredibly rewarding.

Why is research such an important part of your job?

The thing that drives me is to think about how we apply the scientific method to alleviating pain and suffering, extending life, and promoting health. How can we apply the knowledge that we have today so that we can improve tomorrow what we’re doing for folks across the United States?

What do you want patients to know about the care team at Gill?

We have a phenomenal care team at the University of Kentucky. We have staff whose entire job is to be there for the patient, for the family member and for the loved one and to support them throughout their journey.

Know that when you come here, you will be surrounded by a team that is dedicated to taking care of you.

Tell us about your interest in women’s heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, and a lot of people don’t realize that. As a female cardiologist, it’s something that’s very close to my heart and a lot of my patients’ hearts, and we do have a very large focus on women’s heart health at Gill.

Another thing that I’m passionate about is trying to get more women in medicine and science in general. We do not have enough female cardiologists. Less than 15 percent of the cardiologists in the United States are female. That’s a number that needs to change. And so while we think about how we can improve heart health in women, I also want to encourage women to consider this as a career because I can’t think of a more rewarding specialty to go into.

You were born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Do you root for the Wildcats or the Tar Heels?

I am a native North Carolinian but I changed colors of blue when I moved to Kentucky. I continue to bleed blue, but it’s a little bit darker now than when I was younger. I have been in Kentucky for a little over 10 years and I cheer for the Wildcats, much to my mom’s chagrin!


Watch our video interview with Dr. Smyth, where she talks more about the types of conditions she treats and what patients can expect when they come to Gill.


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Lacey Buckler, assistant Chief Nursing Executive at UK HealthCare, spoke about how graduating from UK directly impacted her career.

Kentucky native Lacey Buckler pursues nursing excellence at UK

Making the RoundsLacey Buckler, who earned three degrees from the UK College of Nursing, currently serves as an assistant chief nursing executive at UK HealthCare. She has a special interest in working with heart transplant patients at the UK Transplant Center.

How did you go from being a UK graduate to your current position?

I started out as a critical care nurse in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (ICU) here at UK, spent a couple years working there and then moved into a case management position where I did discharge planning for cardiovascular services. I graduated with a nurse practitioner degree here at UK. Then I worked again with cardiology at that point as an acute nurse practitioner and continued my trajectory to earn my doctoral degree. I moved into the director role for advance practice and also cardiovascular nursing and over the past couple years, moved into a chief assistant nurse role.

What is a typical day like in your position?

There is definitely never a dull moment! UK HealthCare is a very busy academic medical center, and we consistently have a large volume of patients moving through our system. Ensuring my teams have what they need to care for the patients while balancing planning and preparing for what’s coming next is how I spend many of my days.

I also enjoying mentoring emerging leaders within the team and supporting students as they rotate through my areas.

Why did you choose a career in nursing?

I think it’s a passion for taking care of others and seeing the happiness on a patient’s face when they get to leave and they’ve been well taken care of – just being a part of that and being part of their family.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

I think healthcare is ever-changing. So right now with the political climate that we’re in, it’s hard to be in healthcare because you don’t know what’s coming down the road from bundled payments and changes in how we take care of patients. So I think just not knowing what the next steps will be makes health care challenging in general.

What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

The most fulfilling part of my job is seeing patients get better. I’m involved with the UK Transplant Program here for heart transplantation, so that’s a huge, neat part of UK HealthCare – seeing those patients get better and going on with their lives with a new chance on life is really an awesome experience.

Do you have a favorite UK memory? 

I have a lot of favorite UK memories. I’m a big basketball fan, so I had the pleasure of being an undergraduate student when Tayshaun Prince shot all the 3’s at the North Carolina game. We had really good seats right behind the bench that my friend and I got in the lottery at Memorial Coliseum.


Originally from Morganfield, Ky., Buckler discusses why helping people throughout the state is so important to her.


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This Making the Rounds features Dr. Gerhard Hildebrandt, division chief of hematology and blood and marrow transplantation at the UK Markey Cancer Center.

Meet Dr. Gerhard Hildebrandt, hematologist: ‘We’re here to help’

Making the RoundsIn this week’s edition of Making the Rounds, we’re joined by Dr. Gerhard Hildebrandt, division chief of hematology and blood and marrow transplantation at the UK Markey Cancer Center. Dr. Hildebrandt moved to the United States in 2009 after earning his medical degree in Germany.

What kinds of cancer do you treat?

We treat cancers of the blood and lymph system. We treat leukemia, we treat lymphoma, we treat multiple myeoma. We do treat benign disorders of the blood, like clotting disorders and bleeding disorders, but my special focus is in malignant hematology, which is really cancer of the blood and lymph system, and also bone marrow transplantation.

What do you most enjoy about your specialty?

I think that the chance to offer something, which, in a horrific moment in a patient’s life, can bring light – it’s just very satisfying. The other thing is, I do not fix and disconnect with the patients. I think in our field there are long-lasting relationships with the patients, and this is a thing which makes it unique and very exciting for me.

What do you want potential patients to know about you?

What I want them to know is that not only me, but our entire team really, really cares for them. And that we really spend the time they need. There’s no rush. My favorite slogan is always, “There’s no rushing medicine.” See, we do not rush patients in and out – that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to help.

How would your friends and family describe you?

Ambitious, hardworking – maybe overly hardworking. But on the other side I’m very childish. You know, fun-loving.

Describe your ideal weekend.

I’d spend it with my kids. I usually take my son for swimming, and we usually have a movie night on one of those days where we watch a movie with the kids and try to spend some time with them.

Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled?

I think it’s Botswana. I did two trips to Botswana. I went on a cruise, and then I slept in the wild with no cellphone, no guns, no weapons. It was very interesting to sleep there and hear the animals close by with no fences.

What do you enjoy about living in Lexington?

It’s a very livable town. Very nice, very friendly. I like downtown. I think there are quite a few good restaurants and places to get a drink once and a while. It’s very green. Where I live I can bike through the backstreets, so that’s good.


Take a look at our video interview with Dr. Hildebrandt below. He speaks about what makes working Markey so unique.


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This week’s featured physician is Dr. Brian Rinker, plastic surgeon and director of the Plastic Surgery Residency Program at UK HealthCare.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Rinker talks about the art of ‘restoring lives’

Making the RoundsThis week’s featured physician in our Making the Rounds blog series is Dr. Brian Rinker, plastic surgeon and director of the Plastic Surgery Residency Program at UK HealthCare. His specialties include aesthetic surgery, breast reconstruction, microsurgery and correction of congenital hand anomalies.

How did you become interested in plastic surgery?

Like most people, I didn’t have any idea what plastic surgery was when I started medical school. I thought of it as, you know, “Doc Hollywood,” cosmetic surgery – that sort of thing. I had no idea what plastic surgeons actually did. And then when I found out as a medical student, it just fit so well with my personality and the things I enjoy doing.

It’s just such a creative specialty, and so varied. We get to treat so many kinds of patients with so many different kinds of problems, and it’s always exciting and always interesting, so I fell in love with it immediately.

How is plastic surgery different from other types of surgery?

I think the average person doesn’t know what plastic surgery truly is. They see the cosmetic side of plastic surgery – which is important – but it only makes up about 10 percent of the actual specialty. You know, most of what we spend our time doing is restoring and reconstructing defects from trauma, from cancer surgery or from congenital defects.

My job is a little different than some other surgeons because, in general, I’m not saving lives. In general, what I’m doing is restoring lives. I’m restoring people back to the way they were, restoring their function, their appearance, their body image after an injury or after a loss due to cancer surgery. And it’s very inspiring to see the type of impact you can have in people’s lives – they can get back to their work or the things they love to do and get back to feeling whole again.

How would your family describe you?

I got a card from my daughter, who’s 8, the other day, that says, “I like my daddy because he’s big and huggable.” So I guess that’s how my daughter would describe me.

Describe your ideal weekend.

Well, I like to go out into the countryside where it’s peaceful. I like to bring my kids and just do something simple and fun like go for a hike or fish or camp out.

What fictional character would you like to hang out with?

I’d like to hang out with Sherlock Holmes. I think that he would be a great guy to hang out with, have a conversation with. Very knowledgeable. And he is also based on a physician, so I think we’d have a lot to talk about.


