Dr. Bolognesi discusses his role as a Duke orthopaedic physician in this Q&A session.
Why did you choose to practice orthopaedic medicine?
I guess I had an interest in surgery from an early age but truly got interested in orthopaedic surgery while playing football in college.
Once I got into medical school, my interest was only strengthened by spending time with great mentors in Duke Orthopaedics.
I quickly realized in residency that I truly enjoyed working with the population of patients that were undergoing hip and knee replacement procedures. Like any surgery, these procedures have associated risks, but the overwhelming majority of patients were afforded such dramatic improvements in their quality of life, reduction of pain, and restoration of function.
That is still the part of my job that I love the most. As orthopaedic surgeons, we can not really say that we are frequently saving lives, but we are, very often, improving lives.
Why did you choose to work at Duke?
I grew up here in Durham and my father worked at Duke for a long time in the Department of Surgery. I have always carried such a deep respect for the department and the hospital.
Sometimes it is easy to lose perspective on how special a place that Duke really is when you live your whole life here.
I always told myself that if I was ever offered the opportunity to work here I would jump at it without question and that is what I did. It means a lot to be able to go to work every day and know that you are surrounded by the very best in so many different fields of medicine.
That always makes me feel really good about delivering the best care for my patients. If there are medical issues that need consultation in the peri-operative period, I know I have the support of a huge network of experts situated right here at Duke University Hospital.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
Seeing people do well as mentioned above, but also working in an environment that allows us to be on the leading edge of innovation and research.
A lot of that is fueled by our mission to educate medical students, residents, and fellows. Only the best and brightest come to Duke to learn, and we have to be thought leaders to provide the level of education that they deserve.
Being in this learning environment prevents us from becoming stagnant and complacent about educating ourselves as well a maximizing our patient outcomes and improving surgical techniques and care delivery.
We know that we are already delivering great care, but we also know there is always room to improve.