Michael Rauh, M.D., ’95
University Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
By Tom Missel
Michael Rauh remembers when he first thought about becoming a doctor.
“I have this picture from a field trip to a Syracuse hospital when I was in second grade,” said Rauh. “I was decked out in the scrubs and hat and mask and I thought, ‘Wow, this is really cool. I think I might want to do this some day.’”
Rauh moved in third grade to Orchard Park, where he now works at UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, one of 18 practices under the umbrella of the University at Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
The UBMD model means Rauh, SBU class of 1995 and a graduate of UB’s medical school, also teaches; he’s an assistant clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery. As a clinical professor, much of his time teaching takes place while he’s working.
“A lot of the instruction is right in the operating room,” Rauh said. “A much smaller percentage of my time teaching is in a classroom setting.”
A specialist in sports medicine, Rauh worked with the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers while doing a fellowship at the renowned Cleveland Clinic in 2006-2007. He’s now the team physician for the Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League.
His residency in Buffalo was in general surgery, but the sports medicine field intrigued him.
“I just felt it was an expanding field, with better opportunities,” Rauh said. “The ability to stay on the cutting edge of research meant a lot.”
The days of having to open up the knee for almost any injury passed long before Rauh began practice, but surgical advances haven’t slowed down.
“Just in the last 10 years we’ve made great progress in shoulder and knee arthroscopy,” Rauh said. “We’re currently working on computer assistance for reconstructions and osteotomies.
“We have the ability to put in infrared trackers, kind of like a remote control, that get pushed into the femur and tibia bones so that we can … look at alignment and angles and instability. Things that were only able to be felt by a surgeon’s hands can now actually be quantified, which we hope will improve surgical outcomes.”
Rauh treasures his experience at Bonaventure, where he was one of the first three students to earn a degree in biochemistry. (Dr. Sal Pacella is a California plastic surgeon, and Dr. Stacy Dacosta Byfield is a senior researcher at i3 Innovus.)
“When I see patients … I treat them like they are my own family. Being a doctor is about building relationships,” Rauh said. “That’s what Bonaventure is really about — relationship building, with all the people in your major, with your professors, and with all the other students.
“A successful medical practice is not just about treating an injury, it’s about creating a trust irrespective of the outcome. Your patients want to be able to trust that you’re doing the right thing.”
(Tom Missel, firstname.lastname@example.org, is director of media relations and marketing at St. Bonaventure.)