Develop leadership skills, 'because talent only takes you so far': What we heard this week


From comments on CMS proposed changes to advice for aspiring physician leaders, here are quotes from four surgeons that caught the attention of Becker's readers this week:

1. "I love transparency in our world. We take CMS at their word when they cite patient safety, and we'd like to see that data," — Owen O'Neill, MD, of Golden Valley, Minn.-based Twin Cities Orthopedics, on CMS' proposed payment changes for 2022.

 "At the end of the day, we're all about taking care of patients. If there's a certain population that shouldn't be taken care of on an outpatient basis due to a patient safety issue, we want to see what that is. Our hope is that CMS will disclose that information because we'd like to be part of that conversation."

2. "Invest in developing your leadership skills, because talent only takes you so far," — Joseph Bosco III, MD, of NYU Langone in New York City, on advice for aspiring physician leaders.

"There are certain leaders that are talented leaders, men and women of certain stature that just get up there. There are also leaders who aren't blessed with that, but you can develop and hone your leadership skills. You could take classes, you could read on it, you can get a mentor. The more time and effort you look at developing leadership skills, the better leader you will be, whether it's for your profession, your community or your friends and family."

3. "Get on the telehealth bandwagon," — Richard Berger, MD, of Chicago-based Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, on ways orthopedic practices can address patient backlogs.

"It's a great way to help people, not just in your office, but at home. You have to remember that we're talking about patients who have hip and knee arthritis. It's hard for them to get around to begin with and really hard for them to get to your office, and lots of people aren't getting treated because they can't get to the office."

4. "The surgeon must commit and dedicate their time for training and accept that it will take time to build the new skills," — Issada Thongtrangan, MD, of Microspine in Scottsdale, Ariz., on overcoming the learning curve with endoscopic spine surgery.

"Live courses are now coming back again. I participated in several workshop courses during the weekend, having a mentor for the first three to four cases. My surgical time significantly increased in the first five to ten cases, and then got faster when I felt more comfortable and familiar with the anatomy, equipment, etc."

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