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Bringing a new surgeon on to your hospital’s orthopedic team is an incredibly important decision. Surgeons hold an immense amount of responsibility – operating on patients and helping to treat often complex musculoskeletal problems. In many cases they can even save lives. Given the consequential nature of the position, it’s imperative that your new surgeon is more than just qualified. They should be able to go above and beyond the bare minimum of what’s required and deliver truly exceptional patient care.

Every exceptional surgeon will display the following qualities. Review the list below, and it keep it in mind the next time you are required to recruit a new surgeon to your team:

1. Courage. 
It’s no secret that being a surgeon is a highly stressful job. Surgeons will be required to make tough calls in high pressure situations. Any good surgeon will have the courage to make difficult decisions and stand by them, John H. Morton explained, in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Surgeons shouldn’t be afraid to tackle complex or difficult orthopedic surgeries, even when a patient is at high risk of losing a limb or even death.

2. Personable. 
As with any other medical professional, it’s important that your new surgeon has a great bedside manner. Patients value medical professionals who are kind and treat them with respect, Becker’s Orthopedic Review argued. It’s a common problem with physicians and surgeons that they don’t really treat patients as people, but rather as scientific projects that need to be worked on. Often this attitude comes across and arrogant and cold, so it’s important to find a new surgeon that strikes a delicate balance between professionalism and compassion.

The same personable qualities must also be observed in any professional interactions, the Houston Chronicle explained. Your new surgeon should be able to adapt well to working in a team and get along with other surgeons, physicians and support staff. This is such a crucial quality to have, because a surgeon that is anti-social could bring down the morale and drive of your orthopedic team.

3. Mechanical skill. 
This will of course be taught in medical school, but some of the most outstanding surgeons have hand coordination and dexterity down to an art, the Houston Chronicle explained. Given that hand work is such an integral part of surgery, invite your candidate into your operating room and watch them work their magic.

4. Flexibility.
A great surgeon will dedicate his or her life to their job and have no problem with working long hours at the drop of a hat, The Houston Chronicle explained. Surgeries will often run for hours and hours at a time, sometimes late into the night and on the weekends, so it’s important to find someone that has the flexibility to accommodate such a schedule.

5. Leadership.
Surgeons occupy some of the most senior positions on any medical team, so as Becker’s Orthopedic Review pointed out, great surgeons will be at ease leading a team forward, whether it’s in the operating room or spearheading a new research project – the ability to respect the opinions of others and devise strategies for cooperation is important.

6. Willingness.
A great surgeon will display a certain level of humility and continue to educate themselves on developments in medicine and surgery, the Houston Chronicle asserted. After all, the medical field is always evolving and a new surgeon will recognize this and try their very best to keep up. Surgeons that refuse to evolve and claim to know everything are bad for morale and the success of your team, because in order to grow you must always look ahead to the future and be willing to learn.

7. Realism.
This attribute should be finely balanced with a clear sense of determination. Great surgeons will consider every possible way to treat a patient, while simultaneously remaining realistic about outcomes, John H. Morton argued in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Not every patient is suited for a complex surgery, and a great surgeon will take this into account.