Dr. David Boisoneau prefers to crank on all cylinders.
This otolaryngologist (that’s an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist) with Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, says he works hard – and plays hard.
“I tried sitting on the beach once,” he says with a laugh. “I lasted for about 10 minutes. I had to go for a run.”
Dr. Boisoneau would much rather be in surgery helping a patient, serving on a committee to improve L+M’s electronic health records, lobbying in Hartford on behalf of doctors or training for his next Ironman competition – to name just a few of the things he typically does.
“I don’t really believe in standing still,” he says. “You’ve gotta break some eggs to make an omelet.”
Dr. Boisoneau and his wife live in Pawcatuck. They have three children, two daughters, ages 16 and 13, and a 10-year-old son.
“The girls are both dancers and our boy is a swimmer,” he says.
Dr. Boisoneau grew up in the Manchester area. He went to high school at East Catholic High, attended the University of Vermont and went on to medical school at the University of Connecticut.
He first realized he wanted to be a surgeon in college.
“The light went off one day when I was an undergraduate,” he recalls. “I volunteered in the recovery room at the big hospital in Burlington. I wasn’t doing much, but because I was wearing scrubs and a badge, they let me wander around. One day I was wandering by the OR, and I saw these folks doing cardiac surgery. That’s when it first started clicking. I started thinking, ‘I could do something like this.’”
Boisoneau followed medical school with a two-year residency in general surgery at UConn and then four more years of training in the ENT field.
He arrived at L+M in 2001 after he was recruited by one of his old grade-school buddies, who was already an ENT physician at L+M: Dr. Frank Dellacono.
“The opportunity to come down here and work in an area that my wife and I both loved, with a guy I knew since grade school – it was a no-brainer,” Boisoneau recalls.
Dr. Boisoneau’s field includes performing tonsil and adenoid surgery for children, and sinus and thyroid surgery for adults, among other procedures.
“What’s kind of unique in our field is that we take care of the entire lifespan of our patients,” he says. “I’ll see a newborn and a 100 year old woman, sometimes in the same day. We also use the full scope of surgical skills. We use the microscope, we use the endoscope and we do traditional surgeries with incisions. It’s a unique and complete skill set.”
Dr. Boisoneau is also one of only three L+M doctors designated as a Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO), charged with helping L+M’s team of computer specialists design and implement a new Electronic Health Record for patients.
On the state level, he is currently Vice President of the Connecticut ENT Society, a lobbying group that represents the interests of doctors.
Dr. Boisoneau can often be seen riding his bicycle to L+M, a 17-mile, one-way trek from his house in Pawcatuck, or riding the 12 miles to the Pequot Health Center, where he does much of his surgery.
“It’s a great way to train for the Ironman,” he says.
Dr. Boisoneau completed his first full Ironman race in August, at an event held near Montreal in August. An Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a full marathon of 26.2 miles.
“It only took me over 12 hours to do it,” he says, laughing. “But it was fun. I never used to understand people who did things like that, but I get it now. It’s a high. It’s a life-changing kind of thing.”
In March, Dr. Boisoneau and a friend will be off to San Francisco for a shorter triathlon.
“It’s called ‘Escape from Alcatraz,’” he says. “A boat brings you out to Alcatraz Island and you swim from the island to shore, about a mile and a half, then there’s an 18-mile bike ride through the hilly streets of San Francisco, followed by an eight mile run.”
One of the keys to a triathlon, Dr. Boisoneau says, is always to keep moving forward. “You can’t stop,” he says. “You can’t lose your momentum.”
It’s something he admires in his hospital, too, as L+M continues moving forward with new technologies, a new cancer center and the possible acquisition early next year of The Westerly Hospital.
“I think change is good,” Dr. Boisoneau says. “The status quo doesn’t work. You gotta keep moving, and I applaud L+M for being forward thinking.”
To learn more about Dr. Boisoneau, click here.