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Published on September 13, 2017

Drs. Michael Devish and Patrick O’Brien

Orthopedic Opportunities: Two South Dakota Surgeons Return Home

Life offers everyone some chances for something new, something unique – perhaps something that requires a huge change. Sometimes life gives you a chance to return to the places you started, too.

Those changes and chances offer opportunities, and that’s what appeals to a pair of Avera Orthopedics surgeons, Michael Devish, DO, and Patrick O’Brien, MD. Both are South Dakota natives busy with medical practices far from the Midwest, yet they were attracted by the chance to return to their home state.

Where They Were

O’Brien worked with athletes and injuries in Hickory, N.C., much like he now does in Sioux Falls. His medical focus is arthroscopy in knees and shoulders, as well as reconstruction surgeries on rotator cuffs and repair to injuries of the hip and elbow. He is a fellowship-trained surgeon in this sub-specialty within orthopedics. “It’s a challenging subspecialty and one that many people need,” he said.

Devish practiced in Dallas, Texas, one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas of the United States.

“I was part of a very busy Level 2 trauma facility that became a Level 1facility while I was there, and it was a place where you learned to get better and more efficient every day or you would not succeed,” he said.

Orthopedic Opportunity

Devish, a fellowship-trained orthopedic trauma surgeon said his five years in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were rewarding. Yet as a Sioux Falls native, the chance to join Avera Orthopedics held certain charms.

“You do not get that many chances to build a practice from the ground up and to do so in the best ways,” said Devish, whose expertise focuses on treating bone fractures. “Avera has not just provided the facilities and the staff – they have the right ideology in approaching orthopedics.”

This includes performing surgery on complex fractures as soon as possible before swelling occurs, rather than placing a splint or cast on the affected bone and performing surgery a week or so later after the swelling has gone down. Avera is the first hospital to offer this approach in Sioux Falls.

Likewise, O’Brien said returning to Sioux Falls with this unique and unfolding prospect was a “rare” chance.

“Being a part of its beginning allows me a chance to help tailor things to the best possible approach for orthopedics and sports medicine, better than the city has ever seen, with a real focus on results,” he said. “We have the subspecialists we need to make this venture a success.”

Devish said the reality of orthopedic health care service is evolving and that Sioux Falls patients will benefit from the changes that are coming, including a focus on orthopedics at the new surgical hospital, the Avera on Louise Health Campus that will open in 2019.

To What They Returned

“The opportunities are great and anything you want or need – it’s here in Sioux Falls. Being a part of the Avera health ministry was another thing that attracted me as well,” said O’Brien.

Devish said he appreciates South Dakota’s work ethic and professionalism of the team he joined and is helping shape. That, coupled with the supporting vision of Avera, made the decision easy to make.

“The teams in the operating rooms and the staff in general – all have been great and they all want positive outcomes. They come to work and stay until the job is done,” he said. “That’s not the same everywhere. We have a good team and a system that believes in our approach. It’s refreshing.”

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