May 18, 2022
Meet Lauren Tatman, MD
Dr. Tatman specializes in orthopedic trauma, including the treatment of fractures of the pelvis, upper extremity, and lower extremity. Her clinical practice also includes caring for fractures in the polytrauma patient and management of post-traumatic problems including nonunions, malunions, and osteomyelitis.
Where are you from? Anything fun/special about your hometown?
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. This past year marked the first time the Cincinnati Bengals made it to the Super Bowl since 1989. Unfortunately they lost, but it’s an exciting time to be a Bengals fan and I’m hopeful we will be back again over the next few years.
What made you choose orthopedics and/or trauma as a specialty?
I found the variability in challenges and technical aspects associated with orthopedic trauma to be the most interesting work, and I still do. Waking up in the morning to a list of complex problems to solve for the day never gets old.
What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics?
The clinical and academic opportunities for growth and development as a surgeon at this institution are unmatched. My colleagues within the department are top notch surgeons and individuals, and they always seem to have the time to mentor and teach me. This upcoming fall will mark my two year anniversary with the department.
What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding?
I really enjoy the variability in injuries, patient factors, and surgeries that I evaluate and perform each day, but the long term relationships with my patients as they recover and return to life is the most rewarding part of my job.
Was there a past patient who made a lasting impact on you?
Most of my patients impress me, and my job offers a unique look into the incredible capacity that humans have for resiliency. I have a young, active patient that is about a year out from bilateral pilon fractures that has returned to work, running, and dirt bike riding. He had pretty devastating injuries and I wasn’t sure if he would return to any of those things, but he has proven he can do whatever he wants in life. It is a good lesson for all of us.
Anything new on the horizon for trauma care? New clinical trials or treatments?
My main research interest is in developing an objective classification system for the diagnosis of compartment syndrome based on tissue ischemia. I have worked with a multi-specialty team of investigators here on several studies, and I am working on obtaining funding for translating our work to a small clinical trial this upcoming year.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
My dad frequently advises me to “leave everything better than how you found it.” For the day to day, it’s a reminder to provide the best care to every patient. There’s no task or detail that is too small, and instead everything becomes an opportunity for improvement and progress. It’s a mindset. We are all only here for a limited time so we should be thoughtful about what we leave behind and spend our time and effort on making positive contributions to society.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
My husband and I moved to St. Louis during the pandemic, so we have enjoyed exploring all the city has to offer together- food, drink, live music, and sporting events.
If you weren't a physician, what would you like to be doing?
I would have loved to play soccer professionally. When I was finishing college, the U.S. Women’s Professional Soccer league was in existence starting in 2009 and folded in 2012 so a lot of my friends and teammates transitioned to European teams at the time. There continue to be a lot of challenges for female professional athletes, but there has been a lot of progress over the past year.
Learn more about Dr. Tatman and why patients choose Washington University Orthopedics for their trauma care.