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Meet Dr. Lee Schmidt, Orthopaedic Surgeon at GBMC

author-laura-tenbus Photo

By:

Laura Tenbus

May 20, 2020
Having to find a new doctor can be a daunting task. It’s difficult to know whether they’ll be a good fit for you from just a biography and a photo online. In the series, “What’s Up, Dr. Dovec?” GBMC bariatric surgeon, Elizabeth Dovec, MD, FACS, FASMB, interviews providers across the GBMC HealthCare System so you can get to know them on a personal level and learn more about their specialties. In this episode, Dr. Dovec interviews Leroy Schmidt, MD, Director, Joint Replacement Center at GBMC, Chief, Division of Orthopaedics at GBMC, as they discuss the types of knee replacement surgery, who is a good surgical candidate, and how patients can achieve the best results after surgery.

Dr. Schmidt, who goes by Lee rather than Leroy, loves being outdoors when he isn’t at the hospital caring for patients. He grew up in Riviera Beach, MD, where he spent most of his summers crabbing on a boat. He enjoys trekking – multi-day hikes across steep terrains – and has summited Mount Kilimanjaro and many peaks in the Andes mountain range. This involves travel, which he is also passionate about. When asked what his favorite place to visit was, he identified Hinterzarten, a town in the Black Forest of Germany, but proceeded to name other places until he realized that he simply couldn’t decide.

The conversation then turned to Dr. Schmidt’s practice and the path he took to become an orthopaedic surgeon. Originally, Dr. Schmidt had planned a career as a trauma surgeon. After his first year of college, he trained at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He recalled that the orthopaedic team needed additional help as it was a busy summer. When they came to the main floor asking for volunteers to come to the operating room (OR), Dr. Schmidt stepped up. This was when he discovered that he loved joint replacement surgery and decided to pursue an Orthopaedic Residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

During his final year in training, when he served as Chief Resident, he realized that the varying hours required of trauma surgeons did not fit with his plans to start a family. With his love of joint replacements, going into orthopaedic surgery was the obvious next step. When asked why he chose to practice at GBMC, Dr. Schmidt replied:

“The reason that I chose GBMC is that the physicians surrounding us here are all top-rated physicians who I would send my own family members to. It’s really the team here. I’m happy and honored to be able to work with this group of people.”

Dr. Schmidt went on to show the difference between the types of knee surgeries using models of the knee and talked about the patients who would be good candidates for each type. “Many people think that we’re going to go in and replace the entire bone,” he described, “but it’s more like a dentist putting a cap on a bad tooth. We’re only replacing the damaged surfaces so there is no more bone-on-bone rubbing.” Dr. Schmidt discussed his team and the educational opportunities available to patients prior to surgery, including classes and in-home visits. He also explained the four different paths to recovery available at GBMC and how pain is managed after surgery, largely without the use of narcotics.

The way Dr. Schmidt and his colleagues care for patients has changed with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but he believes that telehealth appointments are going well, and the office is practicing social distancing with each other and any patients who need to come in for in-person visits. GBMC is taking every precaution to keep patients and employees safe. If you need care, don’t delay it. We are here to serve you and keep you safe.

If you would like to learn more about orthopaedics at GBMC, go to www.gbmc.org/orthopaedics. To make an appointment, call the office at 443-849-3838.
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