Midnight Rounds: That’s My Doctor in the Band!

By day, they are on the front lines of patient care—performing surgery, delivering babies, and providing care for some of the sickest patients at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. But outside of the hospital, they are Midnight Rounds—the unofficial cover band of Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, featured in this month’s issue of Punch Magazine.

Midnight Rounds
The members of Midnight Rounds, from left: James Wall, MD, and Jon Palma, MD (back row); David Scheibner, Raji Koppolu, NP, Matias Bruzoni, MD, and Yasser El-Sayed, MD (front row).

More than a decade ago, pediatric surgeon Matias Bruzoni, MD, and Raji Koppolu, NP, came together to perform acoustic versions of popular songs at a division holiday party, with Dr. Bruzoni on piano and guitar, and both on vocals. Soon after, they were joined by Yasser El-Sayed, MD, chief of maternal-fetal medicine and obstetrics, on drums; pediatric surgeon James Wall, MD, on bass and guitar; and neonatologist Jon Palma, MD, on violin, along with career musician David Scheibner. From there, the band Midnight Rounds was born.

The band comes together weekly to practice their growing repertoire of more than 50 songs—mostly innovative covers and mashups of rock classics, with a mix of country and bluegrass. The band was dubbed “Midnight Rounds” by Dr. El-Sayed as a nod to the doctors’ profession and their often late-night rehearsals, which take place after the day’s medical rounds are complete and can run as late as midnight. During the COVID-19 shelter in place, the band has continued to play music together, remotely. Check out their latest recorded song online here.

Midnight Rounds during a recent performance in the hospital’s broadcast studio, Sophie’s Place.

Midnight Rounds performs a quarterly gig at the Pioneer Saloon in Woodside, California, and is a favorite among Stanford Medicine Children’s Health staff and physicians for retirement and other work-related celebrations. “Our strongest crew are the NICU nurses and social workers, who follow us wherever we go,” Dr. Bruzoni told Stanford Medicine’s “Scope” blog. “And every now and then, we bring one of our coworkers to the stage to sing with us.”

For the band, playing music together has been a bonding experience that stays with them as they care for patients at the bedside.

“We operate together and will be in the OR together on cases,” Dr. El-Sayed told Punch Magazine. “It’s an interesting thing for us and it’s a connection to our practice. In some ways this coordination outside of medicine really feeds into how we work together at the hospital.”

“It’s a way to decompress,” Dr. Wall added. “We deal with some serious stuff here and music is a way to step away from that.”


10 Responses to “Midnight Rounds: That’s My Doctor in the Band!”

  1. Rhea

    I’m really sorry I didn’t know about them before I retired (after 46 years). Love that Dr El-Sayed! I worked on F2.

  2. Candace De Souza

    You guys are absolutely fabulous and I have enjoyed several of your concerts at the Pioneer and at restaurants. Thank you for posting this! The song is great!

  3. Pat Barr

    I think this is a fantastic way to deal with all the stress involved And they are very good!!!


    Awesome harmony!
    I thoroughly enjoyed listening!

    Excellent drumming!:)

  5. James Connell

    I’ve know Dr. Wall since he started med school. He’s all grown up now but his bass guitar isn’t. Thanks for all the good you folks do!

  6. Alice Pilram, RN, CPNP

    Wow Raji, Who knew? You are so very talented and a very special PNP!! Thanks for sharing your talents with us! Alice

  7. Mary Schorr

    Enjoyed this song and your article very much! Would love to hear more! Thanks, all.


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