Dr. Britt stands out in community

Published 7:42 pm Monday, October 11, 2010

Dr. L.D. Britt is one of Suffolk’s most favored sons.

The native and current resident has remained true to his roots through an extensive medical education, a multitude of honors and awards and heading up several professional organizations of thousands of his peers.

Britt normally spends his days seeing patients at Eastern Virginia Medical School and at his Suffolk practice, as well as performing surgeries on everything from thyroids and hernias to car accident and gunshot wounds. However, he took some time out of his day Monday to talk to me about his most recent honors and awards, which include the presidency of the American College of Surgeons and the Surgeon General’s Medallion.

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At the beginning of our interview, Britt asked his secretary for a copy of his curriculum vitae — a document that turned out to be a 52-page tome listing hundreds of honors, organizational memberships, research projects, journal articles and book chapters in which he’s had a hand. This lengthy document was held together with a claw clip, stuffed into a manila folder and, together with his biography and the giant Clinical Congress newsletters he provided me, proved to be a beast to carry the two blocks across the EVMS campus back to my car.

Despite his numerous accomplishments and the string of esoteric abbreviations after his name, Britt is one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve met in a while. He joked about his reading habits, talked about how much he loves Suffolk and exhibited a true passion for the surgical field and a desire for all of his patients to live better lives thanks to his handiwork.

He also pointed to his faith as his guiding light, both in and out of the emergency room. A member of East End Baptist Church, Britt told me his faith helps him understand why some patients, despite his advanced training and best efforts, just don’t make it past whatever injury or illness brought them to his operating table.

“You just have to believe that you’ll do the right thing, and at the end of the day there are things you don’t know,” he told me.

He also takes to heart the saying “To whom much is given, much is required.” Britt is especially humbled knowing most folks would give up everything they have just for good health. Even more humbling is finding out he still has plenty to learn.