Fit Louisville

2013

Greater Louisville Health Guide is a directory and resource guide to health providers and services in Louisville, Kentucky. Includes listings of area doctors and dentists, hospitals, nursing homes and emergency care.

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Brandi Hartley Resident in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Scrubs By Melissa Duley Photos by Amanda Bates Why orthopaedics? As an orthopaedist, you can enable patients to return to their prior activities following injury; you can improve their quality of life. I have always enjoyed the ability to watch patients heal and return to their lives and activities. Nothing is more rewarding. Not many women in orthopaedics, right? The last statistics I have seen say orthopaedics is 11 percent female — therefore, a strongly male-dominated environment. There is a strong push to incorporate and entice more women into the meld, but it does take a certain personality. One must be able to tolerate boys and their antics, meaning there is a signimcant amount of playfulness in the work environment — a strength of orthopaedics, in my opinion. I don't believe strength or capability has ever been an issue for me, but some women defer to alternate melds of medicine/surgery due to this propagated fallacy. Technique is the key, not strength.   They are young, full of promise and ready to go forth into the world and cure what ails us. But Àrst they have to make it through four years of medical school, four to seven years of residency and then up to three years of training for their specialty. Here we probe (with questions) seven University of Louisville medical students and residents on their path. What was your worst day/grossest moment? Recently, we had an unfortunate scenario where a young man was involved in a horrendous motorcycle accident, with a severe traction injury with multiple fractures of the involved extremity, resulting in laceration of two of three blood vessels supplying the foot. An attempt at stabilization and limb salvage was made; however, with a lack of blood supply the foot necrosed and an amputation was inevitable. Unfortunately for this gentleman, he also developed an infection in the leg secondary to the open fractures and necrosis, requiring multiple debridements and surgeries. This was challenging — no orthopaedist ever wants to relay to a patient that his/her limb is not salvageable. We try our best, but sometimes the nature of the injury defeats us. The Long and Winding Road That Leads to an MD How did you do with your Àrst cadaver? The difmculty lies in overcoming the pungent odor of the embalming process. Otherwise, I had a signimcant appreciation to the female who donated her body to my education. It is a gift that I will always recall with great admiration. The cadaver experience further conmrmed my dream of becoming a surgeon. The Àrst and second years: Generally lectures and labs, like gross anatomy (plus second-year students start thinking about a specialty). Third year: Clinical rotation begins. Fourth year: Partly spent interviewing for residencies, with "Match Day" (the day students mnd out where they were accepted for their residencies) taking place in March. Next up: Residencies. Freshly minted doctors will spend the next four to seven years of their lives in their residency program — where they at least now get paid. Bonus round? Some will continue training with a fellowship in their specialty or sub-specialty. Best day? Any day when a patient expresses their appreciation for our services; it makes all the hard work and sacrimce worth every moment. These moments are the cornerstones in a physician's career that keep us motivated to continue learning, participate in research and be better physicians overall. Did med school make you a hypochondriac? No; actually, I am quite the opposite. I tend to assume that all things are common and benign, especially with regard to my health. What specialty would you never do? Oncology. One of the reasons I entered orthopaedics is that my patients rarely die; they heal and improve. As a surgeon, I am an assistant in that process. I personally don't tolerate the death of patients or even relaying bad news. I have a deep admiration for those who enter such melds of medicine. It requires a strength I don't possess. How bad is the med-school sleep deprivation? That has never been a problem for me. Either I have become accustomed to little sleep or it is simply how I am wired. The largest struggle with medical school and residency has been the amount of time sacrimced with family and friends. For most of us, the dream of becoming a physician has driven our lives for many years and becomes our number-one priority; therefore, family and friends must take a backseat. When did you know you wanted to become a doctor? I do recall a meld trip visit to the nearby university during fourth grade where I had the opportunity to physically hold an embalmed human brain. From that point on, I was going to be a surgeon. Orthopaedics came to me after multiple injuries while participating in competitive gymnastics. My orthopaedist was vital to my return to sport; he was the only doctor I looked forward to visiting. What do you do for your own health? I really am an avid fan of CrossFit, a newer workout phenomenon where one utilizes his/her own body weight and plyometrics in repetitive activities to develop not only strength but endurance in a friendly competitive group environment. Many of my colleagues run, which is an excellent method of maintaining health and mtness, in addition to being incredibly accessible. The goal is to mnd some form of activity that is sustainable within your lifestyle and enjoyable to you. There are many different ways to stay healthy; it is up to you to mnd what works for you.

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