Friday, January 23, 2009

What qualifies surgeon to be specialist in orthopedic oncology?

I return to one of my favorite topics - how the heck is orthopedic surgeon Chris Dangles, MD still practicing medicine at Carle Clinic Association after inter alia (1) admitting under oath that he does not know why he performed surgery on me; and
(2) insulting the citizens of Danville, Illinois at a hearing on health care (Dangles: "What do you call 5 Danville, IL residents in one room? A full set of teeth!")

In 2000, Chris J. Dangles, MD was described to me by Carle Clinic Association (Urbana, Illinois) orthopedic surgeon/sports medicine physician Robert Gurtler, MD as the "ankle guy" at Carle Clinic.

And, I allowed Dr. Chris Dangles to convince me that Dr. Gurtler was unknowledgable about ankles. I allowed Dr. Dangles to convince me to undergo ankle reconstruction to "tighten" uninjured ankle ligaments. It is 2009 and I cannot walk without pain and the assistance of multiple braces.

I remember how I failed as my own advocate every time I try to push my dad in a wheelchair or help dad transfer from a bed-side commode to a chair.

Thanks Dr. Chris Dangles for changing my life and my dad's life. It pains my father to see me in such pain as I devote my life to his care.

Now I notice on the Carle Clinic Association (Urbana, IL) web-site that Dr. Chris Dangles has a clinical or research interest in "orthopedic oncology." Huh? What happened to his status as the "foot guy"?

I am a cancer patient. My dad is a cancer patient. And I know for a fact that if my phenomenal oncologist (William Gradishar, MD at NWU) or my dad's phenomenal oncologist (Michale Morse, MD at Duke University) indicated that either of our cancers had spread to the bone, we would (without hesitation) treat with the whatever orthopedic oncologist our oncologists' recommended.

But now I think about Dr. Chris Dangles. And I begin to wonder why Dr. Dangles is now interested in orthopedic oncology. Moreover, what makes Dr. Dangles qualified to treat cancer patients with either primary or metastasized bone cancers?

There is nothing wrong with asking about your physician's qualifications. You have every right to know what qualifies your physician or surgeon to treat you.

1. Has your physician taken numerous classes?
2. Has your physician taught classes?
3. Has your physician spoken to professional organizations?
4. Has your physician been published in peer reviewed literature?
5. Has your physician undergone residencies or fellowships in the sub-specialty?

Ask. Ask questions. And, for pity sake, if your orthopedic oncologist is Carle Clinic Association's Chris Dangles, MD - ask for a copy of his cv.

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