Question:My father is in a nursing home and broke his hip. It looks like he can get by with surgery to pin the hip, rather than have a hip replacement. The social worker from the home seemed very pleased to tell us that they found a board certified orthopedic surgeon to do the surgery. Why is this so important?
Answer:Board certification is an indication that the physician has kept up with his or her skills in a particular area of expertise. This could be hematology, internal medicine, oncology, orthopedics, pediatrics, or any number of other specialty areas of medicine.
Board certification in orthopedic surgery requires the physician to pass two different exams. The first is a written exam. The second part is a practice-based oral exam. Before taking the first part, the doctor must finish medical school and then a residency or fellowship.
After passing the written portion, they must practice for a minimum of 22 months before taking the second part of the test. Part II requires the physician to submit a list of all operations performed during a specific six-month period of time. These procedures must be verified by the clinic or hospital where the surgeon worked.
Each case is reviewed for patient outcomes based on pain, deformity, function, and satisfaction. Complications such as hemorrhage, infection, fracture, or delayed healing must be reported.
About 70 per cent of orthopedic surgeons take Part II within the first two years after finishing their training. Ninety-eight per cent (98%) finish Parts I and II by the end of their first five years after their formal training.Jeffrey O. Anglen, MD, and James N. Weinstein, DO. Nail or Plate Fixation of Intertrochanteric Hip Fractures: Changing Pattern of Practice. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. April 2008. Vol. 90-A. No. 4. Pp. 700-707.
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