Dr. O'Malley discusses his role as a Duke orthopaedic physician in this Q&A session.
Why did you choose to practice orthopaedic medicine?
As one of only a handful of third generation orthopaedic surgeons in the country, I grew up hearing my dad and grandfather "talk shop" on orthopaedics, and I was intrigued from an early age.
I was always that kid who tinkered with things, and tried to figure out the mechanics, physics, and engineering behind making things work. I enjoy working in a medical field with ever-changing techniques, improvements, and advancements in treating our patients. But moreover, I enjoy the significant impact that good orthopaedic care can make on a patient's life.
The practice of orthopaedics allows me to actually fix physical problems in ways that are sometimes life-altering. When I replace a patient's crippling arthritic knee, I am not just relieving a source of pain, but I am also helping to restore that patient's ability to return to life with function, activity, and independence. I hear back from patients all the time who are excited again about life because of something as simple as a joint replacement.
That positive feedback confirms my decision to practice orthopaedics.
Why did you choose to work at Duke?
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and I practiced orthopedic medicine in Pittsburgh for over 13 years.
In 2008, I moved to Raleigh, NC to work with Duke as Duke Orthopedics expanded its services in the Wake County area. I have always admired the Duke Department of Orthopaedics' physicians and teachers for their significant contributions to the field of orthopaedics throughout the years, and I was excited to be a part of the Duke Orthopaedics team.
Raleigh and Wake County is a wonderful community that is fortunate to have easy access to all of Duke's specialty care services, whether at the Duke University institution, or at local Duke specialty offices, such as Duke Orthopaedics of Raleigh.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
There is no doubt that the best part of my job is the "thank you" that I get from patients every day for the positive results after their surgical procedures. Those couple of words make all the hard work and endless days worth it.