Dietmar Dammerer, Orthopaedist and Traumatologist
Medicine is a team effort
Associate Professor Dietmar Dammerer, MSc PhD, has been Head of the Clinical Division of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at Krems University Hospital since February 2022. He transferred from the University Hospital Innsbruck to Lower Austria to bring together the two former clinical divisions for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery to form the joint Clinical Division of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at the University Hospital Krems. “Uniting the two divisions had a special appeal for me: I am qualified in both subjects, and I believe that the two disciplines complement each other”, says Professor Dammerer. He aims to establish and consolidate specific focus areas in his division. “I first trained as an orthopaedic surgeon, and trauma surgery and traumatology were an integral part of my studies in Innsbruck. Today, we have a stronger focus on individual joints. We set clear priorities instead of splitting our work across two subjects. If we adopt an open mindset towards each other, everyone stands to benefit and there is a great sense of community", Professor Dammerer explains. In addition to consolidating selected focus areas and creating a team structure, the Clinical Division of Orthopaedics and Traumatology continuously pursues and implements certifications. The division is also one of the most active research units at Krems University Hospital.
Dietmar Dammerer discovered his passion for medicine while studying to become a teacher. Encouraged by his brothers, he began studying medicine at the same time, and after several semesters of this dual study programme and passing his dissection examinations, he decided to pursue a medical degree. After that, the young doctor’s career progressed in leaps and bounds: In 2012, Dietmar Dammerer was awarded a doctorate in medicine after completing his diploma thesis in the field of paediatric orthopaedics. During his residency at the University Clinic for Orthopaedics in Innsbruck, he also completed several study abroad programmes, which enabled him to explore the full breadth of orthopaedics and trauma surgery. In 2015 he completed the PhD programme in Musculoskeletal Sciences and in 2017 he was awarded a Master of Science degree in Advanced Orthopaedics and Traumatology from the University of Continuing Education Krems. In 2017 and 2018, he completed his speciality certificate examinations in Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery and Orthopaedics and Traumatology. He was awarded the venia docendi for his habilitation thesis in 2019. In 2018 and 2020, private lecturer Dr Dammerer, MSc PhD, received Travelling Fellowship grants from the European Hip Society and from the European Musculo-Skeletal Oncology Society. Today, Associate Professor Dietmar Dammerer is widely regarded as a specialist in the field of endoprosthetics and tumour orthopaedics. The Clinical Division of Orthopaedics and Traumatology in Krems regularly welcomes interns from Austria and around the world, offers training courses for doctors from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and hosts a large number of conferences. It also regularly publishes peer-reviewed articles in specialist journals. Articles contributed by the division appear in almost every issue of the orthopaedic-traumatological journal JATROS, in particular on the anterior minimally invasive hip approach as well as on topics related to tumour orthopaedics. Division head Dammerer is convinced that research is essential to medicine: “To cease researching is to cease learning. Our clinical work generates a range of questions, for example why a prosthesis causes pain. Of course, we want to find out the cause of the pain and propose various hypotheses. We then reflect on which methods we can use to test our hypotheses, and collect data. We interpret what clinical relevance can be derived from our findings and other research. Scientific research and everyday clinical practice are inextricably linked. Medical progress is the result of scientific research. This is the source of my own interest in research and that of my colleagues”, says the physician. Professor Dammerer recently published his 100th peer-reviewed academic paper, he publishes about ten papers a year on average. However, Dammerer uses another metric to gauge his success: “I share the view expressed by my father – successful people promote and cultivate successful employees. Medicine is a team effort, and we can achieve much more together than any single person can do alone.” That is why Professor Dammerer is especially delighted to have the opportunity to motivate his staff at the division and wishes to further consolidate the existing team structure. Of course he would appreciate being allocated more resources, but he is confident that much can be achieved in Lower Austria with the existing structure. “Generally speaking, the only thing that limits us is our own horizons. Courage and ambition can help overcome boundaries. This has been amply demonstrated in the history of humankind to date”, comments Professor Dammerer on the future of medicine.
Prim. Clin. Assoc. Prof. PD Dr. Dietmar Dammerer MSc PhD
Division of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (University Hospital Krems)