Doctors aren't required to make difference in the world. But many strive to influence society in a positive way with their work.
William J. Jason, an orthopedic surgeon who practices in Spring Hill, is among those who seek to touch a life, even if it means traveling outside his comfort zone. In November, Jason traveled to India on behalf of Maxx Freedom Knee system to help demonstrate and educate India's medical professionals on the benefits of using the state-of-the-art knee prosthesis.
"The trip to India was an instructional course," Jason said. "It was a tour of me educating surgeons through lectures, conferences and surgeries. I lectured on surgeries and performed surgeries with them in different cities in India."
Jason traveled India's countryside for 10 days. "It was a wonderful experience for me. But it was a lot of work. It was all day every day," he said.
He found himself in different communities, speaking with hundreds of orthopedic surgeons. He performed some surgeries that were live-cast into auditoriums. "Surgeons were watching and getting live feedback," Jason said. Other days he went into hospitals to assist other surgeons with their technique in orthoplasty.
"We covered most of the country," he said.
The trip was organized by Max Freedom Knee.
"They were looking for physicians that were qualified," he said. Potential candidates needed extensive experience in knee surgery as well as familiarity with the Max Freedom Knee System. "I was familiar with the ins and outs of their particular knee system which made it easier to teach," he said.
Jason said different techniques and procedures are used with different prostheses. He was able to demonstrate the special techniques and offer tips for placement of the Max Freedome Knee that would make the procedures easier.
It was Jason's first trip to India and he was surprised by the massive size and population of the cities. There were some struggles with language, even though English is used. "But each city has its on native language and level of sophistication," Jason said.
All in all, Jason felt the effect his visit had on India's orthopedic medical community was a good one, particularly on less trained surgeons. "We really did have a great overview of what they were supposed to be doing during surgery and offered different techniques and ways to get to the goal.
"The less trained got a little enlightened. The more experienced surgeons likely picked up a few great tips."
Jason has been a practicing orthopedic surgeon in Hernando County for five years. His office is on Cortez Blvd., just east of Oak Hill Hospital. Called North Tampa Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, the practice moved from its original location on County Line Road about two months ago.
Jason's decision to pursue a medical career in orthopedics came from a love of sports. "I was an athlete when I was young," he said. In that capacity, he had seen his share of orthopedic doctors in the locker rooms. "They were all I was seeing," he said.
Jason tore his knee during his first year of medical school while playing soccer. "I had four surgeries on my knee in the next year and a half, during my first and second years of medical school," he said. He became interested and got into research with some of the doctors who had performed his surgeries.
"Pretty soon I was an orthopedic surgeon," he said.
Jason works mainly with knee, shoulder and hip surgeries, and some hand and foot procedures. "Everything pretty much except the spine which is now becoming something of a subspecialty field," he said.
Jason is also board certified in sports medicine.
His experience in India still is fresh in his memory. "I plan to go back in about a year or two," he said.
Perhaps a second trip will allow at least one day of sightseeing. "I thought there might be a day of going to the Taj Mahal or riding an elephant, but no," he said with a laugh. "None of that."