The Power of Music

First-time cohost Blake Williamson, MD, MPH, and guests Nate Radcliffe, MD, and I. Paul Singh, MD, discuss a subject near and dear to all of them: music. They delve into the stories of some of their favorite blind musicians and talk about the important role music plays in their lives.

Blake Williamson, MD: Here on Off the Grid, we cover not only ophthalmology-related topics, but personal topics as well. The idea is that we can often learn the most about the field through our conversations with one another. Often times, these conversations happen not on the podium or on the stage, but in the hallways. As a fan of the podcast, I’m excited to be joining for the first time as Ophthalmology off the Grid’s new co-host.

In this episode, we talk about music—a topic that is very personal to me. I am joined by my colleagues Dr. Nate Radcliffe and Dr. Paul Singh. We discuss the prevalence of blind musicians and delve into the stories of some of our favorite blind artists.

We also talk about our love for music and the important role it plays in each of our lives.

Coming up, on Off the Grid.

Speaker 2: Ophthalmology off the Grid is an independent podcast produced by Bryn Mawr Communications and supported by advertising from Sun Ophthalmics. For a full list of podcasts for eye care professionals, go to eyetube.net/podcasts.

Blake: Welcome to Ophthalmology Off the Grid. I am your new co-host, Blake Williamson, and I'm very, very excited to be joining my dear friend and colleague Gary Wörtz, who's done such an amazing job with this podcast over the past couple years. This is something I've listened to as a fan, and I really am excited to join with him to continue to present really cool, relevant topics, not only scientific and technology-driven podcasts, but also personal podcasts as well, about things that affect us outside of ophthalmology. Sort of the premise that Ophthalmology Off the Grid started from was the idea that a lot of the great conversations that happen, a lot of the pearls that you learn about, occur not necessarily from the podium or within the symposiums, but actually in the hallways of meetings.

So, with that in mind, he created this podcast. I'm excited to join on, and for my first episode, I wanted to do something that was near and dear to my heart, and that is music. I've been a DJ for a couple of different radio stations over the past several years, and outside of ophthalmology, music is certainly my hobby. One of the topics that's always interested me is the prevalence of blind musicians. There's so many musicians around the world who were born blind or became blind, and many of them are people that are household names like Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder and others, and I wanted to kind of take a deep dive into sort of why that is and really introduce a few of these different artists and tell their stories, and when thinking about what guest to have on for my very first show, it became pretty clear.

I decided that there are two people that I had to ask. Not only because they're great mentors and now friends to me, but also musicians themselves, and that's Nate Radcliffe and also Paul Singh. How are you guys?

Paul Singh, MD: Good. Doing great man. How are you doing?

Blake: Doing well. Nate, you doing well?

Nate Radcliffe, MD: Yes, I am. It's a pleasure to be here, and I agree. Gary's done a great job, but of course everyone has high hopes for you Blake.

Blake: I met Paul, gosh, probably 5 or 6 years ago. I was still a resident, and I went to a technology and innovation summit for Bausch and Lomb, I think in Chicago, and was just totally struck by his approach in how he took care of patients, but afterward obviously got a chance to talk to him socially and was not surprised that we had many of the same interests, music being the main one, and same thing with Nate. Nate, I met you at MillennialEYE Nashville a couple of years ago, and you had your guitar and cowboy hat, and I knew that we were going to be fast friends as well. So, Nate, I thought that maybe I would start with you. Really, the first question that I have is, why do you think there's so many blind musicians versus other mediums in art? I mean, if you think about the traditional mediums in art, classically there are seven. There's architecture, sculpture, painting, literature, music, performing arts, and film. But, it seems like we hear the most about musicians.

Nate: It's an interesting thing, and there's actually been some good research on this topic, interestingly. So, there's tremendous neuroplasticity in the cerebral cortex, and what we've seen is, if there's a certain part of your brain that isn't being used for vision, you'll find a use for it. So, two thirds of the cortex in some way deals with vision or vision processing, object processing, and I think that you've got a lot of real estate up there put toward some other effort if you don't have sight. Some of the musicians that I'll talk about were blind from an early age. I think the plasticity can occur at any point in life. For example, if you yourself were blindfolded for a few months, they've done this with FMRI, you'd start using cortex for other activities. So, I don't think there's a date where you're too late, but there's probably better plasticity if you’ve never had vision and you're able to immediately dedicate your brain to other tasks. I'd like to think that's what's happening with musicians. It certainly sounds like it.

