The Columns

Retiring Surgeon

— by on June 6th, 2011

Dr. Charles Niemeyer, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1962, suffered two broken legs before he was 10 years old. That, says his wife, Carolyn, is what led him to his chosen profession: orthopedic surgeon.

“He’s wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon since he was 7-years-old,” she told the Gaston Gazette.

Charlie is retiring after 37 years of practice, which included performing the first hip replacement at CaroMont Health’s Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C. A graduate of Duke University’s medical school, he joined Gaston Orthopedic Clinic in 1974. That clinic merged with another 23 years later to become  Carolina Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center.

The article in the Gaston Gazette announcing Charlie’s retirement noted that his Russian studies minor at W&L led him to make several trips to Russia, where he worked with Russian physicians and patients, including teaching doctors there how to do arthroscopic procedures on knees. He also brought two Russians back to Gastonia for hip replacements.