He joins 30-year veteran neurosurgeon Theodore E.C. Davies, M.D., at Paducah Neurosurgical Center, creating a perfect blend of the newly-trained and the experienced to help area residents with their chief health concern.
“Back pain is the number one reason adults in America seek medical help,” he said.
After college, military service and medical school, he has spent six years training, including a year as chief resident, in the latest spine and brain care treatments at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Department of Neurosurgery.
“I am fully trained in all complex and minimally invasive spine procedures available today,” he said.
Even with that level of expertise, his most common advice to patients with back pain is not surgery. “What many don’t realize is that very few people with back pain will need surgery,” he said. “More than 80 percent of acute back pain will resolve on its own in six to eight weeks with therapy, anti-inflammatories and some pain medication.”
If surgery is determined to be the best treatment, people in this area can take comfort in knowing the level of training and technology in Paducah. “Western Baptist has all the latest technology to allow our spine program to be equal if not superior to programs found in major metropolitan areas such as Louisville or Nashville,” he said.
It was that big-city sophistication in a friendly small city that attracted him to Paducah. “This facility is much more than a simple community hospital; it truly is a major regional referral center,” he said. “Plus Western Kentucky gets MUCH LESS SNOW than Western New York!”
He and his wife, a special education teacher, like knowing their neighbors.
“In Buffalo during our training, I had several patients that were also her students. It was very rewarding being able to share that experience with her and be able to maintain a long term relationship with those patients and their families. My wife and I would get very excited seeing her student (my patient) return to school and recover after surgery.”
Dr. Gruber has chosen to settle in Paducah, after extensive world experience as a decorated veteran. He earned the rank of lieutenant as a battalion intelligence officer and rifle platoon leader in the U.S. Army, including deployment to the former Yugoslavia. He later served as an assistant air wing intelligence officer as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
“My job in the Army and Air Force were not related to medicine at all, but what the military does is make you a better person and professional, whether you are a carpenter or neurosurgeon. There is no doubt in my mind that I am a much better surgeon because of my military background and experience.”
Thank you for your service to our country, Dr. Gruber, and we appreciate your commitment to serve the medical needs of our residents now.