Physician Spotlight on Dr. William Rubenstein

How did you become interested in orthopedics?

My interest in orthopedics stems from my roots as a lifelong athlete and college varsity swimmer — I have always had an interest in the strength and conditioning required to keep the body performing at a high level. After starting my career in management consulting at Bain & Company, I joined Major League Baseball’s (MLB) economics and strategy team, where I had the opportunity to work in such areas as injury analytics. Working closely with the MLB orthopedic surgeons inspired me to pursue medical studies in this field for the same reasons that inspire my work today – the ability to have a huge impact on a patient’s mobility and quality of life.

What is your practice philosophy?

My practice philosophy is patient first. This centers on two major aspects. Clinically the focus is on treating the whole patient, understanding their goals, and trying to figure out the best way to get them into their overall life and situation. And with respect to surgical technique, this requires treating each surgery as a unique opportunity to as best as possible restore each patient’s unique anatomy. Whether this requires robotic surgery, custom implants, or changes from typical alignments, there is no one cookie-cutter way to perform a surgery that will provide the best outcomes for an individual patient.

There are two major trends I’m seeing in joint replacement. First is towards an increase in outpatient surgery which has skyrocketed in recent years. This is due to improvements in surgical techniques, post-operative protocols, anesthetics, and implants among other items. I expect that in the coming years, the majority of my surgeries will be performed as outpatient procedures.

The second is with respect to adjusting surgical techniques to match patient anatomy. This is aided by robotics which can in some cases provide added precision intra-operatively. We aren’t simply using the same exact process and surgical technique on each patient but trying to do our best to restore what existed prior to the arthritic state, which we believe will ultimately produce better outcomes.

How do you stay current in your field?

I continue to subscribe to and read all the major journals and actively participate in a community of orthopedic surgeons dedicated to discussing cases, experiences, and recent literature. Attending major academic meetings to ensure I am up to date on the latest techniques and topics. And continuing to enroll in courses, when necessary, in areas in which I want to refine and improve my surgical approach.

What are your personal interests? 

We have two small kids, so unfortunately not a ton of free time – most of it spent trying to teach them various life activities – biking, swimming, reading (with varied measures of success). I enjoy exploring New England, biking, and buying overpriced coffee and pastries at various cafes. Big Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox fan – hoping we return to the glory days of Boston championships soon. I am slowly building up my running distance after a brief 5–7-year hiatus during my orthopedic training.