We’re diving into getting to know the team at Orthopedic Institute (OI), introducing you to some of our illustrious team members.
Today’s featured team member is Dr. K.C. Chang, one of our physicians. Dr. Chang graduated from Florida State University before attending medical school at University of Florida. With 25-plus years of experience treating neck and back pain in orthopedic patients, he’s an incredibly valuable part of the staff.
Let’s take a deeper dive into what Dr. Chang loves most about his work and how he approaches his work at OI.
1. How did you decide to become a physician?
I think I decided to be a physician when I was really young – around six years old. I remember being at the clinic with my dad in Malaysia. I had been riding my bike, and it started to rain. I was close to the clinic, so I went there. Suddenly this guy came in carrying someone who is bleeding everywhere from his head down – he’d been in a car accident. My dad was able to perform suturing and control the bleeding. I realized, “Wow, that was amazing. I want to be a doctor.” From then on, I never questioned what I was going to do. It is a rewarding and noble profession.
2. What led you to join OI?
I was in Orlando, Fla., practicing with 12 other orthopedic surgeons for about 10 years. I was pretty happy with what I was doing, but the group had ran into some difficulties and the group was slowly dissolving. I decided I needed someplace different to work. My brother-in-law let me know that Orthopedic Institute was looking for a muscular skeletal specialist. So I interviewed and loved it here. That was in 2001. I just love it.
3. What is your favorite part of your job?
The best part of my job is to be able to help people control their pain without surgery. I try to control pain by providing them with different ways to treat it – acupuncture, injections, epidural injections, physical therapy. I am so happy when the patient feels better, and I can end some of their pain and suffering.
4. What are the strengths of the OI physician team?
We are all well-trained. We are all experts in each of our subspecialties. We have a comprehensive offering of all types of care from very conservative to the intricate work of specialized surgeries. Our doctors care about the patient – we have compassion for our patients, and they realize that.
5. What is the best part about working with patients?
The best part of working with patients is when they come in with pain and then are so grateful after the treatment you provide and how much relief you give them. To me, that is the best. When you know you did something to help them – it is so gratifying.
6. What would you consider your career highlight?
Joining Orthopedic Institute back in 2001 was the highlight of my career. I really like it here. My son Michael was one year old at the time. He was the youngest, and, even though he was born in Orlando, all he knows is South Dakota. A few months ago he asked me, “Dad, are you going to sell the house when you retire?” I told him “Maybe, I don’t know.” So he said, “Well if you don’t sell the house, can you give it to me? Because I love Sioux Falls!” My other kids say, “I want to go somewhere warm.” But Michael – I take him to New York, and he hates it. He always wants to come back to Sioux Falls!
7. How do you spend your time when you’re not at OI?
I like tennis, so I play singles on Mondays and doubles on Tuesdays. I was actually the No. 1 player on my high school tennis team in Florida. Right now, I am not that good, but I love to exercise! I like to read books and watch movies and travel.
8. What was the last book you read?
The Book of Joy by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. It’s an interesting book about how to find happiness and identify the meaning of joy. I enjoy reading non-fiction.
9. What is your go-to movie snack?
I like action movies. And I like the popcorn at the movies, but my wife does not. She thinks it is too salty, so when we go, she say’s “No butter, no salt.” Then we have to get a small box and not a medium one. (You have to make your wife happy.)
10. If you could have dinner with one person living or dead, who would it be?
Gandhi I think is one person I would like to meet and talk about how he got into this non-violent thing and how he helped people. And Martin Luther King and JFK – those three people who influenced the world and changed the world for the better.