Dr. Bicking, a new vascular surgeon at Western Baptist, decided to become not just a doctor, but also a vascular surgeon – all because of Little League.
“I was about 10 or 11 years old. One kid’s father on my Little League baseball team was a vascular surgeon, and he would tell all kinds of stories about the different surgeries he would perform. It just seemed like an amazing profession, something I wanted to be a part of.”
So after college at the University of Scranton, he went to medical school at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia and stayed there for his residency in general surgery and fellowship in vascular surgery. At every level, he excelled – magna cum laude in undergrad, then chief resident and chief fellow.
With that extensive training in a variety of surgical techniques, he has joined the experience of veteran vascular surgeon Joseph F. Mayo, M.D., to tend to the area’s ever-growing vascular needs, such as aneurysm, carotid artery blockages and Peripheral Artery Disease. “These patients can have very challenging conditions, and some are the sickest in the hospital.”
He likes the challenge. “The surgeries are very precise and intricate and difficult.”
And the rewards can be just as big. He remembers, in particular, the story of a 50-year-old father of two, who came to an emergency room with excruciating abdominal and back pain:
“He had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. I assured him that we would take good care of him and that everything would be OK. I rushed him up to the OR, expedited the setup for the case and performed an open repair on him. He spent about 10 days in the hospital and was transferred to rehab. I visited him daily and eventually saw him as an outpatient. We would have long bedside discussions about ‘end of life’ issues and what the whole experience was like for him. He was so thankful and always called me his ‘guardian angel.’ We became great friends and still talk or e-mail each other often. This patient I will never forget.”
“Sarah and I were looking for a small town, a safe place to raise a family, and a place where we could enjoy life and I would be satisfied and successful professionally. When we arrived in Paducah, I wasn’t sure this was the place, but after we met the people, toured the town and the hospital, we knew this was the place for our family. Everyone is extremely nice and supportive…a big change from Philly.”
Dr. Bicking hopes to hunt, fish and golf in his new home and maybe even inspire future physicians on the Little League field someday.