When I was growing up, Christmas was always a blow out at my house. Hence for me, this is always a special time of the year. A time to reflect, recharge, and give back. And for our fellows, it’s a time to cut up and entertain. Let me explain.
I love history. If there’s one thing that defines the holiday spirit it’s giving back. While we might think that this is a modern invention, it goes much further back to ancient Rome. Saturn was the Roman god of plenty and renewal and winter solstice festivals were a huge thing far before the Romans. Hence, once a year, ancient Rome had a blow out that they called Saturnalia. One of the key parts of this week-long festival (held around our modern Christmastime) was that the bosses needed to give back to those who kept everything running.
Since what is now the UK and London (Londinium) was part of the roman empire for centuries, even after the empire fell, the tradition of giving back lived on in what was called “English Christmas”. This was nothing like the later Victorian conception of Christmas and was a bit of a drunken street party. Its key idea was that those who did the work were allowed to storm the homes of their bosses and ask for gifts. In addition, these fancy lords were required to serve their employees. Basically, the normal order of things was reversed. They even crowned a “king” of English Christmas called the “Lord of Misrule“.
Growing Up Catholic and Christmas Parties
I grew up Catholic and Christmas was always big at our house. Despite the middle-class financial status of my parents, the tree was always loaded with gifts for seven children. Which no matter how you cut it is always a big spread. Hence, for me, the end of the year is always a happy time to be off, reflect, and give back.
As a result of my Christmas experience, one of the things that we became known for at Regenexx HQ (Centeno-Schultz) is our Christmas parties. I always considered this a time when much like in Saturnalia or English Christmas, it was the responsibility of the bosses to give back. Meaning a time when the physicians in our office served our employees.
If you follow this blog, you know that Centeno-Schultz has a one-year fellowship program where already talented and trained physicians get additional training in interventional orthopedics. We take 2-3 physicians a year; see the video below for more info:
Since the beginning, we have trained doctors from a variety of different residency programs, including Emory, Stanford, University of Texas, University of Vermont, University of Alabama, Baylor, the US Air Force, and UCLA. Our fellows not only get great clinical experience in interventional orthopedics and orthobiologics, but they also get to participate in publishing research.
Our Past Fellows:
- Ben Newton, MD
- John Pitts, MD
- Jason Markle, DO
- Jamil Bashir, MD
- Matthew Hyzy, DO
- Christopher Williams, MD
- Otonio Silva, MD
- Ugochi Azuike, DO
- Matt Lucas, D.O.
- Chaz Fausel, M.D.
- Cameron Cartier, D.O.
The Fellow Show
One of the traditions we established way back when was the idea that our fellows needed to entertain the staff and attendings at the Christmas Party. Our “Fellow Show” began with Dr. Pitts when he was a fellow, who decided to rap. Then came Dr. Bashir who was a talented guitarist. Then Pitts and Bashir reunited to help Markle through his show. Hyzy phoned one in and gave a speech as Williams was out of town. The fellows last year kept the tradition going and didn’t disappoint.
This year we have two fellows in Mairin Jerome, M.D. and Sarah Pastoriza, D.O. I frankly wasn’t sure what these two would do as it’s always a closely held secret. They decided to act out a roast of their attendings in a Star Wars theme (that’s me laughing in the background):
The upshot? I love Christmas and it’s a great time of the year to give back to those who keep the ship afloat. In addition, it’s always a blast seeing what the fellows come up with every year. 2020 fellows, are you watching? You better get working on your show before you get here in July!