Dr. Jared Niska takes a multifaceted approach to advancing patient care.
“Growing up, I played a lot of sports,” says Jared Niska, M.D. “I was fascinated by the complex series of events that occurred in the human body to complete a task such as hitting a baseball.” That fascination ultimately led Niska off the playing field and into the field of orthopaedic surgery. He is currently in his fourth year of the UCLA / Orthopaedic Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Training Program, with two years to go.
Before coming to the program and LAOH, Niska received a Bachelors of Science in biomedical engineering at Arizona State University and completed his medical training at Harvard Medical School. While finding the educational experience and academic atmosphere in Boston stimulating, the Arizona native couldn’t imagine staying on the east coast forever, so came to what he considers “the best training program in the West – a top notch program, with opportunities to pursue any area of interest from mentors who are very accomplished in their fields.”
As part of his residency, Niska spent a year working in the LAOH Urgent Care Center, where he “treated a lot of broken bones.” He found the experience extremely gratifying. “The kids would come to the Urgent Care in pain and concerned that their arm looked deformed after their injury and might remain that way. It was rewarding to give them the care and apply the cast that would relieve their fears and allow them to heal and return to normal function.”
Niska has also taken advantage of the research option the residency program offers to extend his already substantial portfolio of medical research. His current collaborative efforts with Fabrizio Billi, Ph.D., and other members of the team at Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center aim to identify ways to prevent and treat surgical implant infections. “This is a huge problem for patients, and the results of this research can help prevent disability and poor outcomes following surgery. It can also potentially lift the significant financial burden this major issue presents the healthcare industry.”
The research effort will continue even after Niska completes his residency research year. In fact, he foresees remaining with the project and developing it further throughout his career as a researcher-clinician. “I remain scientifically curious, so there is a great joy to undertaking this work. And, fundamentally, it’s always about our patients. I would like to continue contributing to scientific discoveries in healthcare that increase our ability to improve people’s lives.”