Get to Know Professor Benedict Rogers, Consultant

Professor Benedict Rogers is an experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hip and knee procedures. Alongside his NHS roles and private practice, he is a reviewer for the following journals: Bone & Joint Journal (formerly JBJS Br), JBJS Am, Journal of Arthroplasty & Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (CORR).

##Get to Know## Professor Benedict Rogers, Consultant

What inspired you to become an orthopaedic surgeon?

I always knew I wanted to do something medical, my GCSE subjects were always more science-y, but it took me a while to land on my niche. Medicine at Oxford is so broad as a subject that it’s almost overwhelming. Professors often tell students it’s an unhealthy approach to say, “I definitely want to be an x surgeon” because they can’t know for sure if it’s the pathway for them until they’ve actually experienced it. This mentality is of course a bit politically driven in order to qualify more doctors and get more GPs into the workforce.

I took this approach and trained as a GP. I don’t think I gave it enough thought because halfway through I didn’t feel sure it was right for me. I then tried hospital medicine as well as accident and emergency. I didn’t think I would be good enough for surgery but eventually I landed on orthopaedics. I tried a bit of everything throughout my training and found my corner in hip and knee surgeries. It’s a bit harder to follow the pathway that I have, it was certainly unusual at the time.

When did you begin to work in academia?

I studied for two years at the university of Toronto and started as a consultant in 2012. I worked on my PhD in the background and rolled out many publications for my thesis in 2017 about optimising the outcome of hip and knee replacements. I became an honorary professor in 2019 in an editor position - I thought that was something you did in your 60s!


What were the main challenges you found when starting your own practice?

I started my private practice about 18 months ago. Immediately I noticed that there’s much less back up, it’s just you. I’ve quickly learnt the need to set clear boundaries. I’m not yet doing anything out of my comfort zone on the business side. The need to promote yourself and think of yourself as a brand brings a different perspective - I’d never had to think like that before. I had to acknowledge that patients were coming to see me. Previously I hadn’t given these concepts much thought, but this now takes up about a third of my calendar, maybe more.

My colleagues all handle this quite differently, some do a lot to promote their practice, some none at all. Personally I find things grow organically if you’re nice, sensible and don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t feel like you need to put on a show to attract people, they see right through that, treat them as you would otherwise. People are savvy enough now - they’ll look you up, see what you’ve done before and review your patient feedback . I avoid being too pushy and direct people to look up my work and my publications.

What inspired you to join the Medbelle network?

I first heard about Medbelle when a colleague, Richard Freeman, mentioned it. If it weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t have responded. I get loads of emails all the time but the name Medbelle stood out to me after Richard had explained how it worked. Stuart from the Partnerships team explained it much better and these days I’m even getting better at explaining it to patients myself. I work a lot more with self-paying patients these days and I always advise them to get quotes before booking their procedure. It’s a part of running a practice that isn’t taught in med school. I always found talking about quotes and money with patients really awkward, but I’m better at doing that now. I’m sure funding methods will always continue to change, so I would be surprised if other companies don’t start to act similarly to Medbelle.

And have you noticed a difference since joining the network?

From a patient point of view, it’s important to get simple quotes easily. The absolute advantage of Medbelle is that quotes can be tailored to the patient, including aftercare such as their physiotherapy. A dedicated person of contact for the patient is also a really nice option for them to have. Their whole patient experience is more flexible and customisable.


Do you have any advice for students who want to be a surgeon?

Try as many things as possible! People think you need to get qualifications as soon as possible, but in reality you’ll be working for 20-30 years at least. That’s a long time to spend doing the wrong job. It’s much better to get experience first, both in terms of what you do and the environment you work in. I found being a GP quite lonely. I was in an office with 20-30 patients a day. In the hospital you have a morning meeting with colleagues and you’re part of a team in surgery. So working in different settings is just as important - try in and out of hospitals. Even within hospitals, one department can feel totally different to another.

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