Meet the Doctor: Samik Banerjee, MD
Samik Banerjee, MD, has practiced orthopedic surgery at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia since August 2020. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.
We spoke with Dr. Banerjee recently about his career, his interests, and orthopedic surgery at Einstein.
Why did you decide to become a doctor?
I wanted to become a doctor since I was a child. In middle and high school, I loved biology and life sciences. I was convinced that the best way to help and serve humanity was through a career in medicine. I felt a sense of belonging and a calling to the profession. I believed that curing disease, returning people to health, mobility and activities is the best service you can do for humanity.
Tell us about your education background.
I was raised in Burnpur, India, about 200 miles from Calcutta [now Kolkata] in the eastern part of the country. I went to Medical College Calcutta, the oldest medical school in India, and stayed there after medical school for my residency in orthopedic surgery. Following my board certification in India, I did my senior residency at Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research in Pondicherry, India.
My quest for further training took me initially to Singapore, where I did the Tan Sri Rumne orthopedic trauma fellowship at the National University Hospital. I later moved to the United Kingdom, where I had training in shoulder surgery and lower extremity [hip and knee] replacement surgery at the Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals and Southwest London Elective Orthopaedic Centre.
My wife was in residency training in the United States while I was in London, and after spending two years in the UK, I moved to the United States to be with her and pursue advanced orthopedic training. Initially, I did a research fellowship at Sinai Hospital Baltimore and then completed my orthopedic surgery residency at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y. Before joining Einstein Healthcare Network, I did a fellowship in pelvic and lower extremity (Adult Reconstruction) at the Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in Philadelphia.
Why did you choose your specialty of orthopedic surgery?
I was born into a family of engineers. My father was an electrical engineer and my elder brother completed a degree in mechanical engineering. I was the only one that went into medicine. In medical school, I was attracted towards surgery because of its immediate impact on patients’ health and mobility. As the concepts of engineering, mechanics and mathematics were instilled in me while growing up, I felt I could best apply this knowledge in orthopedics.
I firmly believe that the gift of mobility is the gift of life, and joint reconstruction and joint replacement surgery is the best way to help people achieve those goals. Patients who have arthritis suffer for a long time, and many of them are unaware that they can have a very active and mobile life after joint replacement surgery.
Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful orthopedic procedures and has one of the highest satisfaction rates among all orthopedic patients. Naturally, it was an easy choice to specialize in total joint arthroplasty, or joint replacement.
What are your clinical interests?
My main clinical interests are robotic hip and knee replacements and the direct anterior approach [from the front of the hip] in total hip arthroplasty. I do partial knee replacements, as well as primary, complex, and revision total hip and knee arthroplasty. I also perform minimally invasive hip and knee replacements and hip preservation surgery.
What drew you to Einstein?
My wife and I love Philadelphia for its history, culture, restaurants and, most importantly, its people with their multicultural ethnicities and backgrounds. We wanted to settle down here and raise our daughter, Saranya, who is now 5 years old.
One of the things that drew me to Einstein is that it’s an academic, mission-driven, tertiary [specialty] healthcare network that provides medical care to everyone in the community. We have a great team of subspecialty orthopedic surgeons who are experts in their chosen field. I would recommend them wholeheartedly for my family members, as well as for my patients, who need orthopedic care. We work great as a team and we provide the best care for everyone. I couldn’t have been happier anywhere else.
What’s new in orthopedics at Einstein?
I bring the direct anterior approach in primary total hip arthroplasty to Einstein. I have extensive experience in this approach, having done more than 300 anterior total hip arthroplasties during my residency and fellowship. It is minimally invasive, muscle sparing, with potentially lower risks for dislocation, than the traditional posterior approach [from the back]. Additionally, patients often recover quicker and require no hip movement precautions after the procedure, allowing them to go home on the same day of surgery.
What are your interests outside of work?
I love swimming and biking. I enjoy listening to both Western and Indian music, and especially listening to Saranya play the piano. I am an outdoor person and take pleasure in long walks and hiking. Traveling to new places, meeting new people, and tasting local cuisine is something that I look forward to.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation spot is Destin, Fla., for its pristine and clear beaches. My favorite beaches near Philadelphia include Ocean City and Atlantic City.
Who was an early role model for you?
My role models are my mom and dad. They instilled in me the value of hard work and made me believe that hard work is the only investment that never fails.
What is your favorite sports team?
I follow the Indian cricket team. Cricket is my favorite sport. I played cricket as a kid and later on represented my school and college. You can watch cricket in the United States on ESPN, Hotstar and Willow TV.
Is there a person you’d particularly like to meet?
Barack Obama. I’ve watched his interviews and motivational speeches multiple times and have always admired him as a leader and a great human being.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m an active diver and pretty good at doing backflips. I won multiple medals for diving at club-level competitions. That’s something even my closest friends probably don’t know.
Learn more about Orthopedics at Einstein.