Doctors unmask safety reminders at St. Joseph’s Doc-O-Lantern Pumpkin Carving Contest
PHOENIX (Oct. 31, 2023) ― The Doc-O-Lantern Pumpkin Carving Contest at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center today showcased renowned physicians’ superior cutting skills while highlighting important Halloween safety tips.
With only 30 minutes to perform their carving magic, eight of St. Joseph’s finest knife-wielding physicians sliced and diced at helpless Halloween pumpkins to create ornate masterpieces. The fierce competition conjured silly and old-fashioned jack-o-lanterns, several unique creations honoring our hometown Arizona Diamondbacks and their contention for the World Series, a diorama modeling radiation oncology techniques, and a creepy craniotomy. Onlookers even witnessed a rare, gourd-atious lung transplantation
This year’s grueling competition featured a number of newcomers as well as a few of the hospital’s heaviest hitters – including reigning champion, Barrow neurosurgeon, Kris Smith, MD, and longtime crowd favorite, Norton Thoracic Institute surgeon, Ross Bremner, MD – who were let out of their clinics just long enough to bring shrieks and laughter to a roaring crowd outside in the hospital’s Healing Garden.
While past contests have seen surgical robots, blow torches and chainsaws, this year’s doctors utilized knives, saws, drills, chisels, peelers and tools from the operating rooms in their efforts to win the coveted trophy.
In the end, it was a spine-chilling sculpture with a bit of creative showmanship that brought victory. This year’s winner was carved by Dr. Bremner, who slashed out an intricate rib cage for a skeleton that was transformed into a lung transplant recipient. The hair-raising scene was complete with an exciting delivery of balloon-donor lungs by the transplant team.
Though the contest illustrates the doctors’ creative abilities, the participating doctors also remind Valley residents about important Halloween safety tips.
“Not only is this a fun, team-building event for our staff, it also gives physicians an opportunity to raise awareness about their specialties – like the importance of a good team and selfless organ donors,” says Dr. Bremner. “As hospitals all over the nation are haunted by Halloween-related injuries this time of year, we also urge safety messaging.”