After a trip to Brazil as a teenager, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children’s pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jaren Riley knew he wanted to go into orthopedic medicine to help people. That passion to help others led to an interesting experiment where Dr. Riley decided to take his patient’s experience literally. For one week, he wore a custom-made scoliosis brace for up to 18 hours a day, just like he asks his patients to do.

According to Dr. Riley, even after reading numerous studies and talking with patients who have worn scoliosis treatment braces, he’s always felt unprepared to help his patients and their families navigate this next step in their treatment. That’s when he had the idea to walk a mile in his patients’ shoes.

“The more I see the challenges faced by my patients, the more I realize there is so much I don’t know about the experience of wearing a scoliosis brace,” said Dr. Riley. “Specifically, I don’t truly understand the transition from life as they know it now, to life in the brace. I want to give my patients and their families good counsel, speaking from a position of knowledge and experience.”

And thanks to his time wearing the brace, he’ll be able to do that. He plans to use his experience to relate to his patients’ experiences and ultimately better prepare them for scoliosis brace treatment in the future.

Watch Dr. Riley’s story to see how the experiment unfolds.

(Internal audience can view the video here.)

To help us celebrate the exceptional experiences happening every day at HCA affiliates, we’ve created a video series called, “Committed to Care.” Being committed to care is a reflection of HCA’s mission – we are committed to the care and improvement of human life – and a calling that has shaped our company from its earliest days.