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 2019-02-18
After multiple visits with other doctors saying nothing was wrong with me, Dr. Mackenzie was the first one to take the time to listen & then go step by step in an understandable way to diagnose my problem. After doing everything possible to alleviate my pain, only then did he say that surgery was inevitable due to disc degeration. I had the surgery, and the prescribed physical therapy. I walked every day to continue the healing process & I became pain-free. That was in 2010. I am still pain-free today. Anyone I know that has back or neck problems, I recommend Dr. Mackenzie as the BEST doctor in the metroplex. I came back after 8.5 years with another issue, & again, I became so much better after physical therapy & work exercising at home. Thank you again, Dr. Mackenzie!Patient Testimonial 2019-02-14
Your the. Best.God bless you and your staffPatient Testimonial 2019-01-31
I highly recommend Dr. Mackenzie and the entire staff. They couldn't have been more friendly or helpful. I had been on crutches for two months.. and in constant excruciating pain with a herniated disc. I wanted to exhaust all of my options prior to going into surgery. I walked into the hospital on crutches, had my surgery, went home and hung up the crutches! WAY TO GO DR. MACKENZIE!!Patient Testimonial 2018-11-29
Absolutely, the best that I have felt in three years related to the discomfort of constant lower back pain and sciatica !! Amazingly, this result was achieved without surgery and a constant diet of pain meds. Instead, Dr. McKenzie methodically approached my back pain and leg issues via his hypothesis of what my problem possibly was based on the information that I shared with him and the immediate pain issues that I was dealing with. I was sent by Dr. MacKenzie to Dr. P. Flavill who did nerve testing that confirmed Dr. MacKenzie's suspicions of the source of my problem. Dr. MacKenzie then clearly explained to me what the testing confirmed and how my problem could be corrected via very targeted therapy. I immediately knew after my first week of therapy that we were on the right track !! While other Doctor's dismissed my pain as being directly related to age related degenerative spine issues, Dr. MacKenzie chose not to dismiss my problem as being solely related to this !! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Dr. MacKenzie !!Patient Testimonial 2018-11-28
NAPatient Testimonial 2018-11-28
Dr. Macenkinze took great care of my husband. His surgery is very successful. He used a great hospital. Life is better.Patient Testimonial 2018-11-28
Best DOCTOR ever been too!Patient Testimonial 2018-11-28
Incredible experience!! Dr Mackenzie is an incredible surgeon. He has an amazing bedside manner. He is the only one I trust to work on my spine.Patient Testimonial 2018-08-30
Very professional and genuinely caring. World class Dr. and amazing staff.Patient Testimonial 2018-06-28
Dr Mackenzie and his staff are so caring and helpful! The Drs bedside manner is only out done by his skill with the scalpel. 3 weeks post op, my life has changed forever. 30 years of daily suffering finally ended. Thanks Dr Mackenzie!Patient Testimonial 2018-06-28
Have had various back problems over the past 20 years, and Dr McKenzie has done a fantastic job fixing me.Patient Testimonial 2018-06-25
Great Doctor and Staff. Thank you Mr. M!Patient Testimonial 2018-06-13
Great doctor and staff. Would highly recommendedPatient Testimonial 2018-06-13
Muy agradecida. What lovely staffPatient Testimonial 2018-06-13
Dr. m Dr. Mackenzie is a wonderful doctor. he wonderful doctor and surgeon. really cares about his patients. night great doctor! really cares about patients. mPatient Testimonial 2018-05-23
Dr Mackienze's staff excellent, cordial, professional, and helpful. Dr Mackenzie is a top surgeon. I am very pleased with his surgery on me.Patient Testimonial 2018-05-21
There was a lots of trouble finding a provider that accepted my insurance but the assistant was very relentless until she found the right provider . She has my greatest compliment for her effort, very professional.Patient Testimonial 2017-10-19
The staff is always very helpful!!Patient Testimonial 2017-10-19
You ALL are so very nice!' d net y surgeryPatient Testimonial 2017-10-04
Best Orthopedic Doctor I have seen. Highly recommendPatient Testimonial 2017-09-21
I have received excellent care and treatment I had a fusion surgery that has taken away pain and allowed me to resume my routine. Awesome office staff. I am always treated well and very timely. I would highly recommend Dr. Mackenzie and his team.Patient Testimonial 2017-09-13
Dr Mackenzie is a wonderful surgeon and did a fantastic job on my latest surgery. His office even sent me a plant during my recovery, and I have never had a surgeon care like he has. I completely recommend him for any back surgery needs.Patient Testimonial 2017-09-06
Dr Mackenzie is in my opinion one of the best Doctor's in his field. He and his staff are so pleasant and professional. Dr. Mackenzie talks to you with heart felt concern that make you comfortable through out treatment. I would highly recommend Dr. Mackenzie for the patient that wants the best possible care!Patient Testimonial 2017-08-17
The doctor was professional and yet personable enough to put me at ease. I am grateful for his skill and knowledge .Patient Testimonial 2017-08-17
Dr. Mackenzie and his staff are the best! He actually took the time to listen to the problems\pain that I was having and gave me the treatment plan that was best for me. Within hours of surgery I felt the best I had felt in a long time. Thank you Dr. Mackenzie for treating me as a person and not just a number! Highly recommend!