Lloyd Rudy Broomes ’66
My friends and family know that I love transforming broken things into useful items. Also, I go out of my way to help people with their issues.
In my third year of medical school, a patient on the surgical ward thanked me profusely for returning to talk to her beyond our contact for the history and physical examination. Before leaving for home that day, I visited her again to spend more time looking into what was troubling her. That interaction at that early stage of my training nurtured my interest in psychiatry.
During the second year of psychiatry residency at Mendocino State Hospital, one rotation exposed me to the treatment of individuals with severe narcotic addiction. This exposure paved the way for my career in addiction medicine. Shortly thereafter, I established the Camarillo Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program.
Upon completion of my residency, I established the Meharry Medical College Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program. Later, I became the Assistant Commissioner of Drug and Alcohol for the state of Tennessee. The Substance Use Disorder Services of the Meharry program are still operational, where my daughter, Lloyda Williamson, MD, is now chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
I would have worked to develop a trade school for automobile mechanics or carpenters. In my late teens, I attended the Shell Apprentices Technical School to become an automobile mechanic. During that time, I also developed an interest in woodwork as a hobby. It is still my hobby in retirement. The five years at the technical school gave me a mature work ethic. Unfortunately, many youth today are not exposed to manual training and are thus deprived of the experiences that I have found so beneficial to me throughout my lifetime.
I love to sing and would have enjoyed additional vocal training. In my youth I sang the tenor solos in “The Song of Eastertide.” In college I also sang the tenor solos in “The Seven Last Words.” Later in life, I was the featured tenor soloist in “Messiah.” Recently, my daughter, Melissa White, Esq., and I were members of the tenor section of the chorus in “Messiah.” It was a wonderful experience which brought back fond memories. I have been told that I still have the gift!
Before leaving to study abroad, my pastor advised me, “Broomes, you are going away to further your education. Just remember that you do not have to work for the Church, but be sure to work with the Church.” I have found that in my career as a psychiatrist, church support is not limited to church employment. I have been fortunate to share my expertise in mental health matters across the spectrum of church involvement. My contacts have varied from the local membership to participating in General Conference deliberations.