On the Road
This past week I went on the road to present information about osteoporosis identification and treatment to other doctors. Fortunately the big storm was finished the day before I headed for Omaha. The formal presentations are set pieces. The informal discussions afterwards with other healthcare professionals are usually stimulating for all.
I have seen the difference between healthy and osteoporotic bone as an orthopedic surgeon. Some bones I have operated on were not as strong as Styrofoam. I understand fractures and the physical aspects of bone structure. Others often know more about metabolism and general medical issues. We all learn, and that is good for us and for our patients.
The Omaha event was aimed at spine surgeons. By not screening every patient for osteoporosis they may be missing opportunities for treatment. Two endocrinologists at that event were trained by Dr Robert Recker, one of the giants in the osteoporosis field. We talked about his idea that I had talked briefly with him about last year.
Most orthopedic surgeons finish training without ever spending time on an endocrinology service. Most endocrinologists finish training without ever seeing or touching the mush that passes for bone in an osteoporotic hip fracture patient. Going outside the box to spend a week in other fields during training could only improve our understanding of the total picture.
My stop in Red Oak, IA the next morning reminded me of the incredible challenge faced by primary care physicians and mid levels, especially in rural areas, in staying current in all aspects of medicine. They are doing very well indeed. Yet again, I learned as much from my audience as they learned from me.
It’s good to widen your horizons.
Jay Ginther, MD
5 Feb 2011