Loss of a Great Son: Who Will Be the Next Dr. Walter Brumskine?

first_imgThis question is both urgent and heartrending (agonizing)—heartrending because we have none to replace him and every country needs not one, but several urologists. The question is urgent because the Ministries of Education and Health, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, where Dr. Brumskine served for decades, the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, where he taught, and the Post Graduate College of Medicine—each, indeed all of these institutions, we insist, have the responsibility to begin NOW training the next batch of urologists and other specialists.Each of these institutions, known nationally and internationally, should they lack the financial resources to do this, should immediately start contacting the Embassies near Monrovia for fellowships to enable our many youth with the talent and passion for medicine to go study urology and other specialties.Dr. Brumskine’s story should be an inspiration to all Liberian youth. Here was a man who, from childhood, knew what he wanted to be. There are, mark you, many men and women who are “late bloomers”—because some of them finish their first degree and still don’t know what they want to become. Walter was different. He wanted to be a doctor and the Catholic fathers at St. Peter Claver in Buchanan and at St. Patrick’s High in Monrovia must have told him, “If you want to be a doctor, you have got to take Math and Science seriously.” He did, graduating second of his class at St. Patrick’s. This, too, is a lesson for our youth. Unlike so many who lack determination, focus and passion for anything, Walter Brumskine did not say that because he was not the dux he was giving up. No! When he was yet a boy, he said he wanted to become—not dux of anything, but a medical doctor, to help suffering humanity. To do that, he needed to love and do well in Mathematics and Science. And so right out of St. Patrick’s, he entered the University of Liberia, where he majored in Biology, following his dream. By that time, he knew he was on his way. His grades were good enough to win him a fellowship to medical school in Spain! Nor did he remain abroad to make big bucks. No. He returned home to serve his people. Seeing his seriousness and passion for medicine, his superiors helped him obtain another fellowship—this time to Great Britain, where he specialized in a field no Liberian had yet entered—Urology. Also known as genitourinary surgery, urology is the branch of medicine that focuses on surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs. One of the most common urological problems is urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary excretion of urine. It can become serious in men as they age. It is also caused by enlarged prostate gland. Here is why urology is such a critically important field: The prostate is a gland that produces the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation—the climatic point of sex. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine passes out of the body. So a male with this kind of condition is in very serious trouble. That is why Dr. Walter S. Brumskine was so important a doctor. For the past several years since he had been medically inactive, Liberia has had no urologist!But urology is only one of the thousands of branches of medicine, for most of which we have no specialists in Liberia. We have only one orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Kpoto; and only one pathologist, Dr. Rubell Brewer, and he has been in Seychelles for the past three decades.Dr. Brumskine’s passing, therefore, is a wake-up call for the entire country.What must be done now? First, for the few doctors we have in country, we need to start appreciating them and stop taking them for granted. For example, why was there no representative from the Ministry of Health—or no high government official—at Dr. Brumskine’s funeral? We have already made the point about training. But now, considering what happened to Dr. Brumskine, let us Liberians start appreciating our medical practitioners by training them, in the first place; by paying them well; by making sure they have the modern facilities to work with; and by appreciating, encouraging and honoring them whenever there is an opportunity—that means ALWAYS!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Dogs’ rookie trio veterans of success

first_img The threesome spent the past four seasons together at the University of Denver, where they helped lead the Pioneers to back-to-back NCAA championships the last two years. Now, they are in Long Beach, looking for a spot on the opening-night roster and, if things work out just right, possibly another title. While many people feel that three’s a crowd, Ice Dogs rookies Jeff Drummond, Jonathan Foster and Kevin Ulanski think that three is something else, like a charm. Call them the “Three Amigos,” the “Three Musketeers,” or as some teammates have dubbed the trio, “Denver,” they don’t seem to care. They are just happy to be in Long Beach going through training camp with the hopes of playing together for yet another season. “It’s not like we planned it,” said Ulanski, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound winger who tallied 33 goals and 77 assists in 149 career games with Denver. The “D-ers’ weren’t recruited as one by Ice Dogs coach Malcolm Cameron, who also tried to land Denver’s Matt Laatsch. It’s just the way it worked out. “We were all in the same boat,” Ulanski said. “We weren’t going to the AHL and we didn’t know much about pro hockey. But Malcolm was one of the first coaches to contact all three of us.” Cameron recruited each player separately. There was no package deal, no buy-two-get-one-free kind of thing. In fact, it wasn’t until they compared notes that they knew that the Ice Dogs were interested in each of them. They could have gone separate ways, but, obviously, chose not to. Foster was the first to sign, then the other two fell in line shortly thereafter. center_img “We talked about which coaches we were talking to and looked to see where each guy fit in best,” said Drummond, a 5-7, 170-pound winger who spent most of last year on a line with Ulanski and finished his college career with 44 goals and 43 assists. “Malcolm told us how he was building a championship team and we wanted to be part of that.” There were some other tangible things that brought them here. The jump from college hockey to the pro game can be tough, and they figured that being together could help ease some of that. “It makes the transition into pro hockey a little easier if you know some of the guys,” said Foster, a 5-10, 185-pound winger who posted 44 goals and 34 assists in college. Clearly, they get along well a lot like brothers, with plenty of ribbing to go around. They live in the same apartment complex and ride to and from the rink together. But for the first time, they are truly competing against each other. Cameron needs to make a handful of roster cuts to get down to 20 players by early next week. As rookies, they might be more vulnerable to being released than more experienced players. But what if one or just two make it? They understand how it works. “We don’t talk about that at all,” Ulanski said. “Whatever happens, happens. We support each other and we all expect to make the team.” Added Foster: “We are going out there and playing our games and hoping it all works out.” Each player brings something different to the team. Ulanski is “an inspirational type of player, the Energizer Bunny,” Cameron said. “He causes havoc and creates offense because of his forecheck. He is very well-rounded.” Foster “is a gifted shooter; he’s got a great shot,” Cameron said. “He needs to manufacture some goals and be a presence on special teams and offer some good defense as well.” And as for Drummond, “there is no hiding it that he is a small guy, a skill guy,” Cameron said. “He has to utilize his speed and skill and try to be offensive. That’s his forte.” So far, Cameron has liked what he has seen in all three, and he certainly likes their intangibles, having won NCAA titles. “We are lucky all three chose to come here,” he said. “I like good rookies and I like guys who know how to win. That’s what I’m looking for in a player.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more