Dr. Ryan Zapata of Great Neck, Dr. Larry Schiff of...

Dr. Ryan Zapata of Great Neck, Dr. Larry Schiff of Wading River, and nurse anesthetist John Fuzio, 55, of Miller Place make up POC (Products of Conception), and will perform classic rock at the "Docs Who Rock" benefit. Credit: Heather Walsh

Physicians are about to trade their scalpels and stethoscopes for guitars and drumsticks. On Sept. 17, bands made up of staffers at several hospitals will do battle in the “Docs Who Rock” benefit at 89 North in Patchogue.

“It’s fun to see the doctors outside in a social setting,” says Linda Bily, founder of the event, which benefits Stony Brook University Cancer Center’s bone marrow transplant unit. “This is their outlet and release.”

Here are five bands that will be rated by a panel of judges determining this year’s champion:


REPRESENTING Stony Brook Medicine

YEARS TOGETHER 10 (current lineup since March)

STYLE Garage rock

Dr. Val Suprenant, 56, of Setauket serves as an interventional radiologist but after hours he plays drums with physician’s assistant-vocalist Ken Ramirez.

For the contest, the band has been working up covers of Led Zeppelin, Weezer and Jane’s Addiction in hopes of winning over the crowd.

“If you can make people dance, you are doing something right,” Suprenant says. “When we hit the end of ‘Slither’ by Velvet Revolver, we are going to bring down the house.”

POC (Products of Conception)

REPRESENTING Eastern Long Island Hospital


MUSICAL STYLE Classic rock

Dr. Larry Schiff, 49, of Wading River has a theory about emergency medicine doctors.

“ER docs are more laid back in general. We enjoy our downtime,” says Schiff, who plays drums with Dr. Ryan Zapata (guitar) and Dr. David Lin (bass) plus nurse John Fazio on the mic. “We’re not really tethered by a cellphone therefore if you enjoy music, you can really sink your teeth into it.”

His band’s set list reads like a rock radio station’s playlist with staples from Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” to KISS’ “Rock & Roll All Nite.” They played last year, but didn’t place.

“We are there for fun more than anything else,” says Schiff. “We are not used to contests, we’re doctors.”


REPRESENTING Stony Brook Medicine


MUSICAL STYLE Progressive rock with classic rock

What do you get when you mix the chairmen of the surgery and psychiatry departments? A progressive rock band.

Last year under the name Prognosis, they captured the “People’s Choice” award but were told by the judges that their set list was “too out there” with cuts from Pink Floyd, Rush and Dream Theater.

“This year we are playing songs everyone should know from Guns N’ Roses to Alanis Morissette to Pearl Jam,” says guitarist/vocalist John Hutter, 42, of Port Jefferson Station, who works as an administrator for the surgery department. “We are hoping to sweep and take everything.”


REPRESENTING Good Samaritan Hospital


MUSICAL STYLE Classic rock

For Dr. George Rogu, 52, of Dix Hills, playing bass and lead guitar is a nice change of pace from his daily responsibilities as a pediatrician.

“Just going home reading the paper and watching the news gets pretty boring,” he says. “I’ll practice or maybe learn a tune. It helps with stress relief.”

His band of nonmedical buddies keeps the music light and upbeat playing hits from Bon Jovi to the Doobie Brothers.

“The chemistry between us makes it work,” Rogu says. “We can play off each other, not just play the chords of the songs.”


REPRESENTING Northport VA Medical Center

YEARS TOGETHER 18 (on and off)


This band of medical professionals, but no doctors, gig regularly at venues such as Madison Steak House in Hauppauge and Napper Tandy’s in Northport. Their focus is rock and roll from the ’60s through the ’90s, jamming cuts like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” by Carole King or “Call Me” by Blondie.

“Performing comes from your soul,” says lead singer Ann D’Annunzio of Mineola. “When you can share that with the crowd, it gives you a good feeling in your heart.”

Docs Who Rock

WHEN|WHERE 2-8 p.m. Sept. 17, 89 North Music Venue, 89 N. Ocean Avenue, Patchogue

INFO 631-444-1088, cancer.stonybrookmedicine.edu/band2017

ADMISSION $20 (includes hot buffet and dessert; cash bar)

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