Othopedic physicians form group

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With a view to offering a specialty clinic like larger cities feature, seven Midland doctors have joined to form West Texas Orthopedics.

Physicians include Jerry L. Cochran, John C. Dean, Donald W. Floyd, David J. Power, Michael L. Ramsey, Lawrence W. Voesack and Kevin P. Huffman, and a certified physicians assistant make up the group.

The move also will enable the doctors get better health benefits and consult with each other on cases.

Cochran will specialize in arthroscopic knee surgery; Dean in arthroscopic shoulder surgery; Floyd, sports medicine; Power, total joint reconstruction; Ramsey, spine surgery and Voesack, conservative spine care.

“We’ve all been good colleagues for years. I’m proud we can all get together and more efficient,” Floyd said. “… I think we can give better care to patients by trying not to be all things to all people. It allows us to stay on top of the latest advances in our fields.”

There was another connection between the doctors. Floyd grew up in El Paso and moved to Midland in 1982.

“I began my practice 25 years ago and shared an office with Dr. Thurston Dean, John’s father. I thought over the course of us coming together, it’s something special to get closer to John,” Floyd said.

Dean moved over to West Texas Orthopedics, 4304 Andrews Highway, about three weeks ago.

“I have a lot of respect for my colleagues. I think it will allow us to pursue our separate interests in orthopedics. We can hone it down and do more of the things we’re really interested in,” Dean said.

The physicians will continue to treat their established patients, but move into their specialties. “I think it’s great,” Dean said of the new group. “Being in solo practice is sometimes hard because you’re isolated.”

Having the other specialists around, he’ll be able to ask questions or get their opinion.

As a mechanical engineer and physician, one of Dean’s interests is inventing implants and instruments for surgery. He has several patents and one pending. It typically takes three to five years for an invention to become reality.

His inventions are mostly driven by necessity. “Surgery is a fertile field for seeing what improvements can be made,” he said.

Dean has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and went to medical school at the same school. He did post-graduate training at Baylor Medical School in Houston and his orthopedic residency at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, for four years.

Next, he did a fellowship in adult reconstruction — joint replacement — at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dean’s father was the role model for his son’s inventive side. Understanding engineering principles “really helped” in surgery, John Dean said.

“He thought mechanical engineering was the backbone of orthopedics. I’ve always done research. That turned into an interest in designing and inventing,” Dean said.

John Dean joined the practice of his late father in 1993 and took over in 1998 when his father retired. Like his dad, John Dean does medical consults for Lee and Midland high school team trainers at home games.

He said most of the doctors have worked together as colleagues,because they all cover the emergency room at Midland Memorial Hospital, for example. “But at the same time, we were in competition,” Dean said.

Now that West Texas Orthopedics has been formed, that’s not the case. “They’re my colleagues. We still have a commitment to serve the emergency room. We can share some of the overhead and we can benefit from economies of scale,” Dean said.

“This is very nice. This is a very nice facility. A lot of my staff came over with me,” he added. “The people are nice. I think it’s going to be a neat deal.”
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