Dr. Rishi Balkissoon: Thoughts on First Year at Highland
It’s only been a year since Rishi Balkissoon, M.D., M.P.H., joined Highland Hospital and UR Medicine's Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation as an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics. He joins us from Chicago, Illinois where he completed his fellowship in adult reconstruction at the nationally recognized Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. Originally from Maryland, he earned his Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He completed his orthopaedic residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We asked him to share his thoughts on his first year here.
What brought you to Highland?
A friend of mine, who is a spine surgeon at Strong and Highland, called me and told me that Highland was recruiting a new joint surgeon. He encouraged me to look into the position. He was very happy and told me about the wonderful orthopaedic surgery department here so I expressed my interest and was invited to come in.
What impressed you about Highland?
Even on my first visit I was so impressed with the culture of the University of Rochester and the emphasis on the patient experience at Highland and Strong that sometimes gets lost in other hospitals and medical centers.
How is your practice going?
This is a significant opportunity for me. I was able to come on board at a time when a distinguished surgeon had just left and now have a busy hip and knee reconstructive surgery schedule. I was fortunate to receive outstanding training, and to be able to apply my skills right away, which is really a gift. It’s so important for a surgeon to keep using his skills every day. I also have time to see patients, listen to them and tailor their care to meet their needs. In the last year I performed all of my surgeries at Highland but I am also credentialed at Strong.
What would you like to accomplish in the future?
I would like to work on the development of a Total Arthritis Care Program in our community. Surgery is not always the only option for patients with arthritis. Many can manage their symptoms without it. So it’s important for patients to be able to explore their options and make informed decisions. Joint replacement is a lifelong commitment and patients need long-term surveillance. It is important that patients have resources for the best care and choose surgery for the right reasons.
What are your personal goals?
I love to perform surgery – it’s what I am best at. My goal is 10-to-12 surgeries per week. I also want to have time to care for my patients pre- and post-op.
How do you feel about living in Rochester?
We love Rochester and have received a very warm welcome. My wife and I are finding it a great place to raise our family. I’ve lived in big cities where the commute is tough and it takes a while to get to work and to attend leisure activities. But Rochester is so easy to navigate and there are many wonderful cultural and educational opportunities for my family.