What Dr. William Jiranek wants to leave behind — AAHKS President on training, advocacy & driving patient care

Written by Mary Rechtoris | March 30, 2016 | Print  |

Successful healthcare leaders are continually working to educate future generations of surgeons to drive optimal patient outcomes. American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeon's President William Jiranek, MD, is one such leader, striving to educate the next generation of orthopedic surgeons. In March 2016, Dr. Jiranek took office as the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons' 26th president.

"If you ask what my biggest legacy is, it is being involved in the training of orthopedic residents and fellows," Dr. Jiranek says.

 

Dr. Jiranek established the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Accredited Adult Reconstruction Fellowship in 2002, after realizing the orthopedic field needed more surgeons skilled in total hip and knee reconstructive surgery. In 2003, the ACGME capped the physician work-week at 80 hours. "With the mandated 80-hour work week, more and more people felt the need to have specialized training in an area they wanted to practice," said Dr. Jiranek.

 

Each year, surgeons perform nearly 500,000 knee replacements and more than 175,000 hip replacements in the United States, and these numbers will continue to escalate. Amidst tremendous growth, the field is exploding with new innovations, facilitating faster recovery times and less pain for patients.

 

"In joint replacements, there have been tremendous improvements in patient function and managing pain after surgery," Dr. Jiranek says. "We still get hugs every day from people who say their lives have been substantially turned around."

 

Behind these success stories are orthopedic surgeons working to provide their patients with the best care. Dr. Jiranek says orthopedics draws "mechanically minded" physicians, and his goal for AAHKS is to promote advocacy and education to ensure these individuals continue to advance the field.

 

Advocacy
AAHKS aspires to enhance its advocacy and interaction with national payers as well as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration.

 

"There is an incredible amount of scrutiny on the amount of joint replacements and their costs," Dr. Jiranek says. "We have to justify, as a specialty, the incredible impact it has on patients' lives."

 

For payers and policy makers, AAHKS can serve as resource for hip and knee treatments.  Dr. Jiranek explains AAHKS will continue to help develop quality measures which determine how surgeons are doing, as well as developing appropriate use criteria which can determine when a total joint arthroplasty is needed.

 

Education
Dr. Jiranek has served as the chief of adult reconstruction at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for approximately 12 years. Additionally, he was the president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' Orthopaedic Learning Center last year.  Equipped with years of leadership experience, Dr. Jiranek aims to drive education of AAHKS membership and the public as a whole.

 

"AAHKS is putting a lot of energy and resources towards research in best practices" Dr. Jiranek says. "AAHKS can bring coordination of multicenter studies to answer important questions about total joint replacement."

 

Education is crucial as healthcare rapidly changes to meet patient needs. Healthcare is moving forward toward patient-centered care, and orthopedic surgeons starting out could truly benefit from seasoned experts in the field. Dr. Jiranek has two key pieces of advice for orthopedic residents — pick the area of the world you want to live in and develop your practice around it; and subspecialization may be necessary going forward.

 

"The amount of information an orthopedic surgeon needs to know compared to 30 years ago is dramatically different," Dr. Jiranek says. "I think subspecializing has been a bonus for me as a surgeon and it may be a reality going forward."

 

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