Why did you join AAOS?
AAOS is clearly the most important and significant organization in our field. The Academy acts as a meeting place for cross pollination of ideas, insights, and innovations across specialties of orthopedics, and as our main advocacy group.
How do you define success?
I measure my success in my career by the number of lives that I am able to improve, and the magnitude by which I can improve them. As physicians and scientists, we have the opportunity and privilege of improving people's lives in several ways.
One way is by our direct contact with our patients. If I fix someone's hip, that measurably improves their life. However, I only have two hands, and there are only so many surgeries that I can do and patience I can help directly.
The second way is through education. By educating other surgeons, we can enable them to help exponentially more people. In this way, we can touch the lives of far more patience than we could ever help directly. At the same time, we help the surgeons themselves. As the saying goes, “Give someone a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach them to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime”.
The third way, which is near and dear to me personally, is through innovation. When we develop a new procedure, or improve an existing procedure, and make the improvements available to the orthopedic community worldwide, we can help hundreds of thousands of patients get their lives back.
All three of these approaches are integral parts of my career and are core missions of the American Hip Institute Research Foundation.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
Frank Jobe. He was a caring, yet daring, innovator. In Tommy John, he diagnosed an injury that had never been described, created a treatment that had never been thought of, and in so doing, changed the way generations of baseball players have been treated. Everyone has heard of Tommy John, but this kind of innovation was something Dr. Jobe did repeatedly through his career.
What do you love most about AAOS?
I love the opportunity for coming together with orthopedic surgeons of different subspecialties. Some of the greatest innovations in any subspecialty are borrowed from other subspecialties that are ahead. Joints surgeons, sports medicine surgeons, spine surgeons, can all learn from each other.
What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?
Attend the AAOS Annual Meeting!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?
I’m a die-hard country music fan!