Watch our video interview with Dr. Rinker below, where he discusses how plastic surgery treats more than just physical issues.


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Making the Rounds with Dr. Susanne Arnold

Meet oncologist Susanne Arnold, second-generation doctor and proud Kentuckian

Making the RoundsOur featured provider in this week’s Making the Rounds is Dr. Susanne Arnold, an oncologist at the UK Markey Cancer Center who treats patients with lung cancer and head and neck cancer.

Dr. Arnold is particularly interested in early therapies for cancer and leads several clinical trials at Markey.

How did you become interested in medicine?

My first memories of my life were going with my dad to the hospital because he was a doctor. And that’s how I first became interested in medicine. He was the director of the Center on Aging here for over 25 years and so I have great pride in being a second-generation doctor here at the University of Kentucky.

And even deeper than that is my love of Kentucky, because I’m an eighth-generation Kentuckian and my children are ninth-generation Kentuckians. So serving Kentucky in the little area that I can make a difference – which is in cancer care, where we have some of the biggest health disparities and highest mortality rates – is a real calling to me.

What is your patient care philosophy?

Cancer is really scary, and when you think about how you care for someone with cancer, you have to think about what their goals are first and foremost. I try to put the patient in the center and say, ‘What are your goals? How are we going to help you live your life with cancer and hopefully past the time that you have cancer?’

What characteristic do you most admire in other people?

In my patients, I admire courage because they have to face so many things and they face it so much more courageously than I feel like I would. In others, I admire those who are genuine and care about people.

If you could meet any person from history, who would it be?

I always have wanted to go back in time and see what the heck Stonehenge is really about. That seems really weird, but it’s such a wild thing. I’d love to know why it’s there. What the heck were they doing? I don’t know that I’d want to meet the Stonehenge caveman, but I would love to see that.

And I would love to meet J.R.R. Tolkien because I love his books.

How would your friends describe you?

Nerdy and that I work too hard. I hope people think of me as a kind person and that I’m generous.


Watch our video interview with Dr. Arnold, where she discusses what types of patients she sees at Markey.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about clinical trials at Markey, where our experts are advancing cancer care and giving patients access to the latest treatment options.
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with any form of head and neck cancer or lung cancer, our specialized treatment teams are here to help. Learn more about the leading-edge, personalized care we provide.
Dr. Joe Iocono is the featured physician in this week’s Making the Rounds. He is the chief of the division of pediatric surgery and vice chair of education of general surgery.

Pediatric surgeon Joe Iocono always wanted to be a doctor. Here’s why.

Making the RoundsDr. Joe Iocono is the featured physician in this week’s Making the Rounds. He is the chief of the division of pediatric surgery and vice chair of education of general surgery. Working primarily at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Dr. Iocono takes care of people’s most precious possessions – their children.

What made you want to become a physician?

I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was a little kid, and part of that was I found out real early in life that I had a surgery when I was a baby. I was a real inquisitive kind of guy, and so I would ask my pediatrician about what this scar was on my head. He taught me, each year it seemed, a little bit more about the profession, and so I just wanted to be a doctor. It was never a second thought. I was going to be a doctor from the time I was in first grade.

Is there an aspect about being a physician that is particularly rewarding?

I love teaching the fact that medicine is a true profession. It’s not a job – it’s a true privilege to do what we do. You are truly there for patients, and the satisfaction you get doesn’t come from a paycheck, it doesn’t come from accolades – other than accolades from a mom or a kid that gives you a high five in the clinic.

What place would you most like to visit?

There is a trip to Alaska where you fly in, you dogsled and then you cruise home. I keep saying that one day in my life I’m going to do that.

The most satisfying trip I just did? I went to Kenya for 11 days and operated there for the first time this April. I needed that. That was a battery charger.

How would your friends and family describe you?

Intense, directed – always goal-directed – and that I need to relax more.

Do you have any guilty pleasure musical interests?

Oh yeah: ‘80s hair bands. And if you’re a student in my operating room, you’re going to get quizzed more about ‘80s hair bands than you will about surgical anatomy. ­


Check out this video with Dr. Iocono, where he discusses the rewards of working at UK HealthCare.


