I’ve been a surgeon now for well over a decade.
It’s not a job; I love what I do.
The great news for me and my patients is I’m enjoying it more and more as my chosen specialty area – shoulders – becomes even more refined as my technical skills strengthen and my understanding of the patient benefits grows.
Why I chose a focused shoulder specialty
While I’d every intention of taking a specialty focus early in my career, my decision was well and truly confirmed for me once I’d spent time in the US. Scanning the professional horizon, I opted for an overseas stint and figured I’d go to the very best place for shoulders that I could.
This took me to the Harvard Shoulder Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, both of which are in the US. If you want to know anything about the shoulder specialty from a medical perspective, these places are your Mecca.
With a committed focus (there’s that word again) on improving outcomes for patient, not just at the time of treatment, but long after the treatment has been delivered, institutions like the Harvard Shoulder, the Mayo Clinic, and the Harvard Codman Shoulder Society, of which I’m a member, makes specialisation, well, kind of special.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want to name drop? Impress you with my medical pedigree? Because I think this is what patients want to hear.
Actually, it has nothing at all to do with any of that.
With first hand experience of working and studying with the best in the field, it was eminently apparent to me a refined focus equated with the potential for better patient outcomes. While it’s not for everyone, with focus, I could see real gains could be made for patients. For me, that was very gratifying.
As a physician, this is a big deal when it comes to delivering patient care. More than just words – or the name of my business – It’s a personal and professional philosophy I subscribe to and will continue to as long as I’m in practice.
So what about that #1 reason?
The number reason a focused shoulder specialist is better?
It’s just my opinion, but the specialist with the laser focus can bring to patients the kind of expertise and advanced practice that is difficult to achieve if attention and energies are diluted over a number of areas.
Now some would say a narrow focus could be limiting, and I can understand why they’d say that. A narrow focus might make you boring. I’m the first to admit:
- I’m not the most interesting person at a the local neighbourhood barbecue.
- I’m not the most dynamic dad on the sidelines.
- I’m not known for my scintillating small talk.
But really, none of that matters if you’re my patient and faced with an injury or condition that leaves you uncomfortable at best and incapacitated at worst. What you’re really after is someone who shares your goal for recovery AND knows how to help you reach it.
If you’re weighing up a decision about a treating specialist, it’s likely you’ll consider many factors. Ultimately, it’s a very personal decision, but one that would benefit from considering the degree of focus your physician has in that particular area.
Want to know more? Got questions about how I can help with your shoulder’s recovery, get in touch.