Meet Paul K. Gilbert, MD, Medical Director of Orthopaedic Surgical Operations and Family Man of Verdugo Hills

Dr. Gilbert is the new medical director of orthopaedic surgical services at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital (USC-VHH). He has been an orthopaedic surgeon for more than 30 years. Here’s what you will not find on his resume:

He has strong ties to the Verdugo Hills community.

“My family and I have lived in the Foothills community for my entire career. Both of my sons were born at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, thanks to the efforts of Joseph Mutch, MD, who is an OB/GYN. He helped us with infertility. Without him, our children wouldn’t be here today. Since USC acquired Verdugo Hills Hospital, we have been able to really develop orthopaedic surgery at USC-VHH.”

He is an avid scuba diver.

“My entire family enjoys scuba diving. My son, Chris, and I are certified rescue divers. We have done dives in Borneo, Belize, Hawaii and more.”

He has lived in multiple countries.

“Because my father was in the Air Force, we moved every couple of years. I never went to an elementary school or high school for more than 2 years. I lived in various states in the U.S., but I also was able to live abroad. I lived in London, and my junior and senior year of high school, we were in Wiesbaden, Germany. I really liked moving around because it gave me the opportunity to meet new people and go to different places.”

He attributes his honesty, integrity and work ethic to his father.

“I take a lot of characteristics from my dad, such as integrity and hard work, but the one that I feel is the most underrated is honesty. It’s a trait that I try to aspire to and value the most, especially in the field of medicine. If you try to exaggerate, you just miss the mark. If you don’t know the answer, say it. If you do know it, make sure you say it right. I strive to not only be honest with my patients, but with myself as well.”

He uses groundbreaking technology in his surgical practice.

“Once when I called Domino’s, they were able to tell me how many pizzas I had ordered in the last few years and what the most common was. They knew more about my pizza order than I knew about it. The reason for that was because they had my order history on their computer database. Similarly, in surgery, the data is critical. Innovative tools, such as advanced robotic and computer systems, provide and contain so much valuable, immediate data that helps us improve procedures and patient experience.”

He loves to give back.

“Ten years ago, I went on my first trip with Operation Walk. Operation Walk is a charitable organization that does free total joint replacement procedures on people who do not have access to advanced care. We have traveled across the world to do joint replacements. The first week of December, we do surgeries for people in our own neighborhoods that can’t afford them. Now I’m on the board of directors for the Los Angeles chapter of Operation Walk.”

Paul K. Gilbert, MD, is assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine. Click here to view Dr. Gilbert’s full biography