It is very interesting to hear how our classmates’ careers have developed and expanded over the years. In our previous Classmate spotlights, we saw where Chris Hermann spent his entire professional career at LG&E but also became very involved in Community service, receiving numerous awards for his achievements. We also saw where Mike Seale spent his professional career in industrial engineering, nuclear energy, and defense technology for both profit and nonprofit organizations. In this article, we focus on Larry Grubb graduating in Civil Engineering and his career path to becoming a Medical Doctor at Walter Reed Hospital. Larry has written several books and has participated in numerous presentations and seminars. Below is a synopsis of his career as written in his book.
Larry K. Grubb, “Doc Grubb”, is board certified in the fields of Child and Adolescent and Adult psychiatry. Dr. Grubb has bachelor degrees in Civil Engineering and Zoology; a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from the University of Kentucky. After medical school, Dr. Grubb completed an internship and residency in adult psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. His exciting life has included being a civil engineer working for a railroad; serving as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division; a naval line officer in a nuclear ballistic submarine and a medical doctor in the U.S. Navy during which time he spent 4 years at the Pentagon working on healthcare policies for the military. Dr. Grubb’s dynamic presentations and seminars have received enthusiastic reviews and acceptance from diverse educational and social organizations. Attendees have commented especially about Dr. Grubb’s unsurpassed ability to present complex biological and psychological terms in an easily understandable manner. Dr. Grubb has a private psychotherapy practice in Silver Spring, Maryland.
In an interview with Larry, I tried to get a little more in depth knowledge of his career:
- (Norb Paulin) – I remember that you played in a band back in the 60s, but I’m not sure of the name or what you played. I was thinking Sultans and the organ, but I’m not sure.
- (Larry Grubb) – The band I played organ in was the Carnations and Trendells, one of the oldest Louisville “big groups.”
- (NP) – Have you continued playing over the years?
- (LG) – After graduating from Speed, I pretty much stopped playing…I think I can still play “Louie Louie” on guitar.
- (NP) – Did you have a low draft number in the lottery?
- (LG) – I was number 72 in the lottery, which almost guaranteed that I would be drafted. After graduating from Speed, I went to work with the L&N Railroad, but it was clear to me that wasn’t my destiny, so I volunteered for the draft and entered the Army in October 1970.
- (NP) – Where were you stationed in the Army? Viet Nam?
- (LG) – I had asked to be a Corpsman/medic, but of course, I was assigned to be a rifleman. Close enough. In 1970, they were drawing down the conflict in Viet Nam, so you had to re-enlist to go to Viet Nam. Let me get this straight…I got drafted for a 2 year enlistment and I have to reenlist for another three years to go to Viet Nam? This is NOT a good deal. Instead I volunteered to go Airborne and after jump school, went to Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne. During my time with the 82nd, I went through Jungle Warfare Training in Panama and was sent to Washington, D.C. during the riots. They decided to downsize the Army, so I was released after only serving 18 months and returned to Louisville to return to Speed to get a Master’s in Civil Engineering. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was really to give myself a chance to see what I really wanted to do and become.
- (NP) – Were you involved in some aspect that used your Civil Engineering background in the Army?
- (LG) – Not at all.
- (NP) – What made you decide on the Navy? And submarines?
- (LG) – As I was finishing up my Master’s, I knew I didn’t want to enter the civilian work force, so I looked at the military. I looked at the Air Force but my eyesight wasn’t up to standard. I then looked at the Navy. THE hardest program to get into was the Nuclear Power Program so…what the heck I’ll apply for that. Well, to get into the Nuclear Power Program you had to have a PERSONAL interview with Admiral Rickover, who created the navy nuclear power program. The high point of my interview ended up with me singing “Three Blind Mice” to his secretaries. I got accepted, went through a year of training, and then volunteered to be on nuclear submarines. I was assigned to Hawaii, but spent half of each year in Guam and onboard a ballistic submarine. As a nuke, the pressure was intense because of all the concerns/rules and regulations about nuclear power.
When my contract was up, I resigned my commission and felt, okay, it’s time to get serious and returned to the University of Kentucky to complete the required science courses to apply for medical school, with my focus on becoming a psychiatrist. Before I left the Navy, they made me go to Guam one time and ended up in a typhoon on a sinking submarine…which teaches you a lot about how you behave when you face death.
- (NP) – Where did you go to Medical school? What branch of medicine was your focus?
- (LG) – I was lucky enough to get accepted into the UofK Medical School and started classes in 1981 on a Navy Scholarship, which took the financial stress off of me. My interest was always in PSYCHIATRY and that was my focus in medical school. After graduating in 1985, I went on active duty in the Navy and did a residency in Adult Psychiatry and then a Fellowship in Child Psychiatry and am Board Certified in both. I spent the next 19 years on active duty in various places and ended up in Washington, D.C., spending the last 10 years doing administrative work at the Pentagon and Navy Medicine Headquarters. I retired from the Navy in 2004, after completing 30 years of combined service.
- (NP) – What are you presently doing?
- (LG) – After I retired from the Navy, I went to work for the Army Disability Agency, spent a few years at Bethesda Navy Medical Center doing outpatient psychiatry and as the head of the Traumatic Brain Injury service, but then returned back to the Army Disability system where I still work. I am physically located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, working with the Navy and Army, especially with the Wounded Warriors. I also do two half days of a private psychiatric clinic to stay current in the field of psychiatry.
- (NP) – What are your outside interests? Organizations?
- (LG) – Let’s just say I’m so busy with my jobs I have little time for outside activities.
My wife and I are finishing up work on two houses and planning landscaping and new constructions, so needless to say, the days scream by, and we both forget what day it is half the time.
- (NP) – When did you marry? Kids or grandkids?
- (LG) – I married in 1985, my first and only marriage, and have a 23-year-old son. What can I say? Having a child at the age of 48 is a unique experience. He is extremely smart and finished college in three years with an AA and a BA in business (don’t ask about his grades…he refuses to study). He now works in rural Pennsylvania doing HVAC and plumbing….and LOVES it! He’ll probably end up as a part owner in the company in a few years.
- (NP) – Were there any memorable moments that you would like to share?
- (LG) – At Speed? Just the great people I went to school with. Looking back, Speed was meant to be a part of my journey to where I am now. Concerning my future plans, I’ve written several books and own three trademarks. My future is growing my two businesses: “The Emotional Bank Account” and “Foodaholics Anonymous.”
- In conclusion, I tell everyone how GRATEFUL I am for everything that I have, especially my wife and son, and how truly BLESSED I have been with a life that most people dream about.