ONS Spotlight on Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon Dr. David WeiFeatured Doctor
Get to know hand and upper extremity surgeon Dr. David Wei and learn what drives his personal approach in caring for patients. Dr. Wei is Board-Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery and holds a Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand. He sees patients at the ONS offices in Greenwich, CT and Harrison, NY.
Dr. Wei, what is your philosophy of your practice?
At its heart, the clinical practice of medicine is about helping another human being during a time of need. Whether that need is preventing, relieving, or curing disease or injury, I have found what anchors my own practice – on a daily level – is the privilege of building a deep connection with my patients. Whether you come to our office seeking care for something as microscopic as a severed nerve in the finger or as macroscopic as a fractured elbow, a strong bond between physician and patient creates the foundation upon which we can work together to get you better. To me, this is my philosophy of practice: build a solid understanding of the patient, their needs, their desires by actively listening and being curious about them as human beings – then and only then can we achieve our combined goal – healing injury, relieving pain, and creating a better quality of life.
What made you chose to become a hand surgeon?
Hand surgery is unique in that it teaches you the skills to operate on nearly all types of tissues in the body, from the bone to skin and everything in between. This means we learn to microscopically repair nerves and arteries, but we are also skilled at treating fractures and even do complex cases involving soft tissue transfers. In my practice, although we call ourselves hand surgeons, we treat all problems involving the arm. This breadth and depth of skill and our ability to expertly handle so many different problems was what drew me toward hand and upper extremity surgery.
What interesting trends do you see emerging in your specialty areas?
Without a doubt the number one trend in our specialty is wide-awake surgery. For almost half of my surgical cases, patients no longer need to undergo anesthesia. We simply use local injections of numbing medication and patients can go home without any of the typical drawbacks of general anesthesia. This also eliminates the need to fast before surgery and patients may continue nearly all their normal medications.
How do you stay current in your field?
I am an active participant in the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), the largest professional society for hand surgeons. Learning from colleagues, discussing challenging cases, and collaborating with like-minded hand surgeons is one of the great privileges of practicing hand surgery.
Outside of work, what are your personal interests: Sports? Music? Travel? Photography, art?
When I’m not seeing patients or operating, you will find me spending time with my family, hiking with our dog, weightlifting and rowing, or trying my hand at several other interests: podcasting, photography, and playing the ukelele.