Meet Foot And Ankle Surgeon Dr. Michael Anderson
Dr. Anderson cultivates patient trust while treating foot and ankle conditions ranging from bunions to ankle fusion and replacement.
Dr. Michael Anderson’s parents didn’t have to be in the medical profession to shape his career path. “I knew I was going to be a doctor when I was five years old,” he says. “I attribute a part of my career path to the way my parents raised us. And I wasn’t the only sibling drawn to medicine: all of us were drawn to caring for other people and taking an interest in their health and well-being. It’s also true that I was introduced to medicine early. My sister had open-heart surgery when she was 13 months old. So as a kid, I spent a lot of time in hospitals and doctors’ offices and around physicians. I don’t know if those early days in the Minneapolis health system did the trick, but medicine just clicked for all of us.”
An education marked by internationally recognized medical research
Dr. Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree from Saint John’s University (Collegeville, MN) and went to medical school in Chicago at Midwestern University. “I did my residency through Henry Ford in Detroit, and then was very fortunate to do a fellowship in New York at the University of Rochester,” he says. “Rochester’s fellowship program is supervised by world-class ankle and foot surgeons. I was lucky enough to be mentored by five of them, and to work on research that has been recognized at numerous national and international meetings, including the 2017 Triennial International Federation of Foot and Ankle Societies (IFFAS) convention in Lisbon, Portugal.”
Dr. Anderson discusses the rewards of foot and ankle orthopedic practice
“Orthopedic specialties are uniquely positioned in all of medicine,” he says when asked about his choice of subspecialty. “We find problems and we fix them. I feel an enormous amount of satisfaction in helping patients identify their medical issue, addressing it, and then designing treatment to help give patients the best possible outcome. I also really enjoy treating patients of all ages and all walks of life. A foot and ankle specialty covers a lot of medical ground, and I enjoy it all,” he continues. I like sports. I enjoy helping patients with trauma injuries. And my pediatric patients are such a joy. The most rewarding part of my work is getting my patients back to their lives.”
Patient trust is at the heart of his treatment approach
“I think part of my job as a doctor is to help my patients feel comfortable,” says Dr. Anderson. “All patients are vulnerable when they see you. I offer a friendly environment where patients feel comfortable asking questions. And I want them to know they are going to get an honest answer because their best interest is my priority. That is a responsibility that I take to heart. My time with each patient may be limited, but I use it to understand who each patient is as a person, where they are coming from, and how their problem affects their quality of life.
“This is especially true when there are a couple of different ways to solve a medical problem,” Dr. Anderson notes. “I have to figure out which solution is the right fit for the patient’s priorities and values. The young guy who wants to go elk hunting in Colorado every fall may not be right for an ankle replacement, but the grandfather who just wants to walk around Lake Harriet with his grandchildren might do well with one. Getting to know patients helps me to understand their goals and what they care about.
Committed to caring for his hometown community
“My wife and I are both from the Twin Cities,” says Dr. Anderson. “My medical studies took me to other parts of the country, but now we are really excited to be home. I may have been gone from Minnesota for 10 years, but I feel like a Minnesotan through and through. It’s great to be playing hockey here again, and I can’t wait to get back up to the Boundary Waters. A recent study declared Minnesota the happiest state in the nation; I’m not surprised. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than caring for the people of the community I’ve loved for my entire life.”
More resources for you
Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries, and are often treated at home. Summit physical therapist Teresa Werth explains how physical therapy after your first sprain may prevent a chain of subsequent injuries that may necessitate surgical treatment.
During our warm weather months, flip flops are on display in an array of colors and playful styles. But can this popular summer footwear be harmful for your feet?
Bunions are common foot deformities. We explain the causes of this sometimes painful condition, and discusses available treatments.