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22 September 2021
The entire September 22, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Orthopaedic surgeon Paul Plank enjoys the quick results and patient satisfaction that comes from choosing a ‘joyful specialty’.
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“I can have a patient with a fractured femur from a car accident, insert a titanium rod, and three hours later they will wake up and be able to use their leg,” he said.
“With a hip or knee replacement, people come to me in a lot of pain, but a few hours after surgery they are already on the mend.
“I can see results quickly, there is no, ‘let’s try this and see how it goes’. I’m not dealing with terrible news – orthopaedics is a joyful specialty.
“I’m not saving lives, but I am helping people make their lives better and for that I get a lot of thanks and satisfaction.
“You also get to use a lot of fancy tools.”
Mr Plank, based in Ballarat, consults private patients at Equip Physiotherapy in Horsham one day a month.
Surgical work is completed in Ballarat.
Mr Plank is well known among Wimmera people needing an orthopaedic surgeon and has treated patients from throughout the region, including Horsham, Stawell, Warracknabeal, Minyip, Murtoa and Rupanyup.
“I have treated many, many Wimmera patients over the years and most of the people I see in Horsham, I have previously seen in Ballarat,” Mr Plank said.
“Instead of everyone driving to Ballarat to see me, they can now see me closer to home.
“I’ve been consulting in Horsham for about three months and it’s going great.
“Everyone is really friendly and I enjoy providing this service to the community.”
Mr Plank specialises in hip, knee and shoulder surgery and his sub-specialty interests include joint replacements, arthroscopy and reconstructions.
He attended medical school at the University of Melbourne and completed advanced surgical training in Sydney.
Mr Plank said after orthopaedic surgeons had finished their training they typically went overseas for a year, to work at a ‘fancy’ hospital with a sub-specialty.
“I sub-specialised in hip, knee and shoulder pathology,” he said.
“Each year, one graduate from Australia and one from New Zealand are chosen to attend Harvard Medical School in Boston and I was honoured to be the Australian chosen in my year.”
Mr Plank completed his arthroplasty fellowship at Harvard in 2005 and returned to Australia, where he started working in Ballarat.
“I started working at St John of God and Ballarat Day Procedure Centre and in early 2006, I started in Stawell as well,” he said.
Mr Plank has a waiting list at Stawell Regional Health, but private patients can book a consultation in Horsham by calling 5331 7621.