Dr. Charles Moore still hasn’t retired. Sure, he retired from his surgical practice in 2008 after more than 35 years, but that only allowed him more time to assume other responsibilities and hobbies.
Dr. Moore was born in St. Louis, and grew up in Charleston, Missouri, which he describes as “a flat, hot, cotton country.” As a young boy, he loved reading books from poetry to fiction and biographies. One biography of “an English surgeon who developed techniques for reconstructing the faces of young soldiers mutilated in World War One,” was particularly influential to young Charles. Reading that book inspired him to pursue his medical degree from the University of Missouri.
After closing his practice, Dr. Moore joined the nonprofit organization MEDASSIST US after a friend described the surgical needs of orphans born with congenital anomalies in Crimea. He visited Ukraine annually, performing surgical procedures at the Republic Children’s Hospital of Simferopol. His years of experience there “granted me further insight into the oneness of us all, the benediction of being born healthy and whole,” and gave him compassion for those born otherwise. He stopped performing surgeries in 2014 but remains an appointed board director for MEDASSIST.
Dr. Moore wrote a collection of essays, “The Good, the Bad, and the Homely,” about his time helping the children in Ukraine. And a few years ago, he thought it would be fun to teach sixth graders to appreciate and recognize “the names of the great poets of the English language.” So, for years he taught the “History of Anglo-American Poetry, Chaucer to Dr. Suess” so that students “might remember that words can be beautifully used.”
When asked what advice he has for young people, Dr. Moore hesitates “to threaten a young person with ‘advice.’” In addition to don’t smoke and remember to floss, he eloquently states “Grasp the chance that life magically grants us to learn how to ever better enjoy the opportunity given us to work, to play, and to love.”
“The secret to aging well is simple. Embrace the present and have hope for the future. Do something.”
And for Dr. Moore, that something is working several part-time jobs: reviewing applications with the Office of Disability Determinations, counseling patients on the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight at FIT: Medical Weight Loss, and as editor of the Capital Medical Society newsletter. When he’s not working, he’s exploring new hobbies like painting or playing piano – he admits his dogs howl when he does the latter. “Don’t be afraid to try new things!”
By Lisa Baggett