I became an orthopaedic surgeon because...
At an early age I felt a calling to help others. When I applied to medical school, I did not know in what direction that calling would take me. I had hopes of practicing primary care medicine, and in fact, surgery was the farthest specialty from my mind.
My desire to become an orthopaedic surgeon developed during medical school when a friend and fellow classmate, Julie, was struck by a car. She sustained multiple severe fractures including her pelvis, both femurs and both wrists. The thought of losing her independence was devastating, but truthfully, Julie was just happy to be alive. Julie underwent multiple hours of surgery, endured many weeks of rehabilitation, and her recovery was remarkable. Thanks to the skilled treatment of orthopaedic surgeons and therapists – and her positive attitude – Julie regained her function, independence, and life.
The ability of orthopaedic surgeons to make an immediate, positive and lasting impact on the lives of people was a powerful attraction for me. During my medical school rotations in orthopaedic surgery, I realized that Julie’s dramatic recovery was not uncommon. I saw patients who underwent hip replacement surgery walk painlessly for the first time in years; children with broken forearms heal without deformity; and patients with cut tendons in their hands recover range of motion and function. After witnessing the amount of good orthopaedic surgeons can do for their patients, I felt called to practice orthopaedics.
What is the most rewarding part of being an orthopaedic surgeon?
At the end of a busy day in the operating room, clinic or ER, I find great satisfaction knowing that I did my best to help someone in need.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My family and I enjoy being in the outdoors. We are fortunate to live in a part of the country with nice weather and plentiful access to greenways, hiking trails, bike lanes, parks, mountains, and sandy beaches. I also enjoy photography and take a camera with me just about everywhere. Natural landscapes are my favorite subjects to photograph. As a Baylor University graduate and a University of Michigan trained physician, I follow Baylor Bear and Wolverine football with passion.
Ortho-pinions by Dr. John Erickson
- What are the signs of a broken finger?
- I had a third metacarpal fracture and was in a cast for 4 weeks. Is that long enough for it to heal?
- Is it normal to have fingers feel sore, or lock-up when making a fist?
- Your orthopaedic surgeon wants you to quit smoking!
- I broke my wrist. Do I need surgery?
- Do Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate Supplements Help Arthritis Pain?
- Why is my Pinky Numb?
- How Could I Have Tennis Elbow Since I Don’t Play Tennis?