Aug 6, 2022 In a recent article on balance that was published in the Altoona Mirror Newspaper, reporter George Thomas Kattouf interviewed neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon about his recent book, Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life. In the article entitled, Harsh lessons teach neurosurgeon value of balance in life, Dr. Maroon relates his early career and his many achievements and a series of sudden life changing that eventually caused him to quit neurosurgery for over a year. The story, and his subsequent return to neurosurgery, better health and a more balanced life was captured in his 2017 book, Square One: A Simple guide to a Balanced Life.
“It was cataclysmic depression, suicidal ideation. What’s it all about? What am I doing here? I spent four years of medical school, six years of residency, and I’m working in a truck stop at age 42. It all collapsed like a house of cards because I was out of balance, burned out, working too hard, neglecting spirituality, family and my physical health,” Maroon said.
As related further in the article, Dr. Maroon describes how through exercise, a better diet, stress management, spirituality and avoiding a toxic environment he eventually recovered to succeed beyond what he ever imaged. In the article, Dr. Maroon describes how he both relates to his patients and helps to calm their fears before surgery.
“There’s no more fearful or apprehensive time with a patient lying on a gurney waiting to be wheeled into an operating room to get their brain or back operated on. I’ll take a patient’s hand and say, ‘Do you believe in a higher power?’ If they do, I ask them if they’d like to say a prayer. Today’s the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. That 10-second prayer has elicited more thank yous and more appreciation than almost anything else I’ve done,” he said.