It means that you wanted to be a surgeon so much that you spent most of your youth learning. It means you missed Christmases and birthdays, weekends with friends and families. It means you spent as many nights working as you did sleeping. It means you’re dedicated and well trained.
Have you ever thought about how many years it takes to become a doctor? After high school, twelve years, not including kindergarten, there’s college. That’s another four years. Then there’s medical school – four more years, adding up to twenty years in school so far. But doctors aren’t done with training once they get their M.D. or D.O.
After medical school comes residency, a period of at least three years spent working long hours, caring for patients under the supervision of experienced physicians. The length of a residency varies with the specialty. Family Physicians, Pediatricians and Internists generally spend three years as residents. Surgeons take longer.
A surgical residency usually lasts five to seven years. Teaching the fine skills of surgery takes longer than teaching in non-surgical specialties. For orthopedic surgery, the training is usually five years. Now we’re up to twenty-five years of school and training. But most surgeons are not done yet. If they want to specialize in a particular branch of surgery, they have to spend even more time learning.
A fellowship is generally one year of intensive training in a sub-specialty. A spine surgery fellowship lasts one year. During this year, the trained orthopedic surgeons do nothing but spine surgeries, becoming experts in the field.
A fellowship-trained orthopedic specialist will have gone through twenty-six years of learning. That means he or she is over thirty years old before starting in practice. In addition, most physicians have accrued significant debts, usually due to student loans. They spend many years paying off that debt before they are fiscally stable.
So what does it mean to be a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon? It means that your doctor is an expert in the field and that he or she is determined to provide the best possible results for patients.
In Plano TX, Dr. Stephen Courtney is just such a dedicated expert in spine surgery. Dr. Courtney is board certified, meaning that he has taken and passed the tests given by the American Board of Surgery and has recertified every ten years. He is also fellowship-trained.
Dr. Courtney is well known across the country, well beyond Plano TX, not only for his expertise. Spending time in research, he has nine patents on products related to spine surgery. He has been recognized as a ‘Best Doctor’ by numerous magazines and organizations.
If you are experiencing back pain and have been told you need spine surgery, contact Dr. Courtney’s office in Plano TX, 972-499-5457. Call today.