John Di Paola was born to a working class family and raised in a rural district of New Jersey that gradually became a suburban community during the baby boom. He began “making his own way” working on farms baling hay and milking cows as a youth, residential construction in high school, followed by paper mills and warehouses in college. After dropping out of college to help with family finances he worked for UPS in the warehouse and as a driver when he was laid off following the Christmas season. To “keep busy” while waiting to be called back to CDL driving a friend offered him a job as an orderly in a hospital. This experience ignited a passion for medicine and John became an X-ray Technologist to support a return to college, this time as a pre-med student. After successfully being accepted to Rutgers Medical School John started his own contracting business doing renovation carpentry to finance his education. After visiting Oregon he sought acceptance to Oregon Health Sciences University and performed two years of residency training in General Surgery before entering the Orthopedic Surgery residency for an additional four years. After beginning private practice in 1988 John quickly discovered that he was most comfortable caring for the working people he had associated with all his life. It was surprising to him that it was so hard for people injured at work to get specialist care in a reasonable amount of time. After 12 years practicing General Orthopedics Dr. Di Paola established Occupational Orthopedics, the only specialty practice in the United States providing personalized care exclusively for injured workers. Dr. Di Paola has had the privilege of speaking at regional and national meetings where other specialists come to learn more about injured workers’ care. He has found Occupational Orthopedics to be the most gratifying and purposeful activity of his professional life and is honored by the acceptance his practice has met from the workers who have referred their colleagues for treatment.