Andrews Institute Physicians Feel Responsibility to Advance Field of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Through Research Efforts

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GULF BREEZE, Fla. – Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is known for treating patients with the same level of care that professional athletes receive. The driving force behind that care, however, results from the quality and quantity of research that physicians and fellows conduct through the Andrews Research & Education Foundation (AREF).

“Research is important to advance the field,” Roger Ostrander, M.D. said. “Medicine is constantly evolving. There’s always methods to do things better, to help patients more quickly and efficiently, to improve outcomes.”

Dr. Ostrander is one of many physicians at Andrews Institute who works to advance the field of orthopaedics and sports medicine through research. He feels it is both he and his colleague’s responsibility to be at the forefront of advancing the field through research.

“That’s part of our mission statement (at Andrews Institute) to not only take care of patients in the best ways we can, but to also be at the forefront of research to find solutions to the problems we face,” Dr. Ostrander said. “The research we conduct allows us to be leaders in the field and to generate innovative ideas that help the specialty, and ultimately the patient.”

Dr. Ostrander alone was accepted for publication eleven times in 2016. He and his fellow physicians pride themselves on not only providing quality care for patients, but also finding the time to conduct research and advance the field.

“Finding a balance between practice and research can be difficult, I’ll be honest,” said. Dr. Ostrander. “You have to be motivated to do it; you have to deem it important enough to make time to accomplish it.”

While some physicians in an academic setting are allotted time at a university to conduct research, Andrews Institute physicians have to balance seeing patients as well as conducting research.

“We’re a little bit unique in that while we are academic with our fellowship program and our teaching focus, we don’t have dedicated time during the week to devote to research,” said Dr. Ostrander. “I spend the majority of my weekday time taking care of patients and conduct research on nights or weekends. I use my free time doing this because research is very important to me.”

Dr. Ostrander and his colleagues conduct research that advances the field of orthopaedics and sports medicine and has a direct impact on the care patients receive at Andrews Institute.

“If you have a research interest with a topic and you’re able to perform the studies that improve the quality of care again, patients will seek that out,” Dr. Ostrander said. “If we can provide better care and be known as leaders for specific treatments, the patients are going to seek us out and come here for treatment.”

In one research study published in the American Journal of Orthopedics, four Andrews Institute physicians co-authored a research study focused on how specific designs for braces can provide symptomatic relief for osteoarthritis.

“Dr. Chris O’Grady, Dr. Joshua Hackel, Dr. Charlie Roth and I were the authors on that particular research study,” said Dr. Ostrander. “We have collaboration among not only the sport medicine staff but the fellows as well.”

The highly competitive fellowship program and Andrews Institute is run through the AREF. Fellows are required to perform research while during their year at Andrews Institute and will often assist physicians with their respective research.

“Research is an important component of the fellowship program,” Dr. Ostrander said. “Ideally we are educating and training fellows that will ultimately go out into their world and be academic leaders in the field. Their research will contribute to our specialty, helping us all. Important aspects of the fellowship are to learn how to interact with patients and perform research that will be a benefit the specialty as a whole.”

Over the past ten years, AREF has grown to be a research leader in the orthopaedics and sports medicine community. The research conducted at AREF helps grow Andrews Institute and the field of orthopaedics and sports medicine collectively.

“The research we produce is critical for Andrews Institute to continue moving forward. Through our published work, we reach broader audiences and people understand who we are,” said Dr. Ostrander. “Andrews Institute is not just a place to go for knee replacement or a shoulder repair. We are a leading edge place that contributes to the field.”


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