BCOS Diplomate Manny Konstantakos, MD, Explains What It’s Like to Specialize in Orthopedic Surgery

Manny Konstantakos, MDSince I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with the musculoskeletal system, and I have always played sports, weight-trained, or worked with my hands, so orthopedic surgery was a natural fit for me. I did my orthopedic residency at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and graduated in 2012. And, upon completion of my sports medicine fellowship at the University of Chicago, I became board certified in orthopedic surgery through the Board of Certification in Orthopedic Surgery (BCOS), a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS).

Working as an orthopedic surgeon almost feels like performing my hobby on a daily basis! I remember how happy, positive, and upbeat my orthopedic mentors were when I was a medical student at Case Western Reserve University, and to this very day, I share that feeling. What I like most about practicing orthopedic surgery and sports medicine is being able to see my surgical results almost instantly and seeing just how happy my patients are once they begin resuming the activities they enjoyed before their injury occurred.

The biggest challenges of working as an orthopedic surgeon are the same that other medical professionals encounter, regardless of their field—burdensome health care costs and the false information that patients can obtain, whether over the internet or by talking to someone who “had the same exact surgery.”

One of my most memorable experiences as an orthopedic surgeon was in my role as a sports medicine specialist. A top competitor in the Spartan Cross Fit games had suffered an athletic injury and was told by other physicians that his athletic career was over. After examining him and studying his X-rays and MRI results, I was confident that I could help. So, I performed surgery, and not only did he recover from his injury, but he went on to win the games! As the ancient Greek saying goes: Spartans prove themselves through actions, not words!

If I could offer advice to an orthopedic surgeon in training, I would say, first and foremost, learn as much as you can from every rotation and ask your attending physicians as many questions as possible. Also, learn to listen to your patients! It’s amazing how much just a bit more information from patients—mechanism of injury, for example—can help with prepping for surgery as well as physical therapy and rehabilitation. All it takes is a few more minutes of listening during the pre-op history and physical.

It’s also important that orthopedic residents keep an open mind about choosing a specialty, as they’ll always be involved in general orthopedics, especially during the early years of practice. Additionally, residents should know that there is a well-established certifying board that administers both written and oral board exams—the ABPS. The best part is, the ABPS is very fair and their testing process is recognized throughout America. I would advise all orthopedic residents to take their board exams with the ABPS. They’ll be glad they did!

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When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine