Camille Coates-Clark, MD, FAAOS

Camille Coates-Clark MD, FAAOS
Attending Orthopedic Surgeon
Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center
Gainesville, FL

How has the AAOS helped you throughout your career?
The AAOS has helped me throughout my career by providing educational courses which I have thoroughly enjoyed at the OLC Education & Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois. I look forward to going to the Annual American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery conferences, where I can see my colleagues, mentors, and friends, as well as gain valuable information about changing and current orthopedic topics while obtaining CME credit. Because I am also the first Jamaican female board-certified orthopedic surgeon in the United States, I am blessed to have this title, which allows me to inspire other young, female medical students who I encounter at the AAOS meetings to strive for excellence in the field of orthopedics.

As an Active Fellow Member, which AAOS resources do you use most and why?
Undoubtedly, the most common AAOS resource that I utilize in the office is I find that there is invaluable information for my patients. It is well-written and simple enough for one to understand. I particularly like the videos that give them a good idea of what surgery is going to entail. I also like the fact that the material is also available in Spanish for those patients who have a need to read in that language and the OVT is great for quick reviews of important topics.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Who was it from?
Over the years, there have been several people who have influenced me in terms of “best” advice. My parents have been instrumental. My mom taught me to put God first and all other things will follow! Mom and Dad taught me that I can face any challenge and to never give up. My Dad taught me about finances and the importance of saving money.

My high school principal, the late Sister Maureen Clare taught me "Ad aspera per aspera..." through difficulties to excellence. No matter what challenges or stumbling blocks you face, you must strive for excellence.

Dr. Lasalle D. Lefall taught me “Equanimity under duress." That makes me remember to stay calm even if things are not going the way that I want it to go and just focus and I will persevere and be successful.. “We must be prepared to draw upon a sense of calmness and tranquility in the face of adversity and challenges that, in the moment, may seem beyond our control “

What’s your go-to productivity trick?
Starting my morning with a prayer call sets the stage for a positive day and focusing on what is important.

Treating each patient as if they are my family in terms of great bedside manner, leads to good physician-patient relationships and excellent outcomes.

What’s one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit?
Getting more rest as self-care is so invaluable.

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?
Singing, yoga, running, the beach, and spending time with my husband, beautiful daughters who are 6 and 13 years old, my brother, and my mom who is in Jamaica.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?
I started running at the age of 8 in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica. This led to me representing Jamaica in several international track meets, running 11:16 in the 100-meter dash in 1987. The record during that time was the fastest in the world for the women’s 100 meters for more than 3 weeks as stated in Abilene Christian’s University’s Prickly Pear yearbook. I was on the reserve squad for the 1984 Olympics. I was later inducted into The Abilene Christian University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

Photos provided by Renee Parenteau