Meet Dr. George Zimmerman – LewisGale Hospital Montgomery


(cheerful music) – I’m George Zimmerman, DO. A board certified orthopedic surgeon here at LewisGale Montgomery
Hospital in Blacksburg. I grew up as a military brat, we followed my dad around in the military. I’ve traveled everywhere
from Bangkok, Thailand to living in Germany, to
many places in the states. My father was an officer in the army. He goes way back to the Vietnam, well he was in Korea and the Vietnam era, and was originally one of
the first Green Beret’s when they started the special
forces back in the early 60’s. And he’s deceased now,
buried in Arlington. We finally settled down in a small western Pennsylvania community where I finished out high school and then went to Washington
& Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. After that I was able to go on to the Philadelphia College
of Osteopathic Medicine, completed my training there
and then did my internship and orthopedic residency in Warren, Ohio at St Joseph’s Health Center. I’ve served in the United States Army. Four years on active duty and then ten years in the reserves. Two years in Louisiana at Fort Polk. Where I was first a staff surgeon and then Chief of Orthopedics. And then came to Fort Benning which is in Columbus, Georgia. Where I also was a staff surgeon and then Chief of Orthopedics. I did get out of the military and I went back to do a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in adult reconstructive
total joint surgery. And then have been practicing since then. I originally started off with
an interest in Dentistry, and then when I got into
my undergraduate years at Washington & Jefferson
I got involved as an EMT. I did work on the ambulance and became more and more
interested in medicine. And then had a true interest of originally wanting to
go into emergency medicine and wanting to be an
emergency room physician, but then I realized I didn’t
want to live in a big city, for the emergency room
doctors were more active in the bigger cities and
then the smaller communities, they’d call on the orthopedist
to do the procedures. So that kinda led me down
the line to orthopedics. Surgery for me, and it’s
not surgery in general but it’s orthopedics specifically. I’m a advocate, orthopedics
takes care of hurt people and they get better. There’s extreme gratitude in
taking somebody that’s hurt and getting them up and going again. In western Pennsylvania
our family doctor was a DO. And so I got to learn from him and just get ideas from him and I just thought the
holistic approach to medicine was the better way to go. And then going on to doing orthopedics, it’s very specific for orthopedics. The hands-on approach, the
ability to manipulate and treat, I felt it just was so perfect for me. In the military, the military surgeons don’t just take care of the active duty, that’s a large part of what I did, but you take care of the retirees and the other people in
the community as well. But for example at Fort Polk we had a experience where
the rangers jumped in and we had 17 ankle
fractures in one night. I was interested in being
an employed physician and I was interested in
working for a corporation that I knew was sound
and financially stable. So I specifically looking for HCA, and then Blacksburg was ideal for me. Being originally a
western Pennsylvania boy, this is closer to home for me. I have been practicing down in Georgia for the last 18 years. So this gets me halfway to home so to say, and so when I looked around, Blacksburg just kept coming back to me. I kept saying I feel like I’m home, it was very friendly, the
people bent over backwards. It was just a great
experience all the way around. The locale is just so
incredibly beautiful, but the people here in the
college and the students. And there’s just so much to offer in a small community like this, from all that that’s here,
it’s just really unique. And then having the DO school here is another positive experience. I spend a lot of time
dealing with students. We have a satellite school in Suwanee which is just outside of Atlanta and we have the students
rotate down with us. I’m involved in a lot of the education and certification aspects of
our profession orthopedically. So being able to be part
of the Osteopathic school here in Blacksburg is a great idea for me. I really, really like that. I’m a strong advocate of
giving back to the profession. I’ve been on the board of our society and am actually just the
past president now of the AOAO, the American Osteopathic
Association of Orthopedics. But also after doing
the ten years on that, I’ve been involved with the AOBOS which is the American Osteopathic
Board of Orthopedic Surgery. We do three parts, so I was
the chairman of the oral board and then I’m a senior
examiner we’re a part three where we have somebody that comes out and watches you do surgery
and critiques your charts and goes through all your, to see, just to make sure that
we’re doing good medicine. Osteopathic medicine allowed
me to get to where I’m at today so I feel obligated to give
back to the profession. That’s actually a fun,
fun experience as well and I always believe I learn something new every time I go away to a meeting or have an experience to be able to go and evaluate a candidate
or work with students. I always feel they teach
me something as well. I don’t consider medicine a career, I consider it a lifestyle. And I think most of us do
because we do put patient first and we do spend a lot
of time at the hospital and taking care of our patients. I used to go scuba diving
at least a week every year and would snow ski a week every year. I believe in trying to stay healthy, and my goal is to keep as strong and as healthy as I can be. So I’m an advocate in going to the gym, weights and cardio and
things along that line. So I use that as a stress reliever. I want to get involved in the community, I want to be able to possibly
even take some classes. Travel is definitely
something I really enjoy. When I lived in Europe we traveled, it was just going like
from state to state, we would go from country to country. And I’ve been at the
Vatican during Easter, I’ve been on the Eiffel tower, I’ve been all through
Germany, been in the Alps. And now as I get older I want to go back. I value it more, so the plans are to eventually travel through Europe again. I’d like to get up into Scandinavia, I’ve never made it up Finland, Denmark, it’s always interested me,
the way of life up there. Australia’s definitely on the bucket list but it’s takes a mont hto
travel and enjoy and come back so Ireland and Australia
are my true bucket list.

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