July 19, 2005
At least once a week, one particular employee at the University of Virginia Medical Center dedicates his time and musical talent to others.
With his fingers flying over piano keys, Mixon Darracott may not fit the typical image at a busy hospital. Whenever he gets a chance, Darracott heads down to the main lobby of the University of Virginia Medical Center to relax and also to entertain.
"Occasionally people will come over and say that they've been waiting in the lobby all day long for a relative that's ill or in the operating room and they say that they enjoy hearing the piano. So that's why I do it," said Darracott.
But what makes Darracott unique is that when he isn't playing tunes, he's playing the role of a doctor, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.
The piano has been a part of his practice for the five years that he's been at the hospital.
"I play all the good old love songs, and the old standards. So people do come by and give requests, not many tips but a lot of requests," jokes Dr. Darracott.
Tips or not, it's likely those waiting in the lobby appreciate anything that will help to ease their boredom and their worried minds, and a lot of times, the music seems to do just that.
"People in the waiting room go through a lot too, as much as the patients, so it helps," said Frankie Hodge, waiting in the lobby for his father.
"It was wonderful. I enjoyed it. Very smooth, nice and relaxing," said Karen Quarles, also waiting.
As people take in the tunes, one more thing also comforts some.
"To find out that he was a doctor and he takes his time and he dedicates that to the people in the hospital, I think that's wonderful," said Linda Hodge.
While Dr Darracott doesn't necessarily find what he does 'wonderful,' he does know he'll keep right on doing it.
"As long as they come over and they say that I'm not disturbing them, then I guess I'll keep playing," said Dr. Darracott.
The doctor works four days a week at the hospital and says he loves his job, music and all and doesn't plan on retiring anytime soon.