John S. Kirchner, MD, completed his undergraduate studies at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia 1988. He graduated medical school 1992 at Hahnemann University. Upon completing his degree, Dr. Kirchner began a one-year rotating internship in General Surgery at Hahnemann University, followed by a residency in Orthopaedic Surgery which he completed in 1997 at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Kirchner moved to Birmingham, Alabama to pursue a one-year fellowship in Foot and Ankle Surgery at the American Sports Medicine Institute.
I always knew I wanted to be a surgeon. I like to proactively fix things rather than take the try it and see if it works approach. With guidance from family and friends, I entered orthopaedics. No matter how technology or medications improve, the care for worn out joints and fractures will always be needed.
Like many physicians, success stems from personal satisfaction. For an orthopaedist, a patient who returns to your office with complimentary comments, improved function, significant relief of pain, and/or restoration of lifestyle signals success. I feel most successful when my patients refer family or friends.
One of the most memorable cases I handled was one of my total ankles. After returning from a hunting trip to Montana, my patient was so excited because he could actually retrieve his game. His peers were equally excited that he could follow them into the woods to assist.
I have been in practice for over 15 years working in both academic affiliated centers as well as private practice. I spent much time searching for a practice where I would feel like part of a group as well as part of the medical community. I chose to join Southlake Orthopaedics because of the partners with whom I would be associated.
One of the greatest contributions I can bring to the orthopaedic community in the Birmingham Metro Area is my experience of more than 250 total ankle arthroplasties. This procedure is unique as the only other option is fusion of the joint. Total ankles allow people to retain a mobile joint segment. My experience rivals that of only a few other orthpaedic surgeons in the country. My former partner, John Gould, and I were very excited and proud of our continuing superior results using this technology.