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Learning Never Ends
Q&A with Scott Sigman, MD, an opioid-sparing orthopod who hosts The Ortho Show, a podcast even his mother can understand.
Publish Date: September 26, 2022   |  Tags:   Opinion Orthopedics
Scott Sigman
How did you wind up hosting The Ortho Show?
Just before the pandemic, I went on as a guest and it was one of the show’s more popular segments. Then COVID-19 happened, and I was asked to host a 10-segment run of shows on the pandemic. The producers finally just asked if I wanted to be the permanent host and 145 shows later, here I am.

In such a saturated podcast market, how does The Ortho Show stand out?
It’s not boring. It’s not technical. It’s usually fun, lighthearted and entertaining 30-minute segments where you hear from some of the most amazing surgeons around the world. When the guests get too technical, I stop them and say, My mother’s listening. You’ve got to explain this in a language Judy will understand. They laugh, but that’s what we do: We simplify complicated concepts so that most people can understand them. 

What do you aim to provide your audience with each episode?
I want to be real. I want to be entertaining. And I want it to be all about the guest. Prior to each episode, I take out a large whiteboard and write things down from the guest’s CV, their webpage, their LinkedIn page. I scour the internet to find information that will allow guests to open up and share some of the most amazing stories — like Amar Ranawat, a surgeon who served in the Marines after 9/11 and shared what it was like living and working in New York City during the attack.  

Has the show impacted your work in the OR or how you approach your field?
I learn something new from every single episode. I’m constantly learning, and when I talk to my patients about treatments they may or may not need, I tap into new concepts and ideas from the show. Our guests present information about what they’re doing within their specific specialties, what to expect around surgery and what options are available for healing. The podcast has made me more worldly and more knowledgeable, and that’s impressive after 25 years of practicing medicine. Plus, I can pick up the phone and call any one of these expert guests that we’ve had on and strike up a conversation — and perhaps even get some advice.

You’ve long advocated for opioid-sparing surgery. Is the industry moving this way? 
When COVID-19 hit, the opioid epidemic became the forgotten epidemic. But opioid overdoses and deaths continue to rise. Have we done a better job of preventing surgery from becoming an inadvertent gateway to opioid addiction? We have. Are we done? Absolutely not. We still have a lot of work to do. OSM