Dr. Leinberry: Allow me to introduce myself...

Charles F. Leinberry, Jr., M.D. February 10th, 2020

Dr. Charlie Leinberry, is a hand & wrist surgeon at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute but did you know during the winter months, he works as a part-time ski instructor?? Read below on how he thinks physicians and ski instructors are quite similar as well as his advice for beginner skiers.

My mom and dad first went skiing on their honeymoon in 1952 at Lake Placid and enjoyed it so much, that they first introduced me to skiing around the age of 6. Initially I took a few lessons, but I mostly learned on my own. In my early 20's I always thought I would be a ski patroller (an individual who helps with injured skiers, maintains ski terrain, etc.) in the winter and in the summer, an outward bound leader or forest ranger. While pursuing my Master's degree in Environmental Science, my advisor suggested I look into medicine which led me to orthopaedics, and I put my thoughts of being a ski patroller on-hold.

However, a few years ago while skiing at my favorite resort, Beaver Creek—where I have been skiing for more than thirty years—I found out that I could become a part-time ski instructor. So in the winter of 2018-19, I completed the required training, and worked 13 days teaching 7-14 year olds children to ski. This past year, I used my vacation time to continue to teach this same age group for 15 days.

One may ask why teach? I have always loved teaching—I spent time teaching in graduate school, and as an orthpaedic surgeon, I teach medical students, residents and fellows. I have always enjoyed passing my knowledge onto younger individuals whether in orthopaedics or skiing. There is a lot of joy in seeing someone go from just being able to walk on skis to being able to get up after you fall to being able to ski down a beginner or an intermediate trail in just a few days.

If you have never tried skiing, the best way to learn is to take some lessons from a professional ski instructor. Beaver Creek is a great place to learn, because it has, I believe, the best ski school and instructors in the country. Also it has great beginner terrain, which is always well groomed, and very few crowds during the week (unless a holiday week). Instructors will teach you the proper way to progress your skiing, while keeping you safe and having fun. You also get to experience an outdoor exercise in beautiful surroundings, while spending time with family and friends.

I feel there are a lot of similarities between physicians and ski instructors. Both care about the well-being of their patients and/or guests and make their interests and goals their first priority. In both, you need to have a passion for your work and most importantly, a lot of patience. At the end of day, it’s great to have a patient thank you for giving them relief from their problem and say they are going to refer you to a friend. Similarly, to having a parent say that their child learned the most from you during their lesson, and want to come back the next day for another lesson. This is what makes it all worthwhile. So if you have a chance, try and get out skiing some time, and see why I enjoy it so much!

 

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