Last year, JBJS expanded its popular “What’s Important” article series to include personal essays on what’s important to orthopaedic patients. Since its launch, the Patient Perspective series has included essays spanning a variety of topics—from what it’s like experiencing claustrophobia during an MRI for a shoulder injury, to confronting age-related bias in knee care, to learning to play the role of a “recovery partner” for a spouse following rotator cuff surgery. The importance of communication, compassion, and empathy have stood out among themes of these patient-focused essays.
In the recently published “What’s Important: A Resilience Found in Running,” author Louise A. Atadja, BA shares her personal story as a longtime athlete who persevered despite the painful challenges of hip dysplasia and femoroacetabular impingement, and who went from orthopaedic patient to medical student inspired to become an orthopaedic surgeon.
In her essay, she writes,
I would not have been able to get through this recovery without my family, coaches, and close friends, whose support kept me smiling through difficult days. I’m also grateful for the multidisciplinary team that was unwilling to give up on me. … In an age in which medicine is becoming more impersonal, I strongly encourage physicians to continue to find ways to truly connect with patients and not to overlook the whole person in their care.”
Members of the orthopaedic community are invited to work with patients to submit an essay offering their insights, or to share their own experience “walking in the shoes” of a patient. Manuscripts can be submitted here, and additional guidance on submitting an article can be found at our Instructions for Authors. We remain inspired by the words of wisdom shared in the series to date.