Meet Eric Tan, MD, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Tan is an orthopaedic surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC who takes great pride in delivering high quality care to his patients. Here’s what you won’t find on his resume:

He wanted to be a journalist.

“When I was growing up, I knew that I wanted to be a journalist or a physician. In high school, I worked my way up from a sports reporter to the editor-in-chief of the paper. It was a great experience that developed my writing skills and also my creative process. However, I always knew that I wanted to help people as well. As I learned more and more about medicine, through shadowing physicians and interacting with patients, I knew that it was something that I was very passionate about. Since starting down the medical path, I’ve never looked back. But, I have not lost my love for journalism. Instead of reporting on current events, I am reporting on the events of my patients and recording their history.”

The future of orthobiologics inspires him.

“Osteoarthritis continues to be one of the most challenging problems for an orthopaedic surgeon. While we have found good ways to replace the affected joints, our understanding of how to repair and regenerate cartilage remains limited. Orthobiologics represents an avenue of research that has the potential to result in novel and potentially minimally invasive interventions to limit the damage to cartilage and promote its healing. We are actively doing research on this at Keck Medicine of USC; yet, we remain far from finding the answer to this common problem that affects a large amount of our population. This remains the holy grail of orthopaedic surgery.”

Listening is key to his practice.

“I want to spend enough time with each and every patient. I feel that a large part of the treatment process with patients is being able to really understand not only the pain that they are experiencing, but perhaps more importantly, what their specific circumstances and situations of each patient are in order to develop an individualized treatment plan for them. It is developing this partnership with each patient that is an integral part of what I believe is ideal patient care.”

He’s witnessed groundbreaking developments.

“Technology continues to advance at a breakneck pace. What was once considered experimental or risky has, in some cases, become the standard of care. Even in my short time in medicine, I have seen our implants become more sophisticated and our incisions and approaches become less and less invasive. A large part of my desire to work at Keck Medicine of USC is the ability to be at the forefront of research and innovation to be able to provide the best care to our patients.”

The Trojan Family welcomed him with open arms.

“Fight On! From the first time that you step foot into the hospital, there is a palpable spirit that becomes contagious. It is with this pride that all of us seek to provide comprehensive care to our patients. I am constantly amazed by the warmth and friendliness that all of our employees display. Everyone bleeds cardinal and gold. This is not just limited to the employees, but it resonates with our patients as well. Unlike any hospital that I have previously been at, it is commonplace to see patients with hats, shirts, and jackets representing their USC pride.”

He wants you to put your best foot forward.

“At the USC Foot and Ankle Center, we are dedicated to the advanced treatment of common and complex foot and ankle problems. Our experts are not only trained in the most up-to-date surgical techniques, but they are also actively performing research to propel innovation. More importantly, our goal is to develop unique, individualized treatment and rehabilitation plans for our patients. Each patient has a care team composed of physicians, surgeons, physiatrists, physical therapists and orthotists. All of them have different areas of expertise, but one common goal – to help our patients continue to put their best foot forward.”

Dr. Tan is the assistant professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Click here to view Dr. Tan’s full biography.