Boomers & Beyond: Physician of the Year
Dixie Burmeister continues her "Thanks for Giving" series this week with a St. Mary's pathologist honored at the "Night For Heroes" Ball. She introduces us to Dr. Aron Long, M.D. in this week's edition of Boomers & Beyond.
Dr. Aron Long, dedicated pathologist at St.Marys for 31 years, kind of had to be talked into accepting the Physician of the Year honor by his wife, but I think he was glad he did.
"My wife said 'you can't think about this, you must accept this honor,' and so of course I accepted," Dr. Long said.
Family, friends and associates made it an evening to remember.
"The ball was fabulous," he explained. "It was very nice and it gave me the opportunity to really talk about the laboratory and pathology's role in medicine."
As a youngster, a move to Denver began his early education that resulted in a lifetime match in 9th grade?
"I went to both elementary school, middle school, where I met my wife, and high school in Denver. Went to college at Wash U in Saint Louis and then came back to CU to finish college because that's where Beth was."
He's never doubted his pathology decision and it's brought him tremendous responsibility and positions that he gladly accepts.
"I knew in medical school that really what I found most exciting was the scientific part of medicine."
Family and work intertwined, leading to a new pathologist in the office next door.
"My eldest daughter, Rachael LaCount is a pathologist in the next office," Dr. Long explained.
What is it about this man that you might not know?
"My son and I , I couldn't say we actually live and die with the Broncos, but sometimes it feels like the Broncos, yes."
Who does he credit for the wonderful life he has?
"It was nice growing up in a strong nuclear family," he said. "Both of my folks were college graduates. They actually met at Northwestern. So, I think the emphasis on education, the support from home always helps."
He has a message for us all from his work as a pathologist.
"Lung cancer kills more people than colon, prostate, and breast cancer combined and yet people make a choice whether to smoke or not and we know that the vast majority of lung cancer is still caused by cigarette smoke."
So listening to him, do you think he really plans on retiring?
"I'm sixty one now and so I think people think about retirement, but frankly I enjoy what I do so much. At least for now, I have no plans on retiring."
He realizes the depth and importance of the field he's in.
"I like to say that we get to practice big city medicine but in a very small-town, collegial way where we get to know everybody, we know the medical staff that we deal with and I think it leads to better patient care."
Help heal the world? Well, I would say Doctor Long has found his path to doing just that!
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