Doctors Spotlight: Dr. Mike Azzam
New to the Kansas City area and also Kansas City Bone and Joint, we would like to introduce you to Dr. Mike Azzam. He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and has been practicing there for over two years. Along with a big welcome, we sat him down to learn more about the man behind the white coat.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and went to St. Louis University for both undergraduate and medical school. I moved away for residency and fellowship, but returned to practice in St. Louis for 2.5 years prior to joining Kansas City Bone & Joint.
Where did you go to school?
St. Louis University for both undergrad and medical school. I did residency training in Memphis, TN and fellowship in Birmingham, AL.
What extracurricular activities did you participate in high school or college?
I played baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf growing up. In high school, I played baseball, tennis, and ran cross country. I was the captain of our cross country team, and we won a State Championship my senior year. It was an awesome experience with a great group of people.
Who inspired you to go into Orthopedics?
I injured my ankle playing basketball in college, and spent some time shadowing my orthopedic surgeon in the operating room that summer. After getting the opportunity to scrub into a total knee replacement, I was hooked.
What inspired you to go into Orthopedics?
I spent a summer in college working at a mortgage loan company. I spent 4 days a week in a cubicle, and 1 day a week volunteering in the OR at St. Louis University Hospital. I found myself dreading the days of desk work (despite being paid for it), and looked forward to the one day a week in the OR, even though it was volunteer work. That pretty much gave me my answer for what I should choose as a career.
As a child, did you want to be a doctor? If not, what occupation?
Well, I originally wanted to be a dolphin when I grew up. When I realized that wasn’t going to work out, I settled on doctor.
How did it feel when you received your degree?
It was one of many important milestones. I think my parents were happier than I was, to be honest. I saw it as a stepping stone to residency and learning my future craft.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy getting people back to what they love to do, whether that is work, sports, or activities with their family. My goal is to help patients return as quickly and safely as possible. I try to maximize both nonoperative and operative treatment to achieve the best results.
What is most challenging about your job?
Although medical science and technology expand at an ever-increasing pace, there are still clinical
problems that we don’t have a great solution for yet.
What is a common misconception about your field of work?
Some people think that a particular surgery should have the same timetable for recovery as what their friend/neighbor/family member experienced. The reality is that each person recovers from surgery at his or her own pace, and that not all injuries are the same. That is why I believe it is important to individualize treatment plans for each patient and situation.
What do you like about living in the Kansas City Area?
I am relatively new to the area, but I enjoy exploring what the city has to offer. I especially love the good barbecue.
What is your favorite movie/TV show/book?
I don’t have one favorite movie, but I prefer comedies. My favorite TV shows are Ozark, Shameless, Game of Thrones, and The Affair.
St. Louis Cardinals.
If you were on an island, what 3 items would you bring?
Hatchet (great book), volleyball (worked out well for Tom Hanks), and journal.
What is your favorite meal?
What do you want to do when you retire?
Travel, golf, and drink my coffee sitting down.
Coffee or tea?
Black coffee, the stronger the better
Books or movies?
Baseball or basketball?
Baseball, no contest
Chocolate or vanilla?
Mint Chocolate Chip