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Personalities: Rocker Doctor

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"Oh, you mean my devil horns?" says Jamie Hall, MD, when asked about his unique hair style. "They actually retract pretty nicely for work." The Detroit physician cares for poor and uninsured patients by day, and rocks out as the frontman of a punk/metal band called HafLife by night. While the intensity of his music schedule follows the ebb and flow of the local college community, his day job is constantly busy; Hall works five days a week in his Detroit clinic, one day in a rural clinic, and a half-day in a local county jail. He admits that when college is in session and HafLife plays multiple gigs a week, he doesn't sleep much.

On where medicine and music collide: My medical and music careers don't really intertwine—they sort of end up as a car crash. I've been interested in music since I was a teenager. Music has always been a focal part of my life and it's escalated and escalated. At the same time I was going to school, not sure what I was going to do, and eventually chose the field of medicine. Most people told me I had to choose one or the other, but I was stubborn and thought, "‘Well why can't I do both?'"

On what patients think of his hobby: It's sort of shock and amazement at first. But when they realize that you know what you're doing and that you're technically proficient and that this is not just a fallacy, then they're much more at ease. A couple patients have come to our shows, but we usually play far too late for them.

On fellow rocker docs: I've found a small network of several other physicians in the music industry. There's a lot of people who are trying to incorporate that renaissance person philosophy and explore multiple interests. They do exist and I think there's more and more of them all the time.

Marianne Aiello

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