How to choose a Westchester Shoulder Surgeon

Should pain and shoulder injuries are a very common reason to seek consultation from a shoulder surgeon. In a region like Westchester, there are many orthopedic surgeons to choose from. Patient have both the luxury and the challenge of choosing the shoulder surgeon that is right for them.  Here are my top 5 tips for picking the shoulder surgeon that is right for you.

Top five tips for choosing a Westchester shoulder surgeon


  1. Fellowship training– Anyone preforming surgery on your shoulder today should have had an extra year of specialty training in either Sports Medicine, or Shoulder and Elbow surgery. After a 5 year residency, surgeons often opt for an extra year of specialty training. A Sports Medicine fellowship is very heavily weighted towards injuries of the shoulder. Fellowship training ensures that your shoulder surgeon is proficient in the most modern techniques, especially arthroscopy.
  2. High volume– You should never be afraid to ask a surgeon how many of the specific surgeries he or she has performed. Especially when it comes to shoulder arthroscopy, because in order to be proficient it takes years of training. Make sure your surgeon preforms the surgery you need frequently.
  3. Understanding– If you need shoulder surgery have your surgeon explain in detail what he will be doing in the surgery.  I have whiteboards in my office and will often draw a diagram of the surgery that needed to be performed. Patients should be weary of a surgeon who cannot succinctly describe the surgery you need and why you need it.
  4. Trust– You and your surgeon are a team. I always tell my patient that my part, the surgery, is the easy part. The hard part of surgery is the recovery and rehab post-op. The rehabilitation and physical therapy is hard work, and falls completely on the patient. The greatest surgery can be ruined by poor rehabilitation. You must trust your surgeon to do his or her job so that you can put all your effort into yours.
  5. Like your surgeon– This is very simple, but is probably the most important. You must have a good rapport with him or her. If you have any reservation about a surgeon who is operating you always seek a second opinion.
Dr. Michael Gott is a Westchester orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine. He has also been an active member of the National Ski Patrol as well as a Member of the Windham Mountain Ski Patrol for 18 years.