How did you become interested in medicine?
In high school I was drawn to the sciences and thoroughly enjoyed classes like biology and anatomy & physiology. As time progressed, I became more and more interested in learning how our bodies work. I considered other careers related to health such as physical therapy and exercise physiology, but the scope of practice is what drew me to a career in medicine.
When did you decide to specialize in orthopaedics and hand surgery?
Going into medical school I had every intention of becoming a family medicine physician. That was until my training and rotations where I found myself gravitating toward orthopaedic cases. For that reason, I decided to pursue a residency in orthopaedics. During my orthopaedic residency I decided to specialize in hand surgery because of the variety and complexity of hand and upper extremity injuries and conditions.
What are the common conditions you treat? Is there anything patients can do to avoid developing their condition?
Some common conditions I treat include, arthritis, nerve compressions (carpal, cubital, and radial tunnel), tendinitis, trigger finger, tumors, and traumatic injuries. Many of the conditions I treat are degenerative, and therefore, mostly genetics are to blame. Traumatic injuries, on the other hand, are not associated with genetics and usually occur during normal everyday activities. To avoid traumatic injuries of the hand and upper extremities patients can use caution with sharp objects and be aware of their surroundings, but it’s better to stay active as we will never be 100% accident free.
What do you like best about working with your patients?
The best part about working with my patients is the opportunity I have to get to know them on a personal level. I take pride in connecting with my patients rather than just treating their medical conditions. I also enjoy meeting my patients’ family members. One of the best feelings I encounter in my practice is when a patient tells me that a friend or family member referred me to them. It’s a great feeling knowing that past patients trust me enough to suggest me to their friends and loved ones.
What do you like best about working for OAA?
My coworkers. I always sense that all of OAA’s employees understand our mission to put the patient, and their needs, first and foremost. The time my patients spend with me is important, but it is only one component of their visit. I like knowing that everyone I work with is committed to making the entire patient experience, from check-in to checkout, as positive as possible for our patients.
Where are you from originally and how did you come to live in the Lehigh Valley?
I was born and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the town Warminster. I stayed relatively close during my medical training and went to medical school in Philadelphia. I completed a hand surgery fellowship in Pittsburgh in 2001 and then moved to the Lehigh Valley to join OAA Orthopaedic Specialists and have called it home ever since.
If you were not and hand surgeon what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t a hand surgeon I’d definitely be a rock star, but if a career in music didn’t work out I would have thought about becoming a teacher.
How do you apply your life experience as a hand surgeon to the rest of your life?
As a hand surgeon I have learned the importance of taking the time to get to know my patients and listening to them. Professionally, this helps me know what my patients hope to gain from their treatment. I apply this to the rest of my life by taking the time to get to know acquaintances and by listening closely to what they have to say; everyone has a story to tell and something they can teach you.
Of what achievements are you most proud?
Academically, I am most proud of being honored by my colleagues as the resident physician that best promoted collegiality amongst my physician peers. In practice, it is honestly the everyday positive impact I can have on a patient that I take the most pride in.