As I was shadowing in my local orthopedic clinic today I heard a pretty respectable remark from a patient. Actually, it was a patient’s dad. The patient happened to be a high school boy who was extremely athletic, particularly with basketball and football. We ended up treating him for shoulder tendonitis. Shoulder tendonitis can be treated conservatively and is pretty easy to recover from, HOWEVER, the parents deemed it career threatening. They insisted on any kind of surgery to make sure his shoulder was normal and he would be able to continue sports. I love concerned patients who want to know every aspect about their diagnosis and I respected this boy and his parents.
In disregard from clinical work, I took away a meaningful paradigm the patient’s dad told as they were leaving. During the clinical examination the boy exclaimed the pain originated after doing a “hitting” drill in football. The P.A. said she was unfamiliar with football alongside with most other sports. The only sport she’d ever done was diving in college. The boy’s dad remarked, “You can’t make a cake without the ingredients you know.”
I knew exactly where he was going. We are supposed to be orthopedic specialists, specializing in the musculoskelatal system and sport’s injuries, and most likely having first-hand experience with athletics. I felt for my P.A. because she is great at her job, but I do agree with the dad in saying the professional should know where the patients are coming from. Presumably, that’s why I love learning and shadowing orthopedics. I grew up playing competitive baseball for thirteen years, ran cross-country, and am still an avid weight-lifter. From now on I am going to make sure I have the right ingredients, no matter what kind of cake I’m making.