Published: Nov. 11, 2010
Updated: Nov. 11, 2010
What is an orthopaedic traumatologist?
An orthopaedic surgeon who has an interest in the management of complex fractures -- as well as multiple fractures -- is called an orthopaedic traumatologist.
Do Dr. Olson or Dr. Zura take care of every patient with a fracture at Duke University Medical Center?
No. Dr. Olson and Dr. Zura cannot be available at all times. More than 20 different orthopaedic surgeons take turns being available, or on-call, at night or on weekends to manage patients with musculoskeletal injuries.
However, the majority of patients with significant musculoskeletal injuries will be referred to either Dr. Olson or Dr. Zura for definitive treatment of their fractures.
Why are residents involved in my care?
The care and treatment of a person with injuries to the musculoskeletal system is very time consuming. A resident is a physician who has completed medical school and is in a post-graduate training program. These physicians are essential to maintaining your care while you are in the hospital.
Dr. Olson, Dr. Zura, or one of their partners will determine your overall plan of care. While the overall pan of care is never determined by the resident alone, the residents do play a major role in seeing that this plan of care is implemented correctly.
An orthopaedic fellow is a physician who has completed his or her residency in orthopaedic surgery and has elected to pursue additional training in the field of orthopaedic trauma. Typically, fellowships involve an additional year of training. The trauma fellow is a physician who develops and implements treatment plans for patients. This is always done in consultation with Dr. Olson or Dr. Zura.
Will my surgery be performed by a resident physician?
Our goal is to provide the highest quality care for our patients. With this in mind, resident physicians are frequently involved in surgical procedures. The extent of their involvement is determined by the attending surgeon.
Duke University Hospital policy states that the attending physician must be present for all critical portions of any surgical procedure. Resident participation in surgical procedures is supervised by the attending (faculty) surgeon. If you have further questions, please discuss them with your surgeon.
Why are so many doctors involved in my care?
It can seem like there are an overwhelming number of doctors looking after you. This is particularly true in the first days after hospital admission.
Patients who sustain injuries in a motor vehicle collision or through other high-energy mechanisms frequently have more than just musculoskeletal injuries. In these cases there are other teams of physicians involved as well, including our general surgery physicians, who manage serious injuries to the chest, abdomen, and blood vessels. Our neurosurgery colleagues are involved when a patient has sustained injuries to the brain or spinal cord.
Even with multiple teams there is always one team that is the “primary service” team. The primary service physicians deal with the day-to-day issues of patient care. This includes pain medication, diet, and activity status. The other physicians are considered consultants to the primary service with regard to an individual patient’s care.
Why are there occasionally delays in the Orthopaedic Trauma clinic?
Despite our best efforts to stay on time with our clinic appointment schedule, delays occur. There are many reasons for this, such as:
Your patience is appreciated in this process. Please let our clinic staff know if you have unique time constraints for your clinic visit, and we will try to accommodate them.
What do I do when I have a question about my medications or refills?
Call our office at 919-668-3000. During normal work hours, our office staff will be available to speak to you or return your call promptly.
After hours you may leave a message that will be returned during normal work hours the next weekday.
We encourage our patients to pay attention to the type and amount of pain medication they are using. Be proactive and call our office for a refill before your current supply runs out. Please do not call the orthopaedic resident on call for pain-medication refills.