Blake: What do you think Paul?

Paul: I would agree with Nate. That was a good story. Yeah man, I totally agree. I think it's pretty interesting to see that, look at all the data and research. It's kind of fun. I was actually looking up some stuff a while ago about why blind people are so much more adept to music, and the neuroplasticity is probably a key issue, and I think you look at some of the MRIs and some of the studies that show that blind children are 4,000 times more likely to have perfect pitch than the average person out there, and when you lose your visual cortex, you actually see enhancements on scans, etc., in the auditory cortex. So, there's no doubt your brain is just saying, "hey man, I got all this real estate," like Nate was saying, "I gotta use it up somehow." So, all the senses, especially the auditory sense for some reason, takes over where the information for the visual cortex was.

Paul: So, it's just cool to see from a neural perspective and a scientific perspective that there's reasons for why we see what we see just by all the social media that you see and all the musicians in history who have been incredible musicians who were blind. So, the earlier that people do lose vision, the more innate it seems they are able to adapt and the more the musicianship skills come to them, versus having to learn it. But there's no doubt at any age your senses will take over, and I think the auditory cortex and the sense of hearing is probably one of the most impactful senses to take over when the vision's gone.

Blake: I think it's interesting, all those FFMRI studies. There's a lot of stuff from the University of Melbourne, a lot of research about this exact topic, and there's a couple of different authorities on the topic. One of them is Professor Adam Ockelford. There was a cool article in The Guardian about his research, and essentially, he was at the Institute of Education in London, and you mentioned the perfect pitch, and that's traditionally the marker of exceptional musical ability. So, people who are born with perfect pitch like Stevie Wonder are far more likely to develop further, not only in singing, but just musically. The other thing that he pointed out, or his research has pointed out over time, is the simple idea that blind children just flatly demonstrate much more interest in every day sounds compared to those kiddos who don't have full sight.

The thought is that it's just a very important source of comfort for them. In young kids, their brain is quite moldable, and being able to use sounds in place of sight is important for comfort, but also for functionality too, if you think about tapping the cane on the ground and using echoes and things like that for spatial recognition. It's really a part of life for them, and I think that it's obviously beneficial in terms of their musical ability. So Nate, I'm just curious, you're obviously a very busy glaucoma doctor in New York, you probably have a lot of patients with low vision, do you have any that play music or have you yourself ever attended a concert, like of a blind musician, and what were your experiences from that?

Nate: This is an interesting topic. We were talking about those who lose vision at an early age, but of course, I don't see those patients. As you know, patients who have lost their vision maybe many years ago, maybe have phthisis in both eyes, don't come to the ophthalmologist that frequently. So, in my glaucoma practice, I have sighted musicians who are reading music and who are going blind, typically from glaucoma. So, it is a different struggle. I practice in New York City and Manhattan. I have patients from Harlem and the Bronx as well and I have a tremendous number of sighted musicians. But, working musicians who are reading music, I will tell you, it's amazing to me how some musicians can get by with a very small central island even when they read music.

I had a pretty famous conductor who is monocular, and if you think about what a conductor is doing, looking out into the orchestra, somehow this wonderful conductor was doing this with about a four-degree field in one eye. So, I've been impressed with the resilience of some of the musicians, but obviously they're, as is everyone, terrified of losing what little vision they have.

Blake: It's amazing what they could do hanging on to what little bit of vision they have. What about you, Paul? You're actually a touring musician. We're going to talk about your path with that at the end of the podcast, but have you seen any blind performers and what was that like for you?

Paul: Yeah, I remember it actually in college when I was at Washington St. Louis and there was a concert from a blind pianist and, oh my god, it was incredible, and what struck me I think more than anything else was not how good, I mean the guy was incredible and he had great chops, no doubt about it, but when you just saw him play, it was almost like he was seeing the music in the space. He was not confined to visually looking ahead at the piano or looking at sheet music or looking down at his hands and how he's playing. It was almost like, and it's going to sound strange of course, but it was almost like he was free to play without the constraints of what we'd typically think of as a piano player who's looking at the audience or looking right at the piano.

He was feeling the music, so every time he'd play at a different note or a different phrase or chord structure, you'd see him and his body move in a different way I'd never seen before, and it was like he was able to actually express his feelings and express the music in ways that we, or me, I could never express no matter how much I jam on stage, and I love jamming, it was just a great feeling. It was actually part of a music class, and he gave the interview after, and he was saying how he can see the music when he plays it. Like in his brain, he's seeing colors, he's seeing different shapes, almost like a kaleidoscope in his mind and what he thinks are colors at least, and it was just really cool to kind of see that expression in a different way that I don't think any one of us could really truly understand or even express ourselves even if we tried. So, it was just really cool to see that.

