Distinguishing the Surgical Specialist vs. Expert
We are often asked about what level of experience is offered, so we hope this brochure is helpful to you when considering how to choose a surgeon.
Specialized Practice and Training
A specialist is a physician or surgeon who has received 3-12 months of extra training under the mentoring of an expert in the field, or in an academic center (a fellowship), and declares an interest or focus on that field in his/her practice. Often there is a CAQ (Certificate of Added Qualification) in the sub-specialty field that can be obtained by taking a test. There is no licensing required to say that you specialize in an area, and not all specialists are necessarily busy, experienced or solely devoted to the field. Therefore, it is only a minority of these “specialists” who would be considered experts in their field of practice.
An expert practices medicine in a narrow field of specialization, and therefore is a specialist. However, the expert would have many additional qualifications and much more exhaustive experience in the field, to the degree that he/she is widely recognized on a national and even international level by those who are also experts in the field. The expert’s practice, by definition, has a wide tertiary referral pattern and provides care for the most complex problems at the highest level. An expert generally does a high volume of both routine primary, revision and complex surgical cases, including all types of athletes – pediatric, adolescent, high school, college and professional. Generally, an expert has also been formally recognized or awarded as an expert by third-party organizations.
SURGICAL FACILITIES AND TEAMS
Dr. Cooper performs surgery at North Central Surgical Center in Dallas and BS&W Star ASC in Frisco – both high volume award-winning centers of excellence. He has a hand-picked team of very experienced surgical techs and nurses, the necessary equipment and implants for all cases, and he exclusively uses the board-certified anesthesiologists of Dallas Anesthesia Associates. This quality is uncommon and is difficult to duplicate. For that reason, Dr. Cooper operates exclusively at those two facilities.
Specialist vs. Expert Checklist
Patients, players, families, and agents frequently feel the need for comparisons. We have prepared the following checklist to illustrate the possible qualifications that a surgeon can attain, and how Dr. Cooper’s practice measures up in these categories:
|Surgeon who Specializes||Expert Qualifications||Dr. Cooper’s Practice|
|Interest in Field|
|Certified as Specialist|
|Practices only in specialty|
|Decades of experience|
|Surgeon for professionals|
|Widely recognized elsewhere as an expert|
|High volume of cases|
|Publishes basic research|
|Publishes surgical results|
|Trains other surgeons|
|National & International speaker|
|Consultant to many pro teams and agents|
|Expert surgical team & experienced staff|