Q&A With Dr. Robert J. Zehr, Founder of Zehr Center for Orthopaedics in Naples, FLWritten by Rob Kurtz | May 26, 2010
Robert J. Zehr, MD, founder of the Zehr Center for Orthopaedics in Naples, Fla., was named to Gulfshore Life Magazine's list of "Top Doctors" in Southwest Florida, to be published in the magazine's June 2010 issue.
Q: This is the sixth consecutive year you have been named to Gulfshore Life Magazine's list of "Top Doctors" in Southwest Florida. To what do you attribute your ongoing success?
Dr. Robert J. Zehr: The two decades that I spent with the Cleveland Clinic organization demanded that I set a very high bar when it came to patient care. Patients in Southwest Florida have high expectations for the medical services that they seek and I try to meet and exceed this level with every patient encounter. I have been doing this my entire career.
Q: What are your professional goals this year and for the next few years to maintain and build on your achievements?
RZ: Projected demand for hip and knee replacement over the next decade is triple the current volume. Southwest Florida has one of the largest volumes of patients who will be demanding this procedure. As in the past I will carefully assess the latest techniques and bring those with the greatest promise to the patients of this community.
Q: Is there a specific technology or surgical innovation that is most exciting to you and why?
RZ: Over the past two years I have spent a great deal of time and made the commitment to become expert in the "direct anterior approach" to total hip replacement. This is the least invasive, most accurate way to implant a hip replacement and allows for the quickest recovery for the motivated patient. Only 5 percent of accomplished hip surgeons use this technique as it is quite demanding and has a steep learning curve.
Q: What are some components of your practice that you are particularly proud of?
RZ: I have gathered a team of medical professionals in my office that are extremely motivated and highly experienced in patient care. They all understand the high expectations that I have set for my practice and appreciate the need to treat each patient with respect, empathy and efficiency. In addition, my office infrastructure is entirely digital, from the electronic medical record system to the X-ray unit and PACS which provides greater efficiency and educational benefits to each patient visit. A patient's family physician can have a copy of the visit record in their hands before the patient leaves the office.
Q: What is the best professional advice you have received and who was it from?
RZ: Early in my residency one of the senior and most respected staff members that I was rotating with at the time had a simple adage: "Just be a good doctor." This was a short way of saying treat the patient like you want to be treated; keep learning all the time and know that when you are in over your head, ask for help. In these days where patient pressure, government interference and insurance company refusals are formidable obstacles to overcome in adherence to this principle, I still strongly believe that you can represent well the profession of Hippocrates if you "Just be a good doctor!"
Learn more about Dr. Robert Zehr.
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