Scott Donaldson is an urologist who has been practicing in Hendersonville for 13 years. He is now the author of a collection of stories, many originating from the patients he has treated over the years.
Tell me about your book, Urological Surgery and Lite Haulin’: Reflections of a Small Town Surgeon.
I never made anything higher than a C in English. It turns out I’m not a good writer. I’m a storyteller. These are the stories I’ve collected over the years from patients and people I’ve encountered. I love them, and they show the hope for the future. They are Paul Harvey-Mark Twain-esque.
Is there one story in the book that is particularly memorable for you?
In Slugging LBJ, this guy’s telling me that he got his Purple Heart, Silver Star and court martial all in the same day. He got in some big firefight, was injured and was getting the Silver Star. He was wearing a blindfold because of his injury. Lyndon Baines Johnson stuck the medal right in his nipple, so he slugged him. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but who cares. The story’s too good.
Your signature is your bow tie — why do you wear them?
I did my residency in New Orleans. My chairman and friend and teacher, Tony Fuselier, wore bow ties. They just don’t get food on them and they don’t touch people. If I go into a room and don’t have my bow tie, people say, ‘where’s your bow tie Dr. Donaldson?’ I probably got 40 or 50 of them. I got Mardi Gras ties, seasonal ties, Christmas ties. They’re fun.
What’s the deal with your truck, a 1970 Ford F100 Stepside, that has Urological Surgery & Lite Haulin’ painted on the sides?
I drove that truck in high school, but not that exact truck. I drove that thing from Charlotte to Raleigh, Charlotte to Greenville, Greenville to wherever until I got to my second year of medical school. I used to carry a toolbox with me wherever I went. It had so many holes in it I shoved rags down into them to keep the cold out. I came out one day and one of the tires was flat, so I said I’m done. I needed reliable transportation. I don’t even know where it went or what happened to it. I always loved that short bed and loved the way it worked, and these trucks bring back high school memories. I found this one in South Carolina and towed it up here. Today I drive it everywhere. You could take one of those and make two Abrams tanks. I’ll haul for you, but you’re loading it.
What do you enjoy the most about being a doctor?
I like every bit of it. I’ve got the greatest job in the world. If you can help another person feel better, it’s just wonderful.