Dedications, Attributions, and Special Thanks
Thank you to all of our patients. It has been a privilege and an honor to be allowed into your most intimate and private moments. Without you we would be just a set of walls with air in between. Your voices filled Care Practice with life and together they revealed the music of life.
Often in life we set out with the intention to help others only to realize later that you have received more from others than you have ever contributed to them. This is our first step in giving back. Our patients have taught me more about life and myself than I ever could have learned on my own. This is our way of giving back to those who gave us everything.
Thank you to Ari Tulla, the CEO of Betterdoctor, whose company helped us to build this unique website. He was instrumental in helping me to recognize my lifetime pattern of protecting myself with a fence of anonymity. It was impossible to hide from this when Ari came to me with something he had stumbled upon. He showed me that a google search of my name, Aaron Blackledge MD, brought up a map of a clinic where I worked over 12 years ago in different city. He made it impossible to miss the bizarre practice of hiding behind a fence of anonymity. Facing this deep fear was a major part of the discovery of a deep secret hidden from my perception. That this habit resulted from a lifelong struggle to make sense of the world by a face blind physician who avoided looking in the mirror each morning because I couldn’t recognize the person staring back at me. I am truly blessed to finally discover the reason I have hidden my entire life in a two second pause and from a perspective of looking over others shoulders.
Thank you to Andrea D’Eramo of BetterDoctor, whose patience and skill were instrumental in building this website. I was blessed to have someone of her talents get it when I said I didn’t want to market or grow my practice, but instead I wanted to build a website that would reach beyond our market with the power to heal through laughter and tears. Not many would get it when I said, “if I am going to take down my protective barrier of anonymity then let’s come out with something that is a work of art like the release of the first De La Soul album, 3 Feet High and Rising."
Thank you to Dr. Flinders, who taught me the best question to ask when my review of symptoms stretches more than 30 minutes. His question was, “Do you have pain behind the eyes when you urinate, or what we call rectobulbar micturition pain?” If the response is some version of yes, then you can pretty much stop asking because you know the rest of the answers will be some version of yes.
Thank you my Chief Resident, who taught me that the best book to use to study for an exam is the one you actually read. Who also taught me to be myself and never compromise my principles or do things I did not feel comfortable with in my practice. He explained that patients will adjust to the doctor that suits them best and all you have to do is be yourself. Failing to do this puts you at risk of waking up with a panel of patients you don’t like with a job you hate.
Thank you to Dr. Flanigan, who through his deep faith, showed me the importance of never putting yourself above another. Working with him at Rhode Island Corrections in an HIV and Hep C clinic, he embodied one of my favorite quotes from Thurgood Marshall, "In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”
Thank you to Dr James Gude who trained several Care Practice doctors in residency. He showed us the model of what being a doctor should look like with his remarkable attitude and deep curiosity one would encounter at any time day or night.
Thank you to Dr. Gordon Moore and all the doctors within the Ideal Medical Practice movement. Each of you provided us with early mentorship and instruction when we were just struggling to find our place in a harsh and non-intuitive health care system. Without your experience and teachings, we might not have dared to attempt what others said was doomed to certain failure.
Thank you to Zubin Damania (ZDoggMD) and all the medical students across the country he has inspired. You have made other doctors feel like we were 13 again, when all the songs felt like they were written just for us.
Thank you to Lin Manuel Miranda, who inspired someone like myself of limited talent to dare to make art that reflects today.
“Thank you to Dr. Flanigan, Dr. Gude, and Dr. Gordon Moore who have served as the ideal I hoped to strive toward in my career. If I can be half the doctor I saw in both of them, I will consider my career a success.”Dr. Blackledge
“I couldn’t see a way for me to have a career in musical theater based on the musicals that already existed,” Miranda added. “I don’t dance well enough to play Bernardo [of ‘West Side Story], or Paul in ‘The Chorus Line.’ And I don’t have an operatic voice enough to play the ‘Man of La Mancha.’ And if you’re a Latino man, that’s all you get.” Lin Manuel Miranda
Thank you to Richard Linklater who inspired me to think differently and persevere in the face of endless difficulties. His rejection of formula and pride in making the lowest grossing trilogy in cinema was instrumental in sticking with the vision of building a neighborhood clinic that doubled as a creative wet lab to explore the human condition. privileged honor of practicing medicine. Richard Linklater- “The truth will only be told over a career.”