A New Jersey native, Dr. Rehan Shamim is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey. Dr. Shamim enjoys using his operative skills to help patients return to maximal function. He performs shoulder, knee and hip arthroscopic surgeries as well as a range of other open and minimally invasive surgeries. We sat down with Dr. Shamim to learn more about him…
Question: You specialize in shoulder, knee and hip arthroscopy. What do you appreciate the most in your particular area of interest?
In general, the goal of arthroscopic surgery is to change a procedure that traditionally required large, open incisions to a minimally invasive procedure with a few small incisions, allowing patients to recover faster. The technology is always advancing. When arthroscopy was first developed, it was initially used on the knee. The procedure involved the surgeon crouching down and looking directly inside the knee with a small telescope or funnel-type device. Now, we have high-definition fiber-optic cameras and much better equipment at our disposal. So, the field of arthroscopic surgery began with the knee, then shoulder in the late 1990’s. The field of hip arthroscopy has only been developed in the last ten years, so there aren’t many surgeons trained in this challenging technique. Many of the arthroscopic surgeries we do today with three or four small one-centimeter incisions allow us to operate on conditions that were previously deemed inoperable because the risks involved with open surgery outweighed the benefits. Also, having less invasive surgery allows patients to recover faster and with less pain. Those are the aspects of my field which I enjoy the most: the tremendous advances in technology over a relatively short period of time, the opportunities it provides patients who may otherwise not have had surgery as a treatment option, and the reduced surgical pain they experience afterwards.
Question: How did you end up pursing medicine?
I always felt it was a field where each workday would be a different experience for me. It never really becomes boring because I meet new people and experience new challenges each day. Each patient has his or her own story, and I enjoy learning about the lives and interests of my patients, even if they might not necessarily relate to the specific orthopedic condition for which the patient made the appointment. I was particularly drawn to orthopedic surgery because I enjoyed the challenge of being able to identify a single, discrete problem, and then proposing a surgical or non-surgical option to find the best possible treatment plan for each individual patient (in accordance with his or her goals and expectations).
Question: What do you hope to bring to the practice?
I have trained very hard for many years to get to the position where I am now. I was fortunate enough to have had many excellent mentors and teachers along the way. They have taught me a lot about not only the technical aspects of being an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon, but also the personal aspects of giving patients the best possible care. I hope to carry on that legacy of excellent patient care in my role as part of The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey.
Question: What hobbies or interests do you have?
Right now, the activity I enjoy the most is spending time and playing with our young son. He is at the age when he is learning or doing something new each day. Seeing him grow from a newborn infant to a toddler has been a unique experience that cannot be paralleled. I can only imagine how much more exciting it will be to see him grow into a young man. Without a doubt, spending time with him is the most rewarding aspect of my personal life.