In the process of choosing your specialist, how do you make the right decision?
I believe there are four elements that are essential to producing the best doctors;
education, training, experience, and innovation. A good education is essential in providing the foundation for the other elements. Training varies enormously both within the UK, and around the world; working in the best centres has a profound impact on one’s ability to give patients the best possible treatment. Experience is self-explanatory; the best doctors are the ones that have treated large numbers of patients (anyone that reads ‘Outliers’ or the ‘Talent Code’ will understand the 10,000 hours it takes to achieve mastery in anything). This is especially so in surgery. Innovation is not just about embracing new technologies; those who innovate usually have a solid research background and apply an outcome driven approach to developing new technologies. I also believe in developing a two-way relationship with each patient so that treatments can be tailored personally to their needs taking their own views into account.
I have a strong research background and undertook my Doctorate of Medicine research degree at Imperial College London. I have completed a number of clinical trials, acting as the Principle Investigator in 6 trials in the NHS. I have a particular interest in cartilage regeneration and have undertaken 2 trials testing new technologies in this area; treating cartilage defects in the knee using stem cells, and injections for knee arthritis using growth factors derived from the patient. I am performing further research in this area. My own philosophy is to preserve the hip or knee joint where possible. Although joint replacements function very well, nothing is as good as the joint that Nature has created. Understanding a patient’s needs and applying the best treatment modalities to these needs is crucial in obtaining the best possible outcome for each patient.