Next steps:

Making the Rounds with Dr. Lowell Anthony

Markey oncologist Lowell Anthony says it takes a village to treat cancer

Making the RoundsDr. Lowell Anthony, an oncologist at the UK Markey Cancer Center, sat down with us for the latest installment of Making the Rounds, a blog series where you’ll get to know the providers at UK HealthCare. Dr. Anthony specializes in treating neuroendocrine cancer, a rare form of the disease that begins in the hormone-producing cells of the body.

Tell us about the types of patients you see at Markey.

I’ve spent the last 30 years seeing patients with a wide variety of different types of neuroendocrine cancer. My focus is on tumors that are called carcinoids. These tumors can arise in the gastrointestinal tract, they can arise in the pancreas, they can arise in the lung. These cells are dispersed all through the body but there are certain areas where they’re concentrated.

What do you find most rewarding about working at Markey?

It’s the multidisciplinary approach we take with our patients and the collegiality of the people I work with. When a patient comes to Markey, we develop a care plan across specialties because it takes a village, really, to treat cancer. And we develop that care plan quickly so that the patient doesn’t have to make a lot of trips back and forth. I think that’s the real value for our patients.

What’s your biggest fear?

Not finding a parking space.

What’s your favorite food?

Sushi. I like eel a lot, so the caterpillar roll is my favorite. That’s got a lot of eel in it.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

The worst job I’ve ever had was in a chicken house putting chickens in their crates for travel. It was challenging, but I could probably still do it today, if I had to.

What’s the best part about working and living in Lexington?

It’s a relatively small community but it has big community opportunities. I look at it as an undiscovered environment – it’s sort of the best kept secret. The climate is great, we have excellent restaurants, there’s plenty to do and having the undergraduate campus around us just makes Lexington feel alive and vibrant.


Watch a video interview with Dr. Anthony, where he tells us about the most exciting things happening in cancer research and treatment today.


Next steps:

  • The carcinoid and neuroendocrine cancer team at Markey takes a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy and interventional therapy. Learn more about our team.
  • Geri McDowell was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer and was running out of options for treatment. That’s when Dr. Anthony recommended a clinical trial that offered her hope for recovery. Read Geri’s story.
In our latest edition of Making the Round, we spoke with Dr. James Liau, a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Pediatric plastic surgeon James Liau focuses on ‘the other side’ of surgery

Making the RoundsDr. James Liau practices the complete spectrum of plastic and reconstructive surgery. He also specializes in pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery and craniofacial surgery, focusing on comprehensive treatment of children with cleft lips and palates, congenital craniofacial deformities, as well as other more unique congenital problems requiring pediatric plastic surgery.

What attracted you to plastic surgery?

I think what really attracted me to plastic surgery was being “on the other side” of surgery. What I mean by that is, for example, in a lot of general surgery or cancer surgery they take out the disease, they take out the cancer. However, patients then have a defect. And I think a lot of times they feel like they are lacking. As a plastic surgeon you’re on the recovery side, so you’re trying to restore.

Describe your care philosophy.

When I take care of a patient, my philosophy is more about the patient. Yes they have a disease process or they may have some issues, whether it be trauma, reconstruction or cosmetic, but it’s more about the patient and what they want. What is it that bothers them, and what are they looking for to help them move on with their lives?

Can you recall your first day of medical school?

I’m originally from California, and I did my undergrad out in California at UC Berkeley. So the first day of med school at UK, I just happened to sit next to a person I had gone to school with in Pasadena. It was very ironic considering that, of all the people that I’m sitting down next to in the state of Kentucky, it was someone from California.

Is there a place you would like to go for a vacation?

Well, we’ve been doing it every year–it’s a surf trip with my wife. I usually go to Costa Rica. I’ve been to Mexico, too, and I’m actually looking at some places in El Salvador.

What’s your favorite movie?

“Maroux.” It’s a movie about these guys trying to climb Maroux, which is a peak that’s never been climbed before. They are three professional climbers, and it’s a pretty interesting saga because the first time they did it they failed. It’s a really good movie. Pretty inspiring.

Is there a type of food you like best?

Anything with noodles in it!


Check out our full interview with Dr. Liau, where he talks about what drew him to pediatric plastic surgery.


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