Donald Mackenzie, MD, FRCSC, FACS
What led you to the practice of medicine?
Well, there isn’t really a short version to that. When I was at school, I always wanted to be a pilot, but in my last year of school, I developed myopia. And so, I wound up going into engineering for a couple years. Realized I didn’t like that. And then went to Scotland to discover my Scottish roots, and wound up working for the British Government as a computer programmer and a systems analyst back in sixties. In 1969, I was recruited by an oil company in Calgary, in Canada, who wanted to pay me like seven times more than the British Government was paying me, and so I went to Calgary. And after a couple of years there, the oil company I was working for was involved in a hostile takeover, and I was out of work. So, after looking for another job and realizing that you now needed a degree, and that job training by Honeywell or IBM wasn’t sufficient, I decided to go to University to get a degree. I was going to get a degree in physics and a minor in computing science, but when I saw my first semester grades, I switched to premed. By this time, I’m around 26 or 27 years of age. I started medical school at age 29. I actually wasn’t the oldest student in the class. As I went through school, I realized that I had to be a surgeon, because I had always been good at doing things with my hands. In fact, I still repair my own cars, modify them and stuff. So, I went into orthopedics. And as I went through the residency program, I realized that spine was what I liked the most. So, after three or four years of general orthopedic practice, I found myself doing only spine, and I’ve been doing that ever since 1990.
What makes your practice unique?
I think there are a number of things that make it stand out. First of all, I don’t have a PA that sees the patient. I see every patient. I take every history. I conduct every physical examination. I conduct every pre-surgical informed consent discussion. I see them at every post-op visit. I answer their calls on the weekends if they call with a problem. And it’s just that that’s the way I’ve been brought up to do it, and that’s the way it was done and kind of the way I’ve been trained, although I’m sure it doesn’t work that way now. But I think that those things are important, so you’re not wondering: “Okay, this guy I’ve seen for thirty seconds is going to operate on my spine.” It doesn’t work that way in my practice. I do all that myself. And I stay up to date. I was one of the first people to do minimally invasive surgery before that was even a phrase. You know, back in the nineties, I was making progressively smaller and smaller incisions because I realized very quickly that patient’s post-operative pain and disability was directly proportional to the amount of damage I did to the muscles, finding my way into the spine. And so, I still do minimally invasive surgery when it’s possible to do so.
How important is Patient Education?
Well, I like an educated patient. And you know, before the Internet came along, I had to do all of the educating. Now I just have to correct them if they’ve got it wrong. Most of the time they don’t have it wrong. I mean very few patients go to rubbish sites. You know, those that do wind up saying: “I don’t want surgery. I’m going to go holo medicine in Mexico,” or something. But if I’m going to do surgery on the patient, I want them to know exactly what’s going on, exactly what I’m going to do, and exactly why it should or should not work and that they know what the risks are. I really want them to know what their role is in the recovery. And I have a very high success rate because of that; because they know you don’t flip a switch when you do surgery. You start the recovery process. And I get them engaged in it, and I have a very high success rate as well because of that. So, if they educate themselves online, fine. If they haven’t done that, I’m going to give them some credible websites to go to, or I’ll give them handouts, but I want them educated. An educated patient just does better.
What is your treatment philosophy?
My philosophy has always been that I will not do to a patient what I would not have done to me if I had the same diagnosis. In other words, I’m not going to do a three-level fusion if all they need is a one-level microdiscectomy. And I think you should treat patients the way you would want to be treated if you were the patient, and I found I never get led astray if I keep that philosophy in sight.
Specialty Certified in Orthopedic Spine Surgery
- The Royal College of Surgeons of Canada
- The American College of Surgeons
- The North American Spine Society
- Medical City Plano
- Medical City Frisco
- Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen
- Plano Surgical Hospital
- AO Spine
- Texas Medical Association
- Collin County Medical Society
Patient ReviewsPatient Testimonial 2017-01-18
I am truely amazed at the positive results achieved under the care of Dr. Donald Mackinzie. I am pain free fo the first time in over 12 months. The level of care I received is a level of excellence. Thank YouPatient Testimonial 2016-12-19
wish i had found this dr. sooner.Patient Testimonial 2016-11-02
DR. IS VERY PROFESSIONAL, GREAT STAFFPatient Testimonial 2016-09-28
Dr. Mckenzie is very personable and provides you with information in a way that you understand.Patient Testimonial 2016-08-24
Friendly and efficientPatient Testimonial 2016-08-24
Dr MacKenzie and team are just wonderful. They are wonderful, kind polite and they also made my backpain go awayPatient Testimonial 2016-08-24
what an excellent group. the Dr. is kind and considerate and the girls in the office complament him so well. its kinda crazy but I love to go to this office just because everyone is so nice........Patient Testimonial 2016-08-24
what an excellent group. the Dr. is kind and considerate and the girls in the office complament him so well. its kinda crazy but I love to go to this office just because everyone is so nice........Patient Testimonial 2016-08-11
Great staff. Very professionalPatient Testimonial 2016-07-14
excellent medical care from everyone at Dr. Mackenzie's office. i highly recommend this doctor.Patient Testimonial 2016-07-14
i feel normal like if i never had surguryPatient Testimonial 2016-07-14
Dr Mackenzie did an outstanding job of catching what was missed by the previous treating Dr. Dr Mackenzie's diagnosis was confirmed by proper testing and a successful surgery was scheduled by the appropriate specialist. i have since regained some strength in my arm/ shoulder and my pain level has dropped by nearly 90%. without his help i would still be on medication for pain and have no chance of regaining use of injured area.Patient Testimonial 2016-07-11
i highly reccomend the dr. and his staffPatient Testimonial 2016-06-20
Dear Dr Mac and staff you gave me my life back..... I can get down and play with my grandkids and get up.... Blessing Dr George ClarkPatient Testimonial 2016-06-16
dr. mackenzie and his office ladies, kim and lena, are awesome. All have been informative , gentle and helpful. After all, back surgery is scary. we are so happy that our good friend , Anna, sent us to this office!Patient Testimonial 2016-06-13
Great doctor, right diagnisis and caring. Staff is nice and welcomingPatient Testimonial 2016-06-02
So great to be without pain now!Patient Testimonial 2016-04-28
Professional enviroment with excellent doc and suport team.Patient Testimonial 2016-04-28
trust him throughlyPatient Testimonial 2016-04-25
Dr. MacKenzie is a kind and caring doctor and I'm really happy he is the surgeon to have done both of my back surgerys! 5 stars!Patient Testimonial 2016-04-25 Patient Testimonial 2016-04-25
Dr Mackenzie and staff, quite literally, are the best I have ever expencied. I am so happy that I found them.Patient Testimonial 2016-04-14
dr. mackenzie has been fanastic from the first visit, he really listens o whaat I have to say and is very through in explaining the procedure before and after surgery. I feel that God sent me to Dr. Mackenzie.Patient Testimonial 2016-04-14
LOVE LOVE LOVE THE DR. AND HIS STAFFPatient Testimonial 2016-04-14
We are so thankful that we found Dr. MacKenzie. His expertise has changed my life because I was in so much back pain. Dr. Mackenzie and his staff, Lena and Kim are always very plesant. They all take time to listen to my questions and answer my questions. I just had my 2nd surgery and after both I was up walking the next day with NO PAIN.