If you’re experiencing soreness in your hands and wrists, it’s high time for you to find a reliable orthopedic doctor who can help address your problem. You shouldn’t wait until the ache becomes so unbearable that it hinders your daily activities. Swelling, pain, and difficulty in movement are warning signs that should compel you to consult a specialist.
Here are some factors that you should consider when looking for a hand and wrist specialist:
1. Good Reviews
While finding a good hand and wrist specialist isn’t a popularity contest, you have to check the feedback of previous and current clients to gain an understanding of how the orthopedic doctor operates and relates to the patients. Ask your family and friends for referrals and read up on reviews. This way, you can evaluate whether you can be comfortable in sharing sensitive information with them and working together for your full recovery.
2. Remarkable Credentials
It’s wise to check the credentials of potential doctors to validate their legitimacy and knowledge. You want someone who has gained the necessary information and skills about hand and wrist orthopedics from reputable schools, just like Dr. Patterson.
He studied at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo) for his bachelor’s degree and proceeded to enroll in a Master’s in Anatomy and Physiology program, which he completed at the University of Michigan. He went back to SUNY Buffalo and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree there. Lastly, Dr. Patterson was able to finish his fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery at Harvard Medical School. He continues to acquire more knowledge and skills as a practicing orthopedic doctor today.
These are the career requirements to become a hand and wrist specialist:
- Bachelor’s Degree– The orthopedic doctor must have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree program in a medicine-related field like biology or physical therapy.
- Medical School – They should have finished another four years of medical school where they’ll learn more information on human hands and wrists.
- Residency and Fellowship – Then, the physician should complete residency and fellowship to gain more understanding about their specialization. This typically takes five years. As a patient, this factor assures you that the doctor has practical experience and is not just adept with theories.
- Licensing and Certification – Orthopedic doctors must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination and the two-part test from the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
3. Extensive Experience
It’s crucial that your orthopedic doctor has practical knowledge about hand and wrist injuries. If they have accumulated a collection of patients, each with unique situations and diverse backgrounds, they can pinpoint if your health issues are common like those sustained fromboxingor something rare and critical.
4. Outstanding Bedside Manner
The term “bedside manner” pertains to a doctor’s ability to make their patients comfortable enough to trust them with sensitive and intimate medical information without compromising the honesty of a diagnosis. You want to work with someone with whom you can easily talk to without worrying about them breaching doctor-patient confidentiality. That’s why it’s vital that you schedule an appointment with them in-person to gauge whether you are at ease in their presence.
5. Exceptional Communication Skills
Often, pain, meds, or a combination of both muddles a patient’s thoughts, which makes listening to the doctor’s instructions a challenge. Your orthopedic physician must be able to give you concise directions on what you can do at home and the medication that you should take in. They should be patient enough to listen to you and explain confusing medical jargon.
If you are undergoing surgery, the doctor must be able to give details on the procedure so that you won’t be left in the dark. They should set your expectations on the recovery phase as well.
6. Wonderful Support
Find an orthopedic doctor who will work with you as you strive to recover and bring your hand or wrist to normal functioning. They should act as your professional medical partner and consider your thoughts, feelings, as well as opinions. You’ll be the one who has to go through the procedure and endure the pain that entails getting better, after all.
Most hand and wrist injuries aren’t life-threatening, but you shouldn’t take them lightly as well. They can hamper your way of life and impede your ability to do normal, everyday activities. Look for an orthopedic doctor who has the necessary knowledge and skills gained through credentials and experience to help you recover. You should be comfortable with them and talk to them about the pain you’re going through, as well as how you want the process to go about without difficulty.