Being a great sports medicine orthopedic surgeon takes more than just accumulating knowledge and experience. Each day there are several medical innovations and you must adapt to it.
You not only deal with the patient, but also other colleagues, nurses, and so on. It requires to have a great personality and leadership skills. Developing a good relationship with your colleagues and your patient will help to foster a conducive and supportive environment.
Responsibilities of an orthopedic surgeon
A sports medicine orthopedic surgeon is responsible for the preservation and restoration by surgery or rehabilitation of all structures of the musculoskeletal system affected by athletic activity. They have to lead the patients (maybe professional athletes or not) out of the health problems that brought them to the medical facility. They may be involved in assessing injuries and determining the appropriate treatment for patients.
- Assessing patients
- Ordering medical tests
- Providing prescriptions for pain medication
- Operating on patients
- Referring patients to other medical professionals
Developing your skills and personal characteristics to perform this job is a process that never stops. See some of the most important characteristics you should focus on.
Characteristics of a great sports medicine orthopedic surgeon
Interest in physiology
The human body, especially as it relates to athletes and sports, is the main topic you must know when talking with your patients. Your confidence when talking about this issue it is important for them, to trust your methods and to follow your treatment. If they recognize that you are a specialist, they will follow you.
You must be able to make decisions quickly and accurately regarding courses of treatment. What sports medicine orthopedic surgeons advise often directly impacts a patient’s life, especially where work is concerned or when an athlete’s career depends on his body functioning properly. A sports medicine orthopedic surgeon’s decisions can also impact other people involved with the patient, such as a coach or athletic trainer.
You need to be well-spoken so you can communicate important instructions to patients, athletic trainers and coaches. Many times you will have to rely on your leadership skills as well to communicate with a whole team of practitioners for the welfare of patients. You might have to communicate in an assertive way your recommendations for the patient’s welfare to other practitioners – even if it’s to the detriment of an athletic team, such as ordering the patient to sit out a season to heal an injury.
Create empathy with the patients
Compassion for the predicaments of your patients is an important personal quality for you to have. From athletes with sports injuries to people with structural and movement problems due to physical disorders, patients need empathy, care and understanding to cope with the limitations. Many patients endure physical pain during their treatments, so sports doctors must maintain an understanding, supportive and encouraging attitude to get them through it.