A Culture of Excellence: John “Chip” Davis, DDS, MD, entered medical school the long way. By completing dental school first.
Dr. Davis, now a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon with Paradigm Health System, thought dentistry was his destiny until the allure of oral surgery evolved into an interest in wider surgical options. During his fourth year of medical-school residency rotations, he had his first exposure to spinal surgery. The similarities between oral and spinal surgical techniques felt instantly familiar and comfortable to him.
“Dentistry was actually great training for spine work,” Dr. Davis says. “I had a natural and immediate attraction.”
He had natural skill too. He was in the top 10 percent in his class, and he was awarded a fellowship under the legendary Dr. Henry Bohlman at the renowned Case Western Reserve Affiliated Hospitals. “If you signed on under Dr. Bohlman you had to promise to take an academic job,” he says. “It was his legacy to teach surgeons who shared and spread their skills to other surgeons across the nation.”
He remained for 12 years with Case Western Reserve, Metro Health Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the VA Hospital where he treated patients; taught residents and fellows; and ran the Northeast Ohio Level IV Spine Trauma Program.
It was an icy winter day in Ohio in 2005 when Tulane University’s School of Medicine called Dr. Davis and asked him to take the position as director of the Spine Center at Tulane Medical Center. He relished the opportunity to return home and went on to spend a decade training surgeons and advancing the latest techniques in spinal surgery. His respect among his peers led to his appointment as Tulane Medical Center Chief of Staff from 2013 to 2015.
Just this summer, Dr. Davis joined Paradigm Health System to focus on serving his hometown community in Slidell. He has lived there since his return to the state, and he and his wife are dedicated to their community and their church, which he says informs his practice.
“I’m a big believer in integrity and doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching,” he says. “I’m a Christian guy; I go to church; I say my prayers; and hope I do the right thing for my patients.”
His decades of training under renowned programs make him uniquely specialized in spinal treatment for the Northshore. His capabilities range the full spectrum — from complex trauma surgeries for broken back and neck to minimally invasive surgery, simple discectomies, fusions and the correction of other adult degenerative spinal conditions.
While Dr. Davis acknowledges that minimally invasive surgical management is preferable when possible, he says experience has taught him that certain conditions are resulting in temporary correction with this procedure. An open spinal surgery using time-tested techniques can often result in more successful outcomes. To that end, he has a body of work he is reporting on using dynamic cervical plates for improved spinal fusion rates. Another area of his specialized work lies in functional electrical stimulation for spinal cord regeneration.
One of the big advantages that attracted Dr. Davis to Paradigm is the unique model of care that allows him to put all his efforts and extensive training toward his patients’ needs. “As my career is based in teaching, the mission of my practice has always been to focus on the careful education of my patients about their condition,” Dr. Davis says.
Paradigm’s strong coordinated resource support for physicians leaves him able to optimize the amount of time he spends with each visit. He says the more time he takes, the better his patients understand and the more comfortable they both feel about the treatment and potential outcomes.
Dr. Davis also cites collaboration and camaraderie with the extensive network of Paradigm’s physician specialists as being critical to the success of his work. He says that Paradigm’s system allows for more physician interaction, more friendships and more focus on taking care of patients together.
“From a business standpoint, Paradigm is very well managed,” Dr. Davis says. “I like the organization of the organization. I’m extremely happy to be working right where I live in my hometown of Slidell, and I feel fortunate to be able to do so within a culture of excellence at Paradigm Health System.”
Dental School: Louisiana State University
Medical School: Louisiana State University
Residency: Orthopedics, Louisiana State University
Fellowship: Spinal Surgery, Case Western Reserve Affiliated Hospitals
Board Certifications: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, ABOS Board Examiner
Professional Affiliations: Cervical Spine Research Society, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association
Hospital Privileges: Sterling Surgical Hospital, St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Fairway Medical Surgical Hospital
Paradigm Orthopedic Spine Surgery
985 Robert Blvd., Ste. 103
Slidell, LA 70458