Why I Became a Doctor: Hany Elrashidy, MD

Northwestern Medicine
News May 09, 2013
Every Thursday we will feature a Q&A  with a physician from our Northwestern Medicine Glenview Outpatient Center. Here’s your opportunity to get to know a little more about the doctors! Let us know if you have a physician that you would like to see featured by emailing nmnews@nmh.org

Name: Hany Elrashidy, MD
Hany Elrashidy, MD
Specialty: Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine

Why did you choose your specialty?

I chose orthopaedic surgery early on, in high school, when I was exposed to injuries like ACL tears and shoulder dislocations during high school football. I also remember watching a video of my mom’s knee arthroscopy and being fascinated. In medical school, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to some of the pioneers in cartilage restoration and I knew then, that sports medicine was the path for me.

As we get more and more skilled with arthroscopic procedures (minimally invasive surgical techniques using small incisions, a specially-designed camera, and specific instrumentation), it’s very rewarding to see the improvements in recovery and pain relief for my patients.

How long have you been in practice? 2.5 years

What do you like most about being a physician?

I love the variety that the field of medicine allows for, from day to day. I’ll spend one day seeing patients in clinic and talking with them and their family about an injury and the treatment plan. It’s very rewarding to build relationships here with patients, physical therapists, and physicians in other disciplines. The very next day, I may spend a full day in the operating room, working with a talented team of anesthesiologists, nurses, and surgical assistants, to rebuild ligaments and repair torn cartilage or tendons. Every day, we get to work in an incredibly exciting and optimistic multi-disciplinary setting, where everyone shares the common goal of improving an individual’s function and quality of life.

What types of patients and conditions do you treat?

I treat injuries involving the cartilage, ligaments, and tendons of the body, with a focus on the shoulder and knee. In the knee, this includes a wide spectrum of injury, from ACL and meniscal tears to cartilage damage, which may require repair, regeneration techniques, and cartilage transplantation. In the shoulder, this includes rotator cuff and cartilage repairs, shoulder stabilization surgery as well as shoulder replacement.

There is a huge aspect of sports medicine that successfully treats common overuse injuries in active individuals, such as runner’s knee, tennis/golfer’s elbow, and shoulder impingement, without the need for surgery. These conditions are often reliably managed with conservative modalities such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication.

The field of sports medicine involves working with patients of any age or activity level, with the common goal of helping someone get back to the activities they enjoy. This can be the professional athlete, the weekend warrior, the high school freshman or the retired teacher hoping to enjoy a hiking trip with his/her family. It’s all about improving an individual’s function, so that they can maintain a level of activity that they strive for.

What is your philosophy for practicing medicine?

Orthopaedic surgery, and medicine in general, is a lifelong pursuit. It requires continuous learning, research and innovation, the goal to give each patient the very best that modern medicine can offer. I try to bring this innovative, evidence-based approach to each patient I treat and I always strive to do this in an empathetic and compassionate manner. It’s important to treat each patient as if they were a close friend or family member.

What do you think your patients should know about you?

My primary goal, in any setting, is to be a good listener. Often times, the only treatment required is giving the time to listen, empathize and reassure. Although we are surgeons, it’s important to realize that often, the most successful treatment for a sports injury is a non-operative program to get them back to the activities they enjoy. This includes PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation), anti-inflammatory medication, and injury-specific rehabilitation. It also involves a renewed dedication to injury prevention. A great example here, are the ACL injury-prevention programs being implemented across the country. By teaching adolescent athletes to train/stretch specific muscle groups, the biomechanics of landing properly, and increasing awareness of effective preseason preparation, we are successfully preventing ACL injury, allowing athletes to enjoy their seasons injury-free. There is no better and more satisfying treatment than prevention.

To make an appointment with Dr. Elrashidy, or another Northwestern Medicine Glenview Outpatient Center physician, call 847.724.4536.