Mitzi F. Fernandez, MD

Mitzi F. Fernandez, MD
Primary Care Sports Medicine
TRIA Orthopedic Urgent Care
Burnsville Clinic, MN
Member Since: 2023

How has the AAOS helped you throughout your career?  
The Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care has been my primary orthopedic resource during my residency, Sports Medicine fellowship and in more than a decade of practicing musculoskeletal medicine.  This book is also what I recommend to my students when I am precepting in our clinic.

As an Allied member, which AAOS resources do you use most and why?
In addition to The Essentials book, the AAOS Clinical Practice Guidelines online have been very helpful in my clinical practice.  I use this tool to answer a clinical question, for review as medicine is always changing.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from? 
“Do not work harder than your patient.”  This was from one of my residency teachers.  He was an school traditional family doc who was at that time teaching and practicing full scope FP.  This was during a residency clinic and I was struggling with a non-compliant patient.  What he meant was to meet the patient where they are and to come up with a treatment plan together that works for them.  At the end of the day, we can have all these ideas for their care but if the patient does not “buy in”, positive change will not happen.  Since that time, I have stayed out of the teacher/ babysitter role for patients and became their partner instead.  It’d rather have patients do 1 small thing/positive change for their care rather than give them a laundry list that they will not do because it is overwhelming.

What’s your go-to productivity trick? 
Do as much chart review before I walk into the exam room to make it an efficient visit.  Since I work at an Orthopedic Urgent Care, most patients are new.  I try to spend majority of the exam room time with the patient having a conversation and coming up with a treatment plan for them than staring at the computer.

What’s one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit?
Meditation. Pausing even for 1 minute during a busy day.  It helps me reset and clear my mind before it gets overwhelming. 

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time? 
I recently rediscovered my love of reading.  I used to read a lot of works of fiction before studying took up most of my time in college, through medical school and the years that followed.  A colleague introduced me to the Libby (library app) and I have read or listened to more books in the last 6 months than in the last 15 yrs.  I also have expanded my reading to non-fiction,  Native American, Asian and African American literature.  Now I have turned into somewhat of a book hoarder.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know? 
My wife and I enjoy watching true crime shows, like Dateline, especially when it is Keith Morrison reporting.