Q and A

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November 17, 2003 // UPDATED 11:07 am - April 30, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

with Dr. Ray Gensinger, Jr.

The long, shaggy ponytail on Dr. Ray Gensinger, Jr. had riled his boss, Dr. Michael Belzer, for some time. Belzer, medical director at Downtown's Hennepin County Medical Center, 701 Park Ave. S., said he didn't mind it, but staff and patients repeatedly questioned whether long hair was appropriate for Gensinger, the hospital's deputy medical director. So when Gensinger decided to cut his hair for a fund-raiser, Belzer jumped at the chance to do the honors and cut off the ponytail.

Belzer confessed he had long hair once, too, while playing in a rock band in the 1960s.

First, why did you agree to cut the ponytail? I had planned on getting it cut anyway out of a need to just have a change. But I figured that if I knew I was going to cut it anyway, I'd try and profit for the benefit of the Orthop:dic Research Foundation triathlon fund-raiser at the same time.

What kind of feedback did you get? Some people asked, 'Why did you do that?' Some said that it looked really good.

Will you grow your hair out again? Only if I need to raise more money for a charitable campaign.

Which do you like better, your hair long or short? Whichever way it isn't. It is fun just to see how much it affects others.

How much did your ponytail go for? $400 -- I donated it to The Wigs for Kids program in Ohio, which makes hairpieces for kids battling cancer.