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Debra M. Parisi, M.D.

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Introducing Debra Parisi, M.D.

Debra Parisi, M.D., is a hand surgeon specializing in hand, wrist and elbow care, hand and wrist arthritis, carpal tunnel, and surgery.

Dr. Debra Parisi’s Approach to Care

“Injuries to your hand, wrist and elbow are very disruptive. After figuring out what’s going on I’ll tailor a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle and allows you to get back to essential activities and the activities you love to do.”

An educational background well suited to orthopedics

Dr. Debra Parisi’s surgical practice combines a biomedical engineering background with her passion for helping people. She treats complex conditions of the elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.

During her small-town childhood in New York, Dr. Debra Parisi didn’t have dreams of becoming a surgeon. But she vividly remembers the two experiences that redirected her to a medical career. “I always loved science, especially biology,” she says. “I was fortunate enough to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering at Duke University. During an internship at IBM, I found myself working in a room with 20 computers and not a single person. That’s when I realized that if I wanted to work with people—and I did—a medical degree was my better choice.”

Finding her passion for surgery

In medical school, Dr. Parisi reasoned that cardiology or radiology would complement her engineering background. “I didn’t think that surgery would be my passion, because I’m not a morning person,” she laughs. That changed with her surgery rotation. “I just loved it,” she remembers. “I thought it was amazing that we could go in and help cure people’s problems through surgery. The biomechanics and engineering in orthopedics were a perfect match with my undergraduate education.”

Following medical school and residency, Dr. Parisi completed a fellowship focused on surgery for upper extremity conditions. After practicing in Manhattan and the Hudson Valley for over a decade, Dr. Parisi crossed paths with residency colleague Dr. Edward Su at a conference. They met for dinner to catch up. “My husband and I wanted to raise our family in an urban environment with lots of outdoorsy activities,” she recalls. “Dr. Su invited me to visit Summit Orthopedics and meet some of the doctors. I was impressed that Summit shared my philosophy about practicing medicine. And my husband and I thought the Twin Cities offered the kind of life we wanted our children to have. It feels like a really good fit.”

Dr. Parisi explains her approach to patient care

“I think that the most important tenet of practicing medicine is excellence in patient care,” she says. “If you give patients a good experience and provide excellent care, everything else will fall into place. For me, it’s really important to sit across from the patient and listen to what he or she is experiencing before making a diagnosis or offering a management plan. Patients are individuals. I want to honor each patient’s uniqueness and tailor the care to personal needs and lifestyle.”

Ask Dr. Parisi: Insights on important questions

Treating patients is the highlight of Dr. Parisi’s work

“I love a lot of aspects of what I do,” she smiles. “Helping people is wonderful. There’s nothing better than reassuring someone who is scared and concerned about a health issue. I enjoy helping them through the process of diagnosis and management and treatment. I value the experience of addressing the mechanics of the human body in the operating room. It’s intellectually fascinating work.

“For me, medicine is about knowing how to approach and solve problems,” Dr. Parisi concludes. “The human body is nuanced, and the practice of medicine is often more an art than a science. Physicians practice this art in the service of their patients. It’s wonderful to see patients happy because their function is no longer compromised and they are finally pain-free. I think that’s the most rewarding aspect of what I do.” 

More resources from Dr. Parisi

Undergraduate Studies
Biomedical Engineering and Economics
Duke University — Durham, North Carolina

Medical School
New York Medical College — Valhalla, New York

Residency
Residency in Orthopaedic Surgery
New York Univeristy — Hospital for Joint Diseases
New York, New York

Fellowship
Hand and Microvascular Fellow
University of Washington — Seattle, Washington

  • The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Surgery of the Hand, Certified by The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand
  • New York Society for Surgery of the Hand

Photography, kayaking, running, basketball, cooking, reading, and travel.

Carpal Tunnel Release: Quality Information

Publications

  • Parisi, DM. The future of medicine — are you prepared. The American Journal of Orthopedics 2013;42(8):350-1.
  • Liporace FA, Yoon RS, Kubiak EN, Parisi DM, Koval KJ, Feldman DS, Egol KA. Does adding computed tomography change the diagnosis and treatment of tillaux and triplane pediatric ankle fractures?Orthopedics 2012; 35(2):e208-12.
  • Waitayawinyu T, Parisi DM, Miller B, Luria S, Morton HJ, Chin SH, Trumble TE. A comparison of PGA versus Type I collagen bioabsorbable nerve conduits: An alternative to autografting. J Hand Surg 2007;32A: I521-I529.
  • Debra M. Parisi, MD, Thomas E. Trumble, MD. Vaccaro AR (ed). Chapter 30 – Wrist and Hand Reconstruction. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update 8. Rosemont, IL, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005.
  • Lee SK, Kubiak EN, Liporace FA, Parisi DM, Iesaka K, Posner MA. Fixation of tendon grafts for collateral ligament reconstructions: a cadaveric biomechanical study. J Hand Surg 2005;30A: 1051-1055.
  • Parisi DM, Koval K, Egol K. Fat Embolism Syndrome: A Review. The American Journal of Orthopedics 2002; 31 (9): 507-512.
  • Raskin KB, Parisi D, Baker J, Rettig ME. Dorsal Open Repair of Proximal Pole Scaphoid Fractures. Hand Clinics 2001; 17(4): 601-610.

Survey Feedback

Dr. Parisi and team were awesome. I would recommend Summit for my family and friends.

comment from patient satisfaction survey

Dr. Parisi is a wonderful addition to Summit Ortho. I am so glad I found her in time to care for my hands. Thank you so much for bringing her expertise to us. My hand is much better and I now have a path forward as I deal with arthritis.

Patient Survey Comment

Dr. Parisi was on time and very efficient. Spent just the right amount of time. Support staff was very helpful!

Patient Story

Broke my wrist in a public restroom in Washington DC Nov. 2018 while on vacation. Still hard for me to believe I tripped on a broom handle entering the stall, with my arm ending up in the toilet! Today, six weeks later, (home from vacation) Dr. Parisi did my surgery! On my first appointment, I found her to be easy to talk to, she listened to me, and took the time I needed to address all my concerns before scheduling my surgery. I am a detail freak, so that meant everything to me, as the injury had happened six weeks prior, my concerns were high. I did not hesitate for even a minute to call Summit orthopedics, as I had been a patient in previous years with two full knee replacements with now retired amazing Dr. Young! I truly feel Summit has the best of the best Dr’s on staff! If they were unable to accommodate my needs, the only other place I would go is the Mayo Clinic. I hold Summit in very High Regard.

Survey Feedback

Super smooth process. Was in and out and it was exactly what I expected. Dr. Parisi’s team was fantastic the whole way through!

Patient Survey Comment

Dr Parisi is the best. Professional yet sensitive to my needs. within 5 minutes had the diagnosis, cause and treatment options for me. I felt very comfortable and trust was built very quickly.

Articles and Videos from Debra M. Parisi, M.D.