View from the top: On call and on air
February 13, 2007 12:15 am
Name: Dr. Errington Thompson.
Position: Trauma/surgical critical care physician at Mission Hospitals, author, talk show host. (Thompson has a book out, “A Letter to America: Is President Bush Leading Us in the Right Direction?” and a radio talk show that airs at 9 a.m. Saturdays on The Revolution WPEK-AM/880)
Job responsibilities: A trauma surgeon helps direct the care of a critically injured trauma patient.
As a talk show host, I try to present the important political issues of the day in a fun and entertaining manner.
Description of your organization: As a trauma surgeon, I work in an extraordinary medical center with outstanding physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals who all work together to care for the injured patient. …
As a talk show host, I have two wonderful producers who work hard to try to get me to sound professional — Agnes Cheek and Rodrigo Schiffino. My administrative assistant, Linda, works hard to try to find local and national guests for the show. There are several other people who make my show possible, including my wife, Karen.
Lives in: Arden.
Originally from: Dallas.
How you ended up in WNC: About two years ago … a recruiter calls and asks if I’m interested in a trauma job in Asheville. … A couple weeks later, my wife and I came to interview. … While I was interviewing, my wife was being shown around the city. She really fell in love with Asheville. Almost, love at first sight.
Family with you here in Asheville: Wife, Karen.
Memorable first job: My most memorable job was working at Sanger-Harris, a department store in Dallas … over Christmas break while I was in college (emptying the trash on the first floor). … I knew it was time to quit my job when I began dreaming of drowning in trash.
Professional tip: Enjoy what you do. Be passionate about what you do.
Key education/training: All of my education was key. From Emory University to University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas to Louisiana State University Medical Center at Shreveport for residency to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, it was a continuum of education. I’m still learning today.
Role models: First and foremost are my father and mother. … My father, Frank Thompson, emigrated from Georgetown, Guyana, back in the ’50s. He was going to go to Morgan State University, a historically black college in Baltimore, on a track scholarship, but when he arrived he found that all the track scholarships were gone. He borrowed a tennis racket and after work would hit tennis balls against a brick wall. He taught himself tennis and earned a tennis scholarship. … I learned persistence and perseverance from my father. I learned to accept nothing less than my best from my mother. I had several mentors in residency, including Dr. Roy Clay and Dr. Ed Deitch. Together they taught me how to take care of a patient and research a problem.
Currently reading: “Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster,” by Michael Eric Dyson; “Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War” by Michael Isikoff and David Corn; “Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement” by U.S. Rep. John Lewis and Michael D’Orso; and finally, just for fun, “Yeah, I Said It” by Wanda Sykes.
Business news sources you regularly use: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN.com and MSNBC.com. I read standard medical journals for my “day job.”
Bookmarked Web site(s) include: Center for American Progress, DailyKos, Crooks and Liars, and The Nation.
Favorite place to do lunch: Unfortunately, I eat on the run.
Currently in your CD player: Art Blakey, “Night in Tunisia”; Miles Davis, “Kind of Blue”; Fourplay, “X.”
On your plate in 2007: First, for my day job, the older you get the more you have to study to stay current. … I will be studying hard before I take my surgical critical care recertification exam. Second, I would like to constantly improve and everything that I do this would include being a better husband, surgeon, author, and radio talk show host. Thirdly, I would like to grow audience share for my radio show and increase my advertising base.
Volunteer/civic interests: I do not volunteer enough. Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day.
What you do to unwind and de-stress: I listen to music. I talk with my wife. I play video games … . Finally, I love to talk, chat and gel with my old friends from college, high school and medical school.