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Interview With Michael David Ries, MD, Author of "The Joint Kitchen"
Dr Michael Ries is an orthopedic surgeon and director of the joint replacement fellowship at the Reno Orthopedic Clinic. He earned a BS and MS from MIT and his MD from Dartmouth Medical School, and has been in practice for over 25 years.
Dr. Ries has a practice limited to hip and knee replacement surgery and the treatment of arthritic hip and knee conditions. He was on the full-time faculty at the University of California, San Francisco from 1997 to 2013, where he served as professor of orthopedic surgery and head of the joint replacement department. During this period, he was also regularly involved in laboratory and clinical research. Dr. Ries has published 210 peer-reviewed journal articles and 52 book chapters on topics related to clinical outcomes and biomaterials used in hip and knee replacement surgery.
What differentiates D. Ries most from his peer group is that he has helped develop a number of hip and knee replacement surgeries and is the inventor of 45 U.S. patents for hip and knee arthroplasty devices. He is also the father of three active children, husband of a beautiful Russian woman, avid skier and handyman.
Welcome Michael, and thank you for being with us today! Why not start by telling our readers a bit about your journey to becoming a published author?
I am an orthopedic surgeon and most of my career has been spent in academic medicine. This means that I travel and speak at many medical conferences. Topics presented and discussed at these meetings deal with medical issues and new hip and knee replacement inventions are generally not included. Over the past five or six years, it seems, some of the young surgeons who have attended these meetings have asked me how to develop ideas for improving hip and knee replacement devices. When I answered these questions, I noticed that some non-medical people in the audience seemed very interested in the discussion, and I thought others might be interested in reading a book about it.
What is The common kitchen on?
This book is a story about the origin of ideas for inventions. It describes how wonderfully effective the normal hip and knee joint is and why we can’t make hip and knee replacements as perfect as the normal joints we were born with.
Then a doctor who found himself cleaning the kitchen, preparing food, opening a bottle of wine, unscrewing the lid of a jar, riding a chair lift, fishing, skiing or watching falling snowflakes drew similar images on paper that turned into patents for a new hip and knee prosthesis. History suggests that when our mind is in a peaceful state of tranquility, the creative and problem-solving parts of our brain can magically connect and create a new idea.
What made you want to write The common kitchen?
I have helped develop a number of hip and knee replacement devices over the years. I really had no idea why the ideas for these inventions came to mind, but I knew exactly where I was and what I was doing when a lot of them happened. It turned out that where I was and what I was doing was directly related to the images that became new hip and knee replacement patents. I never really thought anyone would be interested in this, but once in a while someone would ask me how I got all these ideas. When I responded with a few simple examples, it made perfect sense to them. I think this process happens to all of us on different levels, and I hoped that by writing about my story, it would inspire others to develop their ideas.
Such a beautiful title – obviously inspired by your revelations in the kitchen! How did everyday kitchen items/food spark your ideas and when did you realize your kitchen was such an inspiration?
I’m not much of a cook, but I often find myself in the kitchen making something quick and easy to eat for my kids or myself usually in the morning. It’s kind of a very peaceful and quiet time even though what you need to do that day is in your mind. It seems like that’s when the ideas come to you – when you’re not trying to think about them.
The whole process of taking an ordinary orange and seeing its potential in a new hip replacement procedure, creating and developing the idea through drawings, etc., requires great expression. artistic. Tell us a bit about your artistic nature. Do you even consider yourself an artist?
I really admire and respect artists. I don’t consider myself as such, but I like taking pictures of landscapes or nature more than people. I’ve been to a lot of medical conferences too, and when I see a slide full of words on it, my mind gets confused, but when I see a simple diagram or a picture that makes sense, I understand. There are many pictures in The common kitchen.
Your book’s subtitle: “A Handbook for Orthopedic Inventors and Fraidy Cats Facing a Knee or Hip Replacement” indicates that the information is ideal for physicians, inventors, and people in need of knee or hip replacement. hip. How does your book address such different audiences?
The book explains how to create ideas for inventions, but since it specifically describes medical devices, I think medical professionals in the orthopedic field would have a lot in common with the story. The common kitchen also shows how the normal hip and knee function, and the differences between normal and replaced joints. This is something anyone considering a joint replacement, and perhaps their friends and family generally want to know about. There’s also a description of how our minds think by connecting images, which I believe is similar to what scientists and scholars who study the brain have found. I hope these smart people can also find The common kitchen useful to better understand how we create ideas.
What has been your biggest challenge while writing The common kitchen?
Writing The common kitchen Wasn’t too hard – I just put pictures of what I usually do in the kitchen and the corresponding patent drawings side by side and they were pretty much the same. The biggest challenge was overcoming my fear that people wouldn’t like it. I guess most authors probably go through this, so for me the issue was whether or not to make it available to everyone.
What do you like to do when you’re not working, inventing new medical discoveries and writing?
I truly cherish every moment I have with my family. We do a lot of things together like skiing, hiking and spending time outdoors. Some of the best times for us were traveling by motorhome to new destinations we had never been before. My wife and kids also tolerate me going away for about a week every year to ski, golf, or backcountry fish with my friends.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, about writing, inventing, or life in general?
When I don’t know if an idea is worth pursuing, the best advice I’ve ever had is to go ahead and do it. It’s the only way to find out.
What advice do you have for budding authors and/or inventors?
For inventors, this is what the last two chapters of The common kitchen are about. It describes a way to see if your idea works, protect it, and turn it into reality. Many books have been written about the ins and outs of how to file a patent and start a business or sell your idea, but mine is more of a story about finding your own path.
For writers, I may not be the best at giving advice, as I’m relatively new to this. There are many commonalities between publishing and inventing, however, and the same challenges that inventors face also present themselves to writers.
What’s next, do you have another project in the works?
Not yet. I want to see how this one goes – so far so good, but I have some thoughts on another book. Writing for me is like having an idea for a new invention – just let it happen. So we’ll just have to wait and see.
Where can readers contact you on social media to find out more about The common kitchen?
I follow Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and an easy way to get started is the author’s website www.michaelriesmd.com.
What kind of information is available on your website?
There is a description of the content in The common kitchen with a great little video that shows what it’s all about. There is also information about me, links to my patents, and some recent book chapters and journal articles I have written.
Do you have anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Writing and publishing a book wasn’t something I had planned to do or anywhere on my to-do list, but I’m glad I did. I’ve had a lot of great feedback from people who have read it and would highly recommend doing it for anyone considering telling their story to others.
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