The Road to Sun City: Get to Know Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Eric Sides
For Eric Sides, MD, his pathway to establishing Sun City Orthopaedic and Hand Surgery Specialists started early in life when he first began to think about practicing medicine. He entered college knowing he wanted to become a doctor, but he did not yet know what type of doctor he wanted to become.
From Construction to Surgery
During summers and while in college, Dr. Sides often did construction and mechanic work on the side. He enjoyed using his hands to build and put things together, and those skills translated into his studies as he discovered an interest in surgery. “It seemed like a natural fit,” he said.
After college, Dr. Sides went on to complete his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, where he grew up. Following graduation, he pursued both his residency and surgical internship at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he honed his skills as an orthopaedic surgeon.
Launching Sun City Orthopaedics
After completing his residency, Dr. Sides was eager to return to his home state of Texas. He practiced orthopaedics in El Paso for a number of years before deciding to go out on his own, and the origins of Sun City Orthopaedic and Hand Surgery Specialists began.
After five years of running the practice on his own, Dr. Sides saw the potential to expand the group to help better serve the El Paso community. “We needed some help as the number of patients we were treating grew,” said Dr. Sides. He reached out to colleagues in the field who brought additional experience in various areas within orthopaedics to round out the team of physicians.
For Dr. Sides, in addition to general orthopaedics, his core areas of interest are total joint replacement surgeries, including knee, hip, and shoulder surgery, as well as using arthroscopy to treat knee and shoulder injuries. In fact, Dr. Sides shares that many patients are treated without surgery. His goal for each patient is to provide nonsurgical treatment first and only conduct surgery when absolutely necessary.
Helping Educate Patients
One of the most important aspects of his job is helping educate the patient on the treatment and the recovery process. “We know our patients don’t know much about what type of treatment or surgery they may need or what the recovery process is like,” said Dr. Sides. “I focus on educating our patients along the way so that they understand what is going on, their best options for treatment, and what they need to do during recovery.”
This is a core aspect of Sun City’s patient-first philosophy. Dr. Sides enjoys knowing that he can help patients be free from pain and get back to their daily activities.
His work doesn’t stop there. Over the years, he has also done charitable work in Mexico, performing surgery for those in need. Outside of work, Dr. Sides has three grown children, one of whom still resides at home in Texas.