Tuesday, January 22, 2008

“I got to know Jim pretty well over the last year and a half. When he got to RIC, he made friends easily. He had such a gentle and genuine way about him that all the residents were drawn to him. He took so much pride in being a good physician, a good teacher, a good friend, and a good person. I went to him often for advice on clinical issues and professional issues. My education at RIC was elevated immeasurably because of the influence of the Jim and Gary team.

Beyond his intelligence, professional diligence and enthusiasm for physiatry, however, Jim was a truly special friend and human being. I think about the ripple-effect when I think about Jim. Anyone who ever interacted with him came away a better person. His kindness, his ability to put things in perspective, the way he could laugh-off insignificant issues rubbed off on me and many others. His impact on people was truly exponential.

I also had a lot of good times with Jim. Outside of our days at RIC, we spent a lot of good times on the road. Last May, we were in New Orleans together for the ACSM Annual Meeting. He was on the tail end of a whirlwind of trips and presentations. The night before his presentation at the ACSM, he was up all night putting the finishing touches on his talk. He was also sick, and nearly lost his voice. His presentation came off flawless, but more importantly, his physical condition didn't stop him from coming out for Oysters and Bloody Mary's the next day. Gary, Hector, Jim and I spent a lot of time in the French Quarter solving life's most important dilemmas like "who was the worst draft pick in the 2001 NBA draft?, or what was the best 80's movie?" Similarly, in Boston this past September, I remember Jim making a lot of last minute changes to his presentation (I think I have come across a theme of procrastination). But once again, this was followed by good times and good talks. Jim was focused and worked hard. But he always made time to enjoy himself and his friends.

I will miss you dearly Jim, but please know that I am a better person for having known you, and your spirit will live on in every life you touched.”

Scott T. Roberts, MD
Spine and Sports Fellow
Visiting Instructor, Division of PM&R University of Utah

1 comment:

Chris Pfeil said...

Scott, I can't tell you how touched I was reading your entry. Thanks for sharing another wonderful story about Jim.