Dr. Paul Richin was an orthopedic surgeon who practiced at the DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur for almost 40 years. “I was Chief of Orthopedics for a few years and on many committees at the hospital,” he said.
Originally from Lancaster, Pa., Dr. Richin attended medical school at Georgetown University, where he also performed his orthopedic residency. He spent two years in the Air Force, based in Montgomery, Ala.
In 1979, Dr. Richin came to Atlanta to open his orthopedic practice. One of the personal touches that his patients enjoyed was his clear explanations of their health issues. He drew simple diagrams and described their problem, diagnosis and treatment in clear terms.
“Many of my patients would keep the pictures, use them to explain things to their family and even bring them back to later doctor visits,” he said. “They seemed to love the pictures and the way I’d explain their problems to them.”
Dr. Richin was also one of the few orthopedic specialists to volunteer at the Free Clinic in Decatur, and he performed many free-of-charge operations for its patients. He remembers one clinic patient in particular.
“She told me that I’m the only doctor who made her feel like a regular patient, and not like she was getting charity,” he said. “She said she loved coming to the office. Now she has insurance, and to this day, she comes to see me at my office.”
Eventually, Dr. Richin’s practice was absorbed by DeKalb Medical Center, and subsequently by Emory Healthcare. “For the last four or five years, I worked for hospitals,” he said, “but I was always much happier when I was working for myself.”
Once he retired, that’s just what he decided to do. Dr. Richin opened his private medical practice, the Orthopedic Cortisone Injection Center (OCIC), at the end of 2020.
OCIC provides easy access and same-day appointments to patients who want non-surgical and non-narcotic pain relief for ailments like arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis. “I wanted to get back to old-style medicine, where patients would see a physician and could get in very quickly for a visit, without having to wait up to six weeks,” he explained.
Dr. Richin said that he tries to treat conservatively, with physical therapy and injections rather than rushing into surgery. Though, he cautioned, conservative treatment does depend on the joints involved. “I’m not trying to get patients in the operating room, I’m just trying to get them better.”
Keeping with the traditional concept, Dr. Richin and his wife of 50 years live across the street from his Dunwoody office. He said that allows him to be flexible, since he can just walk over to the office and see his patients fairly quickly.
Things seem to be going well at this point, Dr. Richin noted. “I think the patients are getting a better experience, and I’m getting a better experience also!”