A Compassionate Healer in the World of Orthopedic Care
In the sprawling world of medicine, there are those who stand out not just for their expertise but for their unwavering commitment to their patients’ well-being. For Dr. Zachary Goldstein, he is known for his remarkable dedication to improving lives through surgical precision and a compassionate approach to patient care.
His journey in the field of medicine began with a passion for science that blossomed during his upbringing in Skokie, Illinois. His mother was a dentist and recognized he had an interest in science, encouraging him to consider a career in medicine.
Following high school, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry cum laude at Yeshiva University in New York City and had become fascinated with the idea of orthopedics after shadowing several orthopedic surgeons.
His early exposure to the world of surgery left an indelible mark on him, ultimately leading him to choose orthopedic surgery as his calling.
“The spine is like a puzzle, where the goal is to match the piece of the spine with the patient’s symptoms,” he said. “I get immense satisfaction helping relieve patients of excruciating pain and improving their quality of life, and that is what drives me within my specialty.”
Following graduation, he conducted orthopedic research at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush in Chicago then pursued his medical degree at Indiana University School of Medicine, solidifying his interest in orthopedics.
Dr. Goldstein’s philosophy of patient care revolves around empowering his patients with information and recommendations. He emphasizes the importance of patients making informed choices about their treatment, ensuring they understand the risks, recovery, and long-term implications of their decisions.
“Helping a patient come to the conclusion on what is going to be best to treat their symptoms and feel comfortable and confident in the decisions they make, is what I feel like my role is,” he said.
Over the past decade, Dr. Goldstein has witnessed significant advancements in spine treatments. These developments have made surgeries less invasive, safer, and more effective. He adheres to a “less is more” approach, opting for fusion surgeries only when absolutely necessary to preserve as much of the spine’s anatomy as possible.
“We have learned through advancements in medicine that when you address one part of the spine, it can potentially impact other areas of the spine’s anatomy,” he said. “That is why I take the approach of treating the issue correlating with symptoms and not doing anything to further impact the anatomy of the spine.”
His choice to join OrthoIllinois was driven by the organization’s stellar reputation and the warm, positive environment it offers. Dr. Goldstein praises the facilities and the exceptional reputation the institution enjoys in the community.
“OrthoIllinois is doing something right in the fact that we continue to grow, and patients continue to come back,” he said. “This is a first-class organization that is truly friendly and positive.”
One of the most gratifying moments in Dr. Goldstein’s career came when he successfully treated a patient whose spinal cord compression left her barely able to walk. His surgical expertise restored her mobility and sensation in her arms and legs, a testament to the transformative power of his work.
Looking ahead, Dr. Goldstein is committed to expanding minimally invasive surgeries, with a vision to offer outpatient spine surgeries. He firmly believes that every question, no matter how small, deserves an answer and a discussion, reflecting his genuine dedication to his patients’ well-being.
“My philosophy is there is no such thing as a bad question,” he said. “Even if you are experiencing minor backpain, I want to have a discussion and do anything I can to help. I enjoy getting to know my patients and figuring out how we can best help them.”
His journey from a young science enthusiast to an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoIllinois is a testament to the profound impact one individual can have on the lives of many.
Outside of the clinic, Dr. Goldstein says he enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three children.