Why peeling off from a large health system was the best decision this surgeon made all year

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In 2023, Earl Kilbride, MD, and two partners left the large orthopedic group, Austin-based Texas Orthopedics, to open a small private practice. 

Their new practice, the Austin Orthopedic Institute, now has two locations in the area and four MDs on staff specializing in sports medicine, joint reconstruction and orthopedic trauma. 

Dr. Kilbride spoke with Becker's about why starting his own practice was the best thing he did in 2023 and what he's looking forward to in 2024. 

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length. 

Question: What are you most proud of from the last year? 

Dr. Earl Kilbride: Myself and two partners, all with 20 years of experience, peeled off from a large single-specialty orthopedic group. We worked very hard to get the message out to the community that we would have two goals as our foundation — one is optimal results while the other is top-notch patient service. Finally, it is coming to fruition. We have hired another partner and have watched each of our practices grow.

Q: What are the biggest trends you're following in healthcare right now? 

EK: As a small group partner, I follow the economics of healthcare. These include, but are not limited to, ASC reimbursements, private equity investments, hospital employment models and evidence-based practice guidelines.

Q: What are you excited about for 2024? 

EK: Personally, I have started performing peripheral nerve stimulators. They have been performed in the pain space for a few years, but there are a handful of orthopedic surgeons who are now incorporating this technology into their surgical practices. I have been at the forefront of that technology.

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