What I’ve learned from Dr. James Andrews

One of the most influential people in my career has no doubt been Dr. James Andrews.

Many know Dr. Andrews as one of the most prolific and acclaimed orthopedic surgeons of our generation. Heck, he’s been named the Most Influential Man in Sports, which is pretty impressive for someone on the medical side of sports.

But I’m pretty fortunate to know Dr. Andrews as a friend and mentor, someone that has shaped my clinical skills, my work ethic, and my entire career.

I spent nearly 10 years working directly with Dr. Andrews, from a research assistant at ASMI to a PT clinical student to a Sports Physical Therapy Fellow, and finally to a member of his sports medicine team in Birmingham. I’m also fortunate to continue to conduct research, speak at conferences, and collaborate on patient care with Dr. Andrews.

While I’ve learned countless lessons from Dr. Andrews, I spent the day with him recently at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting where we both spoke together in an education session, and later that evening Dr. Andrews was honored with the Sports Section’s most prestigious award.

Dr Kevin Wilk, Dr Mike Reinold, Dr. Rafael Escamilla, Dr Kyle Yamashiro and Dr James Andrews in New Orleans this year at CSM speaking about Neuromuscular Training to decrease injury risk.

4 Great Quotes from Dr. James Andrews

During his presentation in our educational session, he showed one slide towards the end with four amazing quotes that I just had to share.

  • If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you are not really doing much today.
  • I don’t ever want to be the maker of the big statement, it may come back to haunt you.
  • In medicine, there’s no such thing as always and never.
  • I’m still listening and learning.

Dr. James Andrews’ 9 Keys to Patient Care

Later that evening, Kevin Wilk had the honor of introducing Dr. Andrews during the awards ceremony. As part of Kevin’s presentation, he shared Dr. Andrews’ Patient Philosophy.

These 9 keys to patient care are something Dr. Andrews has followed his entire career. To this day, he continues to carry these with him on a little card in his wallet.

  1. Listen to the Patient
  2. One Must Always be Able to “Read the Patient”
  3. The Patient is Always Right
  4. Make the Patient Feel They Were Treated Properly by Their Previous Physician
  5. Do Not Say Anything About Another Person
  6. Do Not Be the First Person to Make the BIG Statement
  7. Always Be Open-Minded
  8. Attitude, Responsibility, Knowledge, Desire, and Availability are Always Necessary to be Successful
  9. The Physician Must Be Confident with Their Diagnosis and Skills. Their Confidence is Reflected Back and Perceived by the Patient

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