How did you get involved in orthopaedics and joint replacement, specifically?
I became interested in hip and knee arthroplasty because of the positive impact these procedures have on patients’ lives. Helping a limping patient with severe pain through total joint replacement, rehabilitation and, finally, to a painless functional joint, is extremely rewarding to me.
What do you like best about your line of work?
Hip and knee arthroplasty provides an ideal balance between patient care and surgical expertise. It is inspiring to see what we can achieve—the patient satisfaction and functional joint improvement—by interacting with patients in the clinic and utilizing various surgical techniques to help improve patient outcomes.
What inspires you daily?
My faith, creativity, and dedication to problem-solving inspire me to help create a better life for others.
What are the latest developments/innovations in your field?
I feel the future holds navigated and robotic assisted surgery as well as custom made 3D printed arthroplasty applications. In addition, new joint preservation modalities with improved bio pharmaceutical and stem cell applications will be utilized. These developments will help patients avoid surgery or allow for longer implant survival when surgery is needed. The number of outpatient procedures will also increase with improved post-operative care and faster recovery.
How has your life experience made you successful in your field today?
My experience has taught me that keeping an open mind, being eager to learn, and improving in my field is essential to success. If my mind is open and empty of preconceptions, I am more inquisitive, receptive to whatever arises, and ready to engage. This helps me in my professional and personal life to adjust and adapt to new challenges.
Slif Ulrich, MD, orthopaedic surgeon