Personal experience just from my clinic, there was a patient, it was really kind of a sad story, but I had one patient who went blind from ROP in one eye and was not seeing very well in the other eye but had some vision. When I came in 2004, I came out of fellowship, and one of my first trauma cases was this kid's other eye, her other eye that was seeing, but not great, and she lost that eye.

So, she basically went blind at the age of three, and I saw her about 2 years ago. You know, again, doesn't come very often. Just to check things, see how they're going. It was great because she was really heavily involved with music, and it was hard for her for a while, and her Mom said that it was the music that kept her daughter going, and it was one of those things, because her Mom worked at Walmart and would say she'd buy her some equipment if she could afford it, and then started playing piano and guitar and now she's in music class and it's her afterschool music that's keeping her going. So, it's great to see how music can be therapeutic. It can be a way for people to get by. We always talk about that. But even this child, it was great to see that she was doing well and music was helping her get by with the constraints and difficulties she had with losing her vision. So, really interesting experiences for me.

Blake: That's really cool and it's also one thing that you touched on, just the expressive nature of music, and I think that's why it's the one, or blind artists take to the most out of all the different mediums of art, because music is by far the most expressive. Nothing can make you feel a certain way more so than a piece of music. At least not me, and I bet it's the same for you guys, and to that end I thought what would be really cool and, to the fun part of this podcast, is if you guys could sort of introduce one or two artists that are among your favorite. We think of Ray Charles when we think of blind musicians, but there's been so many, some obscure, some not so obscure. I thought that perhaps Nate, if you want to go first, just talk to us about a musician or two that you're a big fan of and maybe we can hear you play a number by them.

Nate: Sure, Blake. So, I am a guitar player, and after college and the glory days of being in a college band ended, I got into bluegrass guitar playing. One of the most amazing bluegrass flat pickers is a guitar player and singer named Doc Watson. He passed away in 2012 at the age of about 90. He was born in 1923 and was a phenomenal guitar player. Not so much someone who was writing a tremendous amount of music, but someone who put his touch and his particular style to really whatever he played. Now, he was blind from birth. He went to the North Carolina School for the Blind growing up. He has a great quote that I thought kind of tied into our conversation earlier. He said, "I would think learning to play the guitar would be very confusing for sighted people." It was great.

What's interesting though is that he taught his son to play, Merle Watson, and there's a famous bluegrass festival now, Merlefest, because unfortunately his son did die tragically in an accident. So, Doc Watson's a great player. I'll play you a song of his. This is called Salt Creek and it's just kind of a classic flat-picking song and here's how it goes.

[music]

Blake: Wow, that's amazing.

Paul: That was awesome.

Blake: I wish the podcast could pick up clapping and applause. That was really amazing.

Paul: That was awesome, Nate.

Nate: Well, thank you. I'll move on. Shall I move on to my second musician here, Blake?

Blake: Yeah. Tell us about who else you picked. Someone with a little bit of a different style I'm thinking, right?

Nate: Different style, different genre. I hope that we have all had the pleasure of maybe an eighth-grade slow dance to this guitar player and singer. His name is Jeff Healey. Jeff Healey, he's a guitar player, Canadian guitar player, actually had a retinoblastoma. So, he was bilaterally blind, I believe enucleated from birth, and unfortunately for him, like some with retinoblastoma, he also developed a sarcoma and passed away from that at about age 41, so before his time. He had a couple of different hits. He was notably in the movie Roadhouse as the guitar player in the house band at the bar where Patrick Swayze and everybody had all their high jinks.

Blake: Was that the Double Deuce?

Nate: If anyone is going to know the actual name of the bar, Blake, I know it's you. So yeah, so he was in that movie, but interestingly, he wasn't on the soundtrack to the movie. He had a couple of hits, and I'll just remind you of one of them here. Of course, you'll forgive me for singing on this, but otherwise I don't think it'd be that interesting. Ok, you ready?

[music]

There you go.

Blake: Alright, that was amazing.

Paul: That was awesome, Nate. You rocked it, buddy.

