People often think of heart surgeons as being arrogant prima-donnas in the medical world. But those who know Dr. William DeVries, the surgeon who pioneered the artificial heart, couldn’t disagree more.
Co-workers at Humana Hospital Audubon in Louisville, Kentucky, described DeVries as the kind of doctor who shows up on Sundays to cheer up discouraged patients. He occasionally changes dressings, traditionally considered a nurse’s job, if a patient wants him to stick around and talk.
Friends say DeVries is an ‘old shoe’ who fits in wherever he goes. He likes to wear cowboy boots with his surgical scrubs and he often repairs hearts to the beat of Vivaldi or jazz.
‘He always got a smile lurking,’ says Louisville cardiologist Dr. Robert Goodin. ‘And he’s always looking for a way to let it out.’
No matter how high you rise, never forget that you started out at ground level. Even if you were born to great wealth or privilege, you still were born as a helpless baby. Real success comes not in thinking you have arrived at a place where others should serve you, but in recognizing that in whatever place you are at, you have arrived at a position where you can serve others.