Doctors of Piping II, Part 2 – teachable moments, changed habits and expert advice to stay safe
The first part of the second pipes|drums Doctors of Piping panel discussion focused on where we’ve been as pipers and drummers in the last 18 months.
Now, in the second and final part, we look to the future.
Our four accomplished piper-medical doctors:
Dr. Lachie Dick – when we spoke with him last November, Dr. Dick was working in Montrose, Scotland. He has since taken a role at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife, as he climbs the ladder of Scotland’s National Health Service as ST3 in General Surgery. As a piper, he’s one of the world’s best, currently competing successfully in solo competitions. Lachie Dick has played with several bands, including a stint as pipe-major of the Grade 2 City of Edinburgh in the city where he resides.
Dr. Martin Docherty – home from Kuwait only last week after his incredible eighteenth tour of duty as a trauma surgeon as a colonel in the United States Army, Dr. Docherty is a native of Edinburgh and lives in Mississippi in between his military service. Docherty has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, treating and often saving the lives of countless military personnel and civilians over the last 25 years. He was a piper with the Grade 1 bands Bilston Glen and the 153 TA Regiment in the 1970s and ’80s, and, after immigrating to the US, has been a member of several bands, mainly in the St. Louis area.
Dr. James Feeney – a past piper with the Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders, Parlin & District Oran Mor, and New York Metro, and currently the pipe-major of the Talcott Mountain Highlanders, a youth band with about 25 members, Dr. Feeney was the Director of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery, Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, when we spoke with him in November. He recently accepted a new position as Director of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery at Westchester Medical Center in Massachusetts, and at the end of August 2021 will ship out as part of his service with the United States Navy to a teaching role in 29 Palms, California.
Dr. Robert Gray – a former long-serving piper with the Grade 1 Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia in Scotland, Dr. Gray is Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Physician at University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Inflammation Research, Queen’s Medical Research Institute. An accomplished solo piping competitor, he served as president of the Competing Pipers Association in the 2010s. Robert Gray lives in Edinburgh.
In this instalment, the four discuss what we as pipers and drummers might have learned from the last 18 months, changed habits that might be permanently for the better, and seeing the big picture of what piping and drumming can be for our overall mental health, and what it can be for others who appreciate our music so much.
It’s a tonic for the troops.
As always, your thoughts are welcomed, so please feel free to use our Comments feature to let your opinions be heard.
Our thanks to Dr. Lachie Dick, Dr. Martin Docherty, Dr. Jim Feeney and Dr. Robert Gray for sharing their rare combined piping and medical expertise.