Passionate about “educating patients and putting their hands back together again,” Dr. Rob Vercio is honored to have the opportunity to provide care for the people in the community that he grew up in. By using his skills and knowledge as a hand and upper extremity specialist, Dr. Vercio strives to help his patients get rid of their pain and live healthier lives.
Pacific Northwest Roots
Dr. Vercio was born and raised in Gig Harbor and went to high school across the street from the Puget Sound Orthopaedics Tacoma clinic. Being the son of a physician, he grew up in a world that valued medicine and caring for others. This inspired him to pursue a medical degree.
While training to become a physician, Dr. Vercio lived in Southern California for six years and in Wisconsin for one year. He has also spent time treating people in developing countries such as Nepal and Haiti. However, no matter where in the world his training took him there was always a part of him that yearned to return home to the PNW.
Shortly after completing his fellowship in August of 2021, Dr. Vercio moved back to the Pacific Northwest and began seeing patients at Puget Sound Orthopaedics. He brought his wife, his toddler and his baby along with him.
He is very excited to show his kids all of the fun activities this area has to offer, especially skiing.
“It might be a couple of years, but as soon as my boys can stand I am taking them to Crystal Mountain and teaching them how to ski,” says Dr. Vercio. “I am expecting them to be doing black diamonds by the age of four,” he joked.
Dr. Vercio on coloring duty.
Providing Patients with Compassionate Care
At the clinic, Dr. Vercio’s first priority is to listen and learn from his patients. In order to understand the unique goals and needs of every patient, he believes that it is essential to ask the right questions and to pay close attention to their answers. “It is crucial for me to listen to my patients so that I can fully understand their concerns and clearly explain a diagnosis,” states Dr. Vercio. He notes that making a genuine effort to learn who his patients are as individuals, what their goals are and what they do outside of the clinic helps him build personal relationships. “I want to have a strong connection with every person I care for,” he says.
When asked why patients should trust him for their medical care, Dr. Vercio replied “My extensive medical training and experiences have prepared me to provide exceptional care to all patients who have problems with their shoulders, elbows, hands, wrists or anything within the upper extremity.” It is also significant to point out Dr. Vercio’s friendly demeanor, sense of humor and positive personality that makes going to an appointment more enjoyable for all!
Specializing in the Hand and Upper Extremity
Dr. Vercio is an orthopedic surgeon who uses nonoperative and operative techniques to treat patients who suffer from ailments within the hand and upper extremity. He has solutions for any musculoskeletal related problem from the collar bone down to the fingertips. “My focus is getting the entire arm working properly. We use our hands and arms constantly and it can be very challenging for a person to be in pain while doing everyday tasks like buttoning a shirt or unlocking a door,” explains Dr. Vercio. “I want people to be able to use their fine motor skills and do all the activities they need their arms and hands for.”
Dr. Vercio is prepared for the variety of challenges that come along with treating the hand and upper extremity. He provides care for common conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and is confident executing complex procedures like repairing a torn rotator cuff.
Dr.Vercio also performs cutting edge procedures that are minimally invasive, such as arthroscopy of the wrist, elbow and shoulder. He is committed to learning the latest surgical techniques so that his patients feel less pain and recover as fast as possible after an operation.
When asked how he approaches patient care, Dr. Vercio answered, “Treating patients requires teamwork. I want to empower my patients to improve their own health and quality of life while supporting them every step of the way.” He goes on to explain that there are often multiple options that can solve a medical problem, which is why it is so important to collaborate with the patient to determine an effective path of action that addresses the person as a whole. “I want my patients to know that they are an equal partner in their journey to recovery and that I want to be their teammate throughout the process,” he says.
Education and Training
Dr. Vercio completed the Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where he had the opportunity to train under several accomplished mentors. Additionally, he spent hours of his fellowship instructing new residents in the program.
He chose to specialize in orthopedics because of his love for learning about the mechanics of bones and joints and how they function. “Orthopedic related injuries are not always life threatening but they are usually very life debilitating. Working to solve the mechanical and functional problems to return people to a better and more comfortable version of their life was what really drove me to specialize in orthopaedics,” Dr. Vercio explains.
Outside the Clinic and Operating Room
When not performing surgery or caring for patients, Dr. Vercio is most likely having fun with his wife and young children. He also enjoys spending time on the water, photography, downhill skiing and exploring the outdoors.
Dr. Vercio is devoted to treating his patients like family and providing them with efficient, compassionate and expert care. He is looking forward to many years at Puget Sound Orthopaedics and building strong connections with people in our community.
Thank you Dr. Vercio, for your commitment to exceptional patient care!