Meet OHSU’s Dr. Ryland Kagan


My favorite thing to do
outside of the hospital is just spending
time with my family. We have two dogs. They’re both bigger. They’re mutts– both
rescues– but they look kind of like sled dogs. I’m Ryland Kagan, and I’m an
orthopedic surgeon at OHSU. I had a great mentor
in medical school who did hip and knee
replacements in New York, and he kind of took
me under his wing. And the first time
I was in his clinic and saw one of his patients
after a hip replacement, and you really just
see that transformation of that patient’s life. It really took me
down the course of wanting to be an
orthopedic surgeon and then to do the total joint
replacements and hip and knee reconstruction. This patient specifically
came into clinic with a four-wheel walker
and had a severe limb, severe pain with every step. Every aspect of his life
was hindered by this. And then after an hour
and a half surgery, he walked out of the hospital
better off than he came in. And to see that powerful
a transformation that short amount of time, and
then even had a chance to see him back six weeks later– no assistive devices, no cane– he had a cane, but
he would like just carry it swinging it around. That was what really made
me want to do what I do. I don’t think it’s ever my
job to tell someone when it’s time to have a surgery. It’s my job to give
them the options and kind of explain the
risks and the benefits of the surgeries. One of the questions
I always have people ask themselves is,
are you not doing the things that you want to
do that make you who you are? Are you not going for that
walk with your spouse, or are you’re not going to play
with your child or friends? If you’re not doing the things
that make you who you are, then it’s really time to start
thinking about the surgery. When you see people
afterwards and they’re getting back to these
activities, it’s amazing. It makes me really
enjoy what I do.

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