A Conversation with Dr. Marc Swiontkowski, Editor-in-Chief of JBJS

JBJS welcomes Dr. Marc Swiontkowski as our new Editor-in-Chief.  Dr. Swiontkowski is a trauma specialist and professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is also the former CEO of TRIA Orthopaedics and past president of the American Orthopaedic Association and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association.

We are excited to work with Dr. Swiontkowski to continue strengthening JBJS as it supports the practice of orthopaedics and musculoskeletal health for everyone.

As Dr. Swiontkowski works with our departing Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Vern Tolo, during this transition, he was gracious enough to answer a few questions for OrthoBuzz.

JBJS: As you transition into the role of Editor-in-Chief at JBJS, what are you most excited about?

Dr. Swiontkowski: The opportunity to work with a highly talented group of editors and authors to influence the course of musculoskeletal medicine and surgery is what excites me the most.

JBJS: What are your goals for JBJS?

Dr. Swiontkowski: I hope to maintain our excellence in peer review while innovating in new ways to deliver information to surgeons in ways that are most useful for clinical decision making.

JBJS: As JBJS celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, how would you describe the impact the Journal has had on orthopaedics?

Dr. Swiontkowski: JBJS has been at the forefront of all the important developments in the field, and those developments have directly impacted patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

JBJS: How do you think JBJS can best support orthopaedics going forward?

Dr. Swiontkowski: In the future, JBJS will continue to support and recognize our highly skilled panel of reviewers, while developing new mechanisms for educating and delivering highly refined information to surgeons.

JBJS: You helped found and have served as the CEO of TRIA Orthopaedics, a full-service outpatient orthopaedic center in Bloomington, MN. What have you learned about community orthopaedics as a result of starting and growing that practice?

Dr. Swiontkowski: Community surgeons are interested in access to the highest quality scientific information to support their clinical decision making. They are also willing to contribute to new-knowledge development if the process is well refined with appropriate support.

JBJS: What trends in orthopaedics are you most intrigued by?

Dr. Swiontkowski: Four trends come to mind:

  • The move away from general hospital-based care.
  • The move toward patient-oriented functional outcomes to evaluate the results of care
  • The openness to consider better ways to identify patients most likely to benefit from a particular treatment….and
  • The move away from incremental implant design improvements toward understanding surgeon factors that have the greatest impact on patient results.

JBJS: Looking ahead to the next 20 years or so, what three significant advances or changes in orthopaedics do you foresee?

Dr. Swiontkowski: I think we’ll see the following changes:

  • The full transition to milestone-based surgeon education
  • The ability to identify patient and surgeon characteristics that have the biggest impact on outcomes for use in shared decision making processes
  • The move away from general hospital-based care toward musculoskeletal treatment centers.

JBJS: What is your favorite thing about your profession?

Dr. Swiontkowski: It’s incredibly fulfilling to be completely trusted by patients to act in their best interest with the use of very powerful orthopaedic interventions.


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