Zachary P. Thielen, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Male
Where I practice
My grandparents moved from Los Angeles to Lanikai in the 1960s and raised their family on Windward Oahu. I was born in Oregon, grew up on Kauai, and graduated from Waimea High School. While attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, I was blessed to meet my future wife, a Lahainaluna alumna. After I graduated from the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, we moved to the mainland for my surgical training, always with the intention of returning to Hawaii to live. I did an internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where I was chief resident, and later did a fellowship in adult reconstruction/hip and knee replacement at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Orange County.
Throughout my life my grandmother has been an inspiration. In addition to raising four children, she completed her law degree and dedicated herself to helping the people of Windward Oahu. The example she set led to my choice of a profession that would allow me to make a similar contribution to my community.
About my practice
My undergraduate degree was in civil engineering. I enjoyed this field, but when I was working my way through college at a restaurant in Waikiki, I realized that I wanted to combine my love for the sciences with direct service to others. Medicine was the answer, and, given my engineering background, I was naturally drawn to orthopaedics. The mechanics of muscles and bones are fascinating to me. Being in a position to help patients return to active lives is the most gratifying part of my job. My special interests are minimally invasive total hip replacement, total knee replacement, and partial knee replacement.
At UCSF I gave a presentation on orthopaedic surgical care in the country of Malawi. I also spoke on opioid use after surgery at a conference of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. My research on complications of hip and knee realignment, cartilage repair, bone malformation in children after fractures, and the Keiki Ola Pono Sports Program has been published in several medical journals.
To stay current in my field, I attend local and national meetings where the latest research is presented. I also read journals as well as the literature put out by my professional organizations, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
I was excited to join Hawaii Permanente Medical Group because its care delivery model allows me to focus on my patients without distractions.
Getting to know my patients as individuals allows me to tailor a care plan that more closely meets their needs. Whenever possible, I recommend starting off with the least invasive treatments.
How I thrive
Most of all I enjoy spending time with my wife and two daughters. To stay fit, I run, swim, surf, and do other activities in or on the water.