How a Passion for Orthopedic Surgery Became a Family Affair

Author: Sarah Barber

"I was pleasantly surprised when not just one, but two of my sons chose medicine and ultimately adult reconstruction as their interest in orthopaedics."



Imagine going to a family BBQ, fracturing a bone, and having four orthopedic surgeons around the table who know exactly what to do.

This is a real-life scenario that happened when the Mesko family was together. That’s because many members of the Mesko family are orthopedic surgeons: you could even say it runs in the family.

“I would tell my kids as they were growing up to find a career that energized them,” said Wes Mesko, MD, orthopedic surgeon who performs surgery at McLaren Greater Lansing. “I was pleasantly surprised when not just one, but two of my sons chose medicine and ultimately adult reconstruction as their interest in orthopaedics.”

Dr. Wes Mesko has been practicing orthopedic medicine in the Lansing area for the past 32 years. Now his son, Dr. Daniel Mesko, DO, has joined him in practice in 2018 at Michigan Orthopedic Center.

“I had the benefit of seeing what an orthopedic surgeon looked like since I was a child. This included the good and the bad; from long hours, the unpredictable nature of being on call, weekend responsibilities, the good of watching people recover their mobility and activity levels, maintain their independence, and have relief from painful conditions,” said Daniel Mesko, DO, orthopedic surgeon at Michigan Orthopedic Center.

Dr. (Dan) Mesko was able to experience the field from numerous perspectives growing up from making rounds with his dad and observing surgeries at a young age. He also traveled to Kenya several times to assist in orthopedic care, to working collecting data in the office setting, and as an orthopedic technician prior to attending medical school. All this shaped his desire to enter orthopedics.

However, Dr. Dan Mesko isn’t the only family member to take an interest in orthopedic surgery. Dr. Wes Mesko’s oldest son, Nathan Mesko, MD, works at Cleveland Clinic as an orthopedic surgery oncology specialist. Dr. Wes Mesko’s daughter-in-law, Sheeba Joseph, MD, works at Michigan State University as an orthopedic surgery sports medicine specialist. Her uncle is Jacob George, MD, a retired orthopedic surgeon who practiced in Clovis, New Mexico. And, finally, Dr. Wes Mesko nephew Josh Lawrenz, MD, works at Vanderbilt as an orthopedic surgery oncology specialist.

“Being able to work with family members in the same field offers the ability to share a unique bond that most people don’t get in their careers,” said Dr. (Dan) Mesko. “It’s nice to always have expert opinions so conveniently at my disposal.  Each of us has a unique viewpoint on approaching an orthopedic problem, shaped by the intricacies of each of our own training, and this can be invaluable when caring for my patients.”

As for his family that has chosen a career in medicine Dr. Wes Mesko shared, “I hope they will honor God, love and support their families, give excellent orthopedic care to the patients who are entrusted to them, and to look critically at the profession they have trained in, and intentionally make our profession better through teaching, research, innovation, and volunteerism.”

For more information about the orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing, click here.