How Passion, Precision, Patience, and Persistence lead to Perfection in Joint Replacement Surgery and Golf

How Passion, Precision, Patience, and Persistence lead to Perfection in Joint Replacement Surgery and Golf 1024 535 Phoenix Spine & Joint

Doctors often find inspiration outside of medicine. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in total hip and knee replacement surgery, mine comes from golf. And there is good reason for that. The values that lead to success are the same on the course and in the operating room: passion, precision, patience, and persistent and total dedication are required to achieve excellence. Let me explain.

By Brandon Gough, MD

A Game of Precision:

From club selection to regular practice sessions, golf is a sport that demands meticulous precision and attention to detail. The ability to strike a small, stationary ball with a club, guiding it towards a distant target, requires a delicate touch and unwavering focus.

Similarly, total hip and knee replacement surgery demands precision. I use a robotic assistant for all my total knee replacement surgeries because it allows me to make cuts that are 400% more accurate than anyone can do by hand. Attention to details like the choice of materials in implant construct really matters. The implants I place need to last decades, not years.

In general, precision in orthopedic surgery is of paramount importance. The placement of implants, the alignment of bones, and the balancing of ligaments must be executed with meticulous care to ensure optimal outcomes. Like lining up a perfect putt on the green, every decision I make during surgery impacts the overall result. By honing my skills on the golf course, I have developed a heightened sense of precision in the operating room. The steady hand and focused mindset required to achieve success on the fairway have become valuable assets within the sterile environment of the operating theater. The strategies I have learned after years of medical training are no different.

Patience and Persistence:

Golf, often considered a game of patience, has taught me invaluable lessons in perseverance and persistence. In a sport where success is measured by strokes over an entire round, setbacks and challenges are inevitable. Each missed putt or errant shot presents an opportunity for introspection, growth, and refinement of technique. This same mindset has translated seamlessly into my orthopedic practice.

They call it the ‘practice’ of medicine, but for my patients it needs to be perfect. Every time. In total hip and knee replacement surgery, setbacks are common. The game of golf has taught me to embrace the process, to learn from mistakes, and to persistently strive for improvement, even in the face of adversity.

Patient-Centered Approach:

While I usually play with friends, in a way golf is a solitary sport. Each player competes against their own abilities and the challenges presented by the course. Similarly, orthopedic surgery is a deeply personal endeavor that places the patient at the center of the care journey. Through my passion for golf, I have cultivated a heightened understanding of the individual needs, desires, and aspirations of my patients.

In addition, every player has a unique swing, style, and approach. Similarly, each patient undergoing total hip or knee replacement surgery is different. My experiences on the golf course have taught me to observe, listen, and adapt to each person’s specific requirements. This patient-centered approach ensures that I tailor my surgical technique, implant selection, and post-operative care to maximize each patient’s outcomes and satisfaction.

My enduring love for golf has transformed the way I practice total hip and knee replacement surgery. The precision demanded on the golf course has become an intrinsic part of my surgical technique, while the lessons in patience and persistence have fortified my commitment to delivering the best possible care to my patients. The journey of achieving perfection for my patients with orthopedic surgery has been a challenging one, but I would not trade it for anything in the world. Not even golf.

Dr. Brandon Gough, MD orthopedic surgeon specializes in minimally invasive joint replacement surgery