Inspired by the gentle hands and medical expertise of a doctor, a young Hanbing Zhou was inspired to become a doctor himself.
A Chinese immigrant who knew little English, H broke his ankle at 14 and was treated by an orthopedist whose kind, patient demeanor so impressed young Dr. Zhou that he decided to pursue a medical degree.
With an undergraduate degree from the University of California and a medical degree from Boston University, Dr. Zhou completed his six-year orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Massachusetts.
Today, as a spine surgeon with Orthopedic Associates of Hartford, which has patient care offices and surgery centers throughout the Hartford region, Dr. Zhou practices in a medical field that is constantly evolving with advanced technology. That constant flux, Dr. Zhou says, requires a high level of collaboration with his peers to develop the exchange of ideas, learning about the latest advances, and sharing knowledge and experiences.
“Cross-collaboration brings better outcomes for my patients,” he says. “As a surgeon, I must always remember that I am not alone, this can never be underemphasized.”
He’s grateful to work in a collaborative environment with a strong support team with his Hartford Health Care colleagues, he adds. That collaboration, together with a strong social media presence, helps him to stay at the forefront of medical learning. Through social media he engages with the medical community. It allows him to problem-solve and share knowledge with his peers.
He speaks fondly of his Physician Assistant (PA) Jason DaCruz, whose wealth of experience in orthopedics, especially the spine, makes a big difference in Dr. Zhou’s practice.
A self-proclaimed “preacher” of doing no harm and ensuring that his patients come through in the safest environment, Dr. Zhou specializes in advanced, minimally invasive, open surgical techniques. He believes in a comprehensive approach to patient care, including the utilization of physical therapy, water therapy, yoga, and conservative management to explore all alternatives of treatment before surgery is considered.
He lives in West Hartford with his wife and 11-month-old son. The couple is expecting a second child.
An avid runner and hiker, Dr. Zhou says he cherishes the time he spends with his family. “I love being a dad,” he says.
In practice for four years, he’s well aware of the demands of being a spine surgeon and physician burnout. Self-care and an appropriate work-life balance, he says, are critical for doctors.
His wife, who is a nurse, is understanding and supportive of the demands of being a doctor, he adds. He says everyone needs to exert a level of control over their work and personal lives to make sure they have enough time for themselves and safeguard their health and wellness.
“Happy Life, Happy Practice,” he says. “It’s all about work-life balance for longevity. I make a set schedule that includes work and clinic hours, and time with my wife and family.”
Being a doctor, he adds, is one of the biggest privileges of his life.
“Patients have made a fairly big impression on me. To be able to offer, as a surgeon, the opportunity to make someone’s quality of life better, meeting them at the most vulnerable spot in their life is a true privilege.”
Dr. Hanbing Zhou, Orthopedic Associates of Hartford
In Glastonbury: 345 Western Blvd.
In Farmington: 499 Farmington Ave.
On Instagram, Facebook @CtSpine360
“Cross-collaboration brings better outcomes for my patients. As a surgeon, I must always remember that I am not alone." Dr. Hanbing Zhou.