If you haven't seen your doctor about your sports-related injury, you can listen to a local doctor on the radio. Just listen and this doctor will offer free medical advice.
Alan Beyer, a Hoag Orthopedic Institute surgeon, founding partner and executive medial director, has a new radio show on KLAA-AM 830, the flagship station of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 30-minute show is called "Doctor in the Dugout" and it began airing on July 26 and will run for 24 weeks, every Saturday before the Angels' pregame show.
Beyer, who lives in Newport Beach and whose two daughters, Rebecca and Jessica, graduated from Corona del Mar High in 2009 and 2011, respectively, is a busy man. The Daily Pilot caught up with Beyer for a Q&A and he answered questions about his new endeavor via email.
Question: "Doctor in the Dugout" has a good ring to it. Who came up with the radio show's name, and how long did it take? What were some other possible names for the radio show?
Answer: I actually came up with that name right at the beginning. I ran the naming thing by a lot of people at work and my wife and kids but kept coming back to Doctor in the Dugout as saying what I wanted it to say most succinctly.
Question: You're not really in the dugout doing your radio show. You're in a studio at Angel Stadium, right? Why not go with "Studio Doctor" as the show's name?
Answer: So I will throw that back to you! Which is catchier and more memorable, "Doctor in the Dugout" or "Doctor in the Studio"? It got across best what I wanted the show to be. All about sports and medicine. Studio doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
Question: You must have a lot of pull at Hoag. You got Hoag to operate the Newport Beach Breakers for a couple of years, and now you got Hoag to sponsor your radio show. How supportive has Hoag been with the show? Will the show last longer than the Breakers' relationship with Hoag?
Answer: Actually Hoag Orthopedic Institute is the title sponsor for the show, not Hoag Hospital. When Hoag had the relationship with the Newport Beach Breakers several years ago, all I did was get [former Breakers owner] Billie Jean King and [Hoag CEO] Rick Afable (since I knew both of them) in the same room to talk about if that could be something beneficial for the community. Unfortunately, after three years or so, other projects had to take priority. I truly hope this show will have a lot longer run than that. I have a lot to say, and I think it is a great way to get a lot of practical yet entertaining information out to the community we at Hoag Orthopedic Institute serve. But as anyone in the entertainment industry can tell you, if it lasts is up to the listeners … and my title sponsor!
Question: What's the show's target audience and what can people learn from listening?
Answer: Our target audience is anyone interested in sports, sports medicine and health-related topics. There's a very good chance that listeners who tune in to Angels' radio broadcasts will enjoy this show. These are typically people who are into sports, relatively active and looking for information about sports injuries and sports topics … and a little free medical advice doesn't hurt! I plan on doing three segments in most shows. The first will cover some topic of interest (recent injury to a major athlete, etc.), the second will be an interview with a health care professional or other person of interest to the topic we are discussing, and the third will be a phone-in/email segment to answer listeners' questions.
Question: Your show might benefit from the Angels success this season. What kind of ratings do you and the station expect?
Answer: The better the Angels do, the better we will probably do, but true fans listen whether the Angels are winning or losing! The information we are trying to get out there really is not tied to the Angels' success. For instance, in my first show I discussed the new California Assembly bill that limits full contact to three hours a week for high school and middle school football players.
Question: Your Saturdays are booked. Will the radio show be live, or taped? How challenging was the first show, what did you talk about, and did you have any guests?
Answer: My Saturdays are definitely booked. I had to give up my USC football tickets for this gig! I plan on doing the shows live every Saturday, except if I am out of town, which should only be for three or four shows in the first 24-week flight. I make rounds on all my hospital patients on Saturdays anyway. I don't have a life! Sunday is golf day! The first show was very challenging for me. The interview and call-in/email segments were easy. Talking to other people is what I do every day! The opening narrative segment was a challenge. Talking just to a microphone, worrying about the time left, reading versus improvising. Definitely out of my comfort zone. But life is all about pushing yourself and learning new skills. That is how I am approaching this. My guest on the first show was friend and colleague, Dr. Michael Shepard, one of the Angels team orthopedic surgeons. Next week will be Dr. Craig Milhouse, the well-known team doctor for the Angels and Ducks.
Question: If you can get any guest to go on your radio show, who would it be and why?
Answer: Wow that's a tough one! For now, I've been seeking out guests that are not just entertaining and relevant to sports and health, but who can provide insight and information for listeners. I want this show to be a valuable source of reliable info for our community. I won't just be having doctors as guests though, I also plan on a few current and former professional athletes, but I don't want to spoil any surprises. The show will continue broadcasting way beyond the baseball season, so hockey, football, and other sports will definitely come into play. Uh oh, do I need a name change?
Question: I read in the radio show's press release that you're a witty guy, but there was no humor in the release. You didn't write the release, right?
Answer: Duhhhhh! Actually the release said something about agents not knocking down my door to pursue an athletic career. That was a little witty. I really just plan to tackle this the same way I tackle my day-to-day interactions with patients. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
Question: Four years ago, you delivered a good line while trying to get fans at the Breakers match to bid on a prize package to the U.S. Open. Do you remember the line? You said, "We're in Newport Beach. Instead of getting plastic surgery next year, go to the U.S. Open." Who ended up pushing back plastic surgery?
Answer: Wow I can't believe you remember that line! I don't think the Newport Beach plastic surgeons have anything to push back about. Have you ever watched the [Real] Housewives of Orange County?
Question: Talking about surgery, have you performed surgery on professional athletes, and have you worked with Angel players before? Can you describe your experience(s)? Who is easier to help, a professional athlete or a weekend warrior?
Answer: Not trying to dodge your question, just isn't appropriate (or legal) to talk about who I have worked on in the past. Just like nearly every other surgeon at Hoag Orthopedic Institute, I have volunteered for numerous sports-related organizations in our community; I've been the team doctor for University High School for roughly 30 years for example. Professional versus weekend warrior? Toss Up! Professional is high demand but usually very compliant with your instructions. After all, getting better is his (or her) job! Weekend Warrior? Less stressful but also often unrealistic expectations! I can't add 20 yards to your drives by doing this surgery!
Question: A couple of Angel players are hurting. Collin Cowgill suffered a facial fracture and a fractured right thumb trying to bunt last month. C.J. Wilson has had ankle and hip issues. Do you think these players will listen to your show on Saturdays, before the game? Have you ever thought about being the Angels' doctor in the dugout?
Answer: Two of my YOUNGER colleagues, Drs. Grumet and Shepard, are currently the Angels team orthopedic surgeons. I have no aspirations to do what they are doing. I feel I bring more to the table by educating the public about sports medicine after 32 years of practice in Orange County. Besides, most people don't realize the physical toll being a team physician at the professional level takes. As far as C.J. and Colin listening in to my show, I would be honored. I consider myself fortunate to part of the Angels team family now and will do what I can to further the interests and success of the team.