Dr. Lapucha has dreamed of helping others since he was in high school. For a boy growing up on the bayous of south Louisiana, the pinnacle of success was to attend Louisiana State University and to train at “Big Charity” Hospital, the home of such surgical giants as Rudolph Matas and Michael DeBakey. He set out making his dreams a reality by completing his undergraduate studies at LSU Baton Rouge. A believer in stimulating both the left and the right brain, Dr. Lapucha completed a double degree in Biochemistry and German. In his free time, he would run the beautiful LSU lakes in the early mornings (usually with the ROTC cadets!) and attend “Saturday Night in Death Valley” to watch his Tigers play. He applied early decision and was accepted into the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. This allowed him to relax a bit his senior year of college, because the work was about to start! He completed four grueling years at LSUHSC, a medical school known for hands-on training “without training wheels and in the trenches”. By his senior year, Dr. Lapucha was truly an “acting intern,” and boy was the work tough and the hours long! In those days, there were no duty hours for medical students, and they were very much expected to contribute to patient care. There were many rewards though. Dr. Lapucha performed his first open umbilical hernia repair and first open tracheostomy as a senior medical student...procedures that some first-year residents aren’t allowed to do. Initially interested in gastroenterology, Dr. Lapucha slowly gravitated towards surgery. After exploring the many surgical specialties, he settled on general surgery. Achieving his boyhood dream, he completed his surgical internship at the Charity program, at this time called the LSU General Surgery program and located at the brand-new, state-of-the-art, billion-dollar University Medical Center located on historic Canal Street in New Orleans. He routinely worked 100-plus hours (shhh, don’t tell the ACGME!), but was the most professionally satisfied that he had ever been. He was making a difference with a patient population that didn’t have much other access to healthcare. It was truly practicing what you preach for Dr. Lapucha. After completing his internship, Dr. Lapucha applied for and was accepted for residency as the inaugural class at the newly forming MountainView General Surgery Program (now Sunrise Consortium GME Program) by Prof. Paul Nelson. A mentor and a friend, Prof. Nelson was an educator of the highest caliber. A graduate of Dartmouth and a transplant surgeon trained at the world-famous Massachusetts General Hospital, he advised and guided Dr. Lapucha during his time in residency. After his time in residency, Dr. Lapucha has moved on to the next professional adventure at WCE & WCR, and is excited to participate in cutting-edge research and clinical endeavors.
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