What they wish they'd known about independent practice: 2 spine surgeons weigh in


Here two spine surgeons discuss what they wished they had known before deciding to open an independent practice.

Ask Spine Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. We invite all spine surgeon and specialist responses.


Next week's question: What makes a great leader in spine?

Please send responses to Anuja Vaidya at avaidya@beckershealthcare.com by Wednesday, April 13, at 5 p.m. CST.


Question: What do you wish you had known about independent practice before you chose that career path?


Richard Kube, MD, Founder, CEO, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute (Peoria, Ill.): Spine does not always work in a general orthopedic group. Had I known that, I mean truly know that, I would have probably taken a different position when I completed training. That being said, it did provide a launching pad to open my own practice. It would have been nice to have more background in human resources and law, but you can't spend 40 years in school. I really have no regrets about the decision, and really anticipated many of the struggles and challenges we have faced. Ultimately, I am more successful than I would have been had I not gone out on my own.


Brian R. Gantwerker, MD, The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: I could probably write a book of questions I should have asked. There are three basic things to know that are absolutely necessary. First, have a vision of how you want to practice. Second, gather your team — a good attorney; a talented, but honest, accountant and a banker —  and third, keep costs down, but don't starve the baby.  


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