Dr. Armin Tehrany ‘87, an orthopedic surgeon, is the founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care. Dr. Tehrany attended Brooklyn College’s coordinated B.A./M.D. program, which at the time collaborated with New York University for the medical portion of the degree. Following his residency, and with the specialty of orthopedic surgery under his belt, Dr. Tehrany found work as a team physician for the New York Jets, New York Rangers, and the New York Islanders. In addition to his practice, the Poly alumnus serves as Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Polycam spoke with the busy doctor over Spring Break 2015 about the current state of medicine today.
Have you always wanted to become a doctor?
Yes. My father is the first physician in our family. I have wanted to follow in his footsteps since I was seven years old. While at Poly, I made my feelings clear to the teachers about my passion for medicine, and was rewarded for it by Sandra Stone, my favorite teacher and mentor of my career.
You mentioned generational misgivings in the world of medicine, but you say the industry is alive and well. Can you say more about this?
Ever since HMOs came into being in the 1980s, and attorneys began exploiting the medical malpractice business, physicians have been discouraging their children from entering medicine. Due to Obamacare, the quality of medical care overall will decrease substantially until it improves. Fortunately, the larger, more reputable hospital systems have been able to cope well with these changes and collaborate with industries to compete effectively and thrive.
What are some exciting developments in the field?
In the field of orthopedics, biologics such as stem cell therapy have been very exciting as ways of healing patients without surgery and fighting the battle against arthritis. Advances in the quality of implants allow us to release our patients even faster after surgery, which improves outcomes and decreases complications.
You are actively involved in mentoring high school students. Do you see this is as a two-way relationship? Have you learned anything from your mentorship?
Absolutely. This is most certainly a two-way relationship. I mentor the students and give them my advice based on my experience. They give me an idea as to what challenges high school students face during these times, which differ from when I was in high school back in the 80s thinking about a career in medicine.
If you had to choose all over again, would you still choose orthopedics?
100 percent. No question about it. I love my profession, especially orthopedic sports medicine.
And to follow up on that question, where do you see orthopedic medicine in five years?
In five years, we will see more exciting advances in the field of biologics, specifically the advancement in stem cell therapy and PRP (platelet-rich plasma). We will also see more physician-hospital-industry relationships that, if done correctly, will greatly improve the quality of care the patient has access to.
Describe a typical day at work!
On an office day, I come in at 9:00 AM. I take care of patients in a variety of ways (initial consultation, follow-up after surgery or non-surgical care, teaching students). I enjoy connecting with patients from a human standpoint more than ever... understanding what is going on in the patient’s mind and heart, as well as the shoulder or knee. After patients’ hours, and at times in between, I am running the practice and advising my staff.
On a surgery day, I am in the operating room by 7:00 AM, and operate in two different rooms with my teams until around 3:00 PM. I work mostly in ambulatory surgical centers and can be very efficient as a result. I love teaching students in the operating room, as well.
From your perspective, what is the biggest problem in health care today?
The biggest problem is the decision of the government to attempt to control the profession. If the government ultimately takes full control, I suspect that the quality of care will plummet.
In your position, knowing what you do now —what would you say to yourself when you were beginning your medical career?
I would tell myself to try to enjoy and appreciate the relationships I was making with the patients and other physicians rather than worrying about the ability to grow. I wish I had someone to remind me to enjoy those days more and be more grateful.
What types of outreach/volunteer work do you do, if any?
I am involved in the group EveryOrganDonor.org. [As I mentioned,] I also mentor high school students at my daughters’ school. In addition, I serve on the Board of Governors at my alma mater, NYU School of Medicine. I would like to see all of my alma maters continue to succeed and will help in any way that I can.
What is your final piece of advice for Poly students interested in pursuing a career in medicine?
Always remember that medicine is the greatest profession in the world, by far. Being able to earn the trust of another person and give advice about his health is invaluable. A person’s health is everything to that person. Do not let the corporatization of medicine dissuade you from entering the field. Go into it for the right reasons… the noble reasons.For more information about Dr. Tehrany's practice, Manhattan Orthopedic Care, please visit https://mocnyc.com/