Christian Foglar, M.D.
I was born and raised in Switzerland and went to medical school at the University of Basel in Switzerland. The University of Basel is the oldest University north of the alps and was founded in 1460. It has been ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide and has multiple Nobel prize winners including one of my teachers and many internationally famous faculty members. After completing my medical school, I joined the AO Research Institute and laboratory for experimental surgery in Davos Switzerland. The AO research Institute is one of the premiere orthopaedic research facilities in the world (the majority of all implants used to treat fractures were developed there) with numerable ground breaking discoveries and developments that changed the way orthopaedics has been practiced around the world. I had a chance to work with many famous American surgeons who were conducting research there or teaching at the institute and these cooperations resulted in lasting friendships and contacts that ended up bringing me to the United States.
I started my surgical training at the Kantonsspital Chur, a centralized trauma center for the entire alpine region of southeastern Switzerland, where I gained experience in general surgery, trauma cases, and general orthopaedics. This was followed by providing all surgical services at the Schweizer Paraplegikerzentrum, specifically covering plastic surgery and orthopaedic services.
I then took a position with Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles where I completed a surgical internship at the VA in Westwood in addition to Harbor UCLA. This was followed by a fellowship in orthopaedic trauma research at the prestigiousBaylor College of Medicine in Houston.
I then matched into the University of California San Francisco (always ranked in the top 4 medical schools in the nation) Orthopaedic Residency Program .
After that I joined Florida Orthopaedic Insitute, an academic institution with an outstanding faculty that trains fellows and residents and does significant research.
In 1999 I joined the US Army Reserve and completed several training courses and military courses. I was deployed to the Balkans and in the war on terror and was on two deployments.
In 2006 I decided to move back to the San Francisco Bay area and go into private practice.
My training was extremely varied and multifaceted and I gained incredible experience, medically, orthopaedically and culturally. I have been practicing and operating in three continents under all sorts of circumstances from a tent without water and light to the most advanced high tech facility. This experience has taught me many important life lessons and not just how to be a better surgeon or doctor. I pride myself in being very controlled and efficient in the operating room. However the primary focus of my whole practice is treating patients the way I would treat my own family members. This means that I will recommend the treatment that is best for the patient and not best for the doctor. This may sound strange but there is an inherent conflict every surgeon has to face with every patient in private practice. The financial compensation is depending on promoting solutions that include surgical procedures or very aggressive approach.
My focus is entirely different as I focus on educating the patient on their problem and then showing them the treatment options and helping them decide what works best for them which frequently does not necessarily mean surgery. Of course I love doing surgery but I love it even more when patients are happy and have good outcomes, which is more likely after they have tried everything else and we are certain that proceeding with surgery is actually the right choice. This does not mean it cannot be the first choice but it should be an educated decision that conforms to peoples wishes and goals with realistic expectations.