Nov. 9, 2017 — Edward Jaffe, M.D. ’87, H.S. ’93, breaks into a wide smile as he recalls a time in his life when he woke up every morning at 4 a.m. to run five miles carrying a 50-pound pack on his back. This was a time when he climbed mountains and parachuted from airplanes.
While serving as a medic in the U.S. Army Special Forces, Jaffe discovered both his inner strength and a lifelong passion for medicine. Now an orthopedic surgeon at The Orthopaedic Institute in Gainesville, Jaffe says his time in the military taught him the discipline necessary to achieve his goal of becoming a physician.
“The military training was very rigorous. After a while, I realized that it was both a physical and mental exercise,” he says. “That same mental discipline helped me when it came to my medical school studies and the rigors of residency.”
After Jaffe graduated from Dartmouth College in 1975, where he studied English and philosophy, he took a series of odd jobs and traveled to Europe and Asia. When he returned to the states in 1977, he decided to visit a U.S. Army recruiting station. Jaffe signed on to train as a medic in the Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets.
“That decision affected the rest of my life,” Jaffe says.
After nearly two years of training, Jaffe was deployed as part of an A-team to bases in Colorado, New England and the Italian Alps, where his interest in medicine continued to grow.