Adult Orthopedics Vs. Pediatric Orthopedics
By: Hilton Gottschalk, MD, FAAOS
"It takes a certain person to work with children, to work with parents as that parent comes in with their child either injured or with a genetic condition and being able to just empathize and sometimes in my case sympathize with that parent and with that kid and what it's like being afraid of the doctor.
Why Pediatric Orthopedics?
The whole reason I became a doctor was because I did not enjoy my doctor experience as a child. I think the biggest differences between a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and a regular doctor or an adult doctor really comes down to a few things.
It comes down to the environment; it comes down to how we engage with you and your child, how do we make your child feel more comfortable and less anxious.
It comes down to training. This is what we do. This is what we've trained for. We've spent many years in medical school, residency and even an additional fellowship for a whole year totally focused on pediatrics and orthopedics and what makes kids different. Their growth plates-- the way their muscles are designed -- the way that they respond to the injury or to an infection, to a deformity.
I have hip surgeons, spine surgeons, hand surgeons, sports medicine doctors. I have a foot and ankle sub-specialist and many more sub-specializations at CTPO. It just goes to tell you that there's so much more to dealing with kids and their injuries and their broken bones. Even in our little world there's so much more to it, but it's about engaging with that child and making that child feel like you're actually seeing them and you're hearing what they're saying, and then better yet they're gonna feel comfortable and trust that what you're doing for them is the right thing
The Best Part of Working in Pediatric Orthopedics
Every single one of my docs that I work with her-- they care and we all wake up every morning and our number one goal is to take great care of kids. If I can't find out how to fix your child or if I can't find out the best way to treat your child I will go to whatever it takes to figure out how to get your kid taken care of. If the role that I need to play is getting you connected with somebody else who can help then that's the best role that I play.
I absolutely love what I do and I wake up every morning so thankful that I get to do this job it is where I was meant to be my job is to take the best care of your kid, period."
About Dr. Hilton Gottschalk
Dr. Hilton Gottschalk is a Board-Certified Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and is President and CEO of Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedics.
Dr. Gottschalk attended Texas A&M University, followed by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He completed residency in Orthopedic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, along with Senior Registrar Orthopedics at Norfolk & Norwich University. He also completed a Pediatric Orthopedic and Scoliosis Fellowship at Rady Children’s Hospital, along with a Hand Fellowship (Pediatric and Adult) at Loyola University. He resides in Austin with his wife and two children and is a Dell Medical School Compassion and Character Award recipient.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Gottschalk.