We continue our physician blog series with an informal Q&A with Thomas Shriwise, M.D., a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who joined our practice in 2003.
Dr. Shriwise, please tell our readers a little about yourself and your background.
I grew up on my family’s farm in southwestern Kansas. I earned my undergraduate degree at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., before moving on to the University of Kansas School of Medicine for my medical degree. I completed my residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, as well as a fellowship in Arthroscopic and Reconstructive Sports Medicine at the University of Toronto’s Orthopaedic & Arthritic Hospital in Canada.
Before joining Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics, I practiced solo for 16 years in Atchison, so I have been practicing orthopedic surgery for over 30 years. I’m on my third, 10 year board certification period currently. I am certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and I hold a Subspecialty Certificate in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. I am also a member of the American Academy for Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association Medical Honor Society, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and Kansas Orthopaedic Society.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery?
Growing up on a farm, my brothers and I experienced our fair share of orthopedic injuries. In college, I injured one of my knees playing football, and a few years later I injured the other knee during a snow skiing accident. I went to medical school and learned about the various subspecialties of surgery, and I found orthopedics to be the most interesting.
As an orthopedic surgeon, what are your subspecialized areas of expertise?
In addition to general orthopedics, my primary focus is on sports medicine, and I particularly enjoy performing partial knee replacement surgery and rotator cuff repair.
Tell us about your sports medicine background.
I enjoy sports medicine because it allows me to treat a variety of injuries and help patients get back to the activities they enjoy — whether they are on the track, the field or the basketball court.
As I mentioned earlier, I completed a sports medicine fellowship at the University of Toronto. There, I trained under the direction of Bob Jackson — who first brought arthroscopy to North America from Japan — and Peter James, an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in arthroscopic knee surgery. I later developed my skills for arthroscopic shoulder procedures when I was in practice in Atchison.
Describe your approach to treating patients.
I believe physical activity plays an important role in everyone’s mental and emotional well-being, as well as their physical health. As such, I try to help my patients remain active, whether that’s through orthopedic surgery, physical therapy modalities or home therapy programs. My primary goal is to keep people active and living healthy lifestyles.
Do you coordinate care with other healthcare professionals?
Primary care physicians and interventional physiatrists refer patients to me when orthopedic surgery is determined to be the right course of treatment — and I often refer patients to them if I do not feel surgery is necessary. In addition, I work with physical therapists who help my patients regain optimal mobility and range of motion following orthopedic surgery.
Do you treat workers’ compensation patients?
While a majority of my practice is focused on treating sports medicine injuries, I also treat workers’ compensation patients. Like athletes, employees can often experience injuries to the shoulders and knees, including rotator cuff injuries, torn ACLs and meniscus tears. These patients are typically referred to me by case managers, adjusters and employers who want to see patients return to work as quickly as possible — much like athletes who need to return to their sports safely and efficiently. It is my job to make sure that happens.
What do you like to do for fun?
My wife and I often volunteer to provide medical care in underserved areas like Honduras and other parts of the world. We also enjoy traveling to Canada to visit her family whenever possible.
If you are a referring physician, case manager, patient or caregiver in need of more in-depth information about Dr. Shriwise or the procedures he performs, please contact Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics.