As award-winning surgeon’s go, Edward (Ted) Gundy is a very different kind of medical operator –he is a musician and gourmet cook who uses words instead of a scalpel with his patients; incorporating what he calls a “culture of healing” in his practice.
He encourages his patients to accept their injury or illness, release their stress and anger, and give in to what he calls the “marvelous, but slow healing process." Says Gundy, "The body wants to get well, so don’t get in the way.”
Gundy thinks this approach leads to “a more efficient recovery with less pain and less anxiety, and with the smallest ‘scars.’”
That helps explain why he left the surgical part of his practice. Now Gundy treats fractures and attends to orthopedic illnesses and injuries with a talking cure based on his informed medical opinion.
If he and his patients decide surgery is still necessary, he refers them to surgeons he trusts.
Gundy has received awards for excellence in pediatric and surgery, been listed as a “Top Doctor, New York Metro Area” since 1999. He is a founding member of WESTMED Medical Group– a former chairman and member of its board of directors – among other accomplishments.
He has always been conservative about surgery; using it as a last resort. That perspective led to his rejection of the scalpel three years ago.
Experience has taught him that most injuries happen during stressful times. Orthopedic illnesses include elements of denial, grief, anger and impatience; ingredients that interfere with healing. Gundy focuses on getting his patients beyond those obstacles.
Gundy and his wife, Donna– former guidance counselor at Rye High– have three children: Tasker, 35, an anesthesiologist; Matt, 32, a sound editor, and Amanda, 29, a glass blower.
Dr. Gundy starts his day early, walking daily before heading to his medical office at 1 Theall Rd. After work, he cooks dinner while his wife consults with her clients. And he relaxes by strumming on his slide guitar, writing and composing music, even writing poetry.
He considers himself blessed for having “the privilege of treating patients and entering their lives, however briefly,” especially those “who so deeply appreciate getting well without surgery.”
“The scalpel is sharp and incisive,” he says, ”but it is no replacement for sharp and incisive questioning, keen observation, sensitive listening, gentle medical touching, waiting patiently, counseling generously, exercising careful judgment, and trusting in the body’s miraculous ability to heal itself with just a little shepherding.”