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Laurence D. Cohen, MD

His first choice is always a conservative approach

Dr. Laurence Cohen routinely does knee and hip replacements, treats fractures and other trauma, and performs hand surgeries to correct such ailments as carpal tunnel syndrome. Yet his first choice is always a conservative approach to musculoskeletal problems. "Most people come to an orthopaedic surgeon wanting you to operate," he says, "and I spend half my day convincing people they don't need MRIs. I've found that the great majority of medical conditions go away if you wait them out and do very little. "

That said, he describes two warning signs that shouldn't be disregarded: "One is swelling that persists for several days; the other is pain that continues when at rest. I tell people that those are things not to be ignored, especially in a child who has sustained a traumatic injury. If there's swelling following an injury, it's usually something that needs to be addressed."

A veteran surgeon, Dr. Cohen has been practicing in Berkshire County since his discharge from the Army Medical Corps in 1975. He's been working long enough that, he reports, "I'm finding it gratifying to see little children I have taken care of in the past coming in with their little children. As adults, they remind me of what I did for them when they were young. Sometimes the names have changed and I don't recognize them, but it's a thrill to hear what those grown-up kids are doing now."

After earning his medical degree at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Dr. Cohen gained his board certification in orthopaedic surgery as a resident and fellow at the Hospital of the University Pennsylvania.

Dr. Cohen has also employed his medical expertise in the larger world, working in Viet Nam, Bhutan, and India. As a volunteer for Orthopaedics Overseas, he has helped train young doctors in areas where no formal residencies in orthopedics are available. Back at home, Dr. Cohen serves as president of the board of the Community Health Association, which provides visiting nurse services in central Berkshire County. A long-time resident of Richmond, he has two grown sons and an infant granddaughter.



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