Editor’s Note: In honor of the Quad City Airshow this weekend, we thought we’d re-run a story of a local area doctor who loves to feel the air beneath his wings. This story originally ran in August of 2014. Enjoy!
Each month, find out what motivates ORA Orthopedics’ physicians to practice and treat patients in the Quad Cities in our “What Moves Me” feature.
In celebration of the Quad City Air Show, August 9-10, meet pilot and physician, Dr. Steven Boardman. Dr. Boardman is a surgeon specializing in the shoulder, hip and knee.
Meet ORA Orthopedics Surgeon: Dr. Steven Boardman
Years in practice: 12
Specialty: General orthopedics with special interest in shoulder conditions
Hometown: Burlington, Iowa
When did you learn how to fly?
I have always dreamed of becoming a pilot. Finally, in 2010 after joining the Flying Eagles Aviation Club (which provides the planes and the instructors) at the Quad Cities International Airport, I learned to fly under the instruction of Diane Carbiener. I went on to earn my instrument certificate (which allows flying in the clouds and low visibility) in 2011. Currently, the aircraft I fly is a Piper Saratoga, which is a great plane for family trips and has a great safety record.
What do you like best about flying?
Flying is amazing because you see the world in a beautiful and unique way. You see unreal beauty in the sunsets, clouds, mountains, and fields. You see our natural resources and communities working together below you. Flying creates this experience by bringing together the elegance of science, human ingenuity, teamwork, skill, and judgment — very similar to performing surgery. Many of the principles used in flying are used in the surgical environment.
As a family, we have been able to attend many extended family events in nearby states because of the opportunity to get there and back more quickly. Our family vacation this year was flying through the Rockies, to the Pacific ocean and back, and enjoying many stops and activities along the way – just amazing! Flying never gets old. It’s always beautiful and challenging and you are always learning something. It is a great family activity. In fact, my daughter Kara, is learning to fly and has soloed.
I enjoy flying for many of the same reasons I love orthopedic surgery. Both are based upon the discoveries and hard work of those who have come before us. Both require skill, judgment, and teamwork dedicated to competence and safety. Both are beautiful and elegant and afford a view of life and people from an amazing perspective.
What made you decide to become an orthopedic surgeon?
I was inspired to enter orthopedic surgery by Dr. Joseph Buckwalter at the University of Iowa during medical school. He demonstrated how being an orthopedic surgeon provided a wonderful opportunity to provide care that dramatically improves the quality of patients’ lives. Orthopedics is a field which has grown and progressed dramatically. As an orthopedic surgeon, I am always learning as the field evolves and improves. It is very rewarding to play a role in improving the quality of life of a patient who has sought your care.
What do you like best about practicing medicine?
Being an orthopedic surgeon is a real privilege and joy. The greater part of the fun comes from the relationships you develop with patients as you care for them. Many become close personal friends, and it is rewarding to see the quality of their lives improved as a result of your care. Also, the continued progress of our tools and techniques provide continued opportunity to grow as a surgeon and improve the quality of the care you provide. Finally, high-quality, modern orthopedic care requires an excellent team. My team here at ORA is second to none. Their work, in conjunction with our hospital partners at UnityPoint Health-Trinity and Genesis Health System, have provided a very rewarding and fun environment in which I can practice the highest quality orthopedic care.
What is your advice to patients?
Love God, treat others as you would have them treat you, keep a clear conscience, and take good care of yourselves and those around you. The laws of love, peace of mind, good health, and the importance of the world around you are the secrets of life.