Nate: He didn't shy away from singing about eyes or making sort of vision puns as he went through his life's quotes. It was something that he embraced. He even did a public service "don't drink and drive" commercial where he said, "I don't drink and drive." Of course, he probably isn't driving because he's not sighted, but he was a character and made some great music.

Blake: That was fantastic, Nate. Nate once made me sing a Garth Brooks song from the stage at MillenialEYE, and I don't sing, and when he was calling me he'd say, "Hey man. We're thinking about doing this, but it'd require you to sing. Do you sing?" and I said, "No, I don't sing." He said, "Perfect." And so, I wasn't quite as good as that. That was amazing.

Nate: Never let a lack of ability stop you from doing something.

Blake: Totally, yeah. What about you, Paul? Tell us about what musician you picked.

Paul: So, I'm going to be so not original right now, but I'm going to pick a guy that's just still one of my heroes and someone who I draw a lot of support from, from a musical perspective, and that's Stevie Wonder. The guy is just incredible. A lot of people know about him, but if you really start to research him and understand his life, it's pretty incredible what this guy has done on so many fronts. We all know a lot of his famous songs, and I'll play one of them, which I'm not going to try to play live, because I don't know if I could do it justice like Nate did. What's really cool about Stevie is that his musicianship is not just writing music—it's singing, it's playing the piano, it's guitar, it's keyboard, percussion.

I mean, he writes and records, and what's really cool is, I'm a musician, but I'm also a producer, I love producing music and writing music, and in the studio, Stevie hears the whole orchestra in his mind. So, he can seriously lay down every track and understand where each track goes. Like the horn section for Superstition, he hears that horn section in his mind and bam, lays it down. So, what I love about his mind is he hears the whole production in his mind. But, what's really cool, he lost his vision early on too from ROP, but since he was a kid he had famous, he had made it big when he was even 13 with the song Fingertips, and then Motown picked him up and he got in the right circles and started developing his own sound. But what's really cool is, he actually, for a lot of his years, his main formative years of writing music, wrote music without having any sense of also taste and smell.

So, back in 1972 he actually had a car accident and he was in a coma, and when he came out of a coma he unfortunately lost his sense of taste and smell. So, he had no vision, taste, or smell. All he had was his tactile and his auditory senses, and he said that even after that, he was able to write his best music after that happened. So, he wasn't distraught from that. He actually used his music to kind of get him out of that and really write some of his most famous songs that we hear today as well, which I think is really cool. So, for me, he's one of those guys that just epitomizes a sense of strength, never giving up, and I love his songs. He's got so much soul and so much funk, and one of my favorite styles of music is funk, and being in the band, as you know, Funkadesi, we try to mix funk and reggae and hip hop, and some of our influences come from the stuff that Stevie has done and Motown has done early on, and so for me it's just great to hear his songs, and he spans the gambit, from hip hop to straight up blues to jazz to funk, and I think for me that's kind of what helps me when I write my songs.

I think a lot of the stuff that he does with Smoky Robinson and all those guys back in the Motown days, so that's kind of my guy that I like to do. So, I'll play a song real quick for you guys just because you can't help but play a little Superstition, man. So, this is for all you guys out there who love a little Superstition. Here we go.

[music]

I mean, you just can't help but want to jam to that song. You hear it and you're like, "I want to play right now. I want to get a gig right now. I want to start jamming out."

One of the first songs I ever learned to play on the keyboard, the clavinet, was that lick from Superstition, and it's not that hard to play, but when you just play it and you hit the basic drumbeat, that 4/4 beat, you're just like, "Ah, ah. It's in the pocket." So, anyway, I get so pumped with that. So, Stevie's one of my guys, but on so many levels he's just an incredible musician, artist, and what's really cool is this guy has nine kids or seven kids. He had his first child back in '75 I think, '76, and his last kid was back in 2014. So, he's still pretty active, too. I'm like, "This guy is pretty cool."

Blake: He's a very busy man. If you can't tap your feet to Superstition, something's wrong with you. Well, cool man. The artist I wanted to present is a little more obscure. The radio show that I do here in Baton Rouge is traditional blues and traditional gospel and country music. I don't play anything after the year 1975, so I spend a lot of time listening to old stuff. When I was in residency for ophthalmology at Tulane, I was on WWOZ, which is the local radio station in New Orleans, and I played pre-World War II jazz. So, old music has always been a part of my life. I did my undergrad in Oxford, Mississippi. So, that's very near the Mississippi Delta, and all my buddies at the time were always talking about all these Delta musicians and just the blues in general. So, I got deep into the blues. The artist that I wanted to introduce you guys to is this guy called Blind Willie Johnson. He was born in 1897 in Pendleton, Texas, and that's a small town near Waco.

