Orthopaedic surgeon Paul Plank enjoys the quick results and patient satisfaction that comes from choosing a “joyful specialty”.
“I can have a patient with a fractured femur from a car accident, insert a titanium rod, and three hours later they will wake up and be able to use their leg,” he said.
“With a hip or knee replacement, people come to me in a lot of pain, but a few hours after surgery they are already on the mend.
“I can see results quickly; there is no ‘let’s try this and see how it goes’. I’m not dealing with terrible news – orthapaedics is a joyful specialty.
“I’m not saving lives, but I am helping people make their lives better and for that I get a lot of thanks and satisfaction.
“I also get to use a lot of fancy tools.”
Mr Plank’s office is in Ballarat but he has done private consultations across regional Victoria, and patients can now make appointments to meet him at the sessional consulting suites at the Epworth Geelong private hospital.
He also has ties to the Surf Coast, recently buying a house here.
Mr Plank specialises in hip, knee and shoulder surgery, and his sub-speciality interests include joint replacements, arthroscopy and reconstructions.
He attended medical school at the University of Melbourne and completed advanced surgical training in Sydney.
Mr Plank said orthapaedic surgeons typically went overseas for a year after they had finished their training so they could work at a “fancy” hospital with a subspecialty.
“I sub-specialised in hip, knee and shoulder pathology.
“Each year, one graduate from Australia and one from New Zealand are chosen to attend Harvard Medical School in Boston and I was honoured to be the Australian chosen in my year.”
He completed the Arthroplasty Fellowship at Harvard in 2005 and returned to Australia, which where he started working at St John of God in Ballarat.
Mr Plank has published articles in his sub-specialty areas, maintains a keen interest in student teaching, and is a member of the Australian Orthopaedic Association.
To contact Mr Plank, phone 5331 7621.