Dr. Jay Talsania, of OAA’s Hand Institute, was recently named Physician of the Year by Lehigh Valley Business. The first fellowship-trained orthopaedic hand surgeon in the Lehigh Valley, Dr. Talsania devotes his entire practice to the care of hands and upper extremities.
Dr. Talsania was selected for this honor from a distinguished field of physicians by a panel of independent judges. Now in its third year, the annual Lehigh Valley Business Health Care Heroes Awards aims to honor organizations and individuals making a significant impact on the quality of life and health care in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Comprised of four fellowship-trained orthopaedic hand surgeons with over 60 years of combined experience, OAA’s Hand Institute is the most experienced team of hand surgeons in the region. This, paired with being conveniently located next to hand therapists, allows OAA’s Hand Institute to provide unparalleled hand and upper extremity care. The following was published in the Lehigh Valley Business Health Care Heroes 2016 supplement: Those who know Dr. Jay Talsania as a talented hand surgeon may be surprised to learn that he originally planned to pursue a career in biomedical engineering. It wasn’t until the summer before his junior year at Bucknell University that he discovered a love for anatomy and physiology that surpassed engineering.
“My Father, who was a general surgeon, passed away that year and something clicked in my head to pursue a career in surgery,” Dr. Talsania said. “My only regret is that I never spent time observing him with his patients and in the operating room.”
In 1997, Talsania joined OAA Orthopaedic Specialists in Allentown, armed with a care philosophy that combines a conservative approach, patient education, and state-of-the-are surgical procedures.
“Most people think that hand surgeons just do surgery all day, but the majority of my practice is nonoperative,” he said. “Most conditions can be addressed with a conservative approach that includes education, splinting, injections, therapy, and sometimes just observation.”
Since joining OAA, he has built a solid hand practice, adding three partners and creating a premier hand center with more than 21,000 patient interactions in 2015 alone.
Talsania’s caring approach does not stop with his office practice. Enthusiastic about sharing his career experiences and knowledge, he regularly lectures at Lehigh Valley Hospital, speaks at local schools for career days and enjoys having students shadow him.
“I love what I do and I hope that young people with an interest in medicine can see that despite the long road and long hours, we should feel privileged to help people with our knowledge and our skills,” he said.
Since 2007, Talsania has also made nine trips to Guatemala to participate in hand surgery mission work sponsored by the Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation. Word of his mission has spread around the Valley and his trips now include family, friends and other colleagues who not only help in the hospital, but also build schools, latrines and irrigation systems. A huge soccer fan, Talsania often arrives in Guatemala with a hoard of soccer balls and donated shoes. Last year, he and his daughter collected and distributed more than 600 pairs of shoes in a small village in Guatemala.
To view the entire 2016 Edition of the Lehigh Valley Business Health Care Heroes click here.
When asked to comment on being named the 2016 Physician of the Year, Dr. Talsania responded, “I am delighted to be recognized amongst such a distinguished group of physicians. The Lehigh Valley is a great place to live and work, and we are very fortunate to have so many dedicated health care heroes. I greatly enjoy the opportunity I have been given to help my patients and increase the local availability of quality hand surgical care. I would also like to recognize our entire OAA team that works tirelessly to provide excellent subspecialty orthopedic care to the region.”