Doctors’ Bad Rap
Dr. Zuckerman is chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases and the Walter A.L. Thompson professor of orthopaedic surgery at the NYU School of Medicine. He was also elected the 2009 President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
A graduate of Cornell University in New York and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Zuckerman completed his internship and residency at the University of Washington and a fellowship at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in addition to duties as a visiting clinician in shoulder surgery at the Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Zuckerman is recognized internationally as an expert in shoulder surgery and hip and knee replacement. Dr. Zuckerman has served as President of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and has published over 250 scientific articles. The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) presented Dr. Zuckerman with its Clinical Research Award in 2002 and he has also received the “Teacher of the Year” Award on five separate occasions from the residents at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases.
Question: What would say to someone who doesn’t like doctors?
Joseph Zuckerman: You know, I think that there's an expression I think, my father used to use this, "One swallow does not a summer make," or spring, or something like that. I guess there's maybe a million physicians in this country and like any other group, not everyone may function in the same way or may be a shining star. There are probably some exceptions to that like there is in any other profession, but you don't want to judge the whole profession by that because I think for the most part, the vast majority, 90% or 95% plus of the physicians in this country are out there taking care of patients, trying to make their lives better. Right? There are probably some exceptions out there, absolutely. Right, like any other profession, but this is a healing profession, this is where you take care of people and try to make them better. As I said, that is a very powerful thing. And if you maximize the opportunity, as I said, from the time you walk in the door to the time you leave, from the time you show up in the Emergency Room to see a patient until you finished taking care of them, that's the opportunity. That's the opportunity to have patients recognize the value of what physicians do, the importance of what we do, and to cement that patient-physician relationship which is so important, which is really the foundation, I think, the foundation of medical care. Not only here, but anywhere.
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