“I am personally very proud of our practice — Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists (ONS) and the way we treat each patient as an individual,” says Seth R. Miller, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in arthroscopic shoulder surgery and shoulder replacement.
With offices in Greenwich and Stamford and now Harrison, ONS takes a conservative approach to patient care. “We recommend surgery to only about 10 percent of our patients,” says Miller, who is also a clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Hospital for Joint Diseases; a staff orthopedic physician at Greenwich Hospital and an assistant attending physician in orthopedic surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “We want to make sure it is really needed, because we realize that surgery in any of our subspecialties is a traumatic event for our patients. If it can be avoided, so much the better.”
A leading specialist in shoulder replacement surgery with 1,000 total shoulder and reverse shoulder replacements to his credit, Miller helped found ONS in 1998. There he remains committed to providing excellent orthopedic and neurosurgical care through professional cooperation while showing compassion for patients. By setting the highest of standards, ONS can offer patients a wide range of choices that leads to the best possible outcomes.
“For example, if needed, we will have two surgeons involved in a complicated procedure,” he says. “We do everything we can to ensure the results our patients get are the very best possible. And we deliver those results with compassion and understanding along the way.”
SPOTLIGHT ON SHOULDERS
After graduating from Harvard University in 1978, Miller went on to get his M.D. at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, followed by a residency in general surgery and then a sought-after one-year residency in shoulder surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.
“I studied under the renowned Dr. Charles S. Neer, who offered me this wonderful opportunity,” he says. “I was always interested in the shoulder and had a great year with him, from l988 to 1989. At about the same time, I met another shoulder specialist who invited me to join him at Greenwich Hospital.”
Miller says Greenwich had many orthopedic surgeons on staff but most practiced in the general area. “I did my share of general orthopedic surgery but really wanted to do as much shoulder surgery as possible. I spoke with several other subspecialists who, like me, wanted to improve patient care by combining several of our doctor’s groups into one entity.”
In 1998, the group took the plunge and founded ONS, starting with only eight physicians.
ONS now has 22 subspecialty physicians trained in orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation.
“Things really took off when patients realized they could get specialty care of the highest quality right in Greenwich. We now have two specialists for every part of the body.”
The successful reception ONS earned from the local patient community there led to its expansion, first to Stamford and then to a new facility in Harrison.
Miller says he believed one of the keys to the success of ONS has been the one-stop approach the practice offers.
“Our patients just love that we can provide so much under one roof,” he says. “Everything is right here and there is no need to trek from outside office to outside office for tests, scans and blood work. We function as a team of doctors and other medical professionals, working closely and seamlessly together.”
If a question about care or a procedure that can best be answered by another specialist comes up, Miller says, “All we have to do is walk down the hall. Patients find this very comforting and we pride ourselves as working as a collaborative team. At ONS you get the best possible care all under one roof. While our practice is large, it is very effective and attuned to the patient, what he or she really needs.”
He believes ONS is well-served, as are its patients, by not being a part of a larger patient care “network system.” The proof is in the response. “We get positive feedback in the 96 to 97 percent range,” he says.
“As a result, we are not controlled so much by cost-cutting to enhance the bottom line of the network. As a private practice, we control our own destiny and even have our own foundation. We are free and now big enough to control our financial destiny on our own.”