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Baseball linked to Azziz surgery

Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 2:38 PM
Last updated 10:57 PM
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The new year will begin with a sling for Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz. A baseball can be partly to blame.

Azziz  Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Azziz

Azziz had surgery last week at his own institution, Medical College of Georgia Hospital to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right arm. The injury probably began when he was 13 and helping his father survey jungle in Puerto Rico by clearing a path through the undergrowth with a heavy-bladed machete (which he still has). When the machete hits something hard like a tree trunk “that reverberates down your shoulder and it is really painful,” Azziz said.

Still, he went on to work heavy construction, which added to the problem. The final straw was probably when he began training for the unfamiliar task of throwing out the first pitch at an Augusta GreenJackets game last year.

“Man, I was in excruciating pain,” Azziz said. “I was in so much pain I had to ice it every day.” The chronically painful shoulder finally forced him to opt for surgery with shoulder specialist Dr. Lynn Crosby.

The surgery allowed Azziz to see his institution from the inside as a patient and to experience some of the same worries they do.

“It was fascinating because I’m sitting there, and all of a sudden I realize I am as anxious as most patients are,” he said. “You realize, even if you know the system intimately, you still get that anxiety. You’re vulnerable. It was enlightening, from that point of view.”

It reinforced to him how good the staff is there, Azziz said. And it brought home to him how much small things such as a worried glance between a doctor and nurse or even a broken floor tile could be influencing how a patient views the care. When you are in that “hyperalert” state, as patients are, “the little things aren’t so little and they really will affect your perception certainly of your outcome,” Azziz said.

He faces a few more weeks in the sling, which is already driving Azziz crazy.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said. “I’m not going to be able to drive for a while. I’m pecking at my computer with my left hand. It’s not fun at all.”

Another four months of rehab comes after that, and it could be a year before he is back at full strength. Either way, he said, his pitching career is over.

“You can put it down: never again,” he said, laughing.

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kiwiinamerica
942
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kiwiinamerica 12/30/11 - 04:55 pm
0
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Awesome! Hopefully this means
Unpublished

Awesome! Hopefully this means he won't be able to write that tiresome blog of his!

my.voice
4801
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my.voice 12/30/11 - 08:47 pm
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2nd paragraph needs proofing.

2nd paragraph needs proofing.

bdouglas
4969
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bdouglas 12/31/11 - 02:51 am
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@my.voice Could stand to copy

@my.voice Could stand to copy and paste that statement on a lot of what gets put up... Seems like much gets posted before editing or something.

ConcernedTaxpayer
28
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ConcernedTaxpayer 12/31/11 - 09:53 am
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I see nothing wrong with the

I see nothing wrong with the 2nd paragraph except perhaps a missing coma after Medical College of Georgia.

comet2u
28
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comet2u 12/31/11 - 10:11 am
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Nice PR attempt, besides all

Nice PR attempt, besides all GHSU employees should be getting their healthcare at "their OWN institution". What does it say to the rest of the community when the go to other institutions.

beboisme
425
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beboisme 12/31/11 - 11:03 am
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Would that sling be from his

Would that sling be from his tongue to his jaw making speech impossible? Be nice bebo. No! Why not? He has no heart for his employees. True dat, but the campus looks great! Those people can't pay their bills and feed their families if their dedicated long term positions are gone! Yes. but the campus looks great! I'm sure that when Azziz came here he came with an agenda. He wants to be known,he wants to be seen,he wants to be heard, and he has. The only thing is what he's saying and what I hear is so in the negative. I think the concensus 'round here in Augusta,Ga. is we are not in California and altho we are a little laid back and people that are not much for show Azziz needs to quit trying to show us what he's got and get with the way we are. Slow down I say! Employees are sick of going through the changes everytime someone new steps in where the other left off. Well said bebo. Thank you. BTW, the campus looks great!

WMartin
119
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WMartin 12/31/11 - 11:51 am
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0
This was not a PR move. Get

This was not a PR move. Get real. If you're going to have surgery don't you think you're going to make sure that the folks doing it are good at what they do? Put yourself in his shoes and seriously think about it! I remember past Presidents and CEOs going out of town for surgeries and other treatments, all kinds of reasons why they elected to do that. Besides, it's really no one's business where Dr. Azziz elects to have his. So far, Dr. Azziz seems to be a good fellow. Don't blame him for budgetary cuts made by the legislature in tough economic times. He doesn't like having to lay people off - no boss does.

autumnlady55
7
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autumnlady55 12/31/11 - 12:47 pm
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This is the first time I have

This is the first time I have heard Dr. Azziz use the term "patient" or "care" in any of his interviews.

comet2u
28
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comet2u 12/31/11 - 12:56 pm
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@WMartin - get real? When was

@WMartin - get real? When was the last time you had surgery and had to brag about it in the AC? The Guy tries to rule by imitation and fear...no wonder why the community prefers Doctors and University hospitals.

Sweet son
10309
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Sweet son 12/31/11 - 01:17 pm
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By most of the comments it

By most of the comments it seems that some agree that the 2nd para maybe was not well written and the rest of us feel that Ricky Ricardo is an empire building; camera and print hog!!! Started to comment first yesterday but now I know that I am not the only one who has little use for him. Also, stand by and see what happens with MCG (ghsu) and ASU!

harley_52
23152
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harley_52 12/31/11 - 02:41 pm
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Aside from a missing comma,

Aside from a missing comma, the second paragraph is fine.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 12/31/11 - 03:44 pm
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Best wishes for a speedy

Best wishes for a speedy recovery Dr. Azziz, from one who suffered similarly.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 12/31/11 - 03:50 pm
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comet2u, you don't speak for

comet2u, you don't speak for the community, only yourself. GHSU is absolutely the top place to be for anything that is a serious, injury or illness. I can choose any hosptial in town, and I choose GHSU 9 times out of 10.

WMartin
119
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WMartin 12/31/11 - 04:46 pm
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Comet, afraid to use your

Comet, afraid to use your real name? Real easy to slander others behind an anonymous identity. Yea, man - get real!!!!!

Cadence
219
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Cadence 12/31/11 - 06:04 pm
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Just read the darn news and

Just read the darn news and stop showing off by trying to point out typos. You try putting out a newspaper every day plus online articles as quickly as news breaks and see how many typos you make. I am so tired of frivolous comments by people that require me to wade through trash to get to the real conversation. Now, what was that about Dr. Azziz and his leadership qualities?

autumnlady55
7
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autumnlady55 12/31/11 - 11:12 pm
0
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the only thing he knows how

the only thing he knows how to do is spend our tax dollars-get real folks. Our economy has flat lined and nobody can make it better-just spend more money and it will make us all feel better.

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