Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Dr. Hiller plans to speak on triathlons, research

 

July 5, 2018 | View PDF



Dr. Doug Hiller, Whitman Hospital and Medical Center’s new orthopedic surgeon, is scheduled to chat with local residents in the Whitman Library at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10.

In addition to bringing more than 27 years of orthopedic experience to Colfax, Dr. Hiller brings an interest in the Triathlon. He served as Chief Medical Officer for Olympic teams at Beijing, China; Sydney, Australia, and Greece.

At the start of his career when he was an intern at the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, a co-worker talked Hiller into competing in the newly-created Ironman race in Kona, Hawaii. After running, biking and swimming through the 100-mile-plus race, Hiller’s attention turned to research.

He sought out to study how athletes’ bodies respond to extreme distances, conducting blood tests on participants both before and after the race.

“I thought, ‘this is an amazing physiological feat that doesn’t even seem possible,’” Hiller said. “And there was no research that anybody had ever done even remotely like that before.”

As an expert in sports medicine, he has served as Chief Medical Officer for the Olympic Triathlon and Chief Physician for the Kona Ironman World Championships.

“At the time, I said ‘this isn’t an Olympic sport, it’s the Olympic sport,’” Hiller said.

With a dad in the military, Hiller lived everywhere from the American southwest to the east coast and Germany, but always considered the Hawaiian islands home base.

“My dad got offered to be the chief scientist in the Pacific, and we moved to Hawaii, which was only supposed to be for a year-and-a-half, and then he was supposed to move on to greater things,” Hiller explained.

“But then we got off the plane and watched the sunrise and said, ‘this is my home for life,’ and it was!”

After practicing medicine on the Big Island of Hawaii for decades, Hiller relocated to the Palouse near the end of last year. A far-cry from the tropics of the Pacific, Hiller said Colfax was the perfect place for him.

“I didn’t want to be in a big city, and I didn’t want to be in a place with a lot of sharp elbows,” Hiller said. “I was looking for a small, excellent community hospital in a nice location and near a university town.”

Dr. Hiller believes a personal connection with patients is important, and the chance to form these relationships is what led him to hold a talk with the community he now calls home. Transitioning from the medical tent of Kona where he often saw hundreds of patients in a weekend, Hiller says he looks forward to a more patient-focused small town practice.

 
 

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