Interview With Michael David Ries, MD, Author of "The Joint Kitchen"

Dr. Michael Ries is an orthopedic surgeon and the Arthroplasty Fellowship Director at the Reno Orthopedic Clinic. He received a BS and MS from MIT, and his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School, and has been in practice for more than 25 years.

Dr. Ries has a practice limited to hip and knee arthroplasty surgery and treatment of arthritic hip and knee conditions. He was on the full time faculty at the University of California, San Francisco from 1997 to 2013 where he was Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Chief of Arthroplasty. During this time he also participated regularly in laboratory and clinical research. Dr. Ries has published 210 peer reviewed journal articles and 52 book chapters on topics related to clinical results and biomaterials used in hip and knee replacement.

What differentiates D. Ries most from his peer group is that he has helped develop a number of hip and knee replacements and is an inventor on 45 US patents for hip and knee replacement devices. He is also a father of three active children, husband to a beautiful Russian wife, avid skier, and household handyman.

Welcome Michael, and thank you for being with us today! Why don't you start by telling our readers a bit about your journey to becoming a published author?

I am an orthopedic surgeon and most of my career has been in academic medicine. That means that I travel and speak at a lot of medical conferences. The topics presented and discussed at these meetings deal with medical issues and new hip and knee replacement inventions are generally not included. Over the past five or six years it seems, I have been asked by some of the younger surgeons attending these meetings how to develop ideas for improvements in hip and knee replacement devices. When I responded to these questions I noticed that some of the non-medical people in the audience seemed very interested in the discussion, and I thought that maybe others would be interested in reading a book about it.

What is The Joint Kitchen about?

This book is a story about where ideas for inventions come from. It describes how wonderfully efficient the normal hip and knee joint really are, and why we can't make hip and knee replacements as perfect as the normal joints we were born with.

Then a doctor who found himself just cleaning the kitchen, preparing food, opening a wine bottle, unscrewing a jar top, riding a chairlift, fishing, skiing, or watching snowflakes fall drew similar images on a paper that turned into patents for new hip and knee replacements. The story suggests that when our mind is in a peaceful state of tranquility the creative and problem solving parts of our brain can magically connect and create a new idea.

What inspired you to write the Joint Kitchen ?

I've helped develop a number of hip and knee replacement devices over the years. I really didn't know why the ideas for these inventions sort of popped …

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