Writings Put Surgeon a Cut Above in His Field


"Intra-articular morphine, bupicavaine and morphine/bupicavaine for pain control after knee video-arthroscopy" is the latest contribution to the medical literary world by Douglas Garland, an orthopedic surgeon at Long Beach Community Hospital.

"I love to write," said Garland, whose article, co-authored with Community anesthesiologist George Khoury, is slated to appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Anesthesia.

Since it is the first clinical report on morphine being used after knee surgery, "it's a big deal," Garland said. "Here's an old drug with new applications."

Garland's writing has helped put him in the forefront of his profession at age 47. Recently, he became the first representative to the American Orthopaedic Assn. in Community Hospital's 67-year history, and one of only two doctors to be selected from Long Beach.

The AOA, which has about 350 active members chosen from more than 20,000 orthopedists, elects candidates after a yearlong peer review, during which their practice and contributions in education and research are evaluated.

Striped dress shirts, carefully combed blond-streaked hair and an unlined face combine to give the doctor a boyish look--the Midwestern youngster he once was still showing through.

"I'm an Iowa farm boy," said Garland, who rarely speaks at medical symposiums because of a low-key nature.

Growing up in Boone, a doctorless town of 400, Garland had no idea what kind of doctor he wanted to be, though he realized his adeptness at using baling wire to fix things around the farm.

He attended Creighton University Medical School in Omaha, Neb., but it was not until he served with the Army in Vietnam from 1970 to 1972, working in a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit near the demilitarized zone, that he knew that fixing bodies would be his specialty.

"Vietnam gave me a feeling for what it is to be a physician," he said.

He understood when he left the war, before going on to the orthopedics program at Tulane University in New Orleans, that he was destined to preside in operating rooms, with their green-masked aura and mixture of excitement and chilling reality.

Though an expert in head trauma, Garland's main interest is in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery. He also is chief of spinal cord injuries at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in Downey.

"I'm one of the old orthopedists who does everything," he said.

A Belmont Shore resident, Garland enjoys surf fishing, but it is writing that consumes most of his free time. He has written, mostly on Saturdays, some 75 articles and book chapters, with lengthy, somewhat intimidating, if not squeamish, titles.

Among them are "Microbiology of Deep Tissue in Diabetic Gangrene" in 1978, "Musculocutaneous Neurectomy for Spastic Elbow Flexion in Nonfunctional Upper Extremities in Adults" in 1980 and "Results of Transfer of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Tendons to the Flexor Digitorum Profundus Tendons in Adults With Acquired Soasticity of the Hand" in 1987.

"Writing," said the doctor as he sat in his office at 6 p.m. Wednesday, following seven hours of surgery and four hours of seeing office patients, with hospital rounds still to be made, "is my golf."

* Valerie Brisco, Greg Harris, Wayne Piercy and Albert C.S. Ramsey were recently inducted into the Long Beach City College Hall of Fame.

Brisco, who graduated in 1981 and is considered the school's greatest female track star, won three gold medals in the 1984 Olympics.

Harris, an All-American on the school's state championship baseball team in 1974, pitches for the Boston Red Sox.

Piercy, a 1951 graduate, served as mayor of Lakewood in 1972-'73 and 1990-'91. A former principal of Poly High School, he is a legislative spokesman for the Long Beach Unified School District.

Ramsey, who graduated in 1931, was Long Beach city prosecutor from 1942 to 1948 and has tried many well-known criminal cases. In 1986 he was named lawyer of the year by the Long Beach Bar Assn.

* Thelma L. Eaton, professor of social work at Whittier College, will receive the 1991 Living Legacy Award on Nov. 15 in Washington from the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged Inc. The organization honors six people, 60 or older, for their contributions to the nation. Eaton has been active in programs assisting minority students.

* Duncan Angus has been elected president of the Long Beach Community Band board of directors.

* Jeannette Paumier has been named board chairman of the Widowed Persons Service, a volunteer group that provides support to newly widowed men and women in Downey and neighboring communities.

* Jack Dameron, a Long Beach philanthropist, will receive the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Service Award for contributions to youths and the community. The award is presented each year by the Long Beach area Scout council.

* Keith Inouye of Cerritos, a junior at Gahr High School, has been selected to attend the National Youth Leaders Conference from Nov. 19 to 24 in Washington. He will be among 350 students who will meet with legislators and journalists at the conference, whose theme is "leaders of tomorrow meet leaders of today."

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