What Makes a Good Surgeon?
Anyone who is considering surgery, whether bunion surgery or brain surgery, has a potentially stressful serious decision to make. It is important that you, as a patient considering surgery, make the right decision. By asking the right questions, and with a little footwork (no pun intended) you should be able to find a well qualified bunion surgeon who can help you, correct the bunion, relieve your pain, and get you back to all the activities that help you enjoy life on your feet.
Ill start with the qualification that I am a bunion surgeon myself. What qualifies me to write this article is not that I perform this surgery, but that I have been awarded a United States Patent for an instrument and technique which I invented to to simplify complicated bunion surgery. I have also published original research in medical journals teaching other foot surgeons how to reduce or eliminate pain after bunion surgery. My research has been presented in multiple countries where I have been invited to lecture.
Having said that, there are many doctors in virtually every area of the United States who are qualified to perform your bunion surgery. The goal is to help you discern the real qualifications from deceptive ones. This way, you will be able to determine for yourself, whether or not your surgeon is likely provide you the outcome you want...getting back to enjoying your life with no more bunions.
This is actually the area where most of the deception lies. The surgeons with the most hours of training and most extensive board qualification testing are affiliated with the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. There are other "board certifications" such as the American Board of Foot Surgery and the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry. While the other boards "sound official," they are rarely accepted as proof of competence by hospital committees.
Your surgeon should have three years of foot and ankle surgical training in residency after medical school. The more training, the more experience with a wide range of surgical techniques.
Making certain your surgeon has experience with medical research, (particular in the areas of your particular problem) will ensure that he/she is interested in finding ways to perform better. What separates the leaders from the followers is research. The leaders are always out in front and aware of the latest advances in technique.
Less than 1% of all surgeons will have won awards for advancing the field of surgery. If you find one, you have a winner for sure. Research the practitioners website to see what credentials they post.
Surgery is a science and an art. A good trait in a surgeon is one who looks for innovative ways to solve problems. If you can, find a surgeon who has invented a surgical instrument and patented techniques that improve surgical outcomes.
It is no coincidence that the word "authority" starts with "author." Those that write books, publish articles in medical journals and use their writing skills to educate other surgeons always stay on top of their game. All you need to do is search the surgeons name on Google. A doctor who plays an active roll in his profession will have many listings.
Surgery should be a great experience because it will be the start of your recovery, and the start of a new more active, more enjoyable life. Spend time researching the person you select for your surgery and it will be time well spent.
Christopher P. Segler, DPM has won multiple awards for advancing the field of foot and ankle surgery. He practices at the Ankle & Foot Center of Chattanooga. You can order a FREE copy of his book, My Fit Feet, by calling toll free => (888) 701-6099, where youll find more information about bunions and other common causes of foot pain.