I never really enjoyed writing. Problem solving was always my thing. Especially if it involved tools/scientific reasoning, and especially physical exertion. My friends and family will surely be puzzled to hear I decided to write a blog.
Throughout my life, I have found myself in a variety of leadership positions. The challenge of solving problems is what drew me to these positions. The ability of a leader to communicate is crucial. It is all too easy to offend or confuse if communication isn't clear.
In medical school I realized that some physicians communicate better than others, and that an optimal doctor/patient relationship is driven by good communication. We deal with complex issues, and medical terminology is essentially a foreign language to most laypeople. I observed when speaking with an attending physician, that patients often voiced understanding but gave non-verbal clues that they were confused. Many times the physician was oblivious to this. I made it my goal not to fall into this trap in my practice.
I feel my role as a physician is to educate my patients and help them to make the proper decision for them. The paternalistic physician role no longer applies. I believe a collaborative relationship, although sometimes more challenging is ultimately more rewarding for both physicians and patients.
As an orthopedic surgeon, my time is divided between my office and the operating room. I perform surgery twice weekly and see patients in my office 3 days per week. Management of orthopedic conditions involves as much art as it does science. Additionally, each patient has a unique set of medical and personal issues that will guide their personal risk/benefit analysis. Communication is the key to a satisfying doctor-patient interaction. A typical day in the office for me involves about 40 patient visits. There is rarely enough time to fully develop these conversations issues to my liking. I do my very best to allow time for questions, to make sure patients understand all pertinent information, and provide additional reading material. I never pressure patients to make a decision "on the spot", but rather recommend contemplating our conversation at home. I feel this leads to a more satisfying experience for my patients. There are a variety of issues that come up frequently. This blog is intended to record my thoughts on these topics. I hope orthopedic patients around the world find this information interesting and helpful.
Please recognize that this blog consists of general education only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific condition you might be dealing with. Please discuss all medical issues with your personal physician.
If you would like a consultation with me either by phone, video call, or in person, please contact me at: chris@yourorthoMD.com.
Orthopedic Surgeon focused on the entire patient, not just a single joint.