Orthopedic surgeon William Fondren says patients often feel as if they’re in a world of their own.
“A lot of them feel as though they’re stuck in the middle of a big, complicated process, or in a completely different environment, with very little support,” he said.
“It’s not a bad place to be in.”
Fondrene is a former associate professor at the University of Ottawa and a former director of the Centre for Excellence in Orthopaedics at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.
He co-founded the First State Orthopedics Group, which has offices in London and Vancouver.
Fondne says orthopedists are well-versed in the complex, and that many patients are overwhelmed by their own anxiety.
“We know that many people are not getting the right care they need and the right treatment, because they have not been supported to be able to think about their own care,” Fondene said.
Some patients will feel that they have to wait indefinitely for a diagnosis, and others may feel overwhelmed and trapped by the uncertainty.
Fonda said orthopedes need to get involved in the patient-first, patient-focused conversation.
“One of the things I would say to patients is that there is a real lack of awareness about what is going on with their health and what their care is,” he added.
“What are we really doing in the clinic?
What is the protocol for what’s going on?
We need to start doing that.”
Orthopedists need to help patients understand that there are multiple levels of care available, Fonden said.
He also believes the focus should be on improving the quality of care rather than just the quantity.
“The quality of our care is paramount,” he concluded.