Why did you need hip replacements?
I have an extremely rare and destructive form of arthritis. Within eight months of diagnosis it had destroyed both my hips. The pain made life difficult. I'm a super-active guy. I love to rock-climb, mountain bike, skate, ski and work out at the gym. Being active means the world to me, so this slowed me down quite a bit.
What led you to UCSF?
I'm a doctor and I regularly refer patients to UCSF. I know patients with complicated health problems will get state-of-the-art care. So when I became the patient, UCSF was one of the first places I considered.
Why did you pick Dr. Vail?
I'm not only a doctor but also a surgeon. You can only imagine how picky I am about choosing someone to operate on me! I did a lot of research to find the best surgeon. I narrowed it down to two choices, including Dr. Vail. What I liked about Dr. Vail was that he had lots of surgical experience, he'd done research in the field and he teaches medical students, which I imagine keeps his skills sharp.
When I met him in person, he didn't disappoint. He exuded confidence. He answered all my questions. He looked at my situation and gave me his recommendation, even though it wasn't what I'd hoped for. When I pushed back, he didn't second-guess himself. He was confident that he knew exactly how to fix me. I left that meeting knowing he was the right surgeon for me.