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They rock and roll all night and doctor every day

Battle of the Doctors' Bands fundraiser will help patients in Third World countries.

September 14, 2010|By Sarah Peters, sarah.peters@latimes.com
  • TIME TO JAM - Jeffery Haupt is a podiatrist by day and guitarist for the band Velicious by night, one of five bands playing in a battle-of-the-bands event to benefit Woman for World Health charity.
TIME TO JAM - Jeffery Haupt is a podiatrist by day and guitarist… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — Jeffrey Haupt is a little like Clark Kent, except instead of swapping a reporter's notebook for Superman's cape, the doctor hangs up his stethoscope for an electric guitar and microphone.

"It's a lot like living a double life," said Haupt, who by day is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon practicing near Fashion Island.

After work and on weekends, Haupt is the lead singer and backup guitarist for Velicious, an '80s metal and rock party anthems band.

It's a tough act for this doctor who juggles 50- to 60-hour workweeks with being a full-time husband and father of two young children.

"It can be a little tricky," Haupt said, "especially for the older patients. I don't want to scare anyone."

On Sunday, the Man of Metal will face off against other musical moonlighters in a battle of the bands to raise money for cleft lip and oral surgeries in Third World countries.

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The benefit, organized by Women for World Health, will feature five "doctors' bands," whose members mostly work in the medical field.

Some of the band names are a clue to the members' alternate identities, such as "Open Wide," a coalition of dentists and oral surgeons, and "Circle of Willis" — the circle of arteries that supply blood to the brain — which is led by a neurosurgeon.

"You would never guess how many medical people are very talented," said Dottie Baker, Women for World Health event organizer. "Not just in taking care of people, which they do every day, but also in music and play at various well-known venues."

The title of champion will be decided in part by a panel of judges and audience vote. Additionally, the event will feature a raffle and silent auction to raise money for the organization's upcoming Africa trip to Sierra Leone in December.

"This is going to be a great event with the medical people sharing their talents with us," Baker said. "The bands and the audience may not be able to go on our trip with us, but they're there, supporting our efforts, and that helps us."

Ideally, the volunteer-based organization will raise enough funds to purchase a portable anesthesia machine, cauterizing instrument or eye microscope, Baker said.

Or enough will be raised to offset not just the volunteers' travel costs, which run $2,000 per person, but also to help see families back home who must travel 100 miles or more to get the life-changing surgeries, she said.

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