Top Doctors: The Reigning Champs
We've asked local physicians to choose the Top Doctors four times. These reigning champs have earned a place on every single list.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.
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Dr. Benjamin Lampert, M.D.
Pain Management, St. John's Clinic, Center for Pain Management
Everyone knows the tools of a doctor's trade are instruments-the kind of instruments that gauge how well a patient is doing and give doctors cues as to what steps to take next. And then there are the kinds of instruments doctors use when they actually take those steps. In many ways, a doctor's career revolves around a huge knowledge base coupled with instruments.
Dr. Benjamin Lampert knows all about that. The tools of his subspecialty, pain management, help make pain a livable state for patients who would otherwise suffer. But Lampert also keeps another instrument handy: his trumpet. He plays it in what he calls a "doctors' band"-a group of 16 musicians and a vocalist who all work in fields related to medicine and health care. It's a big band jazz group called Caduceus (which is the name of that winged staff with two snakes that we've all seen at pharmacies or on our prescription pill bottles), and the band's last album was called Cold Season. Clever, huh? Playing the trumpet is one activity that 50-year-old Lampert engages in to take his mind of work-a job where he helps his patients get their minds off pain.
"Pain can kill you," he says. "A lot of cancer patients die from pain because it becomes unbearable." Unlike an anesthesiologist, who treats patients during stressful operative periods, Lampert treats them on a long-term basis, so he can ease their pain and help them enjoy their lives. A graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and trained in anesthesiology with a subspecialty of pain management, Lampert worked for a while as an assistant professor in the anesthesiology department at the University of Texas at San Antonio. But he wasn't a fan of academic medicine, and he moved to Springfield in 1984 to work as an anesthesiologist at Springfield Community Hospital. In January 1988, he moved to St. John's and has been there ever since.
Lampert didn't start out wanting to be a doctor, though. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin and grew up in southern Texas and Alabama. And when he was an undergraduate at the University of Alabama, he wanted to be an engineer. At the time, he was really only interested in the scientific aspects of medicine. He thought that he'd eventually go back to school to become an engineer, but he wound up really liking the clinical aspects of his subspecialty, and he stuck with it. Easing his patients' suffering is both gratifying and satisfying, he says. Nowadays, it's the only thing he wants to do. And when he's not helping patients live comfortably even with debilitating diseases or playing trumpet for Caduceus, he is spending time at lake-hopping with his wife, Lori, or with his three kids, who have have all grown up (one a lawyer, one a CPA and the other in school for media studies at MSU).