He was born to a sharecropper father and his Mom actually died when he was 4 years old. The Johnson family attended church each and every Sunday, and that's what fueled his desire to not only be a gospel singer, but just a musician in general. When he was age 5, his dad gave Willie his first instrument, which was a cigar box guitar. He wasn't born blind. Actually, as the story goes, his dad remarried and apparently his dad and stepmom didn't get along and there were some issues with infidelity with her, and one time when they were having a big argument it kind of got physical and she accidentally splashed Willie in the eye with caustic solution of lye water. Lye is a metal hydroxide. I think back then it was potassium hydroxide and they used it in the olden days for food preservation and soap making and stuff like that, so he actually went blind from the age of 7, and few other details were really known about his life.

Blake: At some point, he is said to have met another blind musician in Texas named Madkin Butler. And, there's a couple of blues anthologists, one of them is named Samuel Charters, who used to interview people in the 50s and interviewed a couple of people who said they used to see Blind Willie Johnson performing on street corners and stuff like that outside of Waco. He, again his childhood is pretty murky, but he started recording between the years of 1927 and 1930. He laid down 30 tracks in total and these were sort of considered his landmark recordings, which he did for Columbia Records. He was actually found by a talent scout in '27 and brought down to Deep Ellum, which is that musical neighborhood in Dallas and he made many of his most well-known blues standards there, including the song we're going to hear tonight. His first album that came out had over 10,000 copies that were sold, which was huge for that era.

He had more records sold than Bessie Smith, who was a huge artist at that time. He only recorded four times. One of his last ones was in New Orleans in 1929. What's interesting there is he was actually arrested for inciting a riot on the streets there. He was playing on the street in front of one of the big buildings on Canal Street and I'm guessing he was disturbing the peace or something. His last recordings were in Atlanta in April of 1930 and then the Depression hit and that kind of wiped him out. So, he really didn't perform after that. He moved back to Beaumont, Texas and performed and preached in the church there until eventually dying of complications from malaria fever and syphilis in 1945. So, his musical style, he’s considered one of the masters of the blues, particularly the gospel blues, and what he's really known for is that slide guitar technique that he plays. So, he's one of the first people to introduce the slide guitar, and he wouldn't use a bottleneck, he would actually use a steak knife, and this was a style people like Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf and many others would go on to emulate.

And again, that blues anthologist Samuel Charters once said that he was not a bluesman in the traditional sense, but still there is so much similarity between his relentless guitar rhythms and his harsh insistent voice in the same fierce intensities of the blue singers that they become images of each other seen in mirror of a society that produced them. Talking about, even though he's a gospel guy, so much blues was wrapped up in that. So, the song that I'm going to play is Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground. Here he goes.

[music]

So yeah, so what's cool about that is, even though that was recorded in 1927, just how haunting that is. I don't know if that came through to you guys at all, but it’s just almost kind of spooky, just the whole tone of that. What's really cool is the first time I ever heard that I was actually in Spain going to see a White Stripes concert, and I was reading one of the magazine articles about the festival I was going to, and Jack White was quoted, and basically they were asking what his interpretation was of the original blues song is and he mentioned that song. He was like, "There's not even any words. There's no lyrics or anything. It's just him moaning along and playing slide guitar in 1927,” and to him that's the perfect representation of a blues song.

The last thing I'll say about that that I thought was really cool is it was actually one of only three modern songs included on the Voyager Golden record. So, in 1977, Carl Sagan, who was a famous astronomer, he did Cosmos and that old TV show back in the day, he was tasked by NASA to basically make what they called a golden record. They included 27 songs from planet Earth, and they included everything from like field recordings of rainforests and whale sounds and stuff like that. There were orchestras or symphonies from Bach and Stravinsky, but there was only one blues record played, and it was that song that you just heard. So, the three modern songs were Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry and then a jazz song by Louis Armstrong and the song that you just heard. So, I thought that was really cool, and that was the song that was chosen to explain us to some extraterrestrial life form.

That Voyager record had a quote from Jimmy Carter, who was President at the time. He said "Should it ever be found..." It's basically like a time capsule. He said, "This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours," which I thought was really cool. So, I wanted to share that with you guys. The last thing I kind of wanted to talk about is just your experience as a musician. So, Nate, we just heard you play. Paul, you kind of tour all around the place. You’ve played for many years. You've played all over the country. Just talk about being a musician yourself and an ophthalmologist, how you balance that. What kind of a release is music for you, and what does it mean to you? Nate, if you want to start first.

