Ansab Khwaja, MD, was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and moved to Seattle with his family when he was 10 years old. While receiving a degree in philosophy from the University of Washington, he worked with the school’s athletic trainers, giving him his first glimpse into orthopaedics. He earned early distinction as the ‘Outstanding First Year Sports Medicine Intern.’ He then remained at the University of Washington for medical school where he was a leader in the Orthopaedic Interest Group and his extensive volunteerism earned him a community service award.
Khwaja was drawn to orthopaedic surgery because it was an opportunity to help people continue doing the activities they enjoy. Adult reconstruction was a perfect fit for him because the subspecialty offers reliable outcomes, robust data to learn from, and the ability to dramatically improve a person’s quality of life–all while establishing lifelong patient relationships along the way.
He attended the University of Arizona for orthopaedic surgery residency and graduated in 2022. Khwaja participated in the leadership development course, leading to nomination for the C. McCollister Evarts Resident Leadership Forum and American Orthopaedic Association Emerging Leaders Program. He was involved academically, leading to more than 30 peer reviewed publications, presentations, and book chapters. During residency, Khwaja earned the prestigious Department Chair Award as well as the Resident Research Award.
Khwaja was drawn to the Yale Arthroplasty Fellowship for its multitude of exceptional clinical experiences in joint replacement. In the first month of his fellowship, he participated in 58 cases, of which 30% were complex primary or revision cases. Khwaja said, “Some arthroplasty fellowship programs boast about the complexity of their cases while others cite volume, but Yale is truly one of the few programs that offer both.”
During a fellowship year at Yale, where the definitive textbook on direct anterior hip replacement was written, there is exposure to DAA with and without a traction table, posterior hip approach, imageless computer navigation, robotic hip and knee replacement, and a robust outpatient total joints experience. The Yale hip fracture panel is yet another opportunity to hone the skills needed to care for patients in a thoughtful manner and diversify training prior to starting practice independently.
Lee Rubin, MD, who serves as program director for the Yale arthroplasty fellowship, said, “Dr. Khwaja’s mentors in Arizona identified him to be among the finest residents in his program, with excellent surgical skills, selflessness, and maturity. He has demonstrated leadership characteristics, volunteerism, and a work ethic that clearly have allowed him to excel during his orthopaedic surgery training.”
Khwaja will additionally have ample opportunity for involvement in research projects, both clinical and biomechanical, and in teaching junior residents and medical students – something he is looking forward to. “Education has been key to my determination, and I believe enabling others through education and mentorship is an important component of self-actualization,” he added.
“Weekly research time has already allowed Dr. Khwaja to work with our student researchers to advance a project that examines five-year outcomes of total hip arthroplasty in patients with ankylosing spondylitis,” Rubin said. “This is a forthcoming study that will feature the largest cohort of patients to date with this rare disorder.”
Thanks to generous support from the Keggi-Kimball Fund for International Orthopaedic Education, Khwaja is planning an international mini traveling fellowship to visit both Kristof Corten, MD, in Antwerp, Belgium, and Frederic Laude, MD, in Paris, France, during 2023, when he will gain further insights into anterior hip replacement surgery, entrepreneurship, efficiency in a surgical workflow, and hip preservation.
“The Yale Arthroplasty Fellowship is currently the only total joint program in the United States to feature a funded two-week international orthopaedic traveling fellowship opportunity, which is tailored to match the educational goals of each fellow,” Rubin added. “We accomplish this by pairing each fellow with expert mentors for unique opportunities that expose them to new perspectives in global orthopaedics.”
Faculty from the Adult Reconstruction Division who have worked alongside Khwaja have already spoken about his attributes as an orthopaedic surgeon. Mengnai Li, MD said, “Dr. Khwaja is very humble, eager to learn, and has demonstrated great patience during complex revision cases.” Aidin Eslam Pour, MD and Daniel Wiznia, MD added, “Dr. Khwaja has proven his capabilities in a very short time, and has shown that he is intelligent, empathetic, compassionate, and inquisitive with each patient and their unique situation.” David Gibson, MD concluded, “Dr. Khwaja arrived at Yale with a mature orthopaedic surgery foundation and has made excellent progress in his first few months with us. We are certain that he will develop into an excellent arthroplasty surgeon.”
Khwaja will be joining Eastside Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Milwaukie, Oregon, when he completes his fellowship. He will become the fourth surgeon in this private practice group and will utilize the lessons he learns during his year at Yale to care for patients while building a thriving arthroplasty practice. Khwaja can additionally be found on Twitter @AnsabKhwaja.