Herbert O. Bote, MD
"It's visual, technology-driven, and very engineering-oriented."
When Herbert Boté, MD, sees a patient, age is not his focus. "You're treating them for their physiologic not their chronologic age," he says. "You can be sixty-five years old but if you run everyday and participate in the Josh Billings Triathlon, I'm going to treat you like an athlete. If you're 35 and not very active? I'll treat you as such. That's my underlying principle: it's not the age, it's the lifestyle."
Dr. Boté (the name is pronounced BOW-tay) is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon. At age eleven, he emigrated from the Philippines and, along with his parents and five brothers, settled in Chicago. But even then he knew what he wanted to do with his life. "I decided at six or seven that I wanted to be doctor. Not just any kind of doctor: I knew I wanted to be a surgeon from the start." After considering brain and cardiac surgery, he settled on orthopaedics. "It suits my personality," he explains. "It's visual, technology-driven, and very engineering-oriented."
He earned his medical doctorate and completed his residency at Loyola University near Chicago, Illiniois, before going on to a fellowship in knee, shoulder, and sports medicine at the Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH), near Salt Lake City, Utah, where he also served (as he still does) as a volunteer physician to the U.S. Ski Team. Today he routinely does familiar knee and shoulder surgeries, but also performs newer orthopaedic procedures, employing his pencil-sized arthroscopic instruments to correct problems of the ankle, wrist, and elbow joints. "You can find the space," he says. "It's all about patient position and knowing the anatomy. My newest challenge is to treat hip joint disease without large incisions, using the latest arthroscopic techniques."
He emphasizes the role the patient must play in recovery. "It's a constant struggle: A lot of patients don't take responsibility for their health." In order to recover strength and flexibility, Dr. Boté points out, the patient has to commit to rehabilitation and long-term goals. "After I perform a surgery, to get the results you want, you have to work. But if you have an aspiration to get better? Everybody has an even chance."
Dr. Bote resides in Williamstown with his wife and two children. He relaxes by fishing and playing golf.