Do you know who Dr. Frank Jobe is? Have you heard of ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery? 

Unless you are a baseball aficionado, it is doubtful that you do, but a much broader audience has heard of Tommy John surgery — the common name for the UCL procedure listed above. Tommy John was the patient, but Dr. Jobe was the surgeon who first performed it. 

I wonder how the patient became famous for the procedure. Why isn’t it Frank Jobe surgery? He performed dozens of ligament reconstructions on professional baseball players, so you would think he would get the recognition. And I wonder how Tommy John feels about having a surgery named after him. If I was picking something to be known for, I’d prefer to have it be an accomplishment rather than a setback.

If you could pick what would be named after you, what would it be? Maybe Arnold Palmer would have chosen his signature lemonade/iced tea drink or Shirley Temple would have picked her grenadine and Sprite combination. Perhaps Jerry Garcia would have picked cherry ice cream or Twiggy would have chosen the Twiggy haircut.

The next time you need an icebreaker or conversation starter, ask people what they would have named after them. If anyone can beat ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, be sure to let me know!

beth triplett

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