Dr. Stark is a native to Minnesota. He was born in Mankato, attended Fridley High School, St. Olaf College, and the University of Minnesota Medical School.
He completed his rigorous training in orthopedics at the University of Minnesota. Most of his training was done at different hospitals, including trauma at Hennepin County Medical Center, pediatric orthopedics at Shriners and Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital, adult hand reconstruction at the Veterans’ Administration Medical Center, and of course, the University itself.
After finishing his training, he spent time with small town orthopedics in Northfield, New Prague, Hastings and the Minneapolis suburbs of Minnetonka, Wayzata, and Fridley. These very positive experiences led him to the highly technical and demanding challenges of low back degeneration and salvage which he’s done for 15 years, primarily at the University Hospital.
Looking for interesting challenges and technical growth, he accepted a teaching position at the University of Minnesota in 2000. He works at the Level I Trauma
Center for Regions Hospital in Saint Paul. He has seven partners in the orthopedic department at the University; they share interests in internal fixation of fractures, bone disease, joint reconstruction and joint replacement.
His orthopedic practice exposes him to many important technical advances in orthopedics and back surgery, including the latest implants, computer-assisted navigation, and orthobiologics. Orthobiologics is an exciting new field within orthopedic practice; it uses biologic methods such as bone hormones and biophysical methods, like that of bone stimulation with the physics of ultrasound, electrical current and highly controlled magnetic fields. These are strong interests of Dr. Stark’s. He believes that once the surgery is done well, we should use the best combination of new techniques to ensure proper healing and to decrease the morbidity and discomfort.
Dr. Stark loves Minnesota and the Minnesota lifestyle, including all of the weather extremes and the forests and lakes. He enjoys traveling; however, the Twin Cities is his home. He has a beautiful golden retriever named Jake, whom he takes on frequent walks. He also likes to go "up north" to the Boundary Waters wilderness area and Voyageurs Park for peace and solitude.
Dr. Stark loves to read stimulating contemporary and historical material, especially works by Jung, D. H. Lawrence, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Dr. Stark believes that good results center on a precise, critical and accurate diagnosis. He wants the patient to understand the problem and participate in the decision-making at each stage. He wants to see the involvement of specialists and consultants that share his patient care philosophy. He understands that much comfort comes from having confidence in the process and the specialists that are involved. He desires that his patients have excellent treatment, including the best physical therapy, precise and accurate imaging, caring hospitals and well-planned surgery. Dr. Stark works hard to make this a reality.
Patient care, in a field as complex as low back salvage, requires three components. These include:
1. A realistic appraisal of academic truth. This means a cautious approach to the problem, in addition to a critical assessment of the possible causes and treatments. Academic truth and the meaning of proof are essential to the practice of medicine.
2. A generous commitment to the patient’s welfare and humanity. It’s often said that the human requirements for successful care, including patience and empathy, also count for much of the treatment success.
3. An execution of personal responsibility. Everyone in the complex relationship of caregivers, family and patient have some obligation to contribute energy, understanding and commitment to the treatment process.
Dr. Stark will want to help. To every degree possible, he will work to provide answers. If the solutions are outside of his experience, he will direct the patient to the necessary experts and resources. The entire goal is the satisfaction of the patient.