A Day in the Life of a JPS Surgeon

September 7th, 2018

Dr. Bryan Woei Ming’s day starts before the sun comes up and he stays busy all day, juggling between the operating room, teaching surgeons-in-training and on most days, he can squeeze in lunch.

Work as a surgeon in a busy trauma hospital like John Peter Smith Hospital involves long hours and stamina as well as a heart for service and desire to make a difference in peoples’ lives. JPS is a Level I Trauma Center, caring for the most severely injured patients in Tarrant County. As a public safety-net healthcare provider, JPS also has a commitment to deliver health care to uninsured, homeless and other vulnerable patients.

JPS Center for Cancer Care

JPS Health Network Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon Dr. Bryan Ming, from left, points to an x-ray as Orthopedic Resident Dr. Michael Wheeler looks on in Fort Worth, Texas. (Kevin Fujii/JPS Health Network)

No day is the same, says. Records show that in July 2018, Dr. Ming performed 48 surgeries, and spent a total of 6,339 minutes in surgery at JPS.

“I love taking care of our patients, especially our patient population. Our patient population is challenging. They are often overlooked, both in society and in healthcare, but they need and deserve quality care,” Ming said. “It’s very rewarding personally and professionally. That’s ultimately why I do it.”

Ming is Director of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery at JPS and an Acclaim Physician Group provider. We asked him to walk us through his typical day.

4:45 a.m. Wakes up and works out. Dr. Ming is training for a triathlon so he exercises for an hour in the morning. Then, he and his wife get their three young children ready for the day.

6:45 a.m. Arrives at John Peter Smith Hospital. Dr. Ming puts on his white coat and heads to the pre-op area in the Patient Care Pavilion. He meets with the first patient of the day to make sure the patient is ready for surgery, and coordinates plans with the surgical team.

As the team readies the patient, Dr. Ming goes to his office to touch base with surgical residents who were on duty the previous day and overnight. They take 15-30 minutes for “checkout,” updating one another on patient cases, discussing treatment plans and coordinating outpatient follow up care. As a teaching hospital, JPS has 20 physicians in the five-year Orthopaedic Residency Program. Checkout is also an opportunity to provide education for the residents and answer their questions.

Dr. Ming changes into scrubs after checkout.

7:30 a.m. Time to round with patients. Dr. Ming meets with patients in their hospital rooms to examine them, discuss their injuries and plans for treatment, and answer questions from patients and family members. He writes orders, evaluates laboratory results, reviews x-rays and consults with nurses and other team members involved with patients’ day-to-day care.

The rest of the day is spent in the operating room performing surgeries. As an attending physician, Dr. Ming supervises residents as they learn to perform operations and procedures. He tries to find time for a bite to eat (although some days, he can’t).

Between cases Dr. Ming may return to his office to send emails, work on curriculum for resident education and perform other duties. On Wednesday mornings, he heads to the nearby Acclaim Ben Hogan Bone & Joint Institute for appointments with outpatients.

Late in the day or in the evening, Dr. Ming sometimes has to travel to another area hospital to see patients.

6 p.m. Time to go home.

About 7 to 10 times per month, it is Dr. Ming’s turn to be on call as the primary doctor for orthopedic trauma cases at JPS or at a nearby hospital. That means he may need to come in to operate on patients needing urgent and emergency treatment after hours and even in the middle of the night.

But even when he is up all night, he still puts in his full schedule the next day.

Dr. Ming says he has the best job in the world.

“I get to work with wonderful people on a daily basis at JPS, use a skill set that was given to me to help make a difference in someone’s life, and in the end, that’s all I can ask for,” he says. “Sure, there are ups and downs just like anything else in life — long hours, etc. But to know that I’ve hopefully made a positive difference somewhere is all that matters.”


Share this article!