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Volume xviii, Issue 6 ~ February 11 - February 17, 2010

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The Dynamic Doctor Hochman

Physician-pianist celebrates 50 years at Anne Arundel Medical Center

Rick Hochman has three loves in life: His wife June; playing piano; and practicing medicine. Hochman and his wife celebrated their Golden Anniversary several years ago. As for music, Hochman says, “I’ve been playing piano professionally since I was 11 years old. As a kid I used to tour the Borscht Circuit in the Catskill Mountains. I even had a union card … you had to, to play at the good places.”

Now, Hochman has crossed a milestone in medicine, earning a commendation from Anne Arundel Medical Center for 50 years of service.

In that time, “everything has changed,” the doctor said. “When I started out, house calls were the thing. I had a big doctor’s bag, and I carried everything I needed in it.”

Medicine might well have been in Hochman’s blood. “I didn’t know anything else,” he said. “My father was a doctor in Queens.”

But it was fate that led the young doctor and his wife to Annapolis. “There was a war going on — the Korean War — and I was pulled into the Navy,” he said. “I was physician for Destroyer Division 32.”

Hochman finished his residency in the Navy. Then, he said, “I had to pay them back. I asked to be sent to San Francisco. They sent me here.”

After his stint with the Navy, the doctor began working at Anne Arundel, and he’s been there ever since. “I started here September 10, 1960,” he said.

Hochman stills practices, arriving at work well before 6am each morning. You’ll have to work at the hospital to set an appointment with him. “I’m the staff doctor. I take care of all the people who work here,” he said.

“I have been so fortunate to practice medicine here,” Hochman said. “The science, the application, the new findings, the new medicines …”

While you’re not likely to see the doctor in action at the hospital, you can find him at the keyboard as the front man for Dr. Rick Hochman’s Dynamic Dixieland Band. Their next show is Fat Tuesday at Ram’s Head Onstage in Annapolis at 7:30pm February 16.

–J. Alex Knoll

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