This month meet Dr. Robert Stiegelmar
Orthopedic Surgeon at the University of Alberta Hospital site
1. Where were you born/where are you from?
I was born in Vancouver. My family moved back to Edmonton when I was eight.
2. What made you decide to become a doctor?
My family’s doctor helped us during a difficult time in our lives, when there was no one else to turn to. His compassion made a difference and inspired me. Now my family is committed to paying it forward too.
3. What led you to specialize in Orthopedic Surgery?
I worked in construction to pay for school during the summer. In Orthopedic surgery I still use powers tools; it’s kind of like construction.
The hard part of being a surgeon is caring enough about someone who is in pain, broken, or arthritic and having them trust you enough to take care of them while they are sleeping, and cut them open with a scalpel and fix the broken pieces.
My 30 years of training with Canadian Armed Forces and several deployments with one Canadian Field Hospital have been a major component of my personal and professional development. It also exposed me to amputees and hurdles they face during their recovery.
It’s a calling more than a job. I ask myself, why would a loving God choose me to be a surgeon?
4. What do you do for fun?
Skiing, down the mountains or on the water behind a boat playing 80’s music. That’s even more fun when you are with the people who love you just because.
I also like to chase a checkered ball in the grass and kick it between the goal posts.
5. What is your favourite local hangout?
Whyte Ave. I grew up there. I have been Fringing since it started.
6. What has support from the University Hospital Foundation meant for your program/will mean for your program in the future?
I have very personal experience in how institutions like the University Hospital Foundation really make a difference. Just like they are with Osseointegration. This project could not go forward without the Foundation’s support.
7. What would you like to say to all the supporters of UHF who are committed to advancing healthcare in Alberta?
For those patients who are in pain and can’t walk this is life altering. The people contributing to the University Hospital Foundation they are paying it forward. Thank you!