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Catching Up with Gary Doan

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Ritchie School Communications Team

Learn about GRA life and his latest paper in TIKA

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Over the next few weeks, the Ritchie School will be catching up with a few young alumni! To kick off the series, we asked young alum and current GRA Gary Doan a few questions about what he’s been up to since graduating from DU. Between managing his own studies, being a GRA, and publishing a paper in TKA Journal, Gary is constantly learning how to improve the quality of life of patients who need total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


Tell us about your current role as a GRA. 

So, my current role as a GRA is handling and managing studies involving the robotic surgical system. Besides that, my other roles include helping others around the lab and learning as much as I can! 


Describe the purpose of this job to someone from another planet. 

Interesting question! The purpose of my role is to gather evidence to inform action and further the boundaries of biomechanics. More importantly, this translates in a clinical setting to hopefully reduce pain and increase patient satisfaction rates with TKA. 


You’ve been doing some great work and have a paper publishing in TIKA about robot surgery- can you tell us about that research and the paper? 

 So, in a majority of TKAs, conventional instrumentation is used to resect bone and impact implants and outcomes have been positive. But to further improve patient satisfaction, robots have been introduced into the operating room to provide more accurate control of bony resections and the final orientation of the implant. So, I compared various metrics to compare the accuracy and precision of the VELYS™ Robotic Assisted Solution, the surgical robot developed by DePuy Synthes, to conventional instrumentation and the results showed improvements in several accuracy metrics. 


How do you spend your time when you’re not at DU? 

When I'm not at DU, I spend a lot of my time really trying to relax by cooking, going to the gym, playing video games, and hanging out with friends. 


If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what song would you choose and why? 

One song that I've listened for years is "Sunday Morning Jetpack" by Big Sean. It's a song where he talks about the hardships in life growing up and how those struggles have made him who he is today. There's a specific verse that I always remember where Big Sean recalls the sacrifices his family has made so that he would never be hurt. This song speaks very closely to me and always motivates me anytime I'm feeling down. 


Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Gary. Congratulations on your publication and we are excited about what your bright future holds.