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Brian Cole, MD, MBA, orthopedic surgeon at Chicago-based Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and Chicago Bulls’ team physician, “took off his scrubs” to deliver an insightful presentation about the multitude of contemporary options to treat patients with orthopedic injuries. His TEDx Talk presentation is titled, “Sparing the Scalpel: A Surgeon’s Perspective on the Future of Orthopedics.”

“In the end, the only thing that matters is to get that athlete, or the individual, back to an active state in a timely fashion, and to prevent re-injury,” Dr. Cole said. “That’s really the crux of what we do every single day.”

Here are six presentation highlights.

1. Medical approach. The late pediatrician Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD, proposed an idea that has stuck with Dr. Cole throughout his career — tests are often over-utilized in medicine. Guided by Dr. Dr. Mendelsohn’s concepts, Dr. Cole has ensured he focuses on treating the patient, not the X-ray or the MRI.

“Role models are a lot like life’s buffet. We can meet lots and lots of people and take bits and pieces of each of them and that’s a lot of how we evolve over time,” said Dr. Cole.

2. Pain. Pain is subjective, and even if it’s not life threatening, it can severely impact an individual’s life.

“We try to never place value judgments on what people are looking for,” said Dr. Cole. “We are dealing with patients who are generally healthy, but would like to have restored function.”

Associated with pain is function, and that’s where Dr. Cole enters the picture, helping patients restore function.

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