In am no longer actively practicing, but I am actively involved in teaching others locally, nationally and internationally. I am a Voluntary Professor of Surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine. I have taught other plastic surgeons who now practice in the United States, Latin America and Europe. I review and publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, serve on the editorial board of five international peer-review journals and am a statistical advisor for the Journal of Hand Surgery (Eur), the world's most widely cited hand surgery journal.
Why is "Surgery" missing from the name?
The reason is my practice philosophy — how I believe that I should practice ethically. Although I am a subspecialist in hand surgery and board certified in plastic surgery, I believe that when I treat hand problems, surgery is the last resort.
I stopped doing cosmetic surgery in the 20th century, and since then I have not had a new patient say, “I am seeing you because I want an operation”. Indeed, the "handful" of times that I remember that happening, the patient had been given the wrong diagnosis elsewhere, improved with simpler treatment and did not need surgery.
Are you a hand doctor or a hand surgeon?
A few years ago, I discussed this philosophy of care in greater detail and explained the historical basis for my beliefs in an essay that I wrote for other hand specialists. Click here to read and download a free copy of “Are we hand doctors or hand surgeons?” that was published in the American volume of the Journal of Hand Surgery. What is the 90/90 Rule?
Based on my experience, I have discovered what I call "The 90/90 rule". Do not confuse it with other 90/90 rules that you can find with Google. It is not just a "rule of thumb" — it also applies to fingers and other parts of the hand.
The 90/90 rule is that 90% of the patients whom I see in a hospital emergency department need surgery while 90% of the patients whom I see in the office do not.
In treating patients with hand conditions, I have found that the overwhelming majority of patients see me for one of two reasons — pain or a lump. Most of the time, neither is a reason for recommending immediate surgery. Rather, both are reasons for doing what physicians have been doing for centuries — making a diagnosis. That is why I prefer to be called a hand doctor rather than a hand surgeon. I believe that it is important to have a diagnosis before recommending treatment and that the treatment may or may not be surgery.
How do I learn more?
Feel free to roam my website. For example, the page called “Common Hand Conditions” from the British Society for Surgery of the Hand has valuable information that you can freely download and print. I am a member of this organization because I share many of its opinions on the diagnosis and treatment of hand problems.
What if I am even more curious? If you want to learn more curious about me or my research, then you can download my curriculum vitae by clicking here. Many of my publications can be freely downloaded as personal reprints without having to subscribe to the journals that published the original work by clicking here.