Nate: Yeah, sure. I'd like to say I was probably a better guitar player when I was age 14. I've been playing for a long time. It is more of a relaxation therapy for me now than anything else. In many ways I'm fortunate that I wasn't a better guitar player when I was younger because I think I'm happier as an ophthalmologist than I would be as a full-time musician, given that so many talented musicians never strike it rich and are never so famous as the ones we may see or hear on the radio. But it is a tremendous way to be social with friends. I love getting together with friends and basically playing karaoke where I'm the karaoke machine if I can do that. I don't get to play as much as I'd like, but you know, as my kids get older, as life gets a little more calm, I don't have MCATs and all that to study for anymore, so I do find maybe an hour a week or so where I sit down and play some guitar and it's a great part of my life.

Blake: And Paul, what about you man? I know you've been a musician, a producer, and everything in between, so talk about music and sort of how it fits into your life.

Paul: Music, if there's one word I can say about music in my world, in my perspective, is healing. It's healing for me personally. I remember in medical school when I would just be stressed out about anything. I'd just go out there and play the guitar, write a song, or when I joined the band, the band I joined is a group called Funkadesi. It's a mixture between Indian, funk, and reggae. Well, what makes it so special, and I think what keeps me going with the band still, and performing and recording and all that good stuff, is the fact that each one of these band members truly are healers in their own right. We span diversity from the sense of age, economic status, education, religion, you name it. Our motto is "One family, many children," meaning, we're all different in so many ways, but there's still so much that binds us together. There's something that unifies us all, and music is one of those big, well I think for us, a big unifier.

You can teach and educate and bridge gaps and break down defenses through the music, and that's kind of one our goals, and every time we play, no matter how much fun we have on stage, we're entertaining and jamming and hanging out, there's a sense of trying to educate and trying to break barriers, and for me it's been a way to kind of help me personally deal with patients better. I think having different members of the band with such different backgrounds forces you to have an open mind. To allow other's ideas to come in and to help work together, and so going back to the office after a gig, it's kind of fun because I go back and I have that renewed sense of, I want to work with everybody, I want to listen to my patients better, and so, for me, it's helped me be a better doctor I think. It's helped me have a better perspective on life, and like Nate said, just de-stress. To go downstairs in my studio and just start writing a song because I'm annoyed about something.

I'm like, "Alright. I gotta go write a song." My wife's like, "Honey can you please go downstairs to the studio now? 'Cause you're kind of angry right now. Go downstairs." It's been fun for me to have that outlet as well, but it's been truly a healing medium for me in so many ways.

Blake: That's an amazing perspective and it's shared by me as well. As a radio DJ, Wednesdays have been my big cataract surgery day, and so that evening I have my show. So, for me it's kind of like an escape after all my surgeries are done. I get a chance just to sit in my studio and broadcast, and we get streams from all over the place, and it also helps me with patients, just having to talk through and introduce all these different artists and learn about different cultures, especially from way back when. A lot of my patients are elderly, so this is like the music that they listened to growing up. So, it helps me with patients, but also just helps me kind of tune out and recharge, which I think is so important these days as a busy surgeon.

Well guys, I want to thank you both for coming on. We've broken a lot of barriers today. This is the first time we've had two guests on simultaneously, I believe the first time music has been played, and certainly the first time live music has been performed on Ophthalmology off the Grid. I couldn't think of a cooler topic and two cooler people to have on as my first guests for my first show as co-host along with Gary. So, I thank you both so much.

Paul: Thanks a lot, man. It was awesome.

Nate: Thank you, Blake. It was a lot of fun.

Blake: Thank you to our two guests for shedding some light on the stories of some very talented musicians and for sharing your own talents with us as well.

For Paul, Nate, and myself, music is a big part of our lives. It offers us a release. It can heal and relieve stress. It’s a way to bring family, friends, and colleagues together.


Using our free time to focus on our love for music can help us gain perspective, relate to our patients, and even make us better doctors.

This has been Ophthalmology off the Grid. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 2: Ophthalmology off the Grid is an independent podcast produced by Bryn Mawr Communications and supported by advertising from Sun Ophthalmics. For a full list of podcasts for eye care professionals, go to eyetube.net/podcasts.