“My practice has decreased maybe 5 percent to 10 percent, primarily from decreased Worker’s Compensation patients. Many of our patients aren’t working or are working less, and others are choosing to forgo surgery for fear of losing their jobs.” Daniel C. Eby, DO; Jasper, Ind.

AAOS Now

Published 7/1/2009

Surgeon on the street

How has the economic slowdown affected your practice?

“My practice has decreased maybe 5 percent to 10 percent, primarily from decreased Worker’s Compensation patients. Many of our patients aren’t working or are working less, and others are choosing to forgo surgery for fear of losing their jobs.” Daniel C. Eby, DO; Jasper, Ind.
“New Orleans hasn’t been affected by the national slowdown, in part due to the legacy of Hurricane Katrina. For 5 years, there’s been slow rebuilding. The money is coming in, and people are getting cranked up. We have our own issues, but that’s not one of them. We also have a very diverse economy; we’re not tied to one industry like Boeing or General Motors.” Donald C. Faust, MD; New Orleans
“I have more no-shows. We’ve had several plant closings in the area. I have several patients who want to get elective cases done under the wire because they know they’re getting laid off. Even though they don’t need surgery right away, they schedule it, because as soon as they get laid off, they can’t get it done.” Scott C. Brandon, MD; Statesville, N.C.
“I’ve been in practice for 3 years now and am in my ramp-up period. The slowdown hasn’t really affected me so far. I have noticed, however, that some patients want to get procedures done sooner because they’re afraid of being laid off. In a few months, I may start to see my numbers decline. We’re just crossing our fingers hoping that the economy doesn’t continue to go down.” Obinwanne F. C. Ugwonali, MD; Atlanta

News reports recently have been filled with stories of how the economic slowdown is affecting small businesses across the country. During a recent Arthroscopic Association of North America Masters Course on the wrist and elbow, held at the Orthopaedic Learning Center in Rosemont, Ill., on June 13–14, 2009, AAOS Now asked several surgeons about the impact of the recession on their practices. Here’s what they said: