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Press Release: Legal Lines with Locke Meredith

Darryl Peterson


Attorney Locke Meredith interviews Dr. Darryl Peterson, an orthopedic surgeon in Baton Rouge. They discuss the how health insurance has affected the practice of medicine along with worker’s comp and many other numerous items.

Dr. Peterson has graduated from West Point, then medical school from the U.S. Army. He served briefly in Desert Storm, then became the chief surgeon at Fort Hood, the largest Army base in the U.S. He has done well over ten thousand surgeries.

Dr. Peterson explains the process of becoming an orthopedic surgeon: the residency process, the training, the specialization. He is a specialist on the hand, and goes on to explain how doctors can now reattach fingers and thumbs quite well. Orthopedic surgeons handle problems of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, sports injuries, and things of that sort.

Dr. Peterson explains the role technology has played in medicine over the years, namely CAT scans, MRI’s, and arthroscopy. Arthroscopy allows doctors to make a small incision in the body, where formerly, they had to make huge one. He continues to explain that now we have such good optics, we can repair vessels as small as two human hairs. Medications have improved, he says, as well as the metals doctors are now using, namely titanium over stainless steel. Hip and knee replacement materials are also so well made now, that they may last fifteen to twenty years.

Dr. Peterson then explains the challenges that Hurricane Katrina brought to his practice: increased numbers and people without insurance. With both of these on the increase, and with a charity hospital system that he considers “broken,” Dr. Peterson calls for leadership to